Besides air travel and road trips, cruising can be the best when it comes to experiencing an “enhanced” form of travel. It is actually a pretty fun way to transport into a new destination because you get to enjoy the mesmerizing views of the ocean as you roam free in this giant space, while also having access to join in many activities.
However, there are many people who hate traveling on the big ships due to a horrible experience that might have ruined their first time.
But just like any other form of traveling, you can whether have an amazing journey or a horrible one that makes you hate traveling, all that you need to do is to have enough expectations, and be prepared for each one.
The most important thing to do, however, is to avoid making any bad decisions. There are many decisions that may not look as bad, but they may lead you to have one of the worst cruise experiences.
Booking at the same-day flight
Obviously, you want to have more time exploring the new city and less time on the road. So, you try to minimize the time by booking the flight the same day the big ship will be pushing off.
This trick is done mostly by those who are having a business trip, so they do their best not to be late to avoid any unwanted argument with their bosses.
The thing is you may end up losing tons of time and money if your flight got delayed, which is very possible. Or, what if your checked luggage didn’t make it to the airport at the same time as you?
It is important to arrive one day before the cruise departure to guarantee the trip. Book a hotel that’s near the embarkation point and spend that entire day having fun, chilling and sightseeing.
You under-pack or over-pack
©Carmen’s Luxury Travel
Packing can be annoying because you probably would want to take your entire closet with you, especially that you don’t know what events you may come across.
But if you noticed that your suitcase is stuffed to the point it can’t be zipped, then you probably will suffer before you even reach your destination. You should also forget about bringing gifts and souvenirs back home to your loved ones!
When you pack, focus on taking the important things like your passport, any prescription medicine, and behind-the-ear patches (or sea bands) for seasickness. Don’t forget your hair conditioner because the cabinet would offer a shampoo and one bar of soap only!
Rushing to the shore excursions
If you are interested to go on a specific shore excursion that’s offered by the cruise line, then you should not take the risk of sitting around till you book it… You need to sign up for it before the departure date!
On the other hand, you don’t have to blindly purchase shore excursions because you can plan your own.
The ones planned by the ship are mostly overpriced, overcrowded, and bland. Just don’t hesitate to do your own research to find special/private guides in order to be able to do whatever you want freely. You can also find other people who are interested in the same plan as yours, which is good to lower the costs.
Picking the wrong kind of cruise
If you still didn’t figure out what type of cruise experience you want, then don’t book anything yet! You need to understand what you want exactly to avoid ending up in the middle of something you truly don’t want.
Are you into partying? Relaxing? Family time? Cultural experiences? Based on these answers, you would be able to decide on which company to go to.
For example, if you are interested in history and culture, stay away from the party line. If you are not into dressing up, then avoid the cruise that has black-tie nights. Basically, just understand your personality and pick what will fit your mood the best.
You focus on the price rather than the weather
Depending on the low prices, there is no better time to cruise the Caribbean than between September and December. But didn’t you think about the reason why the prices are low at that exact period of time?
Well, because it would be the hurricane season!
If you went on a cruise at that time, then there is a high chance you will find yourself in the middle of those terrifying storms that may take your life.
So don’t opt for prices over the weather, or you will end up losing more than winning. At least protect your heart from a possible trauma, being in the middle of an ocean during a hurricane is not a joke!
You dine recklessly
If you are no stranger to cruises, then you already know they offer food that would just sicken the travelers. In fact, doctors always ask their gastroenteritis patients if they have eaten anything at a buffet.
The reason is eating something that has been lingered over by many people or left out for way too long can lead you to catch the norovirus.
You need to take precautions when you are eating something on the cruise, for example, if a food item tastes or looks funny, then let it be. Drink enough water and avoid alcoholic beverages, stay on the deck for as long as you can to breathe in the salty air, and don’t forget the sunscreen.
Not keeping a budget for added expenses
You know you will be setting yourself up for trouble if you decided that your entire “cruise” budget is going to be what you pay to get onboard. Here is the thing: You might be on a strict vacation budget, and you would find cheap prices to get in. But once you are onboard, that’s where they will get you.
You will need to pay for everything you are asking for: If you want bottled water, then 4 bucks, please!
The internet access may cost you hundreds of dollars and it will not even work that well. You will pay for fitness classes, shore excursions, spa treatments, and many more. You may end up without any budget for off-the-ship expenses.
You forget travel insurance
It could be a foolish decision sometimes if you bought travel insurance, but it would also be foolish if you didn’t… allow me to explain:
If you deal with any chronic disease, or you know your health is sensitive, then you should definitely consider the travel insurance. It is not a good situation to find yourself ill in a strange country that has a different medical system that could be dangerous to your case.
With the right travel insurance, you would be able to depend on them to find you a good doctor and hospital while covering emergency medical care and evacuation.
There are also other insurances that can protect you in different kind of catastrophes, like lost or delayed luggage, cancellations, a missed connection, or a legal problem.
You take your work with you
I am going to say something and you should repeat after me: Vacations are for fun, for relaxing, and for vacationing!
We understand that you are a hard worker and you need to get everything done for more success, which is something we respect you for.
However, you should not forget that you are a human being who deserves to have a good time, and by bringing work along, the value of the cruise trip will immediately be reduced –for both you and your travel partners.
Make a decision that this is going to be an epic trip where you will need to worry about nothing except your happiness and peace of mind. Unplug your work and use the money that you would pay for the Wi-Fi on another activity that will stimulate your soul. In general, just do your best to have fun!