Sharon Waugh smiling on cruise ship
For six years, I worked as a crew member on cruise ships.Sharon Waugh
  • People on cruise ships make the same mistakes.

  • Many people didn't know about the ship and missed out on activities.

  • A missed port can ruin a cruise.

After working for two different cruise lines, I have seen guests make the same mistakes over and over.

The top 10 things you shouldn't do on your cruise are listed here.

Don't try to resolve problems immediately upon embarkation

Your embarkation day is usually the previous travelers' debarkation day so the staff has to turn the ship around and prepare it for new guests in a few hours.

It is possible that the crew is aware of the issue but hasn't had a chance to address it yet.

When lines are shorter, I recommend waiting to resolve non-urgent issues until dinnertime. Chances are you won't have to do anything at all.

If you want to figure it out yourself, don't stand in line at the internet cafe.

Pace your alcohol consumption on the first day

pool party on cruise deck
Some cruises have parties or planned gatherings.Sharon Waugh

Some cruises have drink packages for an additional fee.

I've seen people urinating in public and riding prop motorcycles before the embarkation port is even visible.

They are so hungover that they can't enjoy themselves. Don't try to get as much alcohol as possible on the first day.

Familiarize yourself with the ship so you don't miss out on any onboard offerings

You don't want to wait until the last day of your cruise to find a karaoke bar and you don't want to find out about the party the morning after it happened. You should explore the ship early in your cruise to get a good idea of what to see. You might find a hot tub in a different place.

Read the ship's activity schedule first.

The Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Carnival Cruise Line all have activity guides and newsletters.

Many experienced travelers know how to use the cruise specific app and pack highlighters to mark their attractions.

Inform your bank that you're leaving the country prior to your departure

Your room key card can be used for onboard purchases. Your account is charged to your credit card at the end of the trip.

If you use your credit card in a country that your bank doesn't expect you to be in, there is a good chance they will block your card.

You are likely to get a call from guest services if your credit card is blocked. Make sure your bank knows where you're going so you don't make this mistake.

Read your excursion tickets to avoid going to the wrong place at the wrong time

People assume that the meeting point on the first port day is the same as the meeting point on subsequent port days, but that's not always the case.

Carefully read the instructions on your excursion ticket if you don't want to miss your tour.

Dress appropriately in the ship's dining venues

Most cruise restaurants and dining rooms have dress codes.Sharon Waugh

If you head to the buffet in your bathing suit or attempt to enter the dining room in flip-flops, you will be asked to leave or change.

The dress code for the dining venues on the most relaxed cruise lines can be found on the daily schedule.

Have realistic expectations about the ports

People have weird ideas about what to see in port cities.

I told the cruiser where they could find a Starbucks. Someone thought the cruise line owned an independent island nation.

It's a good idea to research your destinations before you embark on your cruise.

Return from your excursions in time to board the ship

Cruises will often wait for travelers if their bus arrives late from an excursion.Sharon Waugh

If the bus is late returning you to the port, the ship has to wait for you.

If you've left on your own, it may leave without you. Booking flights and hotels to return to the ship in the next port can be expensive and time consuming.

Make sure your watch is set to the right time if you travel to a location in a different time zone. Your phone may change time zones without your knowledge even if the "ship time" remains the same.

Don't let a missed port or an itinerary change ruin your entire cruise

Explore all parts of the ship to make sure you don't miss out on anything.Sharon Waugh

Most ships miss a port because oflement weather.

Some cruises are completely changed to avoid storms. The cruise line will usually replace the scheduled ports of call with other stops that are further away from the storm's projected path.

In tender ports, where the ship drops anchor off the coast and guests ferry to the port on smaller boats, smaller weather systems are more common. It can be dangerous to tender in rough seas.

When a port day becomes a sea day, shouting at staff isn't going to get you to the destination or get you a refunds on your trip.

It's a good idea to mentally prepare yourself for the possibility that the itinerary may change with little notice. There is a higher chance of missing a tender port.

Understand the debarkation procedure before making plans

If you want your luggage to be delivered to the port terminal for you, there is a specific schedule to avoid too much congestion on the ship.

Some guests have ignored the information we've given them about debarkation and argued with us when our policies clashed with their arrangements.

You should check the ship's debarkation procedure first if you have plans for the day.

You can read the original article.