Expert’s Guide: Avoid these 12 Common Mistakes on a European Cruise


Welcome back to Cruise Blog! I’m Ali, an experienced cruise enthusiast who takes to the high seas for both work and leisure. Today, we’re diving into some common pitfalls that travelers like you might face when cruising around Europe. After many adventures and some hard-learned lessons, I’ve identified 12 mistakes that people frequently make when cruising in this beautiful part of the world.

My Experience With European Cruises

Traveling Europe by Cruise Ship

Some might say I’m a seasoned veteran when it comes to European cruises. Having visited most European destinations accessible by cruise ship, European itineraries have taken up a significant chunk of my cruising history. Through these experiences, I’ve gained a substantial amount of knowledge on how to navigate the unique challenges presented by such trips.

Navigating Common Mistakes

Unfortunately, I still see fellow cruisers repeating the same errors. So today, I am sharing the top 12 mistakes that I notice people -especially first-timers- commonly make when cruising around Europe.

12 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cruising in Europe

1. Waiting Too Long To Book Excursions

Do not delay booking your excursions as soon as they’re available. The most popular tours sell out quickly, leaving many to scramble for third-party excursions or plan their port day independently.

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2. Booking Too Many Excursions

Feel free to explore on your own, especially in ports with easy city access. You don’t need tourist guides everywhere you go. In fact, many European cities have cruise ship docks right in the city center, making independent exploration straightforward.

3. Not Reading the Tour Fine Print

Always check the fine print to ensure that your chosen tours match your mobility and comfort levels. Europe is filled with cobblestones, hills, and rough terrain. Be considerate of your own safety and that of your fellow tourists.

4. Waiting to Get Tender Tickets

If tendering is required at your port, secure your tender ticket as early as possible. This method of disembarkation could turn laborious with thousands of passengers.

5. Booking Flights Too Close to Departure

Ensure that you fly in at least two days before your cruise departs. This buffer gives you ample time to handle any unforeseen travel delay and relax before your cruise experience begins.

6. Not Exploring the Embarkation City/Country

Consider arriving in the port city or country a few days early to explore and maximize your European travel experience.

7. Underestimating the Heat

Prepare for high temperatures by carrying breathable clothes, sunblock, and plenty of water, especially when cruising in the Mediterranean during summer.

8. Booking Only New or Big Cruise Ships

Don’t focus solely on the newest and biggest cruise ships. Older, smaller ships also offer unique experiences and visit ports that may not be accessible by larger ships.

9. Not Experiencing Local Food

Try to experience the local cuisine during your European sojourn. Dishes like freshly made pizza in Italy, authentic paella in Spain, and warm croissants in France offer unforgettable gastronomical experiences.

10. Not Packing Good Walking Shoes

Pack comfortable and sturdy walking shoes. European tours often involve lots of walking, so it’s crucial to be comfortable.

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11. Taking Too Much Cash

Many places in Europe accept credit cards, making it unnecessary to carry a significant amount of cash. Using an ATM in Europe to withdraw some cash, