The first and most important thing is to pick the right ship. Everything else – such as paying extra for an outside cabin or balcony – is secondary.
A mum and dad with young kids who pick a Fred Olsen ship may find it disappointing. It is a great, long-established cruising company which has been in the business since the early days
Over the decades it has built up a base of loyal passengers which it sets great store by. Therefore average age is older and it is particularly favoured by the older generation seeking peace and quiet.
Retired people find a cruise is a safe and comfortable way to travel but the age of passengers is getting younger each year with the. average age of first-timers now well under 40.
There are much more exciting options for the young family, for instance Disney Cruise Line ships which are designed to handle both children and adults well with different areas for different age ranges.
Ships with a nursery for ages 6-36 months are Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, Disney Magic, Disney Wonder and Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.
Much is made of life on board a cruise ship but let’s not forget it’s all about travelling and seeing new places. Inside or outside cabins may be an important question for regulars to cruising but is it so important for people seeking their first cruise experience?
Having a balcony can enhance the cruise but how much time do you want to spend on your own reading a book as opposed to enjoying the sundeck or a bar or restaurant aboard?
Royal Caribbean is good for families and children. Carnival offers a fun ship all-American cruising experience which attracts passengers of all ages, mostly between 30 and 55, and is also good for children and teens.
The Norwegian cruise line and Princess Cruises offer a similar friendly US-style experience. Princess Cruises are popular with couples, families with teenagers and young children and older singles who like to mingle.
Costa Cruises offers an Italian ambience with stylish lifts and atriums and is geared for families with children.
Celebrity Cruises are aimed at sophisticated adult couples and families with older children such as teenagers who want to travel in style.
Holland America’s big ships appeal to younger families with children while its small cruise ships are popular with seniors. MSC Cruises are stylishly geared for adult couples and singles and families with children.
P & O is a traditional British cruise company popular with British families wanting to sail fom the UK. It has adults-only ships and ballroom dance instructors and does theme cruises.
Cunard is steeped in maritime history and the grand traditions of ocean liners and best enjoyed by experienced travellers who enjoy a cosmopolitan sailing experience.