Once we're back to cruising again, there's a few things to think about prior to your bon voyage wave on deck!
We know, you'll be arriving with plenty of time to spare. It's not that long of a drive, you don't need passports, etc, etc. Here is a list of 10 things to think about prior to your next departure.
1. Not arriving at your departure port the day BEFORE your cruise.
So much can go wrong with airport delays, interstate traffic, cancelled flights,
etc. Isn't it worth the cost of a hotel room to know for sure that you will be
boarding that ship before the crowds?
2. Getting too drunk
No one enjoys having an obnoxious drunk by them on the lido deck or at their
dinner table. Just because you CAN drink a bucket of beer before lunch doesn't
mean you SHOULD. New beverage packages make it even more tempting to
over-drink. Pace yourself! Your body will thank you later!
3. Cruising without travel insurance
Cruising without travel insurance is like playing with fire. There are a wide
range of policies offered that include coverage for medical (your medical
insurance most likely won’t cover you out of the country), travel delays and
interruptions, and cancellations. You know we've talked about this and written
about it too-read more HERE.
4. Cruising without a Passport can be a disaster.
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! A Passport
is a small investment to insure that you can return home hassle-free. We have more details about this HERE.
5. Forgetting to turn data roaming off on your 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.
Putting your phone in airplane mode will also keep you from racking up
6. Getting left behind in port
When the captain says that the ship is leaving port at 5:00, he 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. We've all see the videos of people running to the ships as they
leave port. We don't want that to be you!
7. 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.
8. Stiffing the crew
While most cruise lines automatically charge a daily gratuity or service
surcharge to your stateroom, you can have the charges removed by going to
guest services. However, just because you are allowed to have them taken off
doesn’t mean that you should. You wouldn’t go to a restaurant without tipping
(at least we hope not) and you shouldn’t go on a cruise without tipping the staff
that works so hard to make your trip a pleasant one.
9. Treating the crew like 2nd class citizens
We all have bad days, but how many would you have if you worked 7 days a
week and were away from your family for 6-9 months at a time? Kind words to
the crew will go a long way. Treat them with the same respect that you give to
your spouse or partner (or maybe even a little bit MORE).
10. Booking early flights on disembarkation day –
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 flight. There have been times I’ve walked right through
security, and other times it took over an hour to get through the line. Why end
your vacation with a stressful travel day?
These are just a few things to keep in mind when planning for your next cruise vacation. We'd love to help you plan your adventure, feel free to contact us when you're ready to start planning.