Cruise Tip #33 – 10 Common Mistakes To Avoid On Boarding Day

Your cruise experience’s success on the first day is in your hands. While some factors are beyond your control, steering clear of these ten common mistakes on your cruise’s boarding day will empower you to take charge and ensure a smooth embarkation day.


1. Last-Minute Flights: Flying in on the day of your cruise is a significant blunder. Recent changes in cruise travel and flight reliability issues advise seasoned cruisers to arrive one or two days before sailing, especially in winter. Book a hotel, take an extra day off, and avoid one of the most critical boarding day cruise mistakes.


2. Missing Documents: Don’t arrive at the terminal without printed luggage tags and boarding documents. While some cruise lines provide boarding docs in their apps, printing luggage tags is still necessary. Staple them after your flight or use protective covers to prevent damage.


3. Early Cabin Arrival: Resist the temptation to rush to your stateroom upon boarding. Your cabin is likely still being cleaned; wait for announcements indicating its readiness, typically between 1 pm to 1:30 pm.


4. Buffet Rush: Avoid the crowded boarding day buffet rush. Explore alternative lunch options listed in the daily newsletter on your app for a more relaxed dining experience.


5. Delayed Luggage Expectations: Don’t anticipate your suitcases in your room right away; they might take a few hours. Keep essentials in a small embarkation day bag, such as boarding documents, passports, wallets, sunglasses, and medications.


6. Prohibited Items Oversight: Check your cruise line’s prohibited items list to avoid packing forbidden items like torch lighters, illegal drugs, weapons, or toy weapons. It speeds up the boarding process and prevents embarrassment.


7. Early Arrival: Pay attention to your assigned boarding time. Cruise lines aim to manage crowds, so arriving at the designated time will save you frustration.


8. Skipping Safety Drill: Don’t skip the safety drill or wait until the last minute. While most cruise lines have streamlined muster drills, completing safety requirements early ensures you can focus on the fun.


9. Missing Day-One Events: Attend special day-one events like spa tours and maître d’ “office hours” to confirm dining arrangements or explore the spa before it gets busy.


10. Neglecting Reservations: Booking reservations for shows, restaurants, and spa times on day one or before your cruise is crucial. With limited availability, reservations can sell out, so invest time in planning ahead.


Steer clear of these common boarding day cruise mistakes to enhance your embarkation day experience.

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