10 Things Pro Cruisers Never Do on a Cruise

things pro cruisers never do on a cruise

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If you’re a first-time cruiser or a seasoned sailor, learning from the experiences of pro cruisers can be invaluable. By following advice from experienced cruisers, you’ll avoid rookie mistakes, save money, and have a better cruise.

We asked seasoned cruisers to share their wisdom on what not to do on a cruise and the answers did not disappoint!

With that being said, here are the 10 things experienced cruisers never do on a cruise ship.

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10 Things Pro Cruisers Never Do on a Cruise

1. Fly In on Embarkation Day


Pro cruisers universally agree on avoiding flying in on embarkation day. No matter how good the flight looks or how confident you are in making it to the ship on time, pro cruisers know that anything can happen, and missing the cruise due to flight delays is a rookie mistake.

In fact, if they have to fly overseas or a far distance, many will even fly in two days before. This is so they can adapt to the time change, and if their flight gets canceled or changed, they will still have time to get to their cruise ship on time.

2. Never Cruise Without Travel Insurance

Pro cruisers never set sail without travel insurance. They understand that a medical emergency on board can result in hefty bills, and having insurance can be a financial lifesaver. This includes coverage for medical treatments, evacuation, and even trip cancellations.

One of the Life Well Cruised community members shared that she had a medical emergency onboard their cruise and had to get some tests done. The bill ended up being over $3000. However, she purchased travel insurance, and was able to get reimbursed for the medical expenses.

It’s always better to err on the side of caution and purchase travel insurance before your cruise vacation!

3. Attend Sales Pitch Seminars

Something many cruise passengers know, is that some informative seminars will end in a sales pitch. For this reason, experienced cruises say they rarely attend Flat Abs, Detox and other types of onboard seminars. Not only can you expect a sales pitch, but they can also be a waste of time.

Furthermore, pro cruisers usually avoid going to the port shopping talks. While port talks can be interesting and informative, do your own research before shopping at cruise port recommended stores.

Related: 20 Rookie Cruise Questions that You Were to Embarrassed to Ask

4. Pro Cruisers Never Call a Cruise Ship a Boat

Pro cruisers are mindful of cruise lingo. They never refer to a cruise ship as a “boat” to avoid the amused corrections of crew members and eye-rolls from fellow cruisers.

It’s true, cruising does have a language of it’s own that new cruisers will quickly learn. Understanding basic cruise terminology or “cruise lingo” is a mark of their experience.

Related: The Ultimate Cruise Lingo Glossary

5. Wait to Check in to Their Muster Station

Muster Station cruise ship changes

Pro cruisers always do their muster drill check-in as soon as they board the cruise ship on embarkation day. They know that doing their safety check is mandatory.

In fact, not doing it can delay the ship’s departure. It’s best to avoid this common embarkation day mistake.

By completing the muster drill right away, pro cruisers can fully enjoy embarkation day and start their cruise vacation off on the right foot!

Related: 15 First Things to Do on a Cruise Immediately After Boarding

6. Freak Out When Things Don’t Go As Planned

Experienced cruisers understand that unexpected things can happen when they go on a cruise. Whether it’s a change in itinerary due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances, they understand that flexibility and a positive attitude are key to enjoying the journey.

For example, frequent cruise vacationers know that the weather is out of their control. So, instead of complaining about the weather, they make the most of their cruise vacation.

After all, a bad day on a cruise is still better than a good day at work, right?

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7. Never Cruise Without a Passport (or Required Documentation or Identification)

Passport for cruise

There’s a lot of confusion about when a passport is required for a cruise. That’s because “closed-loop” cruises don’t typically require them. Closed-loop cruises depart and return from a U.S. port, visiting other countries in between.

According to Carnival’s website, for “closed-loop” cruises, U.S. citizens will need to provide:

  • A boarding pass
  • A government photo I.D. if 16 years of age or older
  • And a certified birth certificate or certificate of U.S. naturalization

However, there are some exceptions. It’s important to verify this before you show up to your cruise without a passport, visa or other required identification.

While having a passport may not be mandatory for certain cruises, it makes travel easier and avoids potential problems, especially is a travel emergency arises.

Experienced cruisers recognize the value of having a passport for international travel and advise others to do the same.

8. Never Judge People for Their Cruise Line Of Choice

cruise ships carnival, norwegian

Every pro cruiser has a favorite cruise line. Whether its Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess, MSC, Celebrity, or Viking – there’s a cruise line for everyone!

When it comes to cruising, people have a different budgets, vacation preferences and needs. Pro cruisers tend to know what cruise line fits them best, and they don’t bash other cruisers for going on other cruise lines!

That said, experienced cruisers take choosing a cruise line and ship seriously. They know that all cruise lines and experiences are not the same.

9. Never Skip Tipping the Crew

Pro cruisers understand the hard work put in by the ship’s crew and never skip tipping. They recognize that tipping is a customary practice on cruises and want to ensure the crew is duly rewarded for their efforts.

While tipping can be a touchy subject, pro cruisers know that removing gratuities and not tipping can impact the crew.

Related: 13 Big Tipping Mistakes To Never Make on a Cruise

10. Disrespect the Crew

Pro cruisers never disrespect the staff. They treat the crew with courtesy and may even intervene if they witness others being rude. Respecting the staff is a fundamental principle for a positive cruise experience.

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Final Thoughts

Well, there it is, the 10 things pro cruisers never do on a cruise! Learning from pro cruisers can enhance your cruise travels.

Whether it’s avoiding common pitfalls or embracing a positive mindset, these tips from experienced sailors can contribute to a smoother, more enjoyable cruise experience.

If you’re a seasoned cruiser, share your thoughts on what you think pro cruisers never do in the comments below.

Happy cruising!


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  1. Vicki Jean Gibson
    February 9, 2024 / 8:48 pm

    interesting site

  2. February 9, 2024 / 10:22 pm

    Aloha Ethan!
    Great blog and very legit points on Pro cruisers tips!
    I would only add that if cruisers are looking for tours they should definitely consider small tour companies even Uber drivers to drive them around for much less then the big cruise partner tour companies.

    With love,

  3. February 10, 2024 / 3:44 pm

    Pro Cruisers never over indulge in the alcohol beverages. They usually drink within their limits and have a great time without the need of alcohol.
    Pro Cruisers don’t get up and place their towels on the lounge chairs near the pool and go back to their cabins. This is not good cruising etiquette and on most of the ships, they will get removed if the crew is attentive. You don’t have to have “that front space” for the whole day. Think of others who are there for the same reason as you are.

  4. Cyndy H
    February 11, 2024 / 6:28 pm

    These are great tips. We would not consider ourselves “seasoned cruisers” (8 total) but the items you list are definitely important to present and follow.

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