Finding reliable first-time cruise tips can be a challenge. Along with the excitement of planning your first cruise, there's a lot of lingo and plenty of decisions to navigate. Luckily, Cruise Critic's global team of cruise experts have decades of experience and thousands of cruises under their belts.
From choosing a cruise line and booking excursions to deciding what to pack for a cruise and how to pick a cabin, you'll find our tips for first time cruisers below. You'll also find expert ship reviews, itineraries, destination guides, port information and more to get the most out of your first cruise.
Whether you're interested in a cruise for couples, kid-friendly cruise, river cruise or an adults-only cruise, there are plenty of options for all travelers. You've likely heard of Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) -- all are popular picks for many first time cruisers -- but we'll also tell you about smaller cruise lines that might be right for your first cruise.
In addition to our expert articles and reviews, you can join the Cruise Critic boards community, which has an entire section dedicated to new cruisers. There, you'll find answers to your burning questions and can discuss all things cruising with first-timers and seasoned cruisers alike. To help you get started, we added a few tips from our existing members below.
Popular Destinations for your First Cruise
Soak up some sunshine and catch views of crystal blue waters on a Caribbean cruise.See cruises