Pros and Cons of Maiden Voyages

Dec 24, 2023

Welcome to Byte Size Cruises! If this is your first time here, thanks for joining us. We are a small travel agency just outside of Philadelphia, PA and we specialize in ALL things cruises. If you enjoy cruising, click to subscribe and come with us on the journey! Our goal here is to simply share the best and most up to date information on cruising so you can go on your best cruise vacation. Today we are going to cover the pros and cons of maiden or inaugural voyages. Let's get into it.

To be clear, the maiden voyage of a cruise ship is simply the very first time any ship goes on cruise. With 2024 just around the corner, we are looking forward to many new cruise ships sailing for the first time in the next few months. So, the question remains: Is it a good idea to go on a maiden voyage or inaugural cruise? Well, that depends on a handful of factors. 

Pros to going on a maiden voyage:

  1. (The most obvious pro...) It's all BRAND NEW! You are literally the first passenger to sleep in that bed, sit in that chair, lounge on that deck, and eat off that plate. It is a voyage of firsts and everything on the ship is shiny and fresh. 
  2. Exclusive Events. On a maiden voyage they will host experiences you won't find on any other cruising, such as ceremonies, inaugural parties, special entertainment, and more. The CEO of the cruise line might be on the ship and there might also be celebrities. This is the first time this ship is going to the ports of call as well, so there will be special events hosted there too. They might also give away free things, like free swag, prizes, etc.
  3. Bragging Rights. Everyone wants to be able to say they did something first and if you're on a maiden voyage you'll have that title for life. 
  4. Special Offers. In addition to free swag or prizes, there might be special commemorative gifts, offers for future cruises, etc. that will not be offered again. 
  5. Service. On maiden voyages, you'd better believe the energy among the staff is off the charts, which most likely results in the best service for the passengers. They will be extra attentive and enthusiastic to create the best experience for you on this brand new ship.  

Cons to going on a maiden voyage:

  1. Cost. It's going to be expensive. The maiden voyage of any ship is going to be much higher than it otherwise would be. Even for the first few years a ship is sailing, the price will be higher. Keep in mind, the older the ship, the cheaper your cruise. 
  2. Unexpected Changes. Here's the reality: on a maiden voyage, there is the chance that your cruise could get cancelled, the dates could change, things could shift, etc. There is some extra uncertainty in the air, especially if something in the building of the ship gets behind schedule. On that note, on the cruise there might be some things that don't go perfectly because it's the first time everything has been done and they don't have it all down to a science yet. For example, we talked about great service, but there might be a situation where you don't get the best service because the staff is new too and they're still working out their process.
  3. Crowds. Most inaugural trips are CROWDED and have a lot of content creators, journalists, blog writers, etc. all taking video and audio of the ship and the activities. It's good to know this and prepare in advance. If you're on a maiden voyage, most likely every single state room will be booked.
  4. No Feedback. Lastly, it's important to recognize that you're booking a room on a cruise where there is zero customer feedback available. All you know is what the cruise line has told you is true about the ship; there are no reviews to read, no passenger videos explore, nothing. Because of that, you're putting a lot of trust in the cruise line with your vacation fund.

How do you get the most out of a maiden voyage?

If you're going to go on an inaugural sailing, there's a few things you must do.

  1. RESEARCH. Even though you might not have tons of available information, do the research you can ahead of time. There are often a lot of great information sources put out by the cruise line. 
  2. Set your expectations. Remember to keep an open mind and expect that things might change and something might not go exactly the way it was advertised. That's okay. Don't let a little change ruin your vacation. 

To book, we would highly recommend booking through a travel agent - not just because we are one! There is no additional fee to book through a travel agent and a good one will be able to make suggestions based on what you tell them you're looking for on a vacation.

Those are our thoughts on maiden voyages! Have you ever been on a maiden voyage? What was your experience? We would love to hear from you! Comment below. 


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