A cruise is a great way to experience new destinations without having to spend so much time and money planning the trip and different excursions. While they’re easy to plan, there are a few ways to ensure your trip goes off without a hitch. If you’re about to embark on your first cruise, you’ll want to avoid making these four mistakes in order to have the best time possible.


Selecting the wrong ship

If you think all cruise ships are created equal, you need to do some more research. There are different types of ships for different experiences. There are a wide variety of options, ranging from more intimate trips with fewer passengers, to large cruises with thousands of guests. Determine what kind of vacation you want to have, what amenities you want your ship to offer and how many off-ship excursions you’d like to have. All of this will ensure you pick the cruise liner best suited to your needs.



Overpacking is a common mistake for most travelers, but it can especially dampen your cruise. Ship cabins are often pretty small and storage space may just be limited to underneath your bed. Before boarding, look up the dress code of the ship. Some cruises require fancy outfits to wear to dinner or events, while other ships are much more casual and you can wear jeans the entire time. Be sure to pack clothing that can be worn in multiple ways to save space. Bring pre-packaged laundry soap so you can wash your clothes in your sink.


Not making advance reservations

Many first-time cruisers think that once they board, they’ll be able to make reservations for the spa, onshore excursions and dinner. While you may get lucky and open spots will be available, chances are you’ll be waitlisted. After booking your trip, do some research to figure out when reservations can be made, and what experiences are bookable, and makes yours as soon as possible. Be mindful of cancellation fees. It’s possible you may not want to attend every reservation you make, so don’t book anything without free cancellation unless you’re absolutely certain you’ll be attending.


Counting on calm waters

When you picture your time on the cruise ship, of course you want to imagine blissful times on the water without a wave in sight. Unfortunately, unexpected weather events are always a possibility and can throw off your trip if you aren’t prepared. Instead, plan ahead and pack seasickness medication or a sea band. Chances are, you won’t need it but it’s always better to have it. If you forget medicine, don’t panic. Most ships have an on-board doctor and over-the-counter medicine.