I don’t know if there is a week that goes by that I’m not asked for cruising tips from potential first time cruisers. The element of cruising poses a unique aurora to the potential vacation goer. There are a lot of what ifs that can happen in the middle of the ocean. Today we are going to discuss the 8 biggest mistakes first time cruisers make.
- Not checking in to your cruise before you get to the port. I have seen this happen one too many times. This is not the end of the world but if you fail to do it before arrival online, you will be stuck filling out that paperwork at the port versus starting your vacation.
- Forgetting to bring cash. This is a big one. Yes you will be able to charge to your stateroom with your credit card on file but can’t do that for everything. There are many events where cash is needed. When you are in port some vendors do not accept credit cards. It is also important for tipping the staff in port and on the ship. The ATM fees onboard are expensive so save yourself the headache.
- Not researching your ship. This is a big party foul. If you are watching Royal Caribbean’s commercials of their oasis class ships and thinking all ships are like that, you are doing yourself a disservice. It size of ship has their pros and cons. Head over to YouTube to check out a ship tour of the ship you are looking at so you know what to expect.
- Failing to use a Travel Agent. First things first, it does not cost you money to use one so there really isn’t a reason not to. A good travel agent can help you pick the right itinerary and cruise line for your vacation. For example, if you have a family who likes water slides and zip lining, Holland America probably is not the right cruise line for you. They will be able to answer all your questions about what is included and give you great recommendations. A travel agent can take all the stress out of planning your trip by setting up airfare, airport transfer, your cruise and excursions just to name a few things.
- Not making pre cruise purchases. One of the ways to end up spending more money is by failing to pre purchase excursions and drink packages. Onboard these items cost more money. By buying them ahead time, your vacation is prepaid and any expenses incurred are just for fun.
- Having too many expectations. One of the worst things you can do with any vacation is to have too many expectations. It is like that idea that Disney World is the most magical place on earth until you get there and there are lines and the weather isn’t favorable. The same thing can happen on a cruise. Leave yourself open to being surprised and wowed. You will be pleasantly surprised.
- Not buying travel insurance. This is a big one. Travel insurance is not expensive and it is worth the piece of mind. Falling and breaking your arm on an excursion in Mexico could get very expensive really quick. There is also travel insurance that covers you before your trip so if there is a death in the family or you become very ill, you are covered.
- Not bringing the right forms of ID. Cruises out of the US that start and end in the same port will allow you to use a Driver’s license AND a notarized birth certificate to board. Other itineraries require valid passports. Failing to bring the right documentation will result in you not being allowed to board. This is probably one of the biggest mistakes a first time cruiser could make.
This list could go on and on but I wanted to create a list of preliminary mistakes first. After you’ve gone through this list, it is a good idea to look for packing tips and checking out bloggers to combine the best tips for your vacation. For me, this list of the 8 biggest mistakes that first time cruisers make is a great step one.
What mistakes would you add to this list?
Check out this article for first time cruisers: https://www.cruisemummy.co.uk/category/first-time-cruisers/
Check out my new article on Virgin Voyages: https://haleewithaflair.com/2020/01/the-complete-guide-to-booking-virgin-voyages-scarlet-lady/