As an experienced cruiser, I've got tons of tips to make your next cruise vacation a breeze.
If you are visiting some world's most amazing cruise locations that are on this planet of ours, the abundance of activity options in each and every port can be overwhelming.
You will have to decide straight off the bat whether you are going to go hell to leather and pack heaps into your day, or whether you are more of a lazy day on a resort beach kind of person.
Do you want to snorkel or do you want to jet ski? Do you want to hang out with turtles or do you want to parasail? These are the questions you will have to ask yourself. To make the choice easier, I have provided the following selection of activities that can be just a little over the top and really just turn out not to be that much fun or not worth your dollars.
Here are my eight least favorite and basically overrated activities that most would choose to skip after trying even one cruise vacation.
Let me know in the comments below what is the most overrated cruise vacation activity that you have been on.
1. Cruise line Approved Beach and Resort Transfers
As always, this isn't a one size fits all list, but most of the time these things stand true to form where ever you might be.
When a cruise line approves and arranges your day trip, there can be certain benefits like if you are late back the ship will wait for you however those benefits don't come for free. Getting a cruise ship to organize and transfer you to a beach or resort can cost quite a bit more than either arrange it before you get on the ship or arranging it when you get off the ship at the port.
You can potentially save a lot of money if you look around. I find that most of the enjoyable stuff really isn't that far away from the port, so you can either pick from one of the many cabbies that are usually at the ports or in some cases even just walk. I find walking to be the best as you see the locations from the perspective that they are meant to be seen, which is from the ground as if you were a local.
Bigger groups are pretty much always going to save money booking as groups compared to the per-person costs of cruise lines, so it pays to do your research before you book your shore excursion. I also take the time to compare the things that are inclusive in the costs when comparing like for like, as some cruise lines might put a little cherry on top as a sweetener, occasionally the local companies do to but not as often. I find it is useful to keep an eye out for some things that are exclusive as well, such as my favorite location to visit Amedee Island. This location is exclusive to cruise lines and can not be booked directly.
2. Hair Braiding, Don't Even Get Me Started!
Each to their own but hair braids in a cruiser's hair is a pet hate of mine, I think it just looks weird when someone gets something done to them that is not remotely connected to their own culture. It feels like some sort of cultural appropriation.
I can not really think of anything worse than sitting under a hot tropical sun whilst some old lady pulls on my hair until my scalp hurts. Even worse would be standing around like the proverbial... whilst someone else gets it done.
It might seem like a bold fashion choice on the ship but I bet you you won't keep them in past the next sea day or at best they might make it to disembarkation day before your head starts feeling the effects of having its hair pulled too tight.
3. Segway Tours - They Just Pad Out The Tour & Take Up Your Time
I get it, maybe doing it once is okay but I think Segway tours can be a bit much when it comes to getting the most out of your holiday, not only can they be a bit unsettling for some, especially if they aren’t used to the way they work, they also usually come with a nice long briefing on safety and a bunch of safety padding to put on which gets hot and uncomfortable pretty quickly.
The learning curve can be pretty steep, and so you will probably spend a good deal of time practicing before you are confident enough to head out.
I also think that if you aren't really close to an interesting location, then it can be a waste of your valuable time with traveling time. If they are housed at or around a scenic site or botanical garden etc. then that is okay.
3. Village Markets - Trinkets Galore
Now don't get me wrong I love a snow globe from a tropical island as much as the next person but if you are looking for a souvenir from your cruise, little trinket markets full of stalls selling little bits and pieces might not hit the spot.
I will occasionally buy things from them for people back home but usually, I do it more to support the stallholders then those that I have left at home. So unless you want something hammy to take back home you can safely give the stalls a miss, but if you want to find a snow globe or something similar with the island's name on the side of it, then these are the place for you.
Glass-bottom Boat Tours Aren't Always The Best Way to See the Sights
Glass-bottom boat tours have got to be one of those things that you do at least once, as they can be a bit of fun and a decent way of seeing a variety of seas life with very little effort. Especially if you are a person that doesn't feel all that comfortable with snorkeling or using diving apparatus.
The problem with them is that unless they are in an exclusive area or fairly high end you will find that you are likely to be jostling with heaps of other people on a boat that won't be super comfortable and likely damn hot.
The other thing that can get on your nerves is that the view from them can be easily occluded by even the slightest roughening of the seas, even in the relative sanctuary of a coral atoll. So even just make sure that you keep aware of what's what and even check what other people have said through reviews, cruise forums and groups
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Paddy Michelson (author) from Australia on October 06, 2019:
Thank you for your comments. I have been to a few islands that do hair braiding.
Feel free to leave somethings that you have come across in the comments.
Tess from Hawaii on October 05, 2019:
Haha I had no idea they did hair braiding on cruises. I kind of wish you listed more items but it's nice to see you don't fall for all of the typical tourist attractions. Thanks for sharing.