Top Don’ts When Taking a Cruise, and a Few Do’s!

Cruising is one of the best ways to travel. You see different sights without unpacking and re-packing, you get all the food and entertainment you could ever desire and the views are unbeatable. But, if you’ve never been on a cruise before, it can be daunting for a newbie to figure out the rules of the ocean. We’re here to help with our list of things NOT to do on your cruise.


1. Don’t forget the sunscreen

Even if you’re taking a cruise to Alaska, the sun is still brutal out on the open ocean. Don’t ruin your vacation by forgetting the sunscreen and having to deal with painful burns the second half of your trip!


2. Don’t shop in port shops

Port shops are tourist traps designed to lure you away from your money. They look inviting and have all sorts of useless souvenirs that may look beautiful, but aren’t worth the cost. A good rule of thumb is that if you don’t need it, don’t buy it.


3. Don’t limit your eating options

Cruises are floating resorts, so there is a wide variety of cuisines to sample. Don’t run to the buffet for every meal. Try one of sit down restaurants or splurge and have an evening in one of the specialty restaurants on board for a true culinary treat.


4. Don’t use the elevators, if you can

Most cruise ships only have two banks of elevators, one at the front of the ship and one at the rear. Because of those limited elevator options, you can imagine they get a bit crowded and waits can be long. So, if you’re able-bodied, work off some of that extra food you’re eating and take the stairs when feasible.


5. Don’t forget to book your spa treatments in advance

Nothing is more relaxing than a pampering massage while on vacation, right? Since a lot of people have this same idea, spa times often sell out within a few hours of guests boarding the ship. Be ahead of the game and call to book your spa reservations a couple of weeks prior to your departure (you may even score a discount!)


6. Don’t get your teeth whitened

If you’re worried about the whiteness of your teeth, do whitening treatments before your vacation and not on the ship. These treatments affect your gums and can cause sensitivity, which would definitely cut into some of the gluttonous enjoyment of the cruise.


7. Don’t worry if a show is sold out

If you’ve been dying to see the headlining act on your cruise and it’s sold out, don’t panic. Although reservations made ahead of time are always a way to circumvent missed shows, you can almost always get a seat if you wait in the standby line about 30 minutes before your show starts.


8. Don’t leave your balcony door open

The smell of the sea air is so intoxicating, you may be tempted to leave your balcony door open the entire time you’re on vacation. But, be aware that your balcony door should remain closed whenever you leave your room or when you’re sleeping at night. Bad weather can roll in almost instantly and it doesn’t take long to cause water damage while you’re away or sleeping. You also don’t want any of those crazy tropical insects thinking they’ve got free room and board.


9. Don’t be late boarding your ship when you’re coming back from an excursion

The ship’s boarding time when departing a port is not just a suggestion. Some first-time cruisers are shocked to learn that the cruise ship will leave without you if you don’t return on time, with you having to foot the bill for transportation back to the ship. The only exception is if you’re on a ship-offered excursion. But if you’re just sightseeing on your own, try to make it back to the ship a half hour before last call just to be on the safe side.


10. Don’t skip the muster drill

Muster drills are an annoying, but essential, part of the cruising experience. Usually given right before sail-off on the first day, the muster goes over safety procedures and what to do in case of an emergency. Even if it seems terribly boring, the drill is mandatory, which means you may be removed from the ship if you try to skip it.


11.) Do Relax, enjoy a tropical cocktail, make memories with friends and family, and have fun!

Now that you’ve got all of the basics out of the way, it’s time to enjoy your trip! Relax on the pool deck, grab a tropical drink and have the time of your life!



Did you know that ParkSleepFly offers cruise port hotel and parking packages? Park at a hotel near your port, get a good night’s sleep, and take the shuttle to your ship the next day! Search for packages here.

Kimberly Beard

Kim is the Retention Marketing Manager for ParkSleepFly.

  • thaddeusbuttmunchmd

    Celebrity Millennium Don’t…DON’T use Azipod engines that blow up and ruin your client’s Alaskan Cruise. OK-you gave us a refund, but you took a week out of our Lives.