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Rookie Mistakes To Avoid on Your First Cruise Vacation


Countless people dream of taking a cruise. But this getaway can go terribly wrong. Here, we help you avoid these first-time cruise mistakes.

Princess Cruises ship near Mexico sunset
Taken by A. Reyes via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

The warm sun. The ocean air. The prospect of exciting and exotic locales.

For the perfect combination of relaxation and exploration, there is nothing like a cruise. But while cruises are synonymous with relaxation, they also have far more moving pieces than other trips. Because of this, it’s easier to make mistakes that can impact your enjoyment.

If you haven’t gotten your sea legs yet, consider these rookie mistakes to avoid on your first cruise.

Not Choosing Flight Times Wisely

Cruises usually involve multiple sets of boarding times. If you don’t live on the coast, you’ll have to take a plane to the port city to board the boat on time. And unlike planes, you can’t just hop on another boat if you miss it.

To save yourself stress, avoid flying in on the same day you’re scheduled to board the boat. If your flight is delayed for any reason, you may have trouble reaching the port on time. And even if the plane does make it in time, rushing from the airport to the dock will take away from some of the relaxation of the first day.

Related Read: 5 Different Types of Honeymoon Vacations for Your Next Romantic Trip

“Winging it” on Port Days

When exploring the world, it’s good to embrace spontaneity. Overplanning can fill your mind with unrealistic expectations that can steal some of your fun. Even so, it pays to do a little research about the immediate area of the port cities you’ll visit along the way.

In some cities, the entertainment areas are relatively far away from the pier itself. In these cases, you may wander around and never get anywhere. Or worse, you can end up lost and stranded. You don’t have to pick a schedule and stick to it, but you should know what to expect when you get there.

Related Read: 4 Vacation Ideas to Help You Beat the Heat

Forgetting How Spa Treatments Affect the Body

Even though spas are meant to relax and rejuvenate the body, they can impact the body in ways that will affect how you enjoy the rest of the trip. Keep these things in mind if you’re going to hit the spa:

  • Many spas have on-ship dental services. But if you go to get your teeth whitened, you may find your mouth hurts for the rest of the trip. This may make the buffet a lot less fun. 
  • A facial can leave your skin sensitive, so avoid exfoliating, waxing, or sunbathing right after getting one done. You should also let your skin breathe for several hours afterward, so avoid copious amounts of makeup, but don’t skip sunscreen.
  • Avoid getting a massage the day after you plan on sunbathing. If you get sunburned, you won’t have a good time.
  • Massages increase the negative effects of alcohol, so wait to hit the bar until after your massage time.
  • Massages also tend to leave you dehydrated, so make sure you drink plenty of water before and after a massage.

As with any trip, we get from it what we take from it. If you plan ahead to avoid mistakes on your first cruise, you’ll enjoy every last minute.

Related Read: Best Vacations for Water Lovers: 5 Aqua-Related Ideas to Think About

Becca Polk
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Becca Polk
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