On my last cruise, I started to think of the worst mistakes you can make while cruising. Now I am sharing those things with you, hopefully you can avoid these mistakes.
Cruising without a passport
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! Having a passport also makes the check in process very smooth. Just a quick scan and go. A Passport is a small investment that lasts a long time and it will insure that you can return home hassle-free if needed.
Roaming 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. You can go a step further by putting your phone in airplane mode. This will also keep you from racking up additional charges. If you can't live without data, pay for the internet plan it will cost you less than the roaming charges.
Getting Left Behind
When the captain says that the ship is leaving port at 5:00, he/she 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.
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. I have to admit, I'm guilty of this. The Buffet is just so convenient, but the next time I cruise I'm going to the dining room more often.
Booking an early flight home
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 am flight. There have been times I’ve walked right through security, and other times it took over an hour to get through the line. And don't forget the time it takes to go through customs. Why end your vacation with a stressful travel day?