Going on a cruise is a good option for traveling, it can even be the best kind for a particular person. It’s not just riding a huge ship and enjoying the beautiful scenery and exotic islands anymore, there is a lot more in store now for the traveler on a cruise. The companies have gone to many lengths over the years to improve entertainment and one would be astonished by what cruises have to offer nowadays. According to The Statistics Portal, the number of cruise passengers around the world rose to 23.96 million in 2017. That’s a lot of people enjoying cruises and a large percentage of that number is in the United States alone. Cruise Market Watch reports that a total of 314 ocean cruise ships exist as of 2018.
Cruises have different themes for different kinds of people. Disney has their own cruises specializing in family vacationers. There are cruises for the retired and elderly, singles cruises, romantic cruises for couples, and even celebrity-themed cruises for the specific die-hard fan. With so many options to choose from and so little time to prepare for it, most couples at times will make mistakes with these cruises. This article will remind couples about what not to do when booking and going on cruises.
25 Choosing the Wrong Kind of Cruise
Let’s start with the cruise you are going to take. As a couple, we cannot just book any cruise that we see online. If your partner loves kids, then booking family cruises could be fun, but the packages are designed for families and not for couples. But, be on guard and avoid booking a singles cruise by mistake, it could be you and your partner’s first and last cruise as a couple. Read the cruise details carefully clicking that “book it” button.
24 24.The Most Popular is Not Always the Right Choice
Popular cruises are not necessarily the kind of cruise a couple should take, most especially if it is their first time going on one. They may be cheaper, and they may look a lot of fun in the pictures, but one might get swallowed up by the sheer force of the crowd. That cramped feeling on a boat floating in the middle of the ocean is not the first encounter one would like to have on a cruise. Choose, rather, one of those more intimate cruises, designed for couples. They may be pricey, but it’s worth every penny for a nice first experience.
23 The Reason Why it's Cheaper in Certain Months
Cruises differ in one way, based on the route it's taking, there are Mediterranean, Caribbean, and river cruises. There are also Alaskan cruises and Canadian ones. Depending on the route, there are months that the price of these cruises will be at its all-time low for the year. But don’t get tempted just yet, there is a reason for the cheap fare. The most important reason you should know is that it’s during hurricane season. If you have weak sea legs and easily get sick, this is not the time to cruise for you.
22 Booking the Wrong Cabin
Those big ships offer hundreds of cabins and literally more than a handful of different types of cabins for their travelers. Consider your personal preference first before the price. Are you a little claustrophobic? Then don’t choose the cheapest cabin, for it might suffocate you. Do you plan on spending very little time in the cabin because of the activities the cruise has in store for you? Then you don’t have to splurge on an executive stateroom. Consider the cabin’s distance from your favorite room or activity in the ship as well.
21 Flight Arrival on the Same Day of Cruise
If you are flying to get to the location where your cruise begins, do not make the terrible mistake of landing on the same day as the beginning of the cruise. There are a lot of stories where couples got delayed on the flight and were left behind by their ship. It’s just not something that we want you to experience. Book a flight that lands on the day before instead, this way you are not worried about the worse things, but will be thinking of what to do with your free time once you get there.
20 20.Not Enough Planning
Cruises offer plenty of activities onboard and in port, getting to choose which ones are best for you is better done before you sail off rather than winging it on the spot. Plan your itinerary. Some activities have a schedule, check them out, plan your day every day. This way, you’ll get to maximize your time and what the cruise ship has to offer, making for a wonderful experience. Don’t make like it’s an episode of The Amazing Race and you are the couple that’s left behind with all the challenges and tasks not done yet.
19 Not Reviewing Everything
We are not telling you to read the fine print, those little letters were meant not to be read (but it’s usually a good idea anyway). Just do the diligent reading, like reviewing what cruise you chose, what cabin was booked and if there are rules or regulations that come along with booking that kind of cruise. Clicking away and agreeing to everything is not the best way to do it. Don’t be that person demanding something or asking for a refund because you were “not informed.”
This also includes the other experience, underpacking. Underpacking poses a bigger problem at the start of the cruise. When you don't pack enough, you realize it in the first 24 hours of the cruise, lbut ucky for you there’s a mini-mall in the ship. Just be ready for the ridiculous price tags. Overpacking, on the other hand, is also a problem. There will be zero space for new things you may buy on the cruise, like a nice ukulele or a small rug perfect for your living room.
17 About Ship-Sponsored Excursions
The ship-sponsored excursions are optional, you don’t have to go on one if you don’t feel like it. But check if it’s to your liking and remember to sign up early because they can get fully booked very quickly. Some choose to go at it alone, finding a local tour guide at the port, there’s always some waiting there, and they get to enjoy a cheaper and more exclusive tour of the place. It’s less crowded and more intimate, perfect for couples.
16 Underestimating Seasickness
If you’ve been on a cruise before and found that it was a breeze, don’t be too sure just yet. It’s just that the waters on your trip were calm and the wind was snoozing. It must have been a perfect weather for a week-long cruise. Your next time aboard may be a different story, so don’t leave behind those seasickness pills just because you proved you are a bona fide seafarer. It would be quite embarrassing to hurl in front of your partner on a supposedly romantic cruise.
15 Trying to Experience All of It
No matter how thoroughly you plan it, there is really no way you can do all the activities on a cruise on that one trip. So don’t sweat it, it’s better to spread out the activities based on your schedule, rank the best ones and do them first, then work your way down to the 4 and a half stars then down to the 3-star activities you so expertly rated yourself. Book in advance those shows or activities that require signing up, and always allow for enough rest or break time in between those activities.
