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20 Lessons You'll Learn on Your First Cruise

Even if you're an avid traveler, your first cruise can be daunting. Because ships are self-contained on some days and end up in different locations on others, there are many moving parts that make cruising different from other vacations you might have tried.

We've rounded up 20 things first-time cruisers might not know before they go so you can be ahead of the game on your inaugural voyage.

10 common cruise ship mistakes first-timers make all the time

The last thing you want to do is make a major mistake on your first cruise vacation. Avoiding common pitfalls is a smart way to set yourself up for a great vacation.

Unfortunately, a lot of first-time cruisers do not take a little bit of time to learn about these all too common blunders, and they always regret it later.

Here are the top ten cruise mistakes to avoid for anyone going on a cruise.

Bonine vs. Dramamine for Motion Sickness: Which Is Better for a Cruise?

Few experiences can railroad your cruise like seasickness; the last thing you want is to be sidelined by nausea or dizziness when you should be lounging by the pool or taking in a show. Remedies include behind-the-ear patches, wristbands and green apples, but some of the most common are pills -- Dramamine or Bonine -- that can be purchased over the counter.

Port vs. Starboard, Bow vs. Stern, and Forward vs. Aft: How to Find Your Way Around a Cruise Ship

No matter how many times you cruise, boarding a new-to-you ship for the first time can be confusing. Cabin hallways can look the same, dead ends can force you to retrace your steps to get to dinner, and if we had a penny for every time we found ourselves at the back of the vessel when we thought we were headed to the front, we could buy a ship of our own.

The first step to orienting yourself is to understand the directional terms used at sea. What does forward mean on a cruise ship? What does aft mean? What's the difference between bow and stern? How about port and starboard?

Why an inside cabin is the best choice for a cruise

Why should you book an inside room on a cruise ship? Is it a great money-saving idea, or a mistake waiting to happen?

Inside cabins on cruise ships are regularly the lowest priced way to book a cruise, and it is a popular choice for a few good reasons.

Before you decide which cabin to book, check out these reasons to book an inside cabin on your next cruise.

Passport Book vs. Passport Card: What's the Difference?

To passport or not to passport? Fewer than half of American citizens have them; if you're someone who doesn't, you'll want to consider obtaining one before going on a cruise.

Sure, you can travel on a closed-loop sailing -- one that leaves from and returns to the same U.S. port -- with just your birth certificate and a driver's license, but a passport offers more peace of mind in an emergency.

What Is the Best Cruise Line?

There's a lot to consider when you're trying to figure out which cruise line is the best. It's not a simple question to answer because it depends on the interests, personalities and budgets of you and the people with whom you'll be traveling.

When determining how to pick a cruise line, check out our superlatives below, which are designed to point you in the right direction. Simply find the things that matter most to you, and see which cruise line falls under most of them.

What I wish I knew before going on a Disney Cruise

Before you go on your first Disney cruise, there is quite a lot of good tips and helpful information out there to ensure you have a great cruise.

In order to avoid some common first-time cruise mistakes, here are some of the critical things I wish I knew before I went on my first Disney cruise.

Get an early check-in time

Captain Mickey and Minnie Mouse

Top 10 Things You Should Know about Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages is one of the newest cruise lines out there, and you might be curious what it's all about. 

Richard Branson's newest venture has turned a lot of heads, with its first ship Scarlet Lady about to begin service.

1. Sailing from Miami

When Virgin Voyages first ship, the Scarlet Lady, arrives in North America, she will call PortMiami home.

In fact, Virgin Voyages built a brand new cruise terminal that was inspired by the palm trees of Miami Beach. The new terminal opens in 2021.

Top first time cruise mistakes to avoid

If you are going on your first cruise vacation, here are ten rookie mistakes to avoid. Not only will these tips help you have a better vacation, but you will feel like a cruising pro!

Booking a flight too early after the cruise

Typically we see first time cruisers book a return flight home that cuts things too close.  The problem is guests see that the ship returns to the port at some early hour, like 6am, and assume that is when they can get off the ship.

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