With fleets boasting tens of ships, there can be an overwhelming amount of choice when it comes to selecting your first cruise line. Do you want pure relaxation and state-of-the-art spa facilities? Or rock-climbing walls and a 3D IMAX cinema? What about the dining options and stateroom choices?
If these are some of the questions you find yourself asking, then look no further! Read on to see our top picks for first-time cruisers.
Royal Caribbean – Freedom of the Seas®
Winner of 2017’s ‘Best for First Timers’ award by UK Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice, Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas® offers a sublime cruising experience. With a host of incredible features and sensational entertainment on-board, the ship is a fantastic option for those looking to keep busy and be wowed.
After launching in 2006 and being the pilot for the now-widespread FlowRider surf simulator, the ship is the ideal choice for first-timers. Race to the top of the rock climbing wall, catch a 3D film at the cinema or sample the Shiraz at Vintages bar – this ship has perfected the revolutionary Royal Caribbean cruise.
Norwegian Cruise Line – Norwegian Getaway
Launching the effortless style of cruising, Norwegian Cruise Line is a prime choice for first-timers, meaning that meal-times and ship facilities are much more flexible. With no fixed dining times or pre-assigned seating, guests have the freedom to enjoy more dining options while cruising.
A particular favourite is Norwegian Getaway, boasting magnificent amenities you can sample as you sail to unforgettable destinations. The Waterfront, an NCL ship staple, is featured on Norwegian Getaway – an innovative, industry-first open-air promenade designed to immerse guests in the ocean and help you enjoy your time on-board even more.
P&O Cruises – Britannia
If you want to feel at home as you sail the seas, P&O has combined a quintessentially British atmosphere with the excitement of cruising. The ships even use sterling as their pricing currency, with all payments accepted on your cruise card – operating a cash-free environment that makes things much easier for first-timers.
Britannia in particular, also promotes Freedom Dining, allowing you to eat at whichever time you please – easier for those looking to relax a little more. For days at sea, there are plenty of activities to keep you occupied, from cooking demonstrations to on-board spa treatments.
Carnival – Carnival Vista
The ‘Best New Ship of 2016’ as voted in the 4th Annual Cruise Fever Fan Awards, Carnival Vista is a real mix of fun and fascination. For a unique experience at sea, the ship comes complete with the IMAX theatre, SkyRide, Serenity Adult-Only Retreat and the Cloud 9 spa – each of which offers plenty to keep you busy and create unforgettable memories on-board.
The ship has recently expanded its itinerary portfolio, meaning the on-board experience can now stretch to the shores of the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Complete your voyage with firm fan favourites including the Food Network’s Guy Fieri, Blue Iguana and the on-board microbrewery, the RedFrog Brewery.
MSC – MSC Meraviglia
Step your entertainment up a notch with MSC Meraviglia, where innovative venues, multi-purpose bars and exciting parks all shape this ship into a whole new level of cruising. World-class performances are shown twice every night, six nights per week at the Carousel Lounge, which showcases two original shows by Cirque du Soleil – a world-leader in live artistic entertainment.
Combined with one of the most intricate water parks at sea – comprising three slides and a Himalayan bridge as well as multiple pools – MSC Meraviglia is a ship packed full of features. And when you feel you need some time to rest, take it all in as you enjoy the panoramic views from the innovative ocean-view aft lounge.
Princess Cruises – Royal Princess
For first-time cruising couples, Princess Cruises’ Royal Princess is just right for two – with a quiet, adults-only pool, a Champagne bar and movies under the stars. Depicted as having one of the most deluxe accommodations at sea, even balcony staterooms come equipped with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors, a refrigerator, 24-hour room service and sumptuous bed linens.
Visit the exclusive restaurants on-board, including Crafted by Curtis Stone where you can sample delicious meats and seafood with vibrant and bold flavours. Indulge your inner chocolate-fiend and taste hand-crafted treats which master chocolatier Norman Love has designed for Princess’ Chocolate JourneysSM program.
Have you booked your very first cruise? Or do you remember the first time you stepped on-board a cruise ship? Tell us all about it in the comment box below!
If you have any questions about these ships or booking your first cruise, call our award-winning Cruise Concierge team on 0808 1234 118 for expert advice and assistance booking the first of many exciting cruise holidays.