Hardened cruise veteran looking for fresh ideas? Try some of these top 12 cruise tips from Cruise International’s Sue Bryant

Clifton Beach in Queensland, Australia1 Upgrade your cabin

Once you’ve had a balcony, it’ll be hard to go back. Or why not treat yourself to a suite?

2 Try an adventurous cruise

Consider Hurtigruten to the north of Norway, Silversea’s Prince Albert II to Antarctica, sailing with Star Clippers in Costa Rica.

3 If you’ve got good sea legs…

Try something adventurous. Sailing around Cape Horn, for example, or a sector of a world cruise.

4 Cross the Atlantic…

On the Queen Mary 2. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime treat.

5 Make a cruising wish-list

What are the must-sees for your cruising life? A transit of the Panama Canal? Seeing the midnight sun? Sailing into Sydney Harbour? Sipping champagne on deck as you glide through the Giudecca Canal in Venice?

6 Challenge your preconceptions

Try a different style of cruising. A bigger ship, a boutique ship, a brand new ship.

7 Travel with different people

Take children, parents, grandparents, or get together a group of friends, and choose the right ship for the style of group you’re with.

8 Become a savvy shopper

This is the year to look out for last-minute cruise bargains, free cabin upgrades, generous on board spending credit and free flights.

9 Learn to work the system

Book spa treatments and shore excursions online before you travel. Bag the best times for the speciality restaurants as soon as you board.

10 If you’re revisiting…

Explore a little. Find a favourite restaurant for lunch, hire a bicycle, rent a boat for the day. Don’t feel compelled to sightsee everywhere you go.

11 Treat yourself

Have an indulgent day on board. Make the most of when the ship is empty – Rome is always a good prospect as everybody goes ashore. If you’ve been before and it’s a sweltering day, why not stay on the ship, use the gym, wallow in the spa, get a sunlounger in prime position, enjoy lunch on deck with a bottle of chilled white and take a long siesta?

12 Pursue a special interest

Try a theme cruise. There are voyages themed around anything from golf to gardens, jazz, cookery, photography, art and many more. Expert speakers join the cruise to make your time on board even more informative.