At first glance, cruises seem rather straight forward. All you have to do is buy a ticket, hop on board, and have a great time…right? What good possibly go wrong? While that’s not too far off from reality, there are some mishaps that first-time cruisers tend to experience on their maiden voyage. In order to maximize your experience (and investment) be sure to avoid these common mistakes when on your first cruise.


Choosing the wrong cruise.

Booking your first cruise can be a daunting process. The sheer variety of destinations, trip lengths, and cruise types is enough to make anyone scratch their head in confusion. Keep in mind that cruise lines tend to offer different atmospheres and themes depending on the ship you choose. Do your research or work with a travel agent to make sure you choose the right cruise to fit your personality, preferences, and travel style.


Going overboard on the drinks.

Flights, tastings, craft beers, fruity cocktails, and great wine – we know just how tempting the drink situation can be on cruises. But to avoid feeling sick and groggy throughout your trip, keep a watchful eye on your alcohol intake. Feel free to maintain a good buzz throughout the trip, but supplement with water and food whenever you start to go off the rails.


Packing too much.

Don’t be tempted by your cruise line’s lenient luggage policies. There’s still a practical limit to how much stuff you can take before you reach a point of diminishing returns. Many first-time cruisers make the mistake of taking a good chunk of everything they own. Remember, you’re not retiring on board but just taking a short trip. A good rule of thumb is limiting your baggage to one standard checked item (around 50 lbs.) and a large carry-on.


Bringing the wrong person.

You’re eager to go on your first cruise and are desperately trying to find a travel companion. It might be tempting to take the first person to volunteer, but you should steer clear of anyone who you don’t get along with swimmingly (see what we did there?). Bringing your old friend from high school, an on-again-off-again boyfriend, or other questionable guests is a guaranteed way to siphon the fun out of any cruise, no matter how fun it could be. Remember, you’ll be with this person for the majority of the trip, especially if you share a cabin. So choose wisely!


Ignoring the ports.

Although cruises tend to highlight onboard activities and entertainment, these trips are also about seeing new places. In fact, stops along the cruise itinerary should be a major determining factor when it comes to selecting your trip. Conduct some research on the ports of call before leaving so you can make the most of the destinations once you’re there. When in doubt, you can always tag along with a tour group.


Applying minimal sunscreen.

Nothing puts a damper on your first cruise quite like a nasty sunburn. The sheer pain and sensitivity make even the most mundane activities like getting dressed excruciatingly painful. Not to mention, you’ll be hiding from the sunlight in your cabin like a recluse vampire on an ironic vacation. To make sure your trip isn’t ruined by a bad tan, be sure to apply (and reapply!) enough sunscreen throughout your trip.


Booking early departure flights.

There’s a reason cruise lines advise against booking return flights before the afternoon. Even if your itinerary marks an early arrival at the last port, it still takes a few hours to get your luggage, disembark, and get to the airport. When booking your flight home, be sure to find one that leaves early-to-late afternoon. Don’t end a relaxing cruise on a hectic note.


Sticking to the buffet.

A great selection of food, unlimited portions, and soft-serve ice cream – it’s no surprise why first-time cruisers are attracted to the buffet like moths to a flame. It’s tempting to have a routine of hitting this cruise staple on your first trip at sea, but you’re only scratching the surface of cruise gastronomy this way. Make an effort to try out a healthy mixture of food options onboard. You might be surprised by what you find.


Now that you know how to avoid these common cruise mistakes, you can move onto the actual planning process. Head on over to CI Azumano Travel for instant access to some industry-leading travel tips and tricks. By getting in touch with the travel planning experts at Cl Azumano Travel, you’ll be one step closer to getting a custom-tailored trip. Our team can offer professional advice and knowledge about your dream destination. For the moments you want, plan with the experts that know.