Posted on 24 April 2022

How do you pick a cruise for the first time?

With so many variables when it comes to itineraries and ships, it can all be a bit overwhelming when picking your first cruise holiday. Sailing around the sun-soaked Caribbean or sightseeing on a city break? Kayaking in the fjords or getting under the skin of a local culture? Large ship or something more intimate? Not sure where to start? To help find the right cruise for you, we’ve listed the main factors to consider:

How long?

Want to dip your toe in the water and see what cruising’s all about? Why not start off with a 3 to 5 night Short Break to destinations such as lively Amsterdam or romantic Bruges (from Zeebrugge)? If you’re looking to escape for between a week to a fortnight, then you can choose from a range of getaways including Northern European City Escapes, the Baltic, the Mediterranean or the Norwegian Fjords. But if you’re looking to explore somewhere more exotic, such as the Caribbean, then why not maximise your time with a fly-cruise? By flying straight to your ship in far-away destinations, you can pack more sightseeing and adventure into your holiday.

Have a week or a fortnight to spare? Then you’ll have the chance to see North America and Canada. And if time is no issue, then the world really is your oyster with a Grand Tour or World Cruise ready to take you on the adventure of a lifetime. 

Where to?

Which area of the world do you want to explore and what do you want to see when you get there? Once you’ve chosen your preferred region, look for a cruise itinerary that ticks your boxes. Say you want to go on a cruise in the Med… are you planning on taking in the historical sights, exploring unique landscapes, or stretching out and soaking up the sun on blissful beaches? Maybe you want a holiday where you can do it all. We know different people want different things from their holiday and whatever you’re looking for, at P&O Cruises we can’t wait to help create your special moments through what we do best.

Which ship?

What is the right cruise ship for you? If you’re travelling with children, then you’ll want a family-friendly ship with lots for them to do on board. If you’re a couple or solo traveller looking for a bit of peace and quiet, then a ship exclusively for adults will offer the tranquillity you’re after. 

Are you looking for a cruise holiday where you can take in the stunning scenery? Our newest ships Arvia and Iona have been specifically designed to let the inside in like never before. With their retractable glass roof SkyDomes and luminous wide-open spaces, these Excel class ships are perfect for Northern European City Escapes, exploring the Norwegian Fjords or soaking up the sun in the Med, Caribbean or Spain, Portugal and Canary Islands.

Across our fleet of seven magnificent ships, you’ll be treated to the same P&O Cruises experience, but each one comes with its own unique allure and features. So, whether it’s family-friendly or exclusively for adults, we've a ship for every occasion and style. Find your ideal ship here.


You may also like to read...

What is there to do on a cruise?

If you’ve never been on a cruise before, you’re in for a treat. With round-the-clock entertainment, a vast range of mouth-watering menus, relaxing pools and wellness facilities to experience on one of our holidays… you’ll be spoilt for choice every single day.

Top three tips for first time cruisers

We’ve gone to the experts (our past guests!) to find out their top advice for anyone who’s yet to try a cruise holiday. We’ve rounded up the top three tips we think will come in handy for your first ever cruise.

Should I book a fly-cruise or sail from Southampton?

If you’re a first time cruiser, you might be wondering if you should sail to your destination from Southampton or fly out to meet your ship. There’s no right or wrong answer here and a lot will depend on your personal preference, but to help you make up your mind we’ve put together the top three reasons for choosing each one.