Costa Magica Ship 2

5 Things You Need to Know Before Cruising

When you are planning a cruise, there are a few things that you need to be aware of beforehand. Here are 5 things to know before cruising!

Ship size

The cruise industry’s standard on vessel sizes is:

• Large resort – 1,751-6,500 passengers

• Mid-size – 751-1,750 passengers

• Small – 251-750 passengers

• Boutique – 50‑250 passengers.

Cabin style

Cabins (or staterooms) come in four broad categories: inside (no window or porthole); ocean‑view (with window or porthole); balcony (with small private balcony); and suites (separate sleeping and living area).

Fare - all inclusive or not?

Drinks, tips, specialty restaurants, shore excursions and onboard activities cost extra on some ships, but are included on others. Make sure you know what is covered for your cruise.

Going ashore

Some itineraries include several sea days, so if that doesn’t appeal choose one that calls at more ports. Ship-run excursions are offered – but you can always organise independent trips.


Always check whether you are required to have a visa for the countries to be visited on you cruise and ask the cruise line if they organise visas. Often you are expected to do this yourself.

Are you now ready to start planning your first cruise? Head back to the First Time Cruisers page to find information on individual ships, destinations and deals!