GET YOUR SEA LEGS: Four things first-time cruisers should know before stepping foot on board.
GET YOUR SEA LEGS: Four things first-time cruisers should know before stepping foot on board. Digital Vision.

Here's the A, B, sea for first-time voyagers

ARE you one of the many Australians who has never been on a cruise ship holiday before, but want to know more about travels on the high seas? Here are four things so you're not out of your depth.

Best room

Have you ever seen those specials for less than $1000 for a twin share and thought, "Hmm, that sounds incredibly cheap"? These staterooms are in the extreme front or back of the ship. If you're prone to seasickness or don't like rocking to sleep, it's recommended to pay a little extra for a bit more comfort.

Anywhere around midship and the closest level to the bottom of the ship is better. Hate noise? Stay away from the pool deck level.

The stateroom will also be typically smaller than a hotel room.

Delicious food

Have you ever heard stories of people gaining a few kilograms on their cruise holiday? It's true. On most cruise lines most food is included.

Options encompass the main buffet, which is usually open all day and casual dining options such as a pizzeria or a make your own hamburger outlet. There's also the chance to dress more formally and eat fine cuisine. There are usually drinks packages available.

Tours and activities

For a first-timer on a cruise ship, it can be a bit overwhelming with staff offering external tours and activities to new sights and scenes.

It's recommended to avoid them, as they're usually double or three times the price, so it pays to do some homework.


On the upside, if your booked tour is late, the ship will wait for your return.

And if there's something on your bucket list then it may sell out.

Leaving now

As soon as the ship anchors at a destination, it seems every person wants to exit at once.

Usually this isn't a problem at stops such as Port Vila in Vanuatu because that terminal can handle several hundred guests at once.

Issues are more likely where tender boats (usually the ship's lifeboats) are involved.

There's usually a few tenders operating but they only hold a limited number.