How thrilling is it to book your first ever cruise? Super exciting, right? Well, you should be excited anyway.
If you’re also a little nervous, don’t worry. We’ve got a list of common mistakes that once you know, you’ll be sure to avoid on your maiden voyage. This way you’ll really be able to make the most of your vacation.
Mistake #1: Allowing Your Phone to Roam
Whatever you do, make sure you put your phone into airplane mode. Otherwise, you could accidentally rack up some hefty international roaming fees. (Yes, these charges can be incurred even if you aren’t placing phone calls or sending texts.)
Mistake #2: Not Watching the Clock
Keep in mind that you may be traveling through several time zones while on a cruise. That means the time at some ports may not be the same as what’s on the ship’s clock. Ensure your watch is properly synced so you don’t miss your boat while you’re off exploring.
Typically, you’ll need to be back to the ship about 30 minutes prior to departure. And no, they won’t wait for you.
Mistake #3: Attempting to Take Food Off the Boat
Think you’ll have a lovely little picnic lunch when you pull into port? Think again, at least if you plan on leaving the ship. You won’t be able to take the ship’s food with you. Some ports even have dogs to help search bags and purses for foodstuffs.
Prepackaged foods are typically ok, but you won’t be getting any fresh food off the cruise ship.
Mistake #4: Assuming Your Cruise is All-Inclusive
Your cruise fair will usually cover the cost of your cabin, onboard entertainment, activities, and meals. It may not, however, cover everything. You’ll often end up paying extra for drink packages and gratuities as well as shore excursions, port charges, and taxes. If you use onboard internet, that may cost extra, too.
When you combine all those extra charges, it can really add up quickly. If you aren’t prepared for the extra fees, it can come as a shock.
Mistake #5: Doubling Up on Gratuities
Most cruise lines have automatic gratuity systems these days. That means you’ll simply be charged a daily gratuity rate, as opposed to you needing to tip the ship’s staff.
When ordering drinks or indulging in spa services, a 15 to 18-percent gratuity will likely be added automatically. Make sure you check whether or not gratuity has been added before accidentally over-tipping.
Mistake #6: Not Giving Yourself a Buffer
If you’re flying into your departure city, plan to get there a day early. Regardless of what time your cruise leaves, there’s always the chance you could suffer a flight delay. Things like heavy traffic can also set you back as well. The cruise ship won’t wait for you if you’re running late.
Do you have any of your own clever cruise tips to share with our readers? Scroll down to share them in the comments below!