21 Cruising Mistakes You Will Want to Avoid

Cruising is a lot of fun and we love booking trips for our clients but there are some things you will want to beware of and avoid when booking or going onto your next cruise. We hope these tips are helpful for you and we can’t wait to help you with your next cruise adventure.

1. Not Using a Travel Agent

As Travel Agents, we usually have the same pricing as if you book yourself but we usually have access to deals you can’t get on your own. These would include: onboard credits, room upgrades, specialty dining packages and many more extras. We also are experts on putting you on the right agenda for your cruise ports and the best ships to travel on for your adventure. Best of all, our services are always free!!

To check out latest cruises, along with a free consultation to help plan your next trip reach out to Mike and Jenifer Laver at Cruise Planners!

2. Forgetting About Cruise Loyalty Programs

These are free programs to join and will add up your benefits over time! This will help you with future upgrades and other perks when you take the same provider multiple times.

3. Automatically Booking the Newest Ships

It is always great to get on the newest ships right at first but the price of them can be higher when they first come out. You may also have to deal with some service issues when its new due to the staff getting used to the ship and the different operations with everyone being new on the ship. Now, I did take a new MSC Seashore (see below) ship in 2022 and it was beautiful and great so this is not a hard thing to avoid but can be helpful at times.

4. Not Shopping Around for the Best Deal

Always shop around for best fares along with other extras you might be able to include without any cost. For example, you may pay slightly higher price but if you can get a drink package, wifi or onboard credits included, then it may be worth the slightly extra cost for alot of benefits you won’t have to pay for on the cruise.

5. Booking the Wrong Cruise for Your Travel Style

Your travel style will depend on if the cruise is just for you and your friends, or are you booking a cruise with kids as well.

6. Forgetting When the Final Payment is Due

Luckily, this won’t be an issue if you go with Mike and Jenifer with Cruise Planners. They do an exceptional job to make sure you make your payments on time and make sure you get the final payment in on time so you don’t miss out on your amazing cruise.

7. Booking the Same Cruise Line Every Year

Always keep your options open. Look at taking a different ships and different stops on your annual cruise. Changing it up some may open you up to a whole new world you never knew existed!

8. Getting the Wrong Drink Package

Drink packages are one of the best items to buy before you get on your cruise. There are lots of different levels of drink packages depending on your preference. Always work side by side with your travel agent to make sure you get the biggest bang for your buck.

9. Bringing Luggage that Doesn’t Fit

Bringing luggage along on trips is a must for sure but always keep in mind the size of the rooms on board. You don’t want to take up alot of space in your room just from your bags so make the best use of your luggage for the amazing trip. We always have mid to large size luggage bag and then a small carry-on, usually a back pack.

10. Forgetting Magnetic Hooks and Clips

All walls in your cabin are made of metal and are magnetized. We always bring hooks to help hang towels or our wet bathing suits when we are done after the pool or beach day. Click on Image Below for our Favorite Hooks on Amazon (Holds up to 30 lbs):

11. Thinking Your Phone Works at Sea

You will not be able to get cell phone signal while at Sea. You can use your phone at times on the ships wi-fi, so getting the wi-fi package is a must for those who want to stay connected. There are many other apps you can use on the ships wi-fi including facebook messenger, whats app and iMessage usually. But always use your phone on the ship in airplane mode so you don’t get any accidental roaming charges. Once at port, most phones will work once off the ship and on land.

12. Booking a Cabin Type You Hate

There are many options when booking a cabin from Interior Room to a massive Suite. The rooms vary in size from the Interior room to being the smallest, Balcony room having the medium size and the the Suites of course would have the most room of all. Most cruises we book always have a balcony and it is usually the best bang for your dollars along with the space for storage and sleeping.

13. Flying In On Embarkation Day

Embarkation Day is the day the ship leaves the port and your vacation starts. Check-In times usually start around Noon and go out from there. Don’t risk being late to the ship and not getting on because you flew in the same day as your cruise starts. We always suggest flying in the day before and getting a hotel room for one night to make sure you are at the port city the day of Embarkation. It’s too risky to fly in the same day with unpredictable weather conditions and other flight delays that can happen which are out of your control.

14. Bringing Way too Many Clothes

All you need on the Cruise are some basics from your bathing suit, toiletries, sunscreen and casual clothing. You may want to pack 1 pair of dress pants and shirts for the casual dining nights as well. Just keep it simple with jeans, shorts and t-shirts.

15. Not Using Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are the easiest and best way to save space when packing. Below is a link to the exact packing cubes we use when traveling. We use packing cubes on every trip we take but especially on cruises to save as much space as possible in the room.

16. Forgetting About Cruise Ship Gratuities

Gratuities are included with your cruise on a daily basis for the staff that takes care of you on the ship. Most of the time, gratuities are paid before you even get on the ship so nothing you will need to worry about once you are on the ship. You may also bring some cash to tip the staff on the ship and excursion staffers as well.

17. Eating Every Meal at the Buffet

Don’t get me wrong, we all love a good buffet but there are main dining room options as well. Definitely hit up the buffet but for most of  your dinners you should check out the dining in the main dining room as well. You will get excellent service and get an upscale dinner as well. But my favorite time to hit the buffet up is right before going to bed after partying on the ship all day.

18. Not Earning Travel Rewards for Your Trip

Always try to pay for your trip and travel expenses during the trip with a travel credit card or cash-back card. This will help you get the most of your benefits when traveling.

19. Booking Excursions at Every Port

Excursions are always a blast and a great way to see the countries and ports you go to during the cruise. Just don’t overbook yourself and enjoy some time to just roam the port city as well. Roaming the city will be the best way to interact with the locals for local shopping and cuisine. **As a side note, always book your excursions with local operators and not with the cruise ship if possible.** (Need more details on how to do this, please let us know.)

20. Forgetting to Budge for Cruise Extras

These would include tipping your excursion guides, shopping or maybe some food at the local ports. Sometimes its best to pay in cash and not with a credit card. You are also able to charge everything you do on the ship to your room. So just be careful not to go to overboard on getting massages everyday, which I have done myself.

21. Forgetting to Buy Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance will help you get reimbursed for unforeseen situations that you are out of your control. Will can help you with flights, ship disruptions, your luggage and much more. Always safe to cover yourself financially. We always recommend Allianz Partners for travel insurance. (Click on Image Below for More Details)


 Your Tour Host, Daniel Cope

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