Cruises are popular for a reason.
It is objectively one of the best ways to travel – the very concept of sailing from destination to destination on a pleasure ship rolls up all your vacation needs into one.
However, there are certain traps you can fall into if you count yourself among the uninitiated.
Here are 5 Mistakes to Avoid If Going on Your First Cruise
Cut the Middleman
Going on a cruise without a travel agent as a mediator will end up costing you quite a dime. First, you need to find the renowned travel agency that specializes in cruise packages.
The knowledgeable agent is the invaluable resource when it comes to picking the cruise line and other important details, such as cabin and itinerary.
The agents don’t only offer services free of charge, they can also provide you with insightful information about the best vacation packages and cruise deals for 2018.
Additionally, if something goes wrong during the vacation, you are free to call your agent and ask him or her to solve the problem.
Neglect the Documentation
Overseas vacation means you are plunging into unknown waters, both figuratively and literally. You will probably visit a lot of sovereign territories and you need to prep your documentation according to the cruise vacation you have chosen.
Simply bringing your ID and your passport along will not cut it. There is a matter of visas and permits – the aspect of cruise traveling you have to research (your agent can also be helpful with this) and adhere to.
You do not want to end up in a situation where the ship staff has to keep you detained on the ship when you port.
Fortunately, most cruise lines provide a “blanket” visa that should cover you and all the customers aboard, but most is not all – you have to go through the documentation and do a thorough check.
Pick the Wrong Cruise
You need to think really hard about which cruise line and ship you choose – do not just pick randomly and judge the concept by whatever comes your way.
In fact, this decision can make all the difference in the world – you might end up falling in love with this form of traveling or vow never to try it again. If you choose the wrong cruise, the best case scenario is several weeks of boredom.
The vibe you get can depend on many things – from the look of the ship to the format of entertainment. The types of cruises can vary drastically – they can focus on carnivals, music shows, historical locations, etc.
In order to choose what aligns with your idea of fun and enjoyment, you need to delve deeper into features of each cruise line and ship.
Choose the Wrong Itinerary
Cruise ships can cover a lot of territories, and it might appear they will port into a particular place without that being a fact.
Therefore, choosing the right itinerary for your first-time cruise is just as important as choosing the right cruise line and ship. If the ship goes to New Zealand, it does not mean it will visit the port of the city you always wanted to visit – it is not just one big island after all.
You should probably sit down and be honest with yourself about the places you always wanted to visit, without thinking about the specific cruise lines.
Only then, should you try to match your list to an actual cruise itinerary. The worst thing you can do is pick an itinerary because it is inexpensive or discounted. You need to select the itinerary that will awaken the adventurer within you.
Ignore Some Basic Rules of Cruising
This will surely not surprise anyone, but cruise traveling in general comes with a cluster of rules and regulations that protects both clients and the staff. For example, there is a limit to the amount of alcohol you can bring aboard (it is usually a single bottle of 750ml, usually wine), and the age limit for children (the baby has to be at least six months old to board).
Not knowing these rules can put both you and the staff in awkward situations that can really ruin the experience. Thankfully, in the age of the internet, it is not particularly hard to type in a few keywords into a browser and search for these rules.
Before you embark for the first time, you need to take an hour or two to read everything you can about the code of conduct and restrictions that might create problems for you.
Mistakes are unavoidable when you are trying something new. Trying a different kind of vacation comes with a risk of disappointment and rookie blunders, but you know what they say – it is better to try and fail than never try at all. Fortunately, a cruise is a type of vacation that incorporates a bit of something for everyone, so there is a big chance it will end up being a rewarding and exciting experience.