Skip to main content

Things that will happen on your cruise that no one tells you about

Fantasia cruise ship pool deck

Cruises are a fun vacation, but like any trip, there are some weird things that can happen which may not make top 10 articles, but are still something you should be aware of.

Like all forms of travel, nothing ever goes exactly perfect, but being aware of certain pitfalls can make the fallout far easier to handle should it happen to you.

Check out this list of things that might happen to you on a cruise that no one really talks about.

Lost luggage

Luggage stack

Just like the airlines, sometimes your bags get lost. 

It is not unheard of to have a missing piece of luggage on embarkation day during the process of checking your luggage at the pier and it being delivered to your stateroom.

The most common scenario is a bag is mislabeled or gets misplaced, and gets delivered somewhere else on the ship.  

Cruise ship cabin

Obviously a lost bag is very frustrating because you are on a ship, and cannot go to a store to pick up a new outfit or replace the personal belongings that were also in that bag.

There are a couple of things you can do if this situation happens to you:

  • Be patient. Most times the bag shows up because it is somewhere else on the ship and after everyone gets their bags, one piece of luggage in a hallway gets noticed and delivered to guest services.
  • Pack at least one outfit, spare underwear, and a swimsuit in your carry-on luggage so you at least have something else to wear.  Be sure to also pack any prescription medicine and travel documents in your carry-on luggage.
  • Some people use RFID trackers to put in their luggage to make tracking their luggage easier.

Read moreCruise Packing List: What to Pack for a Cruise

You have to go to the naughty room


Did you know there are lists of things you are not allowed to bring on a cruise?

If you happen to pack a clothing iron, liquor, weapons, or a variety of other prohibited items, your luggage will be held by security instead of being delivered to your stateroom.

Eventually, you will get a voicemail or message to your room that you need to report to a location on the ship, referred to by frequent cruisers as the "naughty room" to retrieve your items.

Naughty room

When you arrive, security will have you identify your luggage and then open it up to see if there are indeed any prohibited items inside.

You will likely not get in any trouble (unless you packed something illegal in addition to be prohibited).

The best thing you can do is be aware of what you cannot bring on a cruise and leave those items at home.

Read moreBanned: 23 Things You Absolutely Cannot Bring on a Cruise

Traveler's diarrhea

Cruise ship bathroom

If you travel around the world, sooner or later your tummy might not be as excited about the change as you.

An upset stomach can happen to anyone, and can be the result of stresses on the body as a result of different time zones, new foods, or stress.

The common symptoms of traveler's stomach include diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, nausea, bloating, or gas.  None of these are major health concerns, but they will definitely sideline you for a bit as you try to recover.

You should travel with medicine like Pepto Bismol or Imodium to quickly take care of the symptoms. (These are affiliate links that cost you nothing extra, but I get a referal fee if you buy something).

Read moreTop 10 Things First-Time Cruisers Don't Think to Ask

Upsells throughout your cruise

Tray of drinks

This is more of a reality check, but some people think cruises are all inclusive.  Unless you sail on a luxury boutique line, they are anything but all inclusive.

Your cruise fare includes a lot of value, including accommodations, meals, snacks, and plenty to see and do onboard.  But you will find plenty of other ways to spend more money on the cruise.

Gratuities, shore excursions, alcohol, WiFi, souvenirs, and even soda are not included in your cruise fare (note, Disney Cruise Line does include soft drinks).

There are even specialty restaurants that have an extra cost to dine there if you elect to go there.

The best advice is to be prepared and aware that these extra costs exist and to budget appropriately for them.

Learn about what costs extra on your sailing to avoid a surprise bill at the end of the cruise.

Read more20 Lessons You'll Learn on Your First Cruise

You can still get upset on a cruise

Angry woman

Whether you are on vacation or not, sometimes things don't go your way and you can easily feel dejected on a cruise.

Whether you are upset with something or someone, having a meltdown or just being upset can happen when you get triggered.

Try to remember you are on vacation, and not to let it ruin your day or even cruise.

If an incident occurs that sets you off, try to remain calm and think is there someone else that can fix the problem, such as another crew member or your travel agent at home. 

Read moreTop first time cruise mistakes to avoid

The ship will leave you behind if you are late

Independence of the Seas docked in Cozumel

No, the cruise ship will not wait for you if you are late coming back to the ship if you lose track of time.

Whether your plane is late getting you to the ship on the first day, you spend too much time at Senor Frogs, or fall asleep on the beach, if you are not back onboard the ship by the all aboard time, the ship will depart without you because the Captain will not delay everyone else's plans because of your time mismanagement.

If you book a tour through the cruise line, one of the benefits is if your tour is late the ship will either wait for you or cruise line will transport you to the next port to meet up with the ship.

If you tour on your own, be sure to watch your time and err on the side of caution.  Otherwise, plan your tours through the ship-sponsored excursions to mitigate risk.

Read moreDo I Have to Book a Shore Excursion on a Cruise?

You could get seasick

Ocean from bow of cruise ship

Just like traveler's stomach, sometimes the motion in the ocean can cause you not to feel well.

Getting seasick is something that occurs infrequently, but it is mild and a temporary feeling. Moreover, the bigger and newer cruise ships are larger than ever and employ every bit of technology and engineering to provide a smooth ride.

The key is being prepared for seasickness to quickly mitigate the symptoms.

A good starting point is to go outside and get fresh air, and keep an eye on the horizon.  Looking at the horizon helps your brain readjust its equilibrium.

You can also take over the counter seasickness medication.  I recommend Bonine, and your ship even has something similar you can pick up from the medical center onboard (usually for no additional cost).

If you prefer something more natural, try eating a green apple or something with ginger in it.  There is ginger candy you can buy that does the trick.

For those that want to prevent seasickness from ever occurring, ask your doctor about the Scopolamine Transdermal Patch that you can put behind your ear and never have another concern about it.

Read moreThe Truth About Getting Sick on a Cruise

Loading Comments