It’s prime cruise season and my friend at work just got back from a Jamaica cruise. Apart from being horribly jealous, it reminded me that I’ve been meaning to write this post about all the rookie mistakes I see people making on cruises. Maybe it will help you as you are planning your own cruise.
Rookie Mistakes – #1 Cell Phones.
I get it – we are a cell phone-based society. All you have to do is drive around town and see people using the dang things while they’re actually DRIVING a car (blows my mind every single time!). This is a clear signal that cell phone use is way out of control. However, if you use a cell phone at sea like you use it on land, you will be in for a very nasty BILL SHOCK.
Even though some ships are starting to offer cell phone bundles or plans, it’s still going to be RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE to be Facebooking or Instagramming your way through a cruise. It is going to be HARD, especially if you get bored easily. But put the phone DOWN and find other things to do. It’s a communications device – NOT an oxygen tank! Read a book, play a card game, take some pictures, take a nap. It takes a few days to get used to. But it’s actually pretty refreshing to be away from cell phones for a while.
And you still can use them (carefully!) in port. You will still get roaming charges and you have to be cautious about hackers stealing info from public WiFi. My company has started to forbid our Executives from using public WiFi in certain countries, like China, because the hackers are just rampant over there.Put the phone DOWN - cell phone charges on board can get crazy REAL fast! Click To Tweet
Being the parent of several phone-addicted teenagers, I don’t think I would trust them to stay off of them. If you think it might be a problem, maybe just hand them a camera and lock up the cell phones. There are some games you can load that can be played while in airport mode – those are fine to use. I played a lot of Sudoku on my last cruise, for example.
Rookie Mistakes – #2 Overpacking!
I’m totally guilty of this one. On our first cruise, we went waaaaaay overboard on packing. Especially now that airlines are charging so much for baggage. You want to be really SMART about packing. I have a great post about 25 Awesome Things to Pack for a Cruise – you should check it out next.
But the point is, be SMART about what you bring along for a cruise. We got carried away by the whole dress code thing and packed several dressy outfits for each kid for the dining room. Well, the kids only even SAW the dining room like once! Most of the time, they either ate with the other kids in the kids club. Or they wanted to eat at the buffet or other informal dining areas where they could eat pizza or mac ‘n cheese. So, they never even wore all that stuff we dragged along.
Same thing for us – there is a very limited amount of storage space in these tiny cabins. You can’t bring every outfit you own and fit it all in there. Be smart and plan your outfits sensibly. Lots of the time, you will just be in shorts and a tee shirt anyway. I’ve never been on a cruise to someplace cold. I think it would be a real challenge to pack for an Alaska cruise – brrrr!
Which brings up another point – be prepared for just about everything. Even in tropical areas, it rains, and it can be quite chilly on a windy day at sea. Be sure to pack a lightweight, but WARM jacket and maybe an umbrella.