We’re rocking our way through the alphabet to give you a comprehensive rundown of the world of cruising.

A is for Anchors Away

The band is playing in the background and you’ve got something sparkling in your hand. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of setting off on your new adventure.

B is for Bars

From piano lounges to top-of-the-deck alfresco cocktail bars, you’ll never be short of choice for places to drink. On some Royal Caribbean® ships there are even bionic bars where you’ll be served by robots.

C is for Cabins

… or staterooms as they’re sometimes known. You may not spend much time in them but they can be small and cosy or a suite with a balcony over the sea. It’s your choice.

D is for Dining

Restaurants with menus designed by celebrity chefs and one-on-one cookery classes are just some of the quality dining experiences you can receive on a cruise. You can even go gourmet with your onshore excursions.

E is for Entertainment

Modern-day cruise entertainment covers Lavish Broadway productions like Mamma Mia, comedy, ice shows, acrobatics and a wealth of kids’ entertainment. Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas® even has an outdoor AquaTheater with high diving.

F is for Fitness

Many ships have onboard fitness instructors and gyms overlooking the water. Crystal Cruises have a Walking on Water (WOW) fitness programme and keen cyclists might choose Thomson Cruises for their mountain and touring bike excursions.

G is for Gaming

Disney is at the forefront of gaming with its Star Wars zones including a full-scale Millennium Falcon cockpit pilot simulator and life-size Disney Infinity play room using motion sensors. Or if gambling is your game, Carnival Cruises’ Mega Cash slot machines have the biggest jackpot, known to reach over $1 million.

H is for High octane fun

Rope courses and ziplines, sky diving and surf simulators attract those wanting to get a buzz from their holiday. Or for heading into the clouds in a more sedate way try Royal Caribbean’s North Star® observation pod.

I is for Inquisitive minds

Enrichment programmes feed your imagination, enriching you with onboard lectures, workshops and a whole host of creative activities. Or Azamara Club Cruises® offer destination immersion so you can spend longer in each port and go on cultural experience excursions.

J is for Just the two of you

Honeymoon cruises are ever-popular and balcony dining, movies under the stars, couples massages and dance classes are the name of the game for romantic getaways. You can even get married on a cruise ship.

K is for Kids

Kids, tweens and teens are all covered these days. Norwegian Cruise Line caters well for 3-12 years olds with some brilliant youth programs. And Carnival Cruises call their vessels ‘Fun Ships’ for good reason, with aqua parks and sports zone among the offerings.

L is for Love boats

If you’re travelling solo and looking to find a shipmate, there are lots of activities to help you along, like singles meet ups and activities. Internet forums and apps like Tinder can also help you find love onboard but if all else fails, just head to the disco!

M is for Meeting new people

Making friends is easy due to the sociable nature of cruises, particularly on smaller ships. Assigned seating in the dining room helps develop relationships with your fellow diners, and you can meet people with similar interests through organised activities.

N is for New

Cruise companies are fighting each other to be the best and the first to do new things. Royal Caribbean tries extra hard, with high tech advancements and the biggest cruise ship in the world, Harmony of the Seas®.

O is for Offshore Excursions

You can do anything from sitting on a beach to meeting a host family for an immersive cultural experience. Wacky excursions range from truffle hunting in Croatia to building a Lamborghini in Venice.

P is for Pools

From peaceful sun decks with spas to huge splash parks and pools that transform into cinemas for evening shows, there’s lots of water-based action to be had onboard. For peaceful luxury try Holland America’s Thermal Suite package.

Q is for Queue Jumping

Planning ahead and booking excursions and activities such as spa treatments in advance means you can ensure places and get the best out of your cruise.

R is for The Three Rs

Cruise ships can be as high-charged or pared-back as you make them. For the ultimate in rest, relaxation and recharging, find a ship setting off around picturesque islands, with an adults-only section, a library or one that rents cabanas.

S is for Slides

Both Disney and MSC Cruises take advantage of the ocean by providing slides with transparent sections so you can look down over the water. Norwegian Cruise Line has freefall water slides and Carnival Cruises have twin racing slides to challenge your friends on.

T is for Tips

To tip or not to tip, that is the question. While luxury cruise lines like Seabourn and Silversea have a no-tipping policy, most other cruise companies offer the option for prepaid gratuities. But, of course, if you have an excellent member of staff, you might want to give them a little extra.

U is for Up on Deck

The range of things you’ll find on a ship’s deck are vast, from real grass bowls at Celebrity Cruises‘s Lawn Club to Disney’s Pirate-themed deck party complete with fireworks. Or Seabourn’s passengers get a complimentary 15-minute treatment on deck with a spa therapist.

V is for Views

Cruising down stunning waterways, the outlooks from a cruise ship can be mind-blowing. Some of the best spots are the Alaskan glaciers, Sydney Harbour in Australia and the Norwegian fjords.

W is for The Works

When money is no object, there’s no end to the luxury treatment you can get onboard. High-end cruises, from companies like Azamara and Seabourn, have high staff ratios and even personal butlers, sumptuous surroundings, haute cuisine and personalised excursions.

X is for exploration

You can explore unchartered territory on a cruise, with smaller ships able to navigate places like the Panama Canal or Columbian Rivers. Some cruise companies even have their own private Caribbean islands that you can only get to by cruise.

Y is for Y not book now?

From family to finery there’s a cruise company that’ll provide the thrills or chills you want so get searching for your ideal cruise now.

Z is for ZZZ

You’re sure to be sleeping tight in your comfy cabin after all that activity, exploration, good food and wine.

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We are acting as an agent on behalf of travel suppliers and your booking will be subject to the supplier’s terms and conditions. Prices may be subject to very limited availability and are correct as at the date and time of writing. Prices may go up or down from time to time. Prices quoted are for the dates, accommodation, board basis, departure points and number of persons sharing specified only and cannot be combined with any other offer. We reserve the right to amend any quotes given if there is a genuine error as soon as we become aware of it. We reserve the right to withdraw any offers without notice.