Cruise Holidays: The Ultimate Guide

So you’ve done all of the research, and decided what kind of cruise holiday you’d like to go on – but what about once you get on the boat? You might not be sure of what to expect, so with some help from MSC Mediterranean Cruises we’ve put together a quick guide to help you make the right decisions and prepare for the holiday of a lifetime!


There are usually four different types of room on a ship, and generally speaking the higher up you are, the more luxurious (and expensive!) your room will be. An inside cabin is the cheapest, simply because they don’t feature a window and are often tucked away. They offer all the basics though, and are perfect if you’re looking to keep costs down or aren’t planning on spending much time in your room – after al, there’s so much to see out there! Outside cabins are similar but have a porthole window, while balcony cabins usually have access to a veranda looking out to sea. Suites are the largest and most luxurious rooms, usually including large living spaces as well as a bedroom – ideal for something special!

Food and Drink

The food available on a cruise ship varies hugely – some will have a communal dining hall, other will have a number of exclusive restaurants, and depending on which you choose you may be seated with other passengers at designated times, or free to dine alone whenever the mood takes you. Cruise holiday prices include your food and soft drinks, but you might find that specialist restaurants have an additional charge. Don’t forget to dine out at landing spots, too, to experience a taste of local cuisine!

What to Wear

While some cruises have dress codes, you’re unlikely to have problems as long as you pack plenty of comfortable clothing for daywear, and some smart/dressy outfits for evening meals and entertainment. While everything is in one place, you’ll still be “going out” in the evening, and you’ll probably want to make sure you’re prepared for some of the better-dressed crowds, like in the on-board casinos! Don’t forget swimwear for the pool and for sunbathing, and a good pair of walking shoes for excursions.

What to Take

While flights will of course limit the amount of luggage you can take with you, a cruise holiday allows you to take as much as you can fit in your cabin! Don’t worry about packing too much, though; don’t forget there will be laundry facilities on board for longer trips, so you can be more economical about what you pack. Essential things to remember include a plug socket adapter and hairdryer, as well as the other holiday basics such as sun cream, hat and camera. Do check that the cruise liner has a Bureau de Change, otherwise you may need to have your money changed into the relevant currencies before setting off.

Things to Do

Cruise holidays are packed full of attractions and entertainment, as well as excursions ashore to explore the seaside port towns and cities. We couldn’t possibly list everything available to you on a cruise ship – whether you’d rather attend West End shows, relax and enjoy a spa treatment, take up a new sport or book yourself on every excursion to discover the history and culture of your destinations, you’re guaranteed a holiday experience you’ll never forget!

Photo Credit: Port of San Diego