A FORMER cruise director has revealed five big mistakes people make when booking their stays on cruise ships.
Christine Kesteloo lived and worked on a cruise ship half of every year in her old job and knows all about how to make the most out of her time on board.
She shares her experiences from her time on board the ship on Tiktok (@dutchworld_americangirl), showing people what it was like to live on one of the liners.
In a video, she revealed the errors that passengers make all the time that could ruin their cruises.
Flying the same day the cruise sets off
Passengers need to arrive at the port with plenty of time to make sure they’re on board when the ship sets sail.
However, some people risk missing the boat by flying in on the same day they’re due to leave.
Christine said: “I would never fly in the same day that my cruise is leaving.
“So many people miss the ship just because they booked their flight for the same day that the ship’s leaving. Don’t do that.”
Instead Christine recommends flying in the day before and staying near to the port in a hotel to make sure you have enough time to get to the ship.
Picking the wrong cruise
With so many options available for cruise guests, making sure you get one that’s appropriate for you requires some research.
Christine stressed the importance of avoiding ships that won’t cater to your needs.
She said: “Picking your cruise is way more important than picking your destination.
“There are so many cruises to choose from and not every cruise line is right for everyone.
“So look at the cruise lines and find our what is most important to you.”
Travelling without insurance
While cruises are generally very safe, things can still happen that will require you to pay out unexpectedly.
Whether that’s for healthcare or for stolen items, making sure you’re insured properly means you won’t have to worry about those costs.
Christine said: “Life happens and you never know what could go wrong.
“I have seen many guests get sick or injured on a cruise or an excursion and I always hope that they have travel insurance.”
Booking excursions with third parties
When the ship arrives at a port, there will be plenty of options for things to do.
However, booking day trips and excursions with third parties and not through the cruise ship creates unnecessary risks.
If something goes wrong and the ship is only at that destination a short while, there’s a chance you could find yourself stranded.
Christine’s advice is: “If you book your short excursion on the ship and something goes wrong, like a flat tyre, the ship will wait for you.
“But if you go off booking your own car rental and you get a flat tyre and can’t get back in time, the ship’s going to leave.”
Leaving phone off airplane mode
One of the great things about a cruise is visiting multiple destinations in one trip.
However, that can lead to huge roaming charges, if you aren’t careful.
Christine suggests putting your phone on airplane mode for the whole trip, just to be safe.
She said: “I would never get on a cruise and not put my phone on airplane mode before we start sailing.
“I don’t care what phone plan you’re with, you can rack up some huge charges if you leave your phone not on airplane mode on the ship.”
Christine isn’t the only person to have highlighted cruise passengers’ mistakes before, with fellow cruise worker Erica DePascale also getting involved.
She told passengers to never skip online check in and to avoid the buffet on the first day.
Passengers may not realise that most cruise ships let you check in online which can make the boarding process much easier.
Erica explained that some even let you do a “virtual muster drill” – similar to the safety announcement on planes – online, so you can skip this part when you arrive.
She also said the buffet was the “most crowded place” on the first day as it is where most passengers go.
Instead, she recommends heading to cafes or snack bars to avoid long queues, and do the buffet later in the journey.
Meanwhile this couple missed their cruise after making a very simple passport mistake.
And this is the secret code word you never want to hear when you’re on board a cruise ship.
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