The first time cruiser

Beautiful sunsets, mouth-watering dining and incredible sightseeing: choose wisely and a cruise will let you have it all. Perfect for sun seekers and adventurers alike, 2015 cruises are a force to be reckoned with. Now there’s a range of options battling it out on the market, the dilemma is finding the right cruise for you. Cruise Ship Where to go? As goes with any holiday planning there are a number of factors to consider before handing over your dosh. You need to think about your budget and what you really want out of your cruise. Is there a particular town or city you want to stop in? Do you want to breeze by the Bahamas or give a nod to Norway? How frequently do you want to stop? Are the facilities on board more important to you than the route? Each operator has its own distinct style and target audience whether it’s young couples, families, solo explorers or festival goers. If you feel a bit overwhelmed with all the options, check out this handy article on all the major cruise lines so you can focus on the ones most likely to meet your travel needs. Life on-deck The majority of cruise liners now feature many of the perks of your favourite holiday resorts. From on-board pools and jacuzis, to luxurious spas and entertainment, a cruise ship is far from your average boat. Opt to go all-inclusive for a stress free trip with everything from a la carte dining to around the clock room service available. Just don’t forget to tip at the end! Swimming pool on a cruise ship Get physical Although we can all be guilty of gaining a few pounds on holiday, living the all-inclusive dream doesn’t mean you need to say goodbye to your waistline. Life at sea also keeps up with modern tastes on land so you can tuck into freshly prepared sushi, quinoa salads and lighter options for guilt free dining. Meanwhile with state of the art gyms and on board activities including football on the deck and aerobics in the pool, you’re free to climb out of your deck chair and burn off the calories. Higher end cruisers are also beginning to adopt fitness classes and personal training sessions into their gym timetables, so there’s no excuse to let your regime slip at sea. Those looking to make the most out of their trip can opt for organised excursions at each stop, or go it alone if you’d prefer. Just make sure you’re back at the dock in time so that you aren’t left behind! Depending on your itinerary, on shore activities can range from scaling ancient volcanoes to tasting local street food or even zip lining through the spectacular scenery. So first time cruisers, opt for the right mix of itinerary and on board facilities to suit your travel tastes and you definitely won’t feel like you’ll definitely be in the mood for pushing the boat out. Images by kansasphoto and Jim Pennucci, used under the Creative Commons license.