Travel Tips

Top Things to Avoid on a Cruise

June 27, 2024

Essential Tips for Smooth Sailing

Smooth Sailing: Essential Tips for a Hassle-Free Cruise Experience

Cruising is an incredible way to see the world, offering a unique blend of leisure and adventure. With diverse destinations and onboard amenities, cruises cater to a wide range of interests, making them a popular choice for many travelers. However, to fully enjoy your voyage without any hiccups, it’s essential to be aware of certain pitfalls. Below, we’ll delve into crucial tips to ensure a hassle-free and enjoyable cruise experience.

Understanding Safety Protocols

One of the first things you’ll encounter when you board a cruise ship is the mandatory muster drill. This drill is non-negotiable and is designed to acquaint passengers with emergency procedures specific to the vessel. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Muster Stations: You’ll be directed to your assigned muster station. Pay attention, as this is your go-to location in case of emergencies.
  • Life Jacket Instructions: During the drill, you’ll be shown how to properly use a life jacket.
  • No Cocktails Allowed: Focus entirely on the drill because it’s a serious safety measure.
  • Virtual Options: Some cruise lines offer virtual muster drills, either through videos in your cabin or before you embark. However, checking in person might still be required.

Ignoring these protocols isn’t just frowned upon; it can lead to delays and complications for everyone aboard.

Hygiene: The Key to Staying Healthy

On a cruise, maintaining good hygiene is indispensable to avoid falling ill. Given the number of passengers and communal spaces, here’s what you should keep in mind:

  • Buffet Etiquette: Always wash your hands before entering the buffet area. Cruise lines often place sinks and sanitizing stations near dining facilities.
  • Regular Hand Washing: Beyond mealtimes, frequently wash your hands to minimize the chances of contracting any illnesses.
  • Sanitizers: Use hand sanitizers provided at various points around the ship, especially before meals.

By maintaining good hygiene, you’ll significantly lower the risk of stomach or other infections, ensuring a smoother journey.

Responsible Drinking

Cruises often come with all-inclusive beverage packages, making it easy to overindulge. However, drinking responsibly is especially important:

  • Stay Hydrated: Balance your cocktail intake by drinking water in between. This keeps you hydrated and reduces the chance of severe hangovers.
  • Watch Your Alcohol Intake: Overindulgence can lead to dangerous situations, particularly on a ship. Always remain aware of your surroundings and avoid risky behavior.
  • Security Measures: Never accept drinks from strangers or leave your drinks unattended.

By exercising caution, you can enjoy cocktails sensibly while ensuring your safety.

Plan Ahead: Reservations and Excursions

Cruises offer numerous dining options, shows, and excursions, many of which require reservations. Here’s how to stay ahead:

  • Dining and Shows: Book your dining and show reservations as early as possible, ideally before you even board.
  • Excursions: Popular excursions can sell out quickly. Securing your spot in advance avoids disappointment and ensures a more organized trip.
  • Flexible Plans: If pre-booking isn’t possible, do it as soon as you board the ship.

This proactive approach reduces last-minute stress and guarantees access to the experiences you’re most excited about.

Respecting Time and Schedules

Adhering to the ship’s schedule is vital for both your safety and convenience:

  • Newsletter Updates: Nightly newsletters provide crucial information on disembarkation and all-aboard times, weather updates, and onboard activities.
  • Stay Informed: Highlight or note down important activities and timings to avoid missing out.
  • Private Excursions: Be cautious if booking private tours. Missing the ship’s all-aboard time can leave you stranded in a foreign port.

Time management ensures you’re back on board without hassle, ready for the next leg of your journey.

Considerate Behavior

Being considerate of fellow passengers contributes to a more enjoyable atmosphere for everyone:

  • Chair Hogging: Avoid saving deck chairs for long periods. Use them when you’re present, allowing others to enjoy them when you’re not.
  • Noise Levels: Hallways and rooms have thin walls. Keep noise levels down, especially late at night, to avoid disturbing others.
  • Friendly Interactions: Courteous interactions with both staff and fellow passengers go a long way in enhancing everyone’s experience.

Respecting communal spaces and quiet hours fosters a pleasant environment on board.

Financial Savvy: Managing Onboard Accounts

Cruise expenses can quickly add up due to the convenience of cashless transactions:

  • Monitor Spending: Regularly check your onboard account via your in-room TV, the cruise app, or at customer service.
  • Avoid Surprises: Keep track of what you spend to prevent any shock when you settle your bill at the end of the trip.
  • Gratuities: Pre-pay gratuities if possible, and always tip well for good service. Crew members work hard to make your experience enjoyable.

Staying on top of your expenses and expressing gratitude through tips play a significant role in maintaining a good travel budget and a positive atmosphere.

Health Precautions

From motion sickness to general well-being, your health needs attention:

  • Hydration and Medication: Carry a reusable water bottle and stay hydrated. Consider bringing medications for motion sickness if prone to it.
  • Balanced Meals: While indulging is part of the cruise experience, balance it with healthy meal choices.
  • Exercise: Participate in onboard fitness activities to stay active.

Keeping your health in check ensures you’re at your best to enjoy all the cruise offers.

Adhering to Ship Policies

Each cruise line has its own set of rules. Here’s what to watch for:

  • Prohibited Items: Be aware of what you cannot bring, like surge protectors or drones.
  • Smoking Areas: Only smoke in designated areas.
  • Alcohol Regulations: Know the rules regarding bringing your own alcohol onboard.
  • Safety Compliance: Follow all posted guidelines and crew instructions.

Observing ship policies ensures a smooth voyage for you and your fellow passengers.


Cruising offers an unparalleled way to explore multiple destinations while enjoying luxurious amenities. By following these essential tips, you can avoid common pitfalls, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable journey. From understanding safety protocols to responsible drinking and being considerate of fellow passengers, each aspect contributes to a fulfilling cruise experience. Get ready to set sail on a memorable adventure, equipped with the knowledge to make the most of your time at sea.

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