Our first time crusing was freestyle (2002) we picked it for the location not the style. It turned out great, not knowing the ins and outs of cruising it was more relaxing no rush rush. Our next 2 crusies were freestyle knowing the ins and outs we then did the set time cruise be there at a set time and we had just as much fun. With port calls and getting back to the ship in time to relax before eating we are back to the freestyle. We will be doing the set time criuses again. Freestyle might be the way to go for first time cruisers. Either way--cruising is fun.