Your First Cruise: A Complete Guide to Planning and Attaining the Perfect Cruise Vacation


Each year, over 11 million people take a cruise vacation. Cruising has become one of the fastest growing vacation alternatives in the 21st century. The experience of cruising is unlike any other. If you have never cruised before, imagine being pampered at a luxurious resort and waking up each morning to a brand new, stunning view of the world.

But your first cruise can be a little confusing, and you may not know what to expect or what to do. You could spend much of your vacation...

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Your First Cruise: A Complete Guide to Planning and Attaining the Perfect Cruise Vacation

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Each year, over 11 million people take a cruise vacation. Cruising has become one of the fastest growing vacation alternatives in the 21st century. The experience of cruising is unlike any other. If you have never cruised before, imagine being pampered at a luxurious resort and waking up each morning to a brand new, stunning view of the world.

But your first cruise can be a little confusing, and you may not know what to expect or what to do. You could spend much of your vacation just figuring out how the cruise vacation works. Do not waste a moment of your precious vacation time if you want to take the plunge and go on your first cruise.

This new book will be your traveling companion and answer the myriad of questions that arise when planning a cruise. By reading this book, you will learn what to expect while on a cruise. You will learn how to choose a cruise line, ship, and cabin, how to choose a cruise vacation, how to pick a destination, how to avoid cruise scams, how to book online, how to cruise on a budget, how to watch for hidden costs, how to book excursions, how to pack, how to get to the cruise terminal, how to get married onboard, how to connect back to home, how tipping works, how to plan a reunion or family cruise, and how to get off the ship.

You will become knowledgeable about cruising myths, planning timelines, cruise insurance, cruising terms, travel agents, air/sea packages, sailing ship and river cruises, pre- and post-cruise travel, what clothing to bring, special needs passengers, singles on cruises, seniors on cruises, cruise costs, group cruises, last minute packages, passports and other critical documentation, travel rules and regulations, luggage, daily newsletters, room service, sports and exercise areas, seasickness, duty free port shopping, entertainment, libraries and game rooms, bars and lounges, private receptions, the spa, compulsory safety drills, life rafts, on board activities, the purser s desk, cruise cards, the dreaded norovirus, security, formal nights, pictures, your cell phone, walkie talkies, your final bill, and U.S. customs.

In addition, we will answer the questions you might be too embarrassed to ask, such as: Why a cruise vacation? What is a guaranteed cabin? Which dining time is best? What should I expect? What will my cabin be like? Will I get wet when I go snorkeling? All this and more than you need to know for your first cruise will be covered in this new book.

Atlantic Publishing is a small, independent publishing company based in Ocala, Florida. Founded over twenty years ago in the company president’s garage, Atlantic Publishing has grown to become a renowned resource for non-fiction books. Today, over 450 titles are in print covering subjects such as small business, healthy living, management, finance, careers, and real estate. Atlantic Publishing prides itself on producing award winning, high-quality manuals that give readers up-to-date, pertinent information, real-world examples, and case studies with expert advice.  Every book has resources, contact information, and web sites of the products or companies discussed.

This Atlantic Publishing eBook was professionally written, edited, fact checked, proofed and designed. The print version of this book is 288 pages and you receive exactly the same content. Over the years our books have won dozens of book awards for content, cover design and interior design including the prestigious Benjamin Franklin award for excellence in publishing. We are proud of the high quality of our books and hope you will enjoy this eBook version.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781601381514
  • Publisher: Atlantic Publishing Group Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/11/2008
  • Pages: 332
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword 7 Introduction 11 Section 1 What You Need to Know About Taking Your First Cruise 13 Chapter 1 The Cruise Industry: A Brief History 15 Chapter 2 Ten Reasons to Choose a Cruise Chapter 3 It is in the Details: What to Expect Before You Book 33 Chapter 4 Choosing Your Ideal Cruise 53 Chapter 5 Big Decisions: Selecting Your Cruise 75 Chapter 6 Booking a Cruise 101 Chapter 7 What to Bring: Packing for a Cruise 129 Chapter 8 Setting Sail 147 Chapter 9 Safety First on Your Cruise 161 Chapter 10 The First Day On-Board 179 Chapter 11 Keeping Busy on-Board and Off-Board 195 Chapter 12 Ports of Call: What to Expect 213 Chapter 13 The Return Home 243 Conclusion 253 Section 2 What You Need to Know About the Cruise Lines 255 Resources 319 Bibliography 321 Biography 327 Index 329
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 10, 2009

    A Must Read

    I was blown away by the details, suggestions, and information provided in the book. Your First Cruise is well written, complete guide, and must read for anyone thinking of taking a cruise. Chatfield takes you outside the boat with his ideas, suggestions, and insights. Following his advice you are sure to have a wonderful time and make it an experience to remember. Taking you beyond the cruise to your return home, he offers sound advice for any traveler.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2009

    A no-nonsense, get-to-the-point guide to cruising

    Mention the word "cruise" and up rise images of your dream destination - sandy beaches with snorkeling and fishing, a hot rainforest with exotic animals, the snow sports of Alaska. Going on a cruise sounds like heaven; it's the planning part that gets in the way. Fortunately, T. Brian Chatfield lays out the basic-and not so basic-steps to help first time cruisers combat problems before they set foot on the boat.

