Things are changing in the cruise industry! Here’s what you need to know if you’re thinking about or taking a cruise. Avoid these 25 things on cruises in 2024 to be safe, secure, and save money. Enjoy!

  1. DO NOT LISTEN to cruise travel agent YouTubers. Many ship reviews here on YouTube are done by TRAVEL AGENTS. Obviously, they make money when you book a cruise, and they don’t when you don’t. So come on, do you think they’re gonna be HONEST? Of course not! We have nothing to lose, so we tell the TRUTH. Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE travel agents – but just the HONEST ones.
  2. DO NOT BOOK on any cruise website! DO use a cruise travel agent. You can get group rates that are a LOT cheaper than even the best cruise website deals. Plus, TAs can get you extra OBC and perks. Book early for the best rates.
  3. DO NOT buy cruise insurance from the cruise line. We bought an annual policy for all our cruises for less than the cost of one cruise ship issued policy, and it has better coverage!
  4. DO NOT FORGET YOUR PASSPORT or your DRIVERS LICENSE and LEGIT state issues birth certificate. They can and will turn you away and keep your money.
  5. DO NOT bring a lot of cash. Unless your credit or debit card is jacked up – I always bring two – don’t worry about a lot of cash. The more cash you bring, the more you can lose. If you lose your credit card, you’re covered for losses.
  6. DO NOT carry your own bags on to the cruise. Rooms are rarely ready when you board, and you’ll need to carry your bags around for hours. The porters have NEVER lost or damaged our bags. But, nothing is impossible. Keep a change of clothing with you just in case.
  7. DO NOT pack your ID, important documents or electronics in your checked luggage. Keep them with you in a small backpack or bag.
  8. DO NOT FORGET your bathroom stuff! Yes, you can buy it in port or on the ship, but you’ll pay a lot more for these items.
  9. DO NOT PACK an extension cord, a surge protector, or anything with a heating element.
  10. DO NOT buy a drink package unless it makes financial sense. An $800 drink package is expensive! Plus, it’s not healthy to force it if you don’t normally drink at least 9 beers or 6 mixed drinks a day. And if you do, well, I’m not judging, but I’m worried about you.
  11. DO NOT think you’re limited to eating dinner in the MAIN DINING ROOM. The buffet is usually very good, offers much of the same food, and won’t waste two hours. There are also a ton of other complimentary restaurants on many newer ships for something fun and different. Now, some older folks enjoy mingling with strangers and spending two hours being served at their table. If that’s your thing, then do it. Me? The MDR kills me with boredom. We NEVER go.
  12. DO NOT over tip. On the ship, your tips are included in everything! Main dining room? Tip included. Room steward? Tip included! Drink package? A whopping 18 PERCENT TIP is included. Regardless of what you’ve heard, they ain’t hurting. We’ll talk about tipping in another video.
  13. DO put your phone and Apple Watch in AIRPLANE MODE. Once you’re away from the coast, your phone might kick into ship cellular, and that’s very expensive, especially for data. HUNDREDS of dollars per gig! Many ship WiFi plans are unlimited and allow some messaging plans like Facetime, but check with your cruise line.
  14. DO NOT BRING A LOT OF DRESSY CLOTHES. Especially on Caribbean cruises. They take up a lot of space, and you can’t bring an iron onboard. There may be a ‘formal night’ or two, but they are completely optional, and most people don’t really dress up anymore. That ship has sailed.
  15. DO NOT BRING A LOT OF HOOCHIE MAMA SHOES. Ouch, right? It’s not uncommon to walk 10 to 20 thousand steps a day, especially on the bigger new ships and when you do cruise excursions. Comfort is king!
  16. DO NOT FORGET to bring a light jacket or sweater. Windy evenings and obscenely cold air conditioned theaters are more common than you think.
  17. DO NOT SAVE POOL CHAIRS! Cruise lines are getting aggressive and removing personal items from cruise chairs. And there have been fights over saved pool chairs. I saw some bro toss someone’s towel, clothes, shoes, and book into the pool after waiting a half hour for a chair. We clapped for him! When you leave, take your stuff. You’ll find somewhere else to sit. Plus, too much sun causes skin cancer.
  18. DO NOT book the newest and biggest ships. Royal Caribbean charges a ridiculous premium for these cruises. Our Icon of the Seas inaugural cruise cost us over $9000. We could have got a suite on MSC for half of that.
  19. DO NOT pay attention to State Department travel advisories. These are meant for people flying in and doing their own thing. Sanctioned cruise excursions are safe, secure, and only travel to tourist areas where there’s very little trouble. And all port areas are heavily policed and completely safe. Enjoy Jamaica and the Bahamas!
  20. DO NOT let your kids run buck wild with no curfew. We traveled with another family who had a teenage girl and she ran into some trouble with a certain young man, and let’s just say law enforcement had to get involved. Yes, in most cases, supervised kids are completely safe on the ship, but if you love them, keep them on a short leash. Remember, it’s a FAMILY vacation, not a family ESCAPE.
  21. DO NOT book a room under any kitchen, dining area or pool deck! You’ll hear constant clanging, wheels rolling, cooler hums, and all kinds of other noises that’ll ruin your sleep if you’re a light sleeper.
  22. DO NOT wear a lanyard that clearly shows you or your kids’ names to others! Cover it with something, or find an opaque card holder if lanyards are your thing.
  23. DO NOT put cruise magnets on your door that show you or your childrens’ first names and where you’re from. Yes, bad actors cruise too, and many of us are one google search away from identity theft. And kids are naive.
  24. DO NOT get sucked into the casino vortex! It’s easy to sit at the slots for hours and lose your family fortune. Remember, the house usually wins. Set a timer on your phone or watch for an hour or two then find something fun to do.
  25. DO NOT plan to have hanky panky relations on your balcony! There are cameras EVERYWHERE. Plus, it’s easy to peek around balconies on most cruise ships. And when you get caught, the cruise director will probably mention you during the Love and Marriage game.
Scroll to Top

Get the Latest Deals Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive news and updates.