Cruise Ships Mistakes Every Traveler Should Avoid

Krystal Smith

While cruising seems simple, common mistakes can turn your voyage into a disaster. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned traveler, this guide will help you steer clear of blunders and ensure smooth sailing on your next adventure.

Not Booking in Advance

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If you prefer to decide things on the spot, think again. Waiting to book tours, spa treatments, dining, and drinks onboard can lead to disappointment. Popular options fill up fast, and booking early might cost you discounts. That’s why booking online before your cruise is best to save money and avoid missing out on the best experiences.

Choosing a Random Cabin

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Imagine booking a cruise in a cabin under a noisy disco all night. To avoid situations like this, review the Cruiser’s layout and pick a cabin that suits your preferences. Consider consulting with a travel advisor for guidance. Also, if you are prone to seasickness, select a mid-ship cabin on a lower deck to minimize movement. Avoid cabins at the front, where motion is most pronounced.

Not Planning for Onboard Expenses

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Even if you are great at finding deals, once onboard, you might end up splurging on extras like drinks and spa treatments, only to regret it when you see your bill. Set a fixed budget for spending on board and stick to it. Decide in advance which extras are worth it so you won’t be surprised by a hefty bill at the end of your trip.

Dining Only at the Buffet

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Buffets are great for people who prefer a more casual dining experience and prefer to avoid fixed meal times or sitting with strangers. They offer flexibility and variety, especially for families with restless kids. However, by sticking only to the buffet, you’ll miss out on the main dining room’s elegant atmosphere and culinary delights. Try it at least once to see if you enjoy the special experience of dressing up and enjoying a waiter-served dinner.

Ordering Wine by the Glass

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You could order just one glass because you’re not sure about finishing a whole bottle or because you and your partner prefer different types. But buying wine by the glass every day can add up. Instead, consider getting a bottle. Many people need to learn that you can ask to save any leftover wine for the next evening or even bring your own bottle for a small fee.

Only Booking Shore Excursions Through the Cruise Line

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Cruise excursions can be great, but there might be better moves than just the cruise line’s options. You could end up spending more or visiting places you’re not interested in. Instead, research to find cheaper options online, or consider booking a private tour for your group’s specific interests and needs.

Venturing too Far from the Cruiser

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Exploring independently on land is okay, but many people need to catch up and be on time and miss the ship. If that happens, you’ll need to find a way to get to the next port independently. To avoid this:
  1. Consider hiring a local taxi driver who’s familiar with the area.
  2. If you decide to explore on your own, stay near the port, keep an eye on the time, and plan for delays.
  3. Please return to the ship at least half an hour before it leaves.

Booking Last-Minute Flights for Cruise Departure and Return

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Always plan your flights to arrive in your port city at least one day earlier. This gives you extra time to reach the port in case of flight delays. Missing your cruise can be costly, and your luggage might not arrive with you. You can book a flight on the day you disembark for your return trip, but early enough to avoid rushing and stress.

Paying Too Much for Phone Services

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Pay attention to the cell phone rules on cruises! It is important to switch to airplane mode to avoid expensive roaming charges. You might also be paying extra for a calling plan when you could make calls for free using Wi-Fi. Ask fellow cruisers or online forums for advice to find the most budget-friendly way to stay connected.

Treating the Crew with Disrespect 

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Cruise staff are there to assist passengers, but they need to be at their beck and call. While staff will try their best to help, they’re less likely to go the extra mile if passengers are rude or demanding. It’s important to treat the crew with kindness and respect. Of course, passengers can always voice their concerns, but it’s important to remember that crew members are people too, often working long hours with little rest.

Not Taking Enough Advantage of Room Service

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Room service on cruises works differently than at a hotel. You can order from the menu anytime, day or night, but only some items are free. Some items, especially late-night snacks, may cost extra. Breakfast is usually included for free, so take advantage of that. And if you order in the middle of the night, remember to tip the staff who brings it to you.

Not Checking Your Passport

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Make sure your passport isn’t about to expire. It should be valid for three to six months after your trip ends. Many people face problems because they need the right documents, especially when their passport is about to expire.

Seeking Medical Attention for Seasickness

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Medical care on cruises is expensive, so it’s essential to know what you might be paying for. Ship doctors charge an hourly fee, typically around $100, plus extra for services and supplies. If you need special treatment, bills can range from $50 to thousands. But basic medical items like seasickness pills and pain relievers are often free, so save the doctor for serious issues.

Underpacking or Overpacking

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Packing too much can cause a mess in your cabin, and forgetting important items can be a big problem, too. Make a list with versatile clothes, medications, toiletries, and gear for activities. Be sure to also check the ship’s dress code for special events to see if you need special outfits for theme or formal nights. This ensures you have what you need without overdoing it.

Not Having a Carry-on Bag

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Pay attention to what you pack in your carry-on because your main luggage might take hours to arrive. Have a bag ready with essentials like a change of clothes, swimsuit, sunglasses, sunscreen, and medication. This way, you’ll be prepared for anything while waiting for the rest of your bags to arrive.

Failing to Review the Ship’s Insurance Policy

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If you’re into adventurous things like surfing or bungee jumping during your cruise, make sure you understand the risks and what’s covered in case of emergencies. The ship’s insurance only covers basic things, like canceled trips or lost bags, not health issues. Read the policy and ask your cruise host or agent for clarification. Check your personal insurance for cruise coverage and consider getting extra travel insurance for peace of mind.

Countries Americans Should Be Cautious About Visiting

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Embarking on international adventures can be thrilling, but for Americans planning their travels, it’s crucial to exercise caution and be aware of potential risks in these 15 countries, where extra vigilance is advised. Countries Americans Should Be Cautious About Visiting.

Countries That Pay You to Call Them Home

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Governments across the globe are introducing alluring programs and incentives to entice individuals from abroad. Ranging from Golden Visa initiatives to startup grants and remote work visas, these efforts foster investment, innovation, and the expansion of populations. Countries That PAY YOU to Call Them Home.

Jobs That Allow You To Travel With Family

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The freedom to work and travel at the same time is becoming increasingly popular among families who want to break away from the conventional 9-to-5 work culture. Thanks to modern technology, more and more people are taking advantage of the opportunity to work remotely, making it easier to pursue their passions and explore new horizons. Jobs That Allow You To Travel With Family.

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