19 Mistakes That Will Ruin Your Cruise Vacation

ruin your cruise

It’s always exciting to plan your first cruise, but it can be challenging to know what to anticipate. There are many things to think about when getting ready for a cruise holiday, from packing to embarkation day to visiting new ports.

Solarium on Harmony of the Seas

Avoiding the common dangers and errors many first-time cruisers make will ensure you have the greatest voyage possible. You should avoid doing activities that could ultimately ruin your time onboard because even a seemingly insignificant error can have a negative effect on how much fun you have on your vacation.

Here are the top 19 worst cruise ship mistakes that will ruin your cruise vacation.

Packing important items in your checked luggage

luggage trunk.jpg


Carry-on Bags?

You have the choice to check your bags with porters when you arrive at the cruise terminal on embarkation day. To avoid the inconvenience of carrying their baggage around the ship on embarkation day, the majority of passengers choose to do this.

Before handing off your suitcases to the porters, double check to make sure you have everything you’ll need to embark the ship in your carry-on bag. It’s important to keep identification, medication, items for your kids, etc. in your carry-on bag to ensure they’re handy on embarkation day.

Bringing the wrong documentation

One of the top ways to ruin a cruise is by being denied boarding in the first place! Before you book a cruise, make sure to review which necessary documentation is required for your sailing.

Necessary documentation for your cruise depends on your citizenship, residency, and from where in the world you are embarking on a cruise ship. Review your cruise line’s official policy on necessary identification with your travel advisor to ensure you have the proper documentation for your particular cruise.

passport pic


Don’t forget your Passport

Having an expired passport

In addition to having proper documentation for a cruise, make sure it will be valid at the time of travel. You don’t want to realize your passport expired as you’re packing for the cruise! You must ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your cruise. If your cruise is in June but your passport expires in July, you may be denied boarding.

Keep track of the date that your passport (or driver’s licence) expires and make preparations if it does so before the voyage. To avoid missing your vacation, it’s crucial to plan as passport renewals might take several weeks.

Not researching anything in port

When visiting a new cruise port, we do not advise “winging it.” You’ll want to maximise your time and have the finest experience possible because you only have a short amount of time in each place.

While you don’t have to schedule every minute of your port day in advance, having a general understanding of what your port has to offer will help you organise the ideal day.

Learn about the prominent landmarks, customs, cuisine, and language of the port. Knowing what you can do in port will help you avoid regretting later that you skipped out on something at your destination.

Not putting your phone in airplane mode

airplane mode


airplane mode ON

Forgetting to put your phone in airplane mode while on a cruise is one of the most costly errors you can make. Nobody wants to be shocked with a hefty bill after leaving their phone’s data on because doing so can result in pricey foreign roaming fees and that would definitely ruin your cruise.

Even if you have an international phone plan, cell service on cruise ships is not covered. Therefore, always be sure to switch your phone to airplane mode when your ship is sailing, regardless of your phone provider or where in the world you are travelling.

Booking a flight the same day your cruise begins

One piece of advice we give over and over again is to arrive in your embarkation port the day before your cruise.

It’s dangerous to reserve a flight that will arrive the same day as your cruise. You could easily miss the ship due to weather delays, technical difficulties, or unanticipated disasters. It gives you more leeway in case there are any travel problems to book a flight that arrives the day before your cruise. It is worth the cost of one extra night in a hotel compared to the cost of missing your cruise. The cruise ship will not wait for you.

Always allow more time for travel as flying has a history of being unpredictable.

Booking flights too early on disembarkation day

Just like traveling to your cruise port, you’ll want to plan wiggle room for any delays you might encounter on disembarkation day.

On the day of disembarkation, most cruise ships return to port about 6AM. However, this does not imply that you can leave the ship at 6 AM.

Disembarkation typically begins at 7 AM, with the majority of passengers leaving the ship by 9:30 AM. It may take many hours to disembark, get to the airport, check bags, and go through security, especially if the port is distant from the airport.

Although it’s vital to consider travel times from your cruise port to the airport, we don’t advise booking a flight before 12 PM. While some airports, like Fort Lauderdale, are only a short drive from the cruise port, others necessitate a longer journey.

Booking only the cheapest fare

While everyone enjoys a good deal, you shouldn’t base your cruise decision only on cost. When choosing a cruise, don’t just make your decision just on pricing; also consider the size of the ship, the route, the available activities, and the stateroom selections.

Be careful to take into account these considerations before booking the cheapest cruise you can find. You don’t want to reserve a low-cost cruise only to discover that the itinerary isn’t what you wanted or that there aren’t many kid-friendly activities available.

Make sure your cruise holiday is as amazing as possible by doing research before making a reservation.

Picking the wrong ship



Gilligan, The Professor & The S.S Minnow – The Wrong Ship can Ruin Your Cruise

All of the major cruise line ships may all offer a classic cruising experience, but amenities, size, and activity options vary widely. Although you can have an excellent cruise on any ship, you might prefer one style of cruising over another.

If you’re traveling with kids, for example, you might want to consider a ship with an abundance of family-friendly activities. Ships that have activities like waterslides, Splash Parks, zip line, or ice skating.

If your main goal is to visit exotic ports, you’ll want to look for a cruise on a smaller ship. Most International Cruise Lines deploys their older, smaller cruise ships on more unique itineraries to places like Fiji, the Panama Canal, and Croatia.

