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Avoid These Mistakes On Your Cruise

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Essentially today’s world of cruising is designed pretty darn well, and with variances in presentation from different cruise lines, can satisfy a wide swath of the population.

However, there are some basic mistakes people can avoid to improve their chances of fully enjoying their experience.

* Don’t buy more cruise than you can reasonably afford * – You certainly want to buy a cruise that gives you full value for your dollars. However you certainly don’t want to buy a cruise on a cruise line, or ship, or even type of cabin on a ship, that will leave you fiscally uncomfortable. There’s no many things that feel worse than a “tight fiscal collar”.

* Watch which cabin you do buy * – While many cruisers will tell you that as long as they are on a ship, and any cabin onthe ship is better than not being on a ship, that’s not entirely true, in my view. Those who take that position will often book “guarantee cabins” – which, for a few dollars of savings, allows the cruise lines to assign you any cabin within the minumum type of cabin guarantee you choose.

With this type of booking, you can save some money, and you can get lucky and get a reasonably good cabin, and on occassion a nice upgrade.

However, if at all possible, it’s very wise to avoid cabins above or below the ship’s most used public rooms; bars that are open late into the night; the ship’s main show room; directly below the pool decks, etc.

You may be very happy you are on the ship, until the loud music at night sounds as if the orchestra or band is playing in your cabin; or the deck chairs on pool decks above you wake you at 5 AM when the crew are cleaning the area and setting up for the day.

Ideally you want a cabin with passenger cabin decks both above and below you.

* Gluttony * – Cruise ships do offer a virtual cornucopia of food and drink. And even avoiding the increasing presence of alternate dining options which carry an extra fee to partake, it’s still incredibly easy to over indulge.

There’s no doubt that there is moment of feeling happy with instant gratification eating as much as you like of almost anything you like. However, that feeling changes to the negative when, upon returning home with significant weight gain, you’re faced with the need to lose that excess weight.

As you age (or are simply old like me) weight loss is so much more difficult than weight gain.

With that said, while on board, there is also ample opportunity to try new or different foods. And, while considering weight gain, it’s important not to pass on that opportunity.  You don’t have to eat more, to try more foods, so take advantage.

And don’t be at all shy if some of the food you choose doesn’t please your pallete; simply send it back, and request a different dish or meal. Too many people feel embarrassed to return dishes they don’t care, or food where the preparation isn’t to their liking.

This is a major benefit for a cruise ship dining room or restaurant, and you shouldn’t be at all hesitant about taking advantage of it.

* Don’t avoid the extra fee restaurants * –  While it is certainly easy to take all your meals from the facilities on board which are included in the cost of your cruise fare, the very best cuisine on the ship is often in one of the venues that require an extra fee to attend.

Typically, the higher the extra fee, the finer the quality of the food and service provided. So, for an extra $25-$40 per person, I highly recommend indulging yourselves, at least once, to the best of what is offered on board.

* Avoid over-tipping * –  Pretty much all the contemporary cruise lines now have gratuities automatically added to your on board account daily. These are equal to what were previously “suggested amounts” for tips. They also automatically add a 15% tip to all your drink purchases.

If you wish, t is acceptable practice to offer additional tips for outstanding service you might receive during your cruise, and recommended to tip a dollar or two to those who would be providing other services to you, like delivering room service orders.

While I think it’s courteous to accept the tipping standards put in place with the automatic tipping system, I think too many people are left with the impression they really should tip over and above those standards.

Too many people view that as a minimum tip, when in fact it is what has been judged an effective and fair tipping standard by the industry.

* Your time is your time * – Unless your doing a world cruise, your time on board, and in ports of call, is limited. Do what you want to do, when you want to do it! Take advantage of all that a cruise has to offer that will bring you pleasure. Don’t feel like you have to try and do everything. That will only lead to frustration, trying to fit it all in.

You know yourself best, and have the best understanding of what will make you happy. Do everything to choose things to do that will leave you the most satisfied.

* Get on board with everything except an “attitude” * – When you cross the gangway forget about all your expectations. Perfection is rare, so don’t expect everything is going to go exactly as you expect it to.

The attitude you bring on board with you has a more dramatic affect on the satisfaction you get from the experience than the physical plant of the ship, or the service any of the staff and crew on board can provide to you.

The age old philosophy of “smile and the whole world smiles with you” holds especially true on a cruise ship.

– A View From The Kuki Side of Cruising –

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Comment from Kenneth Eden
Time January 13, 2013 at 5:32 am

This may well companion to which cabin you buy.

Do any of you readers know that the cruise lines are now, and actually will, have implemented new pricing categories in their brochures?

Lets say a mid-priced balcony cabin, on say, 6 deck, shares a color code with three similar cabins, with 3 different prices. Now, that same deck may have 8 priced cabins, same size, same cabin as the three but now, these added 5 categories have a higher price than the original 3 cabins.

Confusing? Sounds it, just look in the latest brochures, be they printed or on line.

Check the deck plans, look for wording like “deck plan before such and such a date”, then look at the same ships deck plan on the next page wording “like deck plan after such and such a date”

Oh, this applies to many categories, even ships with Concierge class, more added to Concierge, all this means more money taken for your booking, so the cruise line makes more money.

Two of my favorite cruise lines have done this, one ship went from 23 categories of cabins, from inside, up to top suites, and now has stretched the categories to an astounding 32.

Just beware of what you book. Your favorite cabin on your favorite ship, and the same cabin for
more money, well, you may well find the lower priced one in a less desirable location.

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