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8 Annoying Mistakes I’ve Made on Cruises (Some Expensive and Some Just Frustrating)

Everyone thinks of me as being a “Cruise Expert” – but believe me, I have made some stupid mistakes when cruising – just the same as everyone else!

Find out what in this article…

#1 Time Zone Mistake

I arrived back in Southampton from a cruise to Europe. Unfortunately, there was a one-hour time difference between the in time England and Europe.

My phone connected to the UK network and automatically set itself to the new UK time zone even though I had already changed it back an hour.

emma cruises profile picture Anthem of the seas, Norway

This meant that I woke up only five minutes before I was due to leave the cabin, rather than the hour that I thought I would have.

Luckily I was in my home port of Southampton, so I had no flights to miss or taxis waiting for me!

I always leave my phone on manual now, and don’t allow it to change the time automatically!

#2 Shampoo Disaster!

I thought I would save weight in my suitcase by putting my shampoo and conditioner in smaller bottles.

I was washing my hair with conditioner, then shampooing it afterwards for a whole week! I wondered why it looked weird…

Many cruise lines supply shampoo and conditioner anyway, so check before you travel. You might not need to pack it at all.

#3 I Didn’t Pack A Hairbrush

How on earth I managed to pack for a cruise and not take a hairbrush, I will never know.

Luckily I was travelling with my family, and Mum had more than one, so it wasn’t too much of a problem.

I am sure I could have bought a hairbrush in the onboard shop (probably at double the cost) or bought one in port, but Mum luckily saved the day.

#4 Phone Mistake

When I was younger, I sailed away and forgot to switch off my phone or put it into Airplane mode.

My phone connected to the internet and received a couple of emails. When I returned home, I received a bill from Three Mobile of £45/$58!

Luckily for me, Three wiped the charge when I explained what had happened.

Now I run a business whilst travelling, I make sure I either buy the WiFi or have plenty of mobile data on my phone, which allows me to use it in many different countries at no extra charge.

Find out more about how to avoid costly phone mistakes such as mine in the article below:

Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Using Your Phone on a Cruise – (Beginners Guide)

#5 Forgot My Daylight Alarm Clock

When I book an inside cabin, I always take my “Daytime Alarm Clock” with me.

sunrise alarm clock in inside cabin on p&o's iona
Using my sunrise alarm clock in P&O’s Iona’s inside cabin

This clever, cheap, lightweight clock slowly lights the room up, rather than waking you up suddenly with an abrupt alarm.

If you have no windows in your cabin, you can lose track of the time – and sleep and sleep and sleep! It’s always pitch black in there.

I find being woken up gently starts my day off far better. You can even set it to have soothing sounds too – like birdsong!

I was totally lost without it…

Find out all about the sunrise alarm clock I use below:

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03/12/2024 11:01 am GMT

#6 Lost My Cruise Card

I’m normally pretty organised with cruise cards, I have a little pouch that sticks to the back of my phone to keep the card in.

I rarely go anywhere without a phone in my hand, so I always have my cruise card with me.

emma cruises blue floral dress
Card Holder for Back of Phone (Pack of 5)
$6.89

Compatible with all phone types.

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03/19/2024 02:05 pm GMT

Unfortunately for me, we were booked on a cruise line excursion that morning, and I had to be off of the ship at a precise time.

I quickly ran down to Reception, and they were able to give me a new card. It was a good job they weren’t too busy that day.

I later found my card in my jeans pocket. I hadn’t had much time to search.

Find out more about that terrible start to the day here:

#7 Lost My Laptop

I took a cruise Norwegian Fjords cruise with P&O on their cruise ship Britannia.

This was back in 2018, and I was quite new to blogging/vlogging. I thought I could take my laptop along and post some videos during my week away.

When I arrived at Southampton, I was very excited about the trip. The security people asked me to put my laptop in a separate tray – and I completely forgot to pick it up again on the other side of the security scanner.

Luckily I realised virtually as soon as I reached my cabin, and although security confirmed they did have it – they wouldn’t let me back off the ship to collect it.

I eventually got it back when I returned to Southampton a week later.

We had a great cruise – but needless to say I didn’t get as much work done as I would have liked to – I could only post using my phone.

p&o britannia cruise ship norwegian fjords norway
P&O’s Britannia in the Norwegian Fjords, 2018

#8 Packed The Wrong Clothing

This one isn’t one of mine – it is one of my Mum’s.

We took our first ever cruise to Alaska in August 2005. My Gran had inherited some money, so we had a big family holiday – ten of us in all, Cousins, Aunts, Grandparents – we all went.

When we arrived at the airport, my Dad dropped us off at the terminal. My Gran was in her late seventies then and couldn’t walk too far. My brother and I were children, so he took the car off to the airport car park and came back to find us.

Mum had been quite warm on the airport trip, so she had taken off her fur-trimmed fleece cardigan. She rushed to get me and my Gran out of the car and left it on the back seat.

This meant that Mum went to Alaska with no cardigan, jumper or coat at all!

Luckily, we were meeting my Uncle on the cruise. He lives in America, and Gran had knitted him an Aran jumper (Sweater.) Mum was able to wear that until she was able to buy something new in Skagway, Alaska.

Mum wearing my uncle’s new jumper in Alaska, 2005.

Make sure you pack the right clothing for the trip you are taking! Don’t leave anything important in the car…

Before You Go

Don’t make any of the mistakes I made by packing carefully! Find a list of things to organise in advance, and pack here:

Planning And Packing For Your Cruise, Things to Organise in Advance, Packing Essentials And More

Make sure you have all of your cruise essential paperwork by reading the article below:

Cruise Paperwork! Make Sure You Don’t Forget Essential Paperwork, or You Won’t Be Sailing Anywhere…

Free Insiders Cruise Line Guide