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Top 7 things people that cruise a lot debate all the time

If you have spent some time on a message board, Facebook group, or chat room dedicated to going on a cruise ship, very likely you have run across a heated exchange between people about some nuance of cruising.

We all love to go on cruises, but our opinions on how to do it best can vary widely, especially when there is a certain level of ambiguity to protocols or rules.

Most of the discussions tend to be tame, but there are a few hot button topics that really get people fired up and it can often lead to page after page of responses, counter responses, and memes inbetween.

Cruise Planning on a Budget? Here are 7 Surefire Ways to Save Money

Expenses on a cruise can add up quickly, from when and how you book to the moment you step foot onboard and start swiping that key card. (Hint: The more poolside pina coladas you order, the easier it is to lose count.)

What’s included in my cruise fare?

Some people refer to cruises as an all-inclusive vacation, and that’s not entirely true. Your cruise fare includes lodging, food, transportation, and entertainment, but you’ll find extra-fee exceptions in many of those categories. What’s included in your cruise fare can be confusing to first-timers, especially since the rules are not the same on every cruise line.

You can read the fine print of your cruise contract, but to make it easier, we’ve listed out by category what generally is and isn’t included in your cruise fare.

Can a cruise ship leave without you?

You’re having such a good time at Senor Frog’s with your new friends and that third margarita that you lose track of time. Or your tour bus gets stuck in traffic on the way back to the ship. If you show up at the cruise pier after boarding time, will your ship be waiting for you? Or, can your cruise ship leave for its next port without you onboard?

Missing the literal boat and getting stranded in a foreign port is one of the top concerns of first-time cruisers. The chances of the ship leaving you behind are low, but it does happen.

Do I Need Travel Insurance for a Cruise?

Although it will likely be a long time before cruising returns to normal, several sailings have resumed for American passengers; now, more than ever, they are left wondering whether it's necessary to purchase cruise travel insurance.

What is travel insurance?

Odyssey of the Seas

Can You Cruise by Yourself? A Guide to Solo Cruising

Solo cruises can be relaxing or stressful, depending on your circumstances and how prepared you are for your sailing. Here, with our singles cruises FAQ, we'll help you navigate the nuances, from solo cabins and single supplements to the best ways to meet people onboard.

Can I cruise alone?

Cruise ship railing

All You Need to Know About Cruise Embarkation and Disembarkation

You've booked your voyage, and you're super excited. You've started making a packing list, and you've given a ton of thought to what you'll do onboard and in port. But have you thought about the in-between?

If you're new to cruising, we'll tell you all you need to know about the logistics of boarding your ship and heading ashore. Your guide to embarking and disembarking your cruise ship is below.

Cruise Age Restrictions: How Old You Have to Be to Sail, Drink, Gamble and More

Just because you're on vacation doesn't mean there aren't rules. Want to know how old you have to be to stay in your own room, purchase alcohol or gamble? We've got you covered with our roundup of cruise line age policies.

Below, check out key age-related policies for each of the eight most popular cruise lines.

Cruise Ship Smoking: Is Smoking Allowed on Cruises?

Whether you're a smoker or someone who has never so much as touched a cigarette or cigar, you might be wondering about cruise ship smoking policies. We'll answers some of your biggest smoking-related questions.

Can I smoke on a cruise?

Cruise ship railing

How to Plan a Cruise: 10 Things to Consider When Planning the Perfect Sailing

Cruise planning and research are head-spinning if you haven't done them before. From narrowing down a cruise line and ship to choosing a destination and booking shore excursions, learn how to get started.

Below, we've outlined 10 key factors to consider when building your ocean-bound vacation. Although they're all important, their order might fluctuate depending on your circumstances, and any one of them can be affected by others -- if your budget limits your destination choices, for example.

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