    Chatfield breaks it down into two manageable sections: a) what you need to know about taking your first cruise, and b) what you need to know about the cruise lines. This two-pronged approach allows readers first to gain footing in choosing the right type of cruise, how to prepare, what to expect, and what to pack; followed by question-and-answer sessions with representatives from 11 cruise lines detailing where they sail, what they offer, and a round-up of their services.

    Chatfield covers the topic of cruises with a passionate thoroughness. His research and fine execution give readers the option of reading cover to cover or skimming specific sections that pertain to their situations. Your First Cruise shines as both a resource and an enjoyable read, a rare combination.

    I have never been on a cruise. After reading this book, I see that's going to change.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2008


    Based on the title of this book, the reader might expect to find a list of things to do and not to do while cruising. However, the book provides a far more fascinating read on the history of cruising and the cruising options offered today. <BR/><BR/>This book is much more than an in-depth travel catalog. The author details the many advantages of cruising while explaining to the reader how to get the most out their cruise by prioritizing which of the many cruise benefits matter most to them.<BR/><BR/>The author also prepares the reader for the process of booking a cruise and the possible draw-backs a cruise vacation might offer. Making sure the reader is mindful of these concerns; the author then goes on to discuss the cruise experience in depth. <BR/><BR/>The book takes a detailed look at everything you would need to consider for a cruise: the process of acquiring a passport, what to pack, security issues, medical issues, insurance, meals and the cruise-line staff you will encounter. The author simple covers everything a first-time cruise passenger could think to ask about and probably many things that would never occur to them. <BR/><BR/>This book is a must read for any new cruise passenger who wants to be prepared for the best possible experience they could have on their vacation.

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  • Posted October 20, 2008

    Set Sail with Ease!

    A voyage to see the majestic glaciers of Alaska. A slow ride through the Panama Canal or possibly a week long jaunt to the golden coast of Italy. And what better way to see these and many other wonderful sights than from the bow of a ship. <BR/><BR/>Gone is the era of Captain Stubing and his nautical adventures on the ¿Love Boat¿ replaced by water borne tributes to luxury and pampering. In ¿Your First Cruise¿, by T. Brian Chatfield, a finely detailed examination of the planning, preparation and all paths that lead to ¿shove off¿ is offered, as well as many minute details that range from off beat destinations and far from the beaten path activities in your port of call to packing advice and customs regulations and duties in many of the exotic ports.<BR/><BR/>Mr. Chatfield has, it seems, and lucky him, to have taken many a voyage and kept incredible notes from each. His in-depth knowledge of each of the cruise lines, their quirks and offerings, destinations, rules and refreshment policies, coupled with the numerous resources he has compiled at the end that include websites for everything from traveling families to what scams are currently in play inside the cruise industry, offer the neophyte ¿cruiser¿ a wealth of information that all but books the cruise for you. ¿Your First Cruise¿ is a must have for both the world traveler and someone looking into their first water excursion.<BR/><BR/>RATING: <BR/>4 stars

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2008

    I never thought of a cruise as an option before

    I still love to travel, but I have become disenchanted with plane travel, since the trip is no fun anymore. If you¿re like me, a cruise might be the option for you¿or you may have tried a cruise, loved it and want to explore other cruise options. Your First Cruise lays out many of these options, such as the ¿megaliners¿ that most people see the most marketing for, to yacht, freighter and river cruises. I was impressed by how many cruising options¿not just the numerous destinations from Aruba to Alaska, or Europe to the Middle East¿which according to the book include ¿more than 60 different lines and 300 ships on the water at any given time¿ (p.75). There are also plenty of options for shipboard life, from structured to ¿freestyle¿ voyages, and you can travel with or without kids, or by theme. According Your First Cruise, you can also take a cruise for less than one thousand dollars¿not including your costs to get to the port of departure¿which means that a cruise may also be a ¿budget¿ holiday. There are some disadvantages to cruising, since not all are inclusive, and you may need to have cash for ¿port tax¿ if it isn¿t covered in the cost of the cruise. Some off-ship excursions may require you to spend extra money to take part. Illness, often mentioned in the media, is also an issue, but probably just as hazardous as incautiously sampling foreign food, or getting lax about hand washing, while on any trip. Your First Cruise does address these issues and covers others, like packing for your cruise, and the book has a great bibliography that you can use to fill in some of the blanks that remain before you book your trip. Your First Cruise reminded me that the voyage, not just the destination, should be fun, and a cruise might be one option for a refreshing holiday.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2008

