If you can stick to a budget cruising is probably the most economical way to travel.
The biggest thing we hear over and over is how people were shocked at the end of the cruise by the cost of their alcohol, premium meals and other incidentals. We are frugal travelers, but want to have fun. So we set a budget for on-board charges and stick to it. That helps us say “no thanks” when the waiters come around offering some fancy new drink or wine. If you can stick to a budget, cruising is probably the most economical way to travel.
Not fully exploring their options for land activities.
The biggest mistake people make when planning a cruise is not fully exploring their options for land activities. Although onboard amenities are important, destinations and land excursions are the most important part of cruising to me. I want to make the most of my limited time in port by seeing and doing as much as possible. After booking an itinerary, cruisers should first research each port destination to discover what they most want to see and do. Then, they should review the included and optional excursions provided by the cruise line. Finally, they should consider whether to book a tour with a private company or explore on their own. A bit of destination research while in the cruise planning stages can be the determining factor between mediocre tours and amazing land experiences.
Not disabling the room charges feature of room keys for kids.
Your key card is your room key and your charge card. While you might remember that, your kids won’t. I was shocked that my child could charge $160 worth of gaming tokens at the ship’s arcade in an hour. They don’t understand that each time they swipe their card it costs money. Everything is charged to your room: that candy bar they picked up at the store, that drink they want by the pool (unless you have the drinks package). Have the charge feature turned off on your kid’s keycards right away to save you from any costly surprises and maintain better control over their spending. You’ll be gobsmacked at how fast all of those little charges add up.
Only considering shore excursions through the cruise company.
Only considering shore excursions through the cruise company. While those excursions can have some advantages, you might also check local vendors or check day tours with sites like GetAGuide.com, ShoreTrips.com, or Viator.com