Expert Advice Before Your First Time On A Cruise

Welcome to the #365Firsts Podcast and the Expert Advice Before Your First Time Series. The show aims to encourage, prepare, and inspire you to do things you’ve never done before and complete your #365FirstsChallenge list. 

In each episode of this series, we give you tips and advice to set you up for success, for specific firsts and new experiences. The guests and topics are as varied as the options and possibilities of new experiences. 

Whether you’re trying to learn a new skill, improve your health and happiness, work on your self-development, add excitement and adventure to your life, or simply have first times, you’re going to love our podcast.

On This Episode

As we come into the New Year, many people will already be starting to think about planning adventures to enjoy throughout 2020. To help you out with a particular kind of adventure, we wanted to bring you advice on how to prepare for your first cruise.

And who better to speak to than Ben and David, from Cruise With Ben & David?

In this episode, we pick the collective brains of Ben and David about everything cruise related and sea worthy. We go over how to prepare for your first cruise, where Ben and David got started, and how to prevent stressful embarkation days.

The Guest Experts

As you may already know, Ben and David are a pair of YouTubers who are in love with cruises and ocean adventures. In fact, their YouTube channel is how we found them in the first place to invite them on the show.

Since their first upload two years ago, their channel has taken off in popularity. They’ve been keeping busy sailing the seas and producing wonderful tours, vlogs and advice videos for their audience. Their channel started off as a passion project, to help them share their love for cruises and to help dispel negative stereotypes people might have about cruise holidays. 

These negative stereotypes are what got Ben and David interested in creating YouTube content in the first place. They were invited by a friend to go to a wedding cruise, and were apprehensive due to the stigma that cruises are ‘glorified ferries’ – namely, uncomfortable, full of bad food and elderly passengers. 

However, these stereotypes were immediately flipped on their heads once Ben and David got on the ship. They ended up enjoying the cruise so much – they hadn’t even got off the ship – before they were ready to book another cruise.

What You Should Know Before Going On A Cruise

Choosing the Right Cruise for You

One of the first things we discuss in the episode is how important it is to choose the right cruise for you before booking. Consider whether you want to book an ocean cruise or a river cruise, for example. These types of cruises will be relevant to your budget and desires, and can offer entirely different experiences too.

Ben and David note the importance of thinking about and researching what type of room you’re interested in, what style of cruise you’d like (e.g. a party cruise, kid/family friendly cruise, or an all inclusive relaxing cruise), and the ports you’ll be visiting.

Key Advice: If you suffer with motion sickness, book a cabin in the middle and lower down the ship – this is a tip we personally found very handy.

Considerations for Budgeting for your Cruise

Something first timers may not think about when it comes to budgeting for their cruise is the on-board fees to include: specialty dining, activities, and other fees that may apply, so make sure to check these out and bring them into your budget. There will be standard food and dining options included in your booking price, so don’t worry too much about that.

You’ll also want to budge for your port calls and excursions.

Planning and Preparation

Travel insurance is an absolute must. Before traveling, make sure your documents and travel insurance are up to date. Don’t forget to pack all of your key documents or identification to help keep yourself safe and prepared.

Speaking of packing, to make sure you have the right clothes and items with you, to make your cruise the best it can be, find out: does your cruise ship have a dress code for dinner? What will the weather be like, not just where you board but where you’re going? What activities will you be doing? Again, preparation is absolutely key to make sure you have a great time.

When reading up on your cruise, try to pinpoint any activities or shows you want to check out. Where possible, book them ahead of time so you don’t miss out on anything and you have your itinerary before even boarding. Specialty dining is also something you might have to book in advance, which is good as this can make the price a little lower.

Port Visits – Booking Excursions

A final part of preparing for a cruise is to check out the ports you’ll be visiting. To save money, why not try booking an excursion at one of the ports outside of the cruise? If you are doing this, do check out the reviews of the outfitters and companies to make sure they are reputable. 

Ben and David agree that going for a DIY approach to port excursion is much more fulfilling. You can use local transport to visit the more interesting and unique parts of a city, and there’s no pressure to follow a group around. They do emphasize the importance of making sure that you get back to the cruise on time, though – the ship will not wait for you if you’re late!

Generally, Ben and David both advise simply trying to unwind and not stress while you’re on holiday. Trying to do everything at once with no plan will tire you out, and your cruise holiday won’t be as relaxing as you want it to be.

How To Have A Stress-Free Embarkation Day

The embarkation day can typically be thought of as the most stressful part of the cruise, but with Ben and David’s advice, it doesn’t need to be. 

They recommend arriving at the port the night before (opportunity to visit the port city), to help save you a lot of time and stress the following day with being in line to board early. Arriving 30 minutes before departure will make the whole process much more stressful, and you run the risk of being left behind. Boarding a cruise ship is very similar to boarding a plane.

Key Advice: It’s important to prepare a boarding bag that you’ll keep with you when embarking on the ship. In it pack; every important document, ID, and medication you need, a change of clothes, and your bathing suit. Your other bags will be taken immediately upon check-in and you won’t see them again, until later in the day. Having what you need to enjoy the first few hours on the ship with you, will have you looking like a seasoned cruiser versus a first timer!!

How To Contact Ben And David

This really was a fantastic episode to record and it was great to speak to the guys about their experiences. So, how can you get in contact with Ben and David? Their website is and you can find them on Youtube at Their other social media links are;

They truly are a lovely pair of people, so if you want to reach out to them and ask questions, we’re sure that they’ll be more than happy to speak with you.

Engage With Us

One of the main driving forces behind us doing this podcast is the community. We want to make sure that we’re creating the most helpful content possible, so please feel free to get in touch with us and let us know what you think. 

Are there particular topics that you’d like to hear about, or something you want advice on? Is there something you think we could be doing better? Feel free to get in touch with a member of our team at today.

What’s Coming Up Next?

New episodes of Expert Advice Before Your First Time are released each Tuesday and Thursday, and we’ve got a fantastic roster of expert guests lined up to give you more advice. 

Next week on the 14th, we’ve got Robert Farrington coming in to speak to us about investing for the first time. After that on the 16th, we have Caya coming in to provide an insight into first time creating a pitch deck and pitching.

Make sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode, you can listen and subscribe on Apple, Google, or Spotify. While you’re there – please leave a review if you can. It really does help us out with our work, and each review is truly appreciated.

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