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 – Allure of the Seas
The second member of Royal Caribbean’s ground-breaking Oasis Class, Allure of the Seas is a fantastic choice for your first time Royal Caribbean cruise. With a host of incredible features and sensational entertainment on-board, the ship is great for those looking to keep busy and be wowed.
Allure of the Seas will also undergo a 165 million refurbishment in 2020 to enhance her on-board facilities. This includes the addition of the Ultimate Abyss – the tallest slide at sea – the first Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar and revitalised kids’ and teens’ clubs. After she has returned from this update, she will sail around the Western Mediterranean before heading to the Caribbean for her winter season.
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, making it a great option when choosing the best cruise line for families.
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. This helps makes P&O Cruises one of the best cruise lines for first time cruisers.
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’ 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 – all of which make it one of the best cruise lines for first time cruisers.
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, it truly is a top contender for the best cruise for couples to relax and have fun!
Princess Cruises – Royal Princess
One of the best cruises for first-time couples, Princess Cruises’ Royal Princess is just right for two, offering features such as 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.
Post updated: 29/11/2019
Hi my friend and myself thought we might try a cruise, we are both in our 70 th year and both widows me very recent. We never cruised before and were looking at the Med , Croatia etc June 5th , 7 days 2020. We are looking at tui at the moment because we can only go on that date and amount of days, can you give me any advice. Many thanks
Hello Lorraine, thank you for your enquiry. I’ve passed your details to our Cruise Concierge team, who will be in touch with more information and advice. Thanks, Emma.
My husband and I will take my 15 years old daughter to take first time cruise in end of June 2020. May I know which cruise line is the best for our family?
Hello, how exciting! There are lots of ships to choose from and it all depends on your holiday preferences. For an active ship with plenty to see and do on-board, one of the Royal Caribbean ships such as Symphony of the Seas or Anthem of the Seas would be perfect! Other cruise ships would be P&O Cruises’ newest addition – Iona – which is launching in May and sailing to the stunning Norwegian Fjords! Or even MSC Bellissima which is another brand new ship and sails to the Mediterranean. There are so many to choose from, why not call our Cruise Concierge and they will help you select the ideal ship and itinerary for your family cruise. You can reach them on 0808 1234 118. Hope this helps! Thanks, Emma.
We are looking to do a family reunion cruise in 2021. What is the best cruise and cruise line for this event?
Hi Pearl, there are many cruise lines which offer a great on-board experience for families and would be great for a family reunion. You can read about the best cruise lines for families here or take a look at our range of family-themed blogs to help get a good overall view of what you want. We are able to arrange a number of things for group bookings including flights, hotel accommodation, and interconnecting staterooms if you’re looking to sail as a big group. You can call our Cruise Concierge team on 0808 1234 118 who will be happy to talk things through with you. Thanks, Emma.
I’m getting married this weekend and we want to honeymoon mid June. Neither my (future) husband nor I have been brave enough to take a cruise-until maybe now. Which cruise line is ideal for newbies desirous of the Caribbean (mid June) for 3 or 4 days?
Hi Nuria, congratulations on your wedding this weekend! I’ve passed your details on to our Cruise Concierge team, who will be in touch with further details. Thanks, Emma.
I want to visited Indonesia in a cruise as I will be in Singapore. Pls help me .we will be 7pax
Hi Radha, I’ve passed your details on to our Cruise Concierge team who will be in touch with more details. Thanks, Emma.
I want to visited Indonesia in a cruise as I will be in Singapore. Pls help me
My husband and I would like to take our 22 year old son on our first time cruise as his college graduation gift in July. We want good food, fun, and relaxation… which line is best and where do you recommend? We are nervous about getting sick… but really are excited to go. Everything seems to be booking quick, please advise. Thank you!!!
Hi Dianne, how exciting and what a lovely gift for his graduation! There are a few cruise lines which offer great food, fun and a chance to kick back and relax. Our Cruise Concierge team will be the experts on what’s best-suited to your preferences, I’ll pass your details on to them, but just in case you wanted to get hold of them you can reach them on 0808 1234 118 and they will be happy to help. Thanks, Emma.
I would like to do a cruise from Southampton to New York. What is the best liner to choose and what time of the year do those cruises take place?
Hi Tracy, you can see all of our transatlantic sailings from Southampton here. Popular cruise lines include Cunard, Princess Cruises, and P&O Cruises. These sail year-round and vary in duration. If you would like to know more about our transatlantic sailings, call our Cruise Concierge team on 0808 1234 118 and they will be happy to help! Thanks, Emma.
My husband &I want to go on our first cruise in June 2020 for his 6th birthday
We would like to go around the Mediterranean would like to include malta or palermo which cruise ship would you advise want a balcony with good visabiity thankyou
My husband and I are looking to go on a caribbean cruise next year Mar/APR/MAY time but we are not sure which cruise line to go with.
We have only been on one cruise before and it was a Greek and Italian cruise with Celebrity which we loved but we fancy trying a different company. We are mid 50’s so we don’t want anything child orientated but we love shows and enjoy dining. We do enjoy getting dressed up especially for the captains nights but we don’t want to be dressed up to that extent every night but on the other hand we don’t want to be dining in our shorts :).Could you please recommend/suggest any fly-cruises that you thing would suit.
Hi Lynn, I’d suggest taking a look at Princess Cruises or Oceania Cruises as possible options. Both offer sailings to the Caribbean and offers on 2019 cruises so I’d recommend taking a look at those for some similarity with Celebrity. Between the months of March – May there won’t be many children on-board and the facilities for both don’t cater to families, so you will be sailing mainly with adults. Dining on both is fantastic and there are plenty shows to catch while sailing with either. Hope this helps! Thanks, Emma.