The point of a vacation is to get away, relax, and make memories, right? If you make these mistakes, your next cruise might include some headaches. Here are some insider tips for how to easily avoid the most common blunders.
1. Relaxing weekend cruises
Chances are really good that there are no such cruises! The weekend jaunts to the Caribbean, Bahamas, and other tropical ports are the favorite trips for twenty-somethings and singles. What this means is nonstop parties. So if you’re looking for the ‘relaxing’ part, book a longer itinerary.
2. Relaxing school holiday cruises
If you don’t have children, cruises during traditional school holiday breaks will be…let’s say ‘active’! Up to thirty percent of passengers in the summer can be energetic young people. For a standard 3,000-passenger ship – well, you can see bunches of happy kids and hear the commotion everywhere you go.
3. Booking cheap deals in the ‘off season’
We all want the best deal on our cruise packages. Be advised though, if you travel during certain months of the year, the weather could be your unexpected travel companion. Fall in the Caribbean is the end of hurricane season. This can cause rough seas (think seasickness) and/or missed stops at planned ports. For Alaskan and European cruises, you are guaranteed to have cool and possibly wet weather in the off season. If you don’t mind, then travel during these months for the best deals.
4. Booking the cheap cabins
The price of your cruise is directly proportional to the location of your cabin. For example, interior (windowless) cabins are cheaper than balcony staterooms, and the lower decks are less expensive than the ones closer to the sky. But did you know that not all cheap cabins are created equal? If you’re by the elevator, the noises get louder as the night progresses. (Everything is hugely funny after a certain number of cocktails!) If you’re cabin is over a night club or under the lido deck, you’ll also need the earplugs. The solution is simple. Study the deck layout for your ship on the cruise line’s website. Notice what’s around the cabins, and choose accordingly.
5. Packing prohibited items
You don’t need an iron on a cruise ship! And, you’ll have to surrender it if you pack one since it’s a fire hazard. There are ample laundry facilities; usually on each deck. Additionally, hot plates, coffeemakers, heating pads, and any other electrical appliances that ‘make’ heat will be prohibited. On a related note, you cannot bring candles or fireworks onboard a cruise ship either – for obvious safety reasons.
B.Y.O.B. will save you money on drinks, right? Depending on your cruise line, you may be able to bring a bottle of wine onboard. There are strict rules about carrying any consumable on or off a ship; and this includes alcohol. Some lines, however, will allow you to bring a ‘reasonable’ amount of water or soda. Check the rules, or you may see your libations tossed in the trash at port.
How about toys? Other than handheld games, it’s best to leave the toys at home. While it might seem like a cool idea to fly a kite or launch a camera drone from the deck of your cruise ship, this is strictly prohibited. You will also not be allowed to bring on footwear with wheels, skateboards, or other mobile toys. If these activities are important to your family’s fun, book your cruise on an activity-rich ship. Some of today’s cruise vessels have zip lines, rock walls, ice skating rinks, bowling, bumper cars, water slides, and a host of other exciting entertainment.
Once onboard, read the ship’s daily newsletters to learn about all the entertainment, shore excursions, and special deals happening during your trip. Check our quick tutorial of rookie mistakes, and learn how to avoid the worst mistakes on your next cruise. Then everyone can have an enjoyable vacation at sea!
Angela is a professional freelance travel writer and published indie author – AngelaMinor.com