Are you gearing up to take your first-ever cruise? If so, then that’s great news. You’re sure to quickly discover why so many other travelers think of cruises as the ideal way to spend a vacation.
Of course, it’s important to understand that vacationing on a cruise ship is much different than vacationing any other way. Simply put, there are certain quirks about cruise ships that can often throw newbies for a loop. Even worse, those unfamiliar with the cruising life can end up making mistakes that put a damper on all their vacationing fun.
With this in mind, we thought it would be appropriate to throw a lifeline out to all of you cruising newbies. Below, you’ll find out picks for the 15 most common mistakes the cruise newbies make… And we’ll tell you how to avoid making each!
1. Not Shopping Around
There are a lot of cruises and itineraries to choose from. Really take your time picking the ship and the itinerary that’s going to be right for the kind of trip you want.
2. Not Bringing Essential Toiletries
On most cruise lines you’re not going to get much more than a bar of soap and shampoo for your shower. If you need more than that (and who doesn’t?) then make sure you pack what you need.
3. Not Showing Up for the Muster Drill
Two things. One, you can get in trouble if you skip the drill. Two, what you learn in this drill could end up saving your life.
4. Packing Too Much
Hey! There’s laundry on board. So, just bring what you need, because the more stuff you pack, the more you’re dealing with… And the more likely you are to lose things…
5. Sneaking Alcohol Aboard
You don’t want to pay for drinks on board. We get it. But, if you get caught, you could get kicked off the boat… For real!
6. Avoiding the Main Dining Room
It seems like a big hassle to dine in a cruise ship’s main dining room, but it’s absolutely worth it. The food is always good, and at least much better than the buffet fare.
7. Not Showing Up on Time
When you do book that dinner in the main dining room, make sure you’re punctual. If you’re not, you’ll be holding up every else’s dining experience.
8. Staying Glued to Your Phone
If you want to use your phone while out at sea, it’s going to cost you a pretty penny. Don’t be so addicted to your phone that your Wi-Fi bill becomes a shocker.
9. Skipping the Restaurants
Also, be sure to try at least one of the on-ship restaurants during your cruise. You’d be surprised by the quality of what some ships offer!
10. Not Pre-Booking Shore Excursions
Some of the most popular excursions fill up fast. What’s more is that they often become more expensive once the ship as embarked. Therefore, book early and often!
11. Assuming Port Spots Are Guaranteed
Things aboard a cruise ship are subject to change, especially when it comes to the weather. We hope you get perfect weather for your cruise, but you might not.
12. Bringing Food and Drink Off of the Ship
When disembarking in port, the only thing you’re allowed to take is a sealed bottle of water. That’s it.
13. Booking Your Flight Home to Early
Remember to leave plenty of time to disembark, gather your belongings and then get to the airport. If you leave too little time, you’re likely to miss your flight!
14. Booking During School Holidays
If you’re traveling with the kids, then fine! Otherwise, you’ll likely want to avoid these periods because there is going to be a lot of kids on board!
15. Squatting Seats on Deck
If you’re just saving a deck chair for your spouse, that’s one thing. But, squatting a whole row of deck chairs is as gauche as gauche gets.