However, some first time cruisers may not be privy to certain things that could see them paying more than they need to or even missing out on life-changing experiences.
In a video highlighting the 10 mistakes first-time cruisers often make, La Lido Loca Cruising – a cruising community based in Charlotte, North Carolina – shared their guide on what mistakes first time cruisers should never make.
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Starting off the 15 minute video, couple and avid cruise-goers Tony and Jenny shared that the number one mistake first-time cruisers make is that they overpack.
The duo revealed that on their first cruise they also overpacked and that this mistake is “pretty common”.
“When you go on your first cruise, you’ll then know what you need, what you don’t need and then of course you’ll begin to make a list and check it twice,” said Jenny.
Tony added that as a first time cruiser, you should take everything you’ll think you need and it’ll become obvious what you’ll pack next time.
“I’d say in the clothing department take at least one or two outfits and you’ll probably be alright,” he advised.
Pre-booking is often something first time cruisers forget to do, making this the number two mistake on their list of no-nos.
“What I didn’t realise the first time we cruised is that I could prepay for my internet, prepay for excursions, prepay for the water to be sent to my room, a spa treatment – I could prepay for everything,” said Tony.
The duo added that by pre-booking these things, you’re often making a saving as it’s cheaper than purchasing on the ship.
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Not leaving enough travel time to and from the port made the third spot, as the couple revealed that many first-timers will book their flight on the same day the cruise is leaving.
“Also sometimes people will book their flight super early on the day that they get back and they can’t get off the ship for their flight,” said Tony.
“Leave yourself time on both ends, especially if you’re flying in – I’d say fly in the day before to avoid any delays.”
At number four, the video listed that not bringing cash was one of the biggest mistakes made by first-time cruisers – especially as it’s a necessity to tip.
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“Remember you’ve got to bring some money to tip. Even when you first get to the cruise terminal there’s someone there to handle your bags who needs a tip, when you go out to the port there’s people on the street that you’ll need to tip and sometimes, if you get exceptional service on the ship, you may need to tip,” they said.
Other mistakes which made the list included not knowing all the rules on the cruise; forgetting about gratuities, forgetting to put your phone on airplane mode; not taking the muster drill seriously; not setting your watch to ship time, and drinking too much at the port.
“Don’t drink too much at the ports you visit. Many of the ports have an all-inclusive beach and drink day where you can go to the beach and drink as many margaritas and rum drinks as you want, but the problem with that is you can drink too much and possibly miss the ship,” said Jenny.
Tony added that a lot of first-time cruisers will drink too much at the port and have trouble getting back to the ship.
According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) State of the Cruise Industry Outlook report, it’s estimated that 30million passengers took cruises in 2019 in comparison to 28.2million in 2018 and 26.7million in 2017. It’s expected that 32million passengers will set sail in 2020.
To meet the ongoing demands of the cruise industry, CLIA Cruise Lines are scheduled to debut 19 new ocean ships in the upcoming year, resulting in a total of 278 CLIA Cruise Line ocean ships projected to be in operation by the end of 2020.
“The industry’s economic impact is a big part of the story, especially as it relates to our passengers’ contributions to local economies and the diverse workforce onboard our ships,” said Kelly Craighead, president and CEO, CLIA.
“We recognise that with growth comes increased responsibility to raise the bar in all aspects of what we do to ensure cruising remains a force for good and the best way to experience the world.”
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