Ocean Cruises: Explained

Such an ambiguous title! What could this article possibly be about?! Let me help you to understand. I’m going to explain ocean cruises. Big boats with lots of people on them travel from port to port … bad karaoke singer: optional. Article finished.

Not really. I’m going to help you with some tips I’ve picked up on after travelling on a few cruises in my time. There are some tricks of the trade that anyone who is thinking about booking an ocean cruise should know about before booking. On sites like, they will actually take care of everything for you so you don’t even need to think about anything except how to beat the traffic on your way to the boat! If, however you’re booking it the old fashioned way, then read on as I divulge my cruising secrets (that sounded wrong, I apologise).


Deal Hunter

Cabin prices vary wildly and you can get two people with identical cabins that paid massively different prices. Here’s how to avoid paying full price and how to get those deals.

  • Ignore the brochure. The brochures are usually printed ages before the boat sets sail and so shouldn’t be heeded as the actual price will be different.
  • Early bookings are a great way to get a better price. Either there will be a specific deal advertised for early booking or you can just ask when you book the tickets.
  • Later bookings can also yield interesting deals, but only if the cruise isn’t selling many cabins. Keep an eye out for cruises with a lot of room that are due to set sail relatively soon, as you will undoubtedly get a killer deal.


Cabin Fever

This is why you’re reading this article: so many people don’t understand cabin types and so rock up to their cabin only to realise it’s not at all what they wanted because they didn’t read up beforehand.

  • Inside/Interior Cabins – You can probably work out what these ones are. They are always the cheapest – significantly so – but are found in the interior of the ship away from any natural light sources and so you need to decide if a view is worth the cost.
  • Outside/Ocean View – The same size as an inside cabin, but with a window. Sometimes it might a tiny porthole, which although quaint, isn’t exactly what you want. You can get large windowed rooms as well and the brochure will identify which type they have available (ask if they don’t detail it).
  • Balcony/Veranda – These are by far the most expensive cabins. They are usually bigger in size and also feature a balcony. The balcony might be big enough for a couple or three people to stand on or large enough for a table and chairs. Make sure you find out. Also think about how much time you’ll be in the cabin before splashing out on a balcony cabin.


Dinner for 700

The vast majority of cruises will feature two different eating options for your dinner time meal (breakfast and lunch are a free-for-all). One of these options may seem better than the other at first glance, but think about it.

  • Set Meal Time – This one means that your dinner is served to your table the same time every night. You will always eat at the same time with the same group of other cruise goers (so is a great way to make friends).
  • Fluid Meal Time –This option gives you a time period where you can come and go as you see fit, which might seem more ideal, but you will be seated with different diners each night and at peak times you will have to wait for a table like at a restaurant.