14 Connectivity Issues
Relying on the cruise’s wifi is a bold move, especially if you are the kind of person who documents their life stories in social media in real time, or even after it happens. So if you have not experienced or have not gotten the first-hand experience of the true speed the cruise’s wifi delivers, it is advisable to bring your own connection. We don’t want our followers to miss out on the fun we are having on the cruise now, won’t we?
13 Nose in the Phone
Getting too connected online can be a bad thing, too. Look up, enjoy that view. The blue waters, the snowy mountaintops, and the beautiful exotic islands. Take a picture now and then, capture that perfect sunset, selfie it with your beau and share it with the world. We can have our gadgets with us and enjoy the moment at the same time, it’s just a matter of multitasking and looking up at the right moment. Don’t get your nose so buried in your phone that you’re the only person who didn't see the whales swimming just yards away from the ship.
12 The Problem with the Buffet
People just love buffets, there’s definitely an attraction to a long table of different foods that temporarily makes our own two feet think by themselves and lead us there. But do not get too carried away, some buffets are so great that we could gain weight before the trip is over. Pack looser clothes for this phenomenon, but also check out the main dining area. There may be amazingly delicious three-meal sets out there that will be worth every penny and would not leave you crawling your way back to your cabin for a quick nap.
11 Try the More Adventurous Activities Later
There may be some activities cruises have in store for you that are kind of adrenaline-pumping, with just the right amount of danger, and a kind of daredevil vibe you won’t see on any other cruise. It’s daring to try it on right away, but pump the brakes, Evel Knievel. You have a lot of days to go on the cruise. Don’t go doing that one first and land awkwardly and end up nursing a sprained ankle or elbow the rest of the trip.
10 Misunderstanding Promotions
On the topic of preparedness and reviewing everything, promotions can be tricky. The best way to answer questions about promotions cruises offer is to check the FAQ section of the website or contact their customer service via email, chat, or phone. Telling yourself that you understood it correctly could bite you in the behind later, so be sure of these sneaky promotions by understanding them completely and finding the answers to any kind of questions or clarifications you may have.
9 Forgetting Extra Expenses
There are just a lot of things happening on a cruise and some of them will entail a certain kind of charge that you’ll only realize towards the end of the trip. If you are part of that 1 percent, then kudos to you. But if you’re with the rest of us, be wary of these extra expenses on the cruise. Bear in mind that ports of call will also require some form of hard cash in your pocket when you’re out to explore them.
8 Not Being Able to Control the Drinks
Getting seasick is bad enough, getting sick because of too much alcohol is a whole other level. Control your intake, it’s not as if you can go anywhere if the mood strikes you while intoxicated, so try to down those shots and chug those beers moderately if you can. Alcohol may be another extra expense issue if you’re not careful. Do not try to sneak a bottle of wine in your luggage either, most cruises do not allow alcohol brought in by passengers.
7 Regarding Ports of Call
Always say yes to ports of call, no matter how much time they tell you or how there are some activities on the ship you haven’t tried yet, always answer that call. It’s a new experience, a different place, new sights to see and things to discover, walk hand in hand and just breathe a different kind of fresh air. Some passengers don’t get to experience this due to weather or other limitations, count yourself lucky that the port of call is available for you to grab and take advantage of.
6 Ignoring the Crew
The people working on a cruise are trained professionals that can provide the best experience for you and your partner. Befriending them could even get you a more personal treatment, a bigger smile, a warmer welcome, and service. But remember they are people too, and treating them right could get you perks no other passenger will get. It’s better to be nice to the crew rather than ignoring them. They might even give you the lowdown on the best things to do and when to do them during your stay.
5 About Travel Insurance
If you are someone who never travels without insurance, then it would be wise to learn about travel insurance offered by cruises. Sometimes they just cover for the cruise itself. The flight on the way and other stuff outside the cruise are not covered and sometimes it doesn’t cover medical bills. So, do not feel tied up with their insurance, and instead, opt for the insurance that you know and have used before. It’s best to feel safe whenever and however you travel.
4 Security Over Fun
Always remember where you are and where you put your belongings on a cruise. It would be a real mood killer if you misplace any of your important belongings while enjoying an activity on your cruise. It’s more on being responsible and self-aware than getting worried about pickpockets or someone who’d get interested in your stuff and steal it. Lock your cabin on the way out and before settling in. Try to wear less jewelry for more physical activities, and always secure your bags, purses, and wallets.
3 Bringing Work Aboard Ship
We recommend against doing any kind of work on a cruise, you are on vacation for crying out loud. We even suggest leaving any kind of electronic devices that remotely remind you of work. Get a vacation cell phone and laptop if you must, but don’t make the mistake of bringing work with you. Chances are, you’ll end up cozied in your cabin, dealing with a deadline or polishing a presentation due next week, or just think about that other person who came with you.
2 Take Some Alone Time
Whether it’s alone with your loved one or alone time away for each other, it’s healthy to do that right there during the cruise. Seven days together on a ship can be quite taxing, give time to miss each other, why don’t you. For example, if there are activities you like but your partner is not into, and vice versa, use the time to do those individually and spend alone time apart. You’d be surprised how much you missed him or her once you get back to the cabin or the spot where you’re supposed to meet afterward.
1 Forgetting Souvenirs
All that fun and excitement, all those precious moments together can be intoxicating, and that’s when you realize as soon as you get home that you forgot to get a souvenir to remember that wonderful vacation by. There are a lot of options when getting a nice souvenir, the ship has its own souvenir shop. There are lots of souvenir stores at the ports for sure, so the key is to take your time and choose the right one for you, then bargain like a professional.
References: Cntraveler, Icruise, Cruisecritic, Cheatsheet, Businessinsider