    Your First Cruise: A Complete Guide to Planning and Attaining the Perfect Cruise Vacation, by T. Brian Chatfield

    walks you through the entire process of researching, booking and going on your first cruise. Chatfield talks to the reader in an easy to understand language making this an enjoyable and informative book to read. Throughout the book you will find ¿case studies¿, which are testimonials from past cruisers and as well as people in the cruise industry. The author walks you through the entire process of booking a cruise vacation, he also includes a sample menu, itinerary and packing list to help the reader every step of the way. This book doesn¿t miss a beat when it comes to planning and executing a cruise vacation.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2008

    A Must Read for First Time Cruise Goers

    Author T. Brian Chatfield has put together a great book for those who have never enjoyed the pleasure and comforts of a cruise vacation. His book describes all of the necessary plans, preparations, and benefits that come from taking a cruise. Chatfield exudes the many positives which a cruise vacation provides while he explains the astute cruise traveler¿s tricks of the trade. The book details all of the steps ones goes through when taking a cruise including why such a vacation is desirable, which type of cruise to select, what to pack, and how to make the most of your time on board. The book culminates by listing each cruise company and describing their package offerings. Particularly useful, is Chapter 7 where Chatfield lists which items are ¿necessities¿ when going on a cruise. The lists are orderly divided between male, female, electronic items, and ¿other¿ necessary items. Also, very helpful to first time cruisers is Chapter 10 where the book describes how to handle your first day on board. The author reveals steps which will prevent the first timer from experiencing premature cruise fatigue. It also tells how one should become acclimated to their new surroundings. In addition, ports of call are well explained. Chatfield does an excellent job describing what to expect when going ashore in a foreign territory. He discusses safety precautions as well as what to expect at various well known ports of call including the Bahamas, Hawaii, Aruba, and many, many others. The book does a very good job preparing one who has never taken a cruise, and it can even be helpful for a more experienced cruiser who is looking to get more out of their cruise vacation.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2008

    Your First Cruise

    Your first cruise does not have to be a disaster. Some vacation-robbing events cannot be avoided, like storms at sea, but others can, if you do your homework before you climb aboard one of the thousands of cruise ships offering adventures on the high seas. That¿s the message of YOUR FIRST CRUISE (A Complete Guide to Planning and Attaining the Perfect Cruise Vacation). Whether you choose a mega-liner or a smaller ship, it¿s a good idea to know what to expect. From the decision to book a cruise¿ to the first day onboard¿ to ports of call, the author, T. Brian Chatfield, offers some words of wisdom. A cruise may not be for you, but if you decide to go, be prepared. ¿Variety¿ is the key word today in the cruise line industry. There¿s a cruise for just about every taste and every budget. What about safety issues? News reports of widespread food-borne illnesses on cruise ships have made some potential passengers rather fearful of taking the plunge. An entire chapter in YOUR FIRST CRUISE deals with sanitation and ship safety¿what cruise liners are doing to comply with Coast Guard and cruise industry rules and regulations. The author notes that since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, additional security measures are in place for U.S. ports, as defined by Homeland Security. If you notice that something isn¿t quite right on your cruise, open your mouth and complain. Chatfield tells you which authorities to contact and how to find them. First-timers as well as veteran cruisers could learn a lot from YOUR FIRST CRUISE.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2008

    Your First Cruise: A Complete Guide to Planning and Attaining the Perfect Cruise Vacation by T. Brian Chatfield

    T Brian Chatfield¿s book Your First Cruise: A Complete Guide to Planning and Attaining the Perfect Cruise Vacation is a great resource if you¿ve never planned a cruise vacation and want a new and exciting way to experience the world. Cruises are no longer for the rich: with more and more ships popping up with more and more vacation packages, cruises are fast becoming a popular way to spend a vacation, both for individuals and for families. This book demystifies the cruise experience and will help you book your next important voyage. Reading this book before you plan a cruise will not only help you plan your vacation, but it will save you time, money, and energy. This book doesn¿t just cover how to choose which ship to commit to or what package to invest in, but it covers everything from what you should pack to how tipping works. The book even takes the time to discuss questions people are afraid to ask: everything from how the final bill is created to what cabins really look like to how meals work. Chatfield¿s book culminates with a list of reputable cruise companies to consider when arranging your vacation. Consequently, the book takes you through not only planning your cruise but also walking you through your first day onboard. The range of this book ensures that your first cruise is relaxing. In fact, after reading this book, the reader will feel as if they¿ve already been on a cruise. Instead of spending one¿s first cruise learning the ropes, you¿ll be able to sit back and enjoy your vacation on the wide open seas.

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