Share the knowledge
Everyone remembers the “Love Boat” and thinks about taking that once in a lifetime cruise. However there are some mistakes that you can make in paradise. Here’s a list of the top ten.
1. Not arriving at your departure port the day BEFORE your cruise. So much can go wrong with airport delays, interstate traffic, cancelled flights, etc. Isn't it worth the cost of a hotel room to know for sure that you will be boarding that ship before the crowds?
2. Getting too drunk. No one enjoys having an obnoxious drunk by them on the lido deck or at their dinner table. Just because you CAN drink a bucket of beer before lunch doesn't mean you SHOULD. New beverage packages make it even more tempting to over-drink. Pace yourself! Your body will thank you later!
3. Cruising without travel insurance. Cruising without travel insurance is like playing with fire. There are a wide range of policies offered that include coverage for medical (your medical insurance most likely won’t cover you out of the country), travel delays and interruptions, and cancellations.
4. Cruising without a Passport can be a disaster. If you have to fly home from any of your ports-of-call because of a family emergency or an illness or injury, you could be totally out of luck! A Passport is a small investment to insure that you can return home hassle-free.
5. Forgetting to turn data roaming off on your cell phone. Before stepping foot on the ship, you should go to the settings on your phone and make sure that data roaming is turned off. This will keep your cell phone from racking up huge charges and using data even when it is in your pocket. Putting your phone in airplane mode will also keep you from racking up additional charges.
6. Getting left behind in port. When the captain says that the ship is leaving port at 5:00, he means it. He isn’t going to wait around for those who lost track of time. If you get left behind in port, you are responsible for your own transportation to the next port or back home. The costs can be several thousand dollars each and will be even more complicated if you are traveling without a passport. Our advice? Plan on arriving back near the ship 1 to 1 1/2 hours before you are scheduled to leave. This not only gives you some time to shop in the port area, but also gives you plenty of leeway if you run into traffic or your taxi or bus has a breakdown on the way back.
7. Eating only at the buffet. While newer ships have great buffets, the best food on a cruise is almost always in the main dining room or specialty restaurants. By eating only at the buffet, you miss out on the great food and service that you can experience if you slow down and enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a good buffet, however go out and try something new and different, you’ll be glad you did.
8. Stiffing the crew. While most cruise lines automatically charge a daily gratuity or service surcharge to your stateroom, you can have the charges removed by going to guest services. However, just because you are allowed to have them taken off doesn’t mean that you should. You wouldn’t go to a restaurant without tipping and you shouldn’t go on a cruise without tipping the staff that works so hard to make your trip a pleasant one.
9. Treating the crew like 2nd class citizens We all have bad days, but how many would you have if you worked 7 days a week and were away from your family for 6-9 months at a time? Kind words to the crew will go a long way. Treat them with the same respect that you give to your spouse or partner. (or maybe even a little bit MORE)
10. Booking early flights on disembarkation day – Cruise lines recommend not booking flights before noon on disembarkation day. Just because your arrival time says 7:00 a.m., there is almost no chance of catching an 8:30 flight. There have been times I’ve walked right through security, and other times it took over an hour to get through the line. Why end your vacation with a stressful travel day?
And until next time….
Tina Moczynski is a member of the GTN network. And loves to travel with both her husband and her three boys.