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7 Foolish Mistakes Only First Time Cruisers Make on a Cruise

Are you planning to go on a cruise for the first time? Then make sure to read this because newbies make many foolish and embarrassing mistakes that can easily ruin their cruise vacation. Below are common mistakes only first time cruisers make on a cruise.

1. Leaving Their Passports in Checked-In Luggage

One common mistake made by newbie cruise passengers is packing their passports and travel documents in their checked-in luggage. This is a major mistake since you need your passport to get on the ship.

Never leave your passport in your checked-in luggage! It will be a hassle to track down your checked- in luggage! Making this one foolish mistake can cause a significant delay in boarding the cruise ship. Instead, always keep your passport with you- in your purse or carry-on bag. 

2. Not Realizing There is a Time Change

One common mistake new cruisers make while on a cruise is not realizing there is a time change. As the ship sails into different time zones, it will switch to a different time zone. 

This foolish mistake can result in missing onboard activities and, worse, not getting back on the cruise ship on time! Even a one-hour difference in time can cause you to miss the ship if you don’t make it back on board in time. 

That’s why it’s always a good idea to read the daily planner because that is typically where they will announce time changes. Also, double-check the ship’s time with the cruise staff before disembarking to make sure your watch or phone is set to the correct time.

Rookie Cruise Mistakes

3. Not Knowing the All-Aboard Time

One foolish mistake that new cruisers make is not paying attention to the all-aboard time. It’s important that you get back on the ship by the all-aboard time. Even being late by 10 minutes can result in missing the ship and getting left behind!

As you walk off the gangway, look for the sign that displays the ship’s all-aboard time. I suggest taking a picture of the sign and setting an alarm on your phone to remind you of the time so you can make sure to get back on your cruise ship on time. 

4. Not Knowing About Airplane Mode

Many people who go on a cruise for the first time are unaware of how expensive cell service can be on the ship. They make the costly mistake of forgetting to switch their phone to airplane mode once they get onboard. Then they end up paying a fortune for phone calls or text messaging while at sea. 

Even if you don’t make any calls, your cellphone company will still charge you data roaming if you don’t switch your phone to airplane mode. This is because apps are always refreshing with new data, even if you don’t touch your phone.

If you need to use your phone during the cruise, you should get the internet package offered by the cruise line. Otherwise, if your cell phone plan comes with international coverage, you can wait until you reach the port before switching your phone back on. 

For example, I have T-Mobile, it comes with free international texting and data. So I always wait until I’m at the cruise port to check my email and go online.

5. Early Flight on Disembarkation Day 

Booking an early flight after a cruise is a common mistake made by new cruisers. Some people assume that they will be able to catch a noon flight if the ship docks at 7 am. However, this assumption can be risky.

Just because the ship docks at 7 am, it doesn’t mean that you will be off the ship at that time. It usually takes a few hours for the passengers to disembark. You will most likely be off the ship by 9 am. After that, you will need to factor in the time it takes to get to the airport, check-in, and go through TSA security.

To be on the safe side, it’s better to book an evening flight. If there are no evening flights available, you can stay at an airport hotel and fly out the following day.

Rookie Cruise Mistakes

6. No Clothes on Disembarkation Day

New cruisers have been known to make the embarrassing mistake of packing all their clothes and shoes in their check-in luggage and forgetting to set aside a separate set of clothes for disembarkation day. This results in them having nothing to wear the next day. 

It’s important to keep a separate set of clothes and shoes for the disembarkation day to avoid such an awkward situation. Planning ahead is crucial since you don’t want to be the one walking out of the cruise port in your pajamas and slippers.

7. Not Knowing that the Main Dining Room is All You Can Eat

Many first-time cruisers don’t realize that they can actually order as much food as they want in the main dining room. In fact, the food is unlimited! Yes, even in the main dining room!

So, if you happen to see a couple of appetizers that you like, feel free to order them both. You can also order multiple main courses. 

I usually order two appetizers and one main course while splitting another main course with my husband. The portions are not too big, so ordering more than three courses is possible.

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