Common Mistakes to Avoid While on a Cruise
Cruise vacations are becoming increasingly popular, with several cruise lines entering the business. Established names in this industry, like Silversea Cruises, offer exciting European packages to exotic destinations in the continent, which are excellent for unwinding with friends and family. But unfortunately, many travelers make mistakes that prevent them from enjoying their time aboard. Here are a few mistakes to avoid, whether you’re a first-timer on a cruise or someone who enjoys voyages often.
Staying inside the cabin all day
Vacation cruises host plenty of entertainment and adventurous activities throughout the day. For instance, you may find fitness centers, spas, game areas, and cooking demonstrations by experienced chefs. Some ships organize sports like table tennis, shuffleboard, and water volleyball. There may also be a play or a movie screening in the ship’s theaters for evening fun. Participating in these onboard activities will make your holiday more memorable than staying in the cabin. So, read the daily event schedule on the cruise line’s app and plan your time accordingly. Some popular activities may require a prior reservation as they get booked quickly.
Not exploring other food options
A common mistake most passengers make is not exploring the different eateries on the ship. Cruises are not limited to the traditional buffet. A bit of research will help you find other casual dining alternatives. For instance, you may find a café, burger joint, burrito shop, or pool grill for a peaceful dining experience. Most ships have dining rooms where you can go dressed up in smart casuals and enjoy the food, which is much better than the buffet. Some also host special dining events like a meal with the chef or specialty food tasting. While such activities usually cost extra, they’re worth every penny. So, skip the buffet, especially on the embarkation day, when you’ll find yourself waiting in long lines and searching for an empty table.
Not opting for shore excursions
All cruise ships offer shore excursions, allowing you to explore new places along the way. Usually, these are extra packages to improve your travel experience, something you shouldn’t miss. Pre-booking is critical for shore excursions, as the tickets for the most popular ports tend to sell out quickly. Also, these activities are limited to groups of 12 to 15 passengers, so it’s best not to wait until the last minute. While you can go for excursions on your own or book a third-party package, it will cost more. To add to it, you’ll have to spend your quality time fearing that the ship might leave without you. On the other hand, if you go on the cruise line’s official excursion, you can be assured of returning to the ship. The cruise will wait for you or at least arrange for you to catch up.
Taking the elevator
Cruises have elevators for moving to different decks. But wasting your time waiting for the elevator is a mistake to avoid. Elevators often get crowded and stop at every floor, so reaching your deck can take forever. Skipping the elevator makes sense in many ways. For instance, if you’re able-bodied, you can free up the elevator space for passengers with strollers or wheelchairs who have no choice. Taking the stairs is also a great way to digest those delicious meals while getting a glimpse of the splendid interiors of the ship. Of course, you’ll also reach your deck faster with less traffic on the stairs.
Not putting your devices in airplane mode
Using your smartphone, tablet, or other gadgets at sea can incur huge charges. Certain apps running in the background may consume mobile data even if you’re not using your phone but have left it switched on. So, set your phone to airplane mode or connect to the ship’s Wi-Fi to avoid roaming charges. Some cruise companies allow you to purchase a ship Wi-Fi package, while others offer free Wi-Fi to their guests. Even if your provider offers international coverage, the connection may not be strong on the ship.
Not booking your next cruise while still on the ship
Most travelers make the mistake of not booking their next trip while still on the ship. There’s no harm in thinking and planning about your next voyage while aboard. Many travel companies offer extra incentives for booking another trip before the current one ends. Once you leave the ship, you may miss out on many free onboard credits like reduced deposits, cabin category upgrades, loyalty points, and access to new itineraries that aren’t yet open to all.
Avoiding the above mistakes will help you flawlessly execute your entire cruise vacation. But you must first board the ship on time. Many make the mistake of flying to the embarkation port the same day the cruise departs. If your flight is delayed or canceled due to bad weather or mechanical issues, the ship will leave without you. So, arrive a day before to eliminate the chances of missing the ship. This will give you peace of mind, and you can start your cruise holiday relaxed. In fact, cruise lines also recommend arriving a day early at the embarkation port. When planning your commute to the port, factor in the time required to travel to the airport, navigate the airport security, and get on the ship. Nobody can predict the delays you might encounter on the way.
If you want to embark on a voyage with just your loved ones, you can charter a private ship. Sunset Sail Key West is a popular company that offers private and shared sailing boats. They arrange the best sailors and crew to serve you so that you have a peaceful vacation. Many cruise lines also organize private cocktail cruises or dinner cruises for a group of people or a firm’s employees, apart from the usual sightseeing voyages.