The more research you do on various cruise ships ships before booking your cruise will help avoid any disappointment upon boarding. Your travel advisor can be a big help here.

Not packing sunscreen

Nobody loves being sunburned, and a major burn can significantly reduce how much fun you have on your trip. A blistering red back, nose and or shoulders will ruin your cruise for sure.

You’ll likely spend a lot more time in the sun than usual if you’re sailing to a warm location. Apply and reapply sunscreen frequently throughout the day, whether you’re relaxing on the beach or exploring a metropolis.



Always protect your skin

Booking shore excursions in every port

If you’ve never cruised before, you might assume that you need to reserve shore excursions in each port you stop at, but this isn’t always the case.

Although shore excursions can be a hassle-free method to explore the main attractions of any port, they have a number of disadvantages. The drawbacks of taking a shore trip include large tour groups, limited time at each place, and higher costs than going on your own.

It is simple to explore several ports without taking a guided tour. A large number of people prefer getting off the ship and living their lives as they like. There are numerous ways to pass time at port without going on an expedition, whether it be by taking a taxi to a nearby beach or shopping in the city.

Getting upset about itinerary changes

angry passenger


You changed my Itinerary!

On a cruise, it is possible for the itinerary to change, therefore it’s crucial to be aware that your original scheduled cruise may experience adjustments.

Weather, port limitations, medical issues, disturbance in a port of call, etc. can all cause changes. Therefore, it’s crucial to be adaptable with any adjustments to the schedule. Don’t let Mother Nature ruin your cruise.

An schedule change shouldn’t be seen as “ruining” your vacation; instead, embrace it with joy. If you’re going to a new place, find out what the best local cuisine, culture, and activities are. Plan a special activity for the extra time onboard if your port call was changed to a sea day, like going to the spa or making a reservation for supper at a fine dining establishment.

As with everything in life, changes can happen unexpectedly, but you shouldn’t let an itinerary change ruin your cruise.

Being rude to crew members

The crew members put in a lot of effort during their multi-month contracts. Most crew members work seven days a week while continuing to be cheerful and assist customers in any way they can.

Even while most ship operations proceed without a hitch, mistakes can nevertheless occur. Approach the matter graciously if your waiter in the dining room unintentionally serves you the wrong appetiser or if the bartender overcharges you for a drink.

It’s never polite to treat the crew members with disrespect and to yell at them when on a cruise. You can politely ask a crew member to fix anything if it is an issue.

Missing the cruise ship

Being left behind in port after missing your cruise ship is a certain way to sour any cruise trip. Missing the ship is a regrettable situation, regardless of whether you arrived late on embarkation day or lost sight of time at the beach in Mexico.

Being late for your cruise is typically an expensive and time-consuming process, especially if you don’t have a passport.

Not our idea of fun are trips to the Canadian embassy for last-minute plane rates and emergency identification cards. When in port, be careful to keep an eye on the time to make sure your cruise ship doesn’t depart without you.

Not purchasing travel insurance

Traveling can result in unexpected events like cancelled flights and unexpected medical visits. Having travel insurance guarantees your financial security even in the most unlikely circumstances.

In actuality, the majority of home-based insurance plans do not provide coverage for onboard medical services. On the other hand, travel insurance ought to pay for any medical care you could need while travelling.

travel insurance


travel insurance

Forgetting to keep clothes for debarkation

Be sure to leave things to wear the next morning before putting luggage outside your stateroom door the night before disembarkation.

You have the option of leaving your luggage in the hallway the night before disembarkation; it will be taken to the cruise terminal the following morning for pickup. Even if it’s a painless way to move your bags around, remember to save your daytime clothing for the day you exit.

You don’t want to disembark the ship in your pajamas!

Forgetting medicine

Prescription medications are one of, if not the most crucial item to carry on a cruise. Before embarking on a cruise, double-check that your carry-on bag contains all necessary medications.

There is no guarantee that your particular medication and brand will be supplied, even though there are pharmacies available in port and at the ship’s medical centre.

Along with prescription drugs, it’s a good idea to bring over-the-counter remedies like ibuprofen, motion sickness remedies, anti-nausea pills, etc.

Selecting the wrong cabin type

Making the incorrect cabin type or location selection is one surefire way to ruin your cruise holiday.

Take into account what you want from a cruise holiday before selecting the cheapest or first cabin you come across.

An interior room can be a more affordable choice if you want to spend the entire day outside of your cabin. However, take into account reserving a higher category room if you’d prefer the seclusion of a balcony.

Another crucial aspect to think about before making a cruise reservation is the location of your stateroom. While some cabins are situated closer to particular aboard locations, some may be more prone to movement than others..

Not checking your bill at the end of the cruise

suprised bill


This Bill doesn’t seem right??

Every purchase you make onboard is charged to your Account card. You can check your account balance throughout the cruise via the cruiselines’ app, on the television in your room or at Guest Services desk. We recommend looking at the balance periodically to check for any errors.

You may occasionally encounter an incorrect charge, and it’s always better to catch this mistake while onboard instead of at home. If you don’t check your invoice until the cruise ends, you’ll have to call the cruise line and wait on hold or contact your travel agent and make him or her wait on hold for you. It’s much easier to go to Guest Services while onboard to take care of any billing issues.

These are some of the pitfalls to avoid when planning your next cruise. These mistakes can ruin your cruise and turn your valuable vacation time into a headache ridden disaster. Your best bet is always to call Nova Travel and get our professional help in planning the ideal cruise vacation.

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