10 common cruise ship mistakes first-timers make all the time

The last thing you want to do is make a major mistake on your first cruise vacation. Avoiding common pitfalls is a smart way to set yourself up for a great vacation.

Unfortunately, a lot of first-time cruisers do not take a little bit of time to learn about these all too common blunders, and they always regret it later.

Here are the top ten cruise mistakes to avoid for anyone going on a cruise.

Picking The Wrong Cruise Ship

There are so many different cruise ships to choose from, but the key is to find the right one for your family.

Every cruise ship offers something extra or different, and that means before you book a cruise, learn about what the ship offers onboard to ensure to matches up with your expectations.

If you have children, pick a ship that offers a good variety of family-friendly activities that will be the most relevant to your family’s needs.

Foodies will want to pick a cruise ship that offers a good variety of restaurants onboard, rather than a ship with just a couple of choices.

A good tip is to make a list of the must-have features and amenities you want on a ship, and double-check the ship you have booked has all of them.

Booking the cheapest cruise

Many People that book a cruise solely on the cheapest option they can find usually end up regretting it for the reason I just outlined about picking the wrong ship.

Looking only at price may mean overlooking an important factor that can make the difference between an okay cruise and a great cruise.

Be sure to look at the type of room, itinerary you are sailing on, age of the ship, and what activities are offered onboard.

Sometimes paying a little bit more will get you a significantly better vacation.

Booking at the last minute

If you want to save money, one of the worst strategies is to book at the last minute.

Cruise fares only go up as you get closer to your sail date, and the price of a cruise is a lot like airfare, where the last few weeks see drastic price increases.

You want to book a cruise as early as you can, but try to book at least 90 days or earlier. Not only that, the earlier you book, the more stateroom choices you will have.

Try and book as early as possible to get best cruise fares, extra bonuses and perks and cruise cabin choice.

Booking directly with the cruise line

While going to the cruise line website and booking a cruise is not inherently a poor choice, you are missing out on some extra benefits and even a better price by doing it.

Booking with a good travel agent is one of the best ways to save money on a cruise. Many first time cruisers are surprised to hear how valuable a travel agent is, as well as the fact it costs you nothing extra to use a travel agent.

Travel agents have access to a variety of discounts and offers, thanks to a network of pre-booked large blocks of cabins. In addition, travel agents often have extra promotions like adding an extra on board credit (money to use on board), free gratuities, or specialty dining credits.

In short, booking directly with the cruise line will not save you any extra money.

Flying the same day of the cruise

Travel delays of all kinds happen so commonly, that flying in the same day of your cruise puts your entire cruise vacation in jeopardy if your flight is delayed or cancelled.

Instead, fly in at least a day before your cruise to ensure any travel delay you encounter does not impact your ability to get to the cruise.

You want to start your cruise vacation relaxed, so when you fly in one day early, you are buying yourself peace of mind.

Skipping travel insurance

Make sure you have adequate medical travel insurance coverage, because the cost of medical treatment, hospitalization or a medical evacuation can be astronomical.

Booking only cruise line shore excursions

It is important to consider shore excursions that you can book on your own via a third-party, as well as what the cruise line offers.

Many first-timers are timid at the idea of doing somethin