Are you wondering what’s the best cruise for first time cruisers? Since cruises aren’t one size fits all, before booking your first cruise, it’s important to know what is the best cruise line for you.
There are many things to consider when you’re going on your first cruise, especially if you want to have the best cruise experience possible. As an experienced cruiser, I know first hand which cruise lines are best for first timers.
In this post, I share the 10 best cruises for first time cruisers.
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Best Cruise Line for First Time Cruisers
1. Royal Caribbean – Fun For All
When it comes to recommendations of the best cruises for first-timers, it’s hard to beat a Royal Caribbean cruise. Royal Caribbean is a cruise line that is fun for all, which is perfect for a first time cruiser.
Although Royal Caribbean has many cruise ships of different sizes, the cruise line is known for making the largest and most extravagant ships at sea. RCL is constantly pushing the boundaries by creating the most innovative cruise ships.
When you go on a Royal Caribbean cruise, you can expect plenty of activities to keep you busy. On some Royal Caribbean cruise ships, you’ll find water slides, rock climbing walls, zip lines, surf simulators and even indoor sky diving.
Additionally, there are plenty of delicious dining options onboard, from casual to fine dining.
One of the big things that Royal Caribbean is known for is their entertainment. They have great comedians, musicians, Broadway style shows and even an aqua show on Oasis class ships.
From young families to older cruisers, Royal Caribbean can suit cruise passengers of all ages. Those who cruise with Royal Caribbean are often referred to as “young at heart”.
If you’re booking your first cruise, Royal Caribbean is a great option. On a Royal Caribbean cruise, you will eat well, have tons of fun and enjoy the amazing entertainment.
2. Carnival – Budget Cruise Line
Carnival Cruise Line is a budget friendly cruise line that is known for being an absolute blast. It’s hard to find another cruise line that offers a better value vacation than Carnival.
If it’s your first time cruising, Carnival is a great way to explore beautiful destinations, while having tons of fun! Carnival cruises tend to have a party vibe and people who love to have a good time.
Onboard certain Carnival cruise ships, you’ll find fun water slides, which is one of the reasons Carnival cruises are so popular for families and kids. On select cruise ships, you’ll find trampoline parks, ropes courses and even a roller coaster on Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration!
Carnival has plenty of casual food options, including Big Chicken, Guy’s Burger Joint and the BlueIguanna Cantina. If you prefer a sit down meal, Carnival has a main dining room which serves three meals a day.
Overall, Carnival is an affordable cruise line and is known for being extremely fun. If you’re trying to save money and cruise on a budget, Carnival is a great start for new cruisers.
Related: What to Pack for a Carnival Cruise
3. Celebrity Cruises – Modern Luxury
Celebrity is a considered to be a premium cruise line. Although it has coined the term “modern luxury”, which suits the cruise line well.
If you want a relaxing cruise vacation, with great service and food, Celebrity Cruises is the cruise line for you. Even though Celebrity is a popular, mainstream cruise line, it has some of the most stunning and luxurious looking ships at sea.
On Celebrity, the crew are very friendly and accommodating. This is one of the many reasons why so many cruisers love to travel with Celebrity.
A big part of cruising, is visiting the cruise ports. Sea days on Celebrity Cruise ships are equally enjoyable. Celebrity cruise ships are so modern and beautiful, the service is amazing and the food is fantastic.
When it comes to food and dining, it’s hard to beat what Celebrity has to offer. Celebrity’s buffet, casual restaurants, specialty restaurants and the popular Cafe Al Bacio are all quite good. Celebrity appeals to new cruisers who are foodies and appreciate a relaxed, yet upscale experience.
If you’re a first time cruiser looking for a relaxing cruise vacation with an all-inclusive feel, Celebrity is a great choice.
4. Princess Cruises – Service & Value
Princess Cruises has a good mix of service and value. First time cruisers can feel very comfortable on Princess cruise ships.
When you’re on a Princess cruise, you can expect top notch service, amazing food and beautiful ship designs. For those that appreciate travel, Princess has many great itineraries to choose from.
The crew onboard Princess are super friendly and always helpful. They always do their best to be accommodating to all of their passengers.
One of the cool things about Princess Cruises is their Medallion technology. The Princess Medallion is a quarter-size wearable device that adds convenience and enhances your cruise vacation.
With the Ocean Medallion technology, you can order food and drinks from your phone and the crew will be able to find you because of your Medallion.
On a Princess cruise you’ll enjoy good food, activities and diverse entertainment. New cruisers who like the idea of a traditional, yet innovative cruise line, will appreciate a Princess cruise.
Related: What to Pack for a Princess Cruise
5. Disney – Family Friendly
If you’re travelling with young kids or you’re a Disney lover, then you have to try a Disney cruise. Disney Cruise Line has Disney themed cruises that are fun for the whole family.
