New to cruising - our guide for first-time cruisers

Whether you are new to Cunard, or new to cruising in general, this handy guide will explain what to expect - from suggested destinations to staterooms and activities on board - when you set sail on a Cunard Queen for the first time.

Why should I go on a cruise?

A world of possibilities - Your ship features luxury accommodation, incredible restaurants and a wealth of exciting evening and daytime activities and venues to choose from, many of which are included in your cruise fare.

Unpack once - A cruise is the perfect way to see more of the world. Wake up somewhere new each day, with no need to re-pack between destinations.

Meet like-minded travelers - A cruise is also a fantastic opportunity to meet new friends from around the world who share your interests. Striking up a conversation is easy, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to dine, laugh and explore with other travelers on board and ashore.

Where can I cruise?

Cunard cruises range from 2-night city breaks to World Voyages of over 100 days. Here are three cruises popular with first-timers.

Mini cruises - Typically 2-5 nights in length, mini cruises balance time to indulge and relax on your ship with exploring in one or more ports of call.
Roundtrip cruises - Roundtrip cruises start and end at the same port of call. Discover our US departure ports to find one convenient for you.
Transatlantic Crossings - Sailing between Southampton and New York, this 7-night journey offers no port calls: just stunning sea days to relax and indulge in.

What is there to do on board?

A cruise celebrates all that’s wonderful about being on vacation, with open-air pools, a spa, and much more. Cunard cruises feature live music in many of our on board bars and lounges for you to enjoy with your cocktail, before you go to the theater for a West-End style production. You can join a fitness class or play blackjack at the casino, do some shopping with our on board retailers, or explore our wine experiences.
When it comes to dining on board, you can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner at the main restaurant associated with your stateroom grade, have freedom of choice at the Kings Court or Lido buffet, or choose from our alternative dining venues. And, of course, enjoy Cunard's signature Afternoon Tea, served daily.

What are the staterooms like?

Cunard boasts some of the most spacious staterooms at sea. Every one of them features a myriad of special Cunard touches, including sparkling wine on arrival and a twice-daily turndown service complete with pillow chocolates.

Choose from our Britannia staterooms, havens of comfort and style that include single staterooms, or our Britannia Club staterooms, with access to the more intimate Britannia Club restaurant. Or enjoy the exclusive comforts of our Princess and Queens Grill suites, with additional space and facilities, and their own list of special features.

What can I expect from Cunard?

Cunard has been sailing for over 180 years and has a rich history of pioneering itineraries, top service and signature experiences.
Take time to browse our Insights program, where one of our many guest speakers will regale you with talks and stories from the worlds of literature, the arts, exploration and much more. Enjoy our famous Afternoon Tea, served by a procession of white-gloved waiters every afternoon, before getting ready for your Gala Evening, where an elevated dress code and themed menus and entertainment throughout the ship await you. Everything we do, from the warm welcome as you board to delivering your luggage to your stateroom, is underpinned by our famous White Star Service. It is our pleasure to bring you the pinnacle of luxury service at sea.

How can I plan for my cruise?

Planning for a cruise should be an exciting time, full of anticipation. At Cunard we have many helpful guides and resources to make planning as easy and as fun as possible.
Read our myth-busting article to dispel any preconceived notions you may have about cruising with Cunard. Browse our FAQ section for first-time cruisers, or see our website FAQs for a wider variety of queries. Discover each of our fare types and their benefits, and find out what's included in your cruise fare. Browse our solo travelers' guide if you're journeying alone. Use our helpful guide to take you through online booking and, once you've booked, log in to My Cunard to purchase Shore Experiences, drinks packages and more before you set sail. Lastly, explore our complete packing guide to help you pack the perfect suitcase.

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Frequently asked questions for first-time cruisers

Those considering cruising for the first time have many questions, so here are our answers to the most popular. For our full selection of FAQs, select 'Support' in the main site navigation.

Planning your voyage

What's included

With Cunard, your fare covers a lot more than just the journey. Well-appointed accommodations, fine dining, fabulous entertainment and outstanding service, it’s all included.

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Solo travelers

Traveling solo can be a time of peaceful relaxation and escape, or a way to meet new people while exploring the globe. Discover solo staterooms, dining and activities with our guide for solo cruisers.

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Staying connected on board

Find out how to stay in touch with your loved ones and get the best from your devices during your voyage, and browse our onboard internet packages.

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The questions of thousands of cruisers who have come before you have shaped our helpful FAQ section, including information for your voyage preparation, life on board and on shore visits. Simply search for a word or phrase to find what you need.

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