7 Mistakes to Avoid When Planning a Cruise

Cruising, travel, cruisetravel, travelblogger, mistakes

It's hard to believe the year is almost half over, and the summer travel season is only 6 weeks away.  I'm sure you already have your vacay planned. If not, why not consider a cruise?! It's not too late to find a great deal, and set sail to the place of your dreams!
As I mentioned in a previoius post, I will be going on a cruise soon. This will be my first time go on a travel press trip, and I'm very excited! The Norwegian Bliss will be setting sail from Seattle on its inagural cruise. This is the biggest and best ship of the fleet hot off the press. Do check out all the Bliss has to offer!

May is the kick off for cruise season, here are common mistakes to avoid when booking a cruise:

1) Not Staying within your Budget

When planning a cruise, it can be so easy to let your budget get out of control. Spa days, excursions, drinks and gratuities can dig into your wallet big. It's best to set aside a budget for all the extras, before you leave home.

The wine and diet coke bill can add up fast! The cost of extra immenities on cruises can vary among different carriers. Keep a running tally of what you spend all week, so there won't be any suprises when you disembark. I remember the first cruise we went on to Alaska, we were so careful with spending extra. I didn't want to come home and eat mac n cheese for the rest of the month.


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2) Choosing the Wrong Type of Cruise

These days the cruise ships are like actual cities. I think they are all in competition to see who can build the biggest one!  There are endless options when it comes to the size of ship you want.  Jump on board with 4000 other passengers or choose a private charter for a small group of friends.

Choosing one that best fits your interests is key. Some cruises will have many families with small children on board. If you are banking on a quiet siesta by the pool, best to book an adult only cruise. Others may have moslty retirees, and you may want to be around young thangs on a millennial cruise.

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3) Packing the Wrong Clothing

Before you go out shopping for your cruise wardrobe, spend some time doing research. It's good to know the dresscode of the ship and the destinations you are visiting. Some ships may have more evening events than others, so planning for formal events may be necessary.

Even if you are heading to the tropics to bask in the sun, I would still bring some clothing for cold weather. Freezing your hiney off on the high seas takes all the fun out of the trip!  Check out more of my cruise packing tips here.

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4) Not Shopping Around

Shopping around for a good deal on a cruise, can be a very overwhelming task. With dozens of sites and cruislines offering deals, it can take a long while to narrow down your search. Evaluating a good deal versus a good value, can be tricky for most travlers. This is due to the huge shift in the way cruiselines are marketing their products.

Many of them are adding "value-add packages" to their sailings. These are not always easy to determine when shopping online, that's why it might be best to use a travel agent. Agents are able to help discern which cruise would be the best fit and overall value for your trip.

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5) Picking the Wrong State Room

Everyone has a different vacation style and needs while traveling.  Most people on cruises don't plan to spend a lot of time in their room, however some do. The type of cabin you choose will depend on what your plans are for the duration of the cruise.

If you like to spend endless hours in a lounge chair taking in the views: a cabin with a balcony is the perfect choice. I can't imagine staying in an inside cabin! Cholesterphobia would take over, and I would not be a happy sailor!  The inside rooms are a great choice if you are trying to save some bucks, and don't mind the absence of light beaming in.

The large carriers usually have 20 different room types to choose from .  The smaller river cruise boats offer 4-5 room selections.

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6) Traveling Without Insurance

Some of the cruise lines will not let you travel with out insurance. It's  best to have insurance in place, should you get sick before or on the cruise. If you had to be evacutated from the cruise for a serious medical condition, the costs could clean out your bank account fast.
  
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7) Not Planning Ahead

Waiting too long  to plan your shore exursions or port activities, could be a big mistake.  If you want to save money, you can certainly plan your own tours at every stop.  If you'd rather go on an organized tour by the ship, make sure you book these side trips well in advance. You will probably find them sold out if you try to book at the last minute. The same goes for booking hotels in the port city.  I know here in Seattle the hotels downtown sell out fast during cruise season.


BON VOYAGE,  I hope you get to plan a cruise in the near future! Maybe these tips will take some of the stress out of planning your trip. Thanks for visiting Maple Leopard, I hope to see you again next time. I try to post most Wednesdays.


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36 comments

  1. Cruises are such a great vacation option for people who don't want to go through the trouble of planning all the details!

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    1. Yes exactly, so much of it is taken care of in one step!

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  2. So many people complain about the cruises they go on, but they don't realize that they are choosing the wrong cruise. Great tips.

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    1. So true Cristen, I've heard a lot of complaints from friends, and that is really what it boils down to! Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Great tips. Some people think cruising isn't for them, but there are so many types of cruise ships, small and large these days, that there is definitely something for everyone.
    I hope you had a great trip!

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    1. Yes so much to pick from..Id like to cruise full time...ha ha!

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  4. We haven't been to a cruise yet but it's definitely on our bucket list. Thanks for this post.

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and glad it was helpful!

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  5. Thank you for sharing your tips! They're very useful, in particular for people who never went on a cruise before - like me! But it's something I definitely want to try!

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    1. Great I am glad it helped and I hope you can go on one soon!

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  6. I’m actually going on my first cruise in November - so this is super helpful

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  7. My mom and I are talking about taking a cruise sometime soon. These are great points to think about! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you Betsy! That would be so fun with your mom, my last cruise was a family cruise with 16 of us..it was a total blast!

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  8. These are great tips. My only cruise experience was picked for me - a friend was getting married on the ship, so we didn't have much choice. I ended up not enjoying it very much, but I think a different style of cruise on a different ship would appeal to me more. It just goes to show how important planning and knowing your own travel style and doing your research can be.

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    1. Hi Kris, oh thats a bummer you didnt enjoy it, but yes that's why its so important to pick one that fits your travel style!

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  9. Great tips! We have been wanting to take a cruise for a while, so these tips will come in so useful!

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    1. Hey thank you and glad it was helpful, have a fun cruise when you go!

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  10. I love how informative this is. Having only ever been on one short cruise, I can relate to packing the wrong clothing.... A good read.

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    1. Thank you for commenting ..yes packing the wrong stuff can mess up your cruise!

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  11. Great tips. We haven't been on a cruise yet, and it's on our list of things to do in the next year or two.

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    1. Thanks you Crysta, I sure hope you go on one soon!

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  12. These are great tips for cruise lovers. Your point about the experience - something larger or a more intimate time can make or break the trip. Have not been on a cruise yet and will keep these tips in mind when I finally take my first trip!

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    1. Awe thankyou so much, I am glad these were helpful tips for you! I hope you get to go on one suoon!

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  13. Thank you for sharing these tips! There are so many different options for cruises and this makes planning a bit easier!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and yes that is so true!

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  14. I've always wanted to go on a cruise, so these tips are perfect for me! Thanks for the resource!

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    1. Thanks for visiting and glad it was helpful!

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