On Disney cruise ships, there are plenty of activities that are fun for the whole family. You’ll find water slides, fireworks at sea and character experiences where you can meet your favorite Disney characters.
One unique thing about Disney is that they have rotational dining. This means that you will eat at three different dining rooms which have different themes, throughout your cruise.
In the dining room, the menus have plenty of Disney references, which is a lot of fun. If you want to plan the ultimate family vacation, Disney Cruise Line is a good first cruise option.
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6. Norwegian Cruise Line – Freestyle Cruising
Norwegian Cruise Line is for it’s laid back, “freestyle cruising”, which can be great for those new to cruising.
Norwegian also offers Free at Sea, a popular “free perks” promotion.
Unlike most other cruise lines, Norwegian doesn’t have cruise line dress codes and there are no set dining times.
On Norwegian cruises, there are multiple main dining rooms and restaurants, and you can eat when you want. While open dining is now available on many other cruise lines these days, there’s no question that dining is more relaxed on NCL.
Norwegian makes some of the largest and most fun ships at sea. The newest Norwegian cruise ships are filled with some of the most amazing attractions.
On certain Norwegian ships, you’ll find water slides, virtual reality, racing simulators, go-kart tracks and laser tag. These cruise ship activities are super fun, especially for kids, teens and young adults. However something to note, is that some have an additional charge.
Norwegian attracts adult cruisers who are easygoing, as well as those who like to party and have fun into the late night.
If you’re looking to have a fun vacation, cruising with Norwegian is a good idea for a first cruise experience.
7. Holland America – Classic Cruising
Holland America is a great first cruise for mature travellers, who would enjoy a traditional and classic cruise experience.
Holland America has been around for 150 years. However, this traditional cruise line continues to innovate and provide an interesting and enriching cruise experience.
Highlights on Holland America include delicious food, top notch service and unique entertainment. On select ships, this includes the very popular Music Wall, the World Stage production shows and BBC Earth in Concert.
Holland America also offers a variety of itineraries. This includes Caribbean and Alaska cruises (popular with first time cruisers) as well as more exotic destinations.
HAL was also voted Best World Cruise Itinerary by Travel Weekly, Readers Choice Awards.
If you’re looking for a classic cruise experience, Holland America is a great choice for a first time cruiser.
8. MSC Cruises – Innovative Italian Cruise Line
MSC is an Italian cruise line that is known for having beautiful and innovative cruise ships. Since MSC is an Italian cruise line, the dining tends to be a little different from American cruise lines.
MSC cruises are often affordable, which attracts a lot of families and young adults. MSC might be one of the best values in cruising.
MSC is building more sustainable, as well as innovative, cruise ships. Their ships designs are incredibly beautiful. When you’re on an MSC ship, it really feels like you’re at a beautiful resort.
Onboard MSC Cruises, they have zip lines, water slides, ropes courses and gorgeous pool areas. If you’re cruising with your family, they will have tons of fun on an MSC cruise.
If you’re looking for an affordable, fun and different cruise experience, check out MSC Cruise line.
9. Virgin Voyages – Modern Cruising
Virgin Voyages is an adult only cruise line, that is known for being totally different from all other cruise lines. Everything from the pool areas, to the cabins and entertainment is totally unique on Virgin Voyages.
Some cool features Virgin Voyages is that they have group fitness classes, hammocks on the balconies and even a tattoo parlour on board their ships.
When you look a Virgin Voyages cruise, they look totally different from all other cruise ships. The front of the ships have a unique look that makes them stand out next to other ships.
The food on Virgin Voyages is known to be very tasty and the crew is super friendly.
If you’re looking to have fun and experience a cruise line like no other, Virgin Voyages is the right cruise line for you.
10. Viking – Destination Focused (Luxury)
For those who love to travel and aren’t sure if they’d like a cruise, Viking might be the cruise line for you.
In contrast to most cruise lines recommended for first timers, Viking cruise ships are smaller and more intimate. Viking ships are beautifully designed, with an elegant modern Scandinavian design.
The travel experience and destinations are the focus when sailing with Viking.
When you travel with Viking, your specialty coffees, teas and bottled water are all included. Additionally, beer and wine are included during both lunch and dinner.
Those who cruise with Viking tend to be mature travellers who value great service, excellent food and visiting beautiful destinations.
If you’re a first time cruiser, who wants the experience of a lifetime, Viking is the cruise line for you.
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Final Thoughts on best Cruises For First Time Cruisers
Well there it is, the best cruise lines for first time cruisers!
If you’re a first time cruiser, it’s important to know what each cruise line is known for and what they do best. The last thing you want, is to end up on a cruise line that doesn’t match your needs.
Each cruise line has it’s positives and negatives, so it’s important to choose the one that suits your style of cruising best.
In this post, I shared the best cruises for first time cruisers.
What cruise line do you think is best for first time cruisers? Please let me know in the comments below.
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