I personally went through a period of over-confidence a few years ago. My downfall was reading airline tickets and cruise schedules. I had a knack for thinking I knew what time my flight left, though I was actually remembering when it reached its destination. Take it from me, always re-check your flight schedule at least 24 hours before your actual flight.
One early morning, brimming with confidence that my flight left at noon, I found I had just over one hour to get from South Beach, Miami, to Fort Lauderdale airport over 40 miles away. I hadn't even showered or packed my suitcase yet! Yes, I made my flight, by pulling my pants on over my jammies, brushing my teeth, and tossing everything I had, unfolded, into my suitcase and sitting on it to zip it closed.
Confusing passport and visa requirements are mistakes which cause some of the most disappointing results. If a country requires you to have a visa, and you fail to obtain one, you will not be admitted. Russia is one example, and St. Petersburg on the Baltic Sea is one the top cruise destinations in the world. Brazil is another one. I have seen people in the Rio De Janiero airport sequestered until they could be put on a flight home.
Having a non-U.S. passport, even if you have a green card or are a U.S. citizen through marriage, can mean you have visa requirements that differ from your spouse. I have quite a few emails from people who were even refused boarding onto a cruise ship in New York City going to Bermuda because the island has strict visa requirements for many nations. Because the island is the sole destination on "Bermuda cruises," they have Bermuda immigration representatives at the dock checking everyone's credentials.
"Don't let this happen to you!" is the point of my story. Here are more of the common mistakes that cruisers make: Common Cruise Mistakes.
The New Cruise Misperceptions
The old cruise misperceptions, "I'll get seasick" and "I don't want to be stuck on a boat," have now been appended with new concerns. "People get sick on ships," and "I don't want to be around people who aren't safe" are the new misperceptions that are really overblown and somewhat infuriating for experienced cruisers who know better.
Where are these misperceptions coming from? Mostly from the media who are accepting at face value, without double checking the facts, the inflated statistics and ideas put forth by a few web sites created by disgruntled cruisers. Are people really just "falling off" of ships? No. Are ships breeding grounds for disease? Not any more than any other school, office building or hotel.
Are there things the cruise lines could do better? Arguably yes, but is the problem anywhere near as bad as some people, including the media, want you to believe? Absolutely not. So, where do people get these misperceptions and exactly how they being steered wrong? Read The New Cruise Misperceptions."
The Most Common Cruise Mistakes - Part 1
There are two reasons why cruisers make mistakes that ruin their vacations: The questions we never think to ask; and the things we neglect due to over-confidence.
Liberty of the Seas Arrives
The sister ship to Freedom of the Seas makes her Miami debut last weekend. Watch CEO Richard Fain ride the FlowRider.
Small Ship Camaraderie
If making new friends is something yuo enjoy about cruises, The casual ambience on smaller ships encourages people to open up and get to know each other.
Virtual Cruise on Norwegian Jewel
Join Kuki and his CruiseMates on a 12-night cruise of the Mediterranean Sea on an NCL top Free-style ship; Norwegian Jewel. May 5 - 19.
NEW YORK TIMES:
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John Heald Blogger Cruise
Carnival Freedom, January 19, 2008.
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A 14-night transatlantic cruise.
April 2008, from Florida to the Caribbean then to Europe including the Canary Islands, Spain, Florence Italy and ending in Rome - starting as low as $699 per person. This one is filling up fast!
7 nights in the Eastern Caribbean.
Carnival Freedom, Thanksgiving, 2007.
Kiplinger's Magazine named CruiseMates to its
Top 25 Best Value Travel Sites for 2006
Cruisemates is the most useful cruise-review site. We especially like its advice columns, which are written for people of different ages and interests.