Everyone I know who says they hate crusing did it wrong at least once, if not over and over again until they declared never again. I talk alot about knowing how you like to vacation and a cruise ship has many offerings that may differ from your vacation style.
Mistake Number 1
People often feel as though they have to get their money's worth by doing all the things, when that may not be your vacation style. Some people need to realize that at the end of the day a cruise ship is a floating resort. It's ok to just sit on the deck, suntan, have pina colladas and then enjoy a nice dinner. You don't have to see all the shows, go to all the bingos, do karaokee.
Mistake Number 2
Often the same people who do too much on a cruise ship do too much on shore days as well. First of all it's ok to not get off at every port. The ship is incredibly peaceful when no one is on it. It's the perfect time for a spa day, which will likely be discounted on shore days. On the other hand you can also have a relaxing shore day. Most of the Carribean Islands have quiet beaches you can enjoy instead of ziplining, scuba diving, etc. If you know your vacation style you can take it anywhere with you.
Mistake Number 3
Crusing with friends and family can be tricky. Especially if they don't vacation the same way you do. You may be tempted to sit on a beach when you want to be horseback riding, or vice versa, becuase that's what your family is doing. This does not have to be the case. Part ways during the day and have dinner together, or don't travel with people who vacation differently.
Mistake Number 4
Conversely to the folks who did too much, there are those who do too little. Know before you go I say. Most cruise lines have apps now that give you all the daily activities. Plan your day out, in some cases you can even plan your week out. Some cruise ships still print daily activity schedules and you should definitely always grab one. There is so much those floating resorts have to offer and it's up to you what you do.
Mistake Number 5
Spending too much money on a cruise is a likely possibility if you don't do your homework. One of the great things about cruises is that your food is always covered. Most cruise lines now have specialty dinning. This is always going to cost more than the food you have already covered. Pro tip: you don't have to eat in them. Another big money sucker can be booze. Some cruise lines now offer a drink package but I encourage you to run the numbers and see if it is actually cheaper. Also be aware that most of the time gratuity is already included. You can also save on shore excursions by picking up a taxi at the port and going to your destination on your own.
Of course the best way to avoid some of these mistakes you should work with a travel agent who can help you identify your vacation style and help you research what kind of activities the ship you're sailing on had to offer. You can always email me at email@example.com or find me on Facebook.