I am always surprised when I read reviews by first time cruisers about how clueless they are concerning such things as extra cost items on a cruise. The gratuities charge, in particular,  seems to be an eye-opener for them.   I would like to offer them all a suggestion to check out the cruise line Website before they even consider booking a cruise.  The Websites have all the information right there that passengers need to know - especially first time cruisers.  Most even have Frequently Asked Questions and Answers.  Most important also are the deck plans so you know where your cabin is located.  Study the small icons to know specifics about the room, too for example if it is a connecting one.  Of course this Website, Cruiseline.com  is great even for experienced cruisers to visit.  We have a variety of reviews about all aspect of a cruise anyone is considering.  The site continues to expand it's offerings and gets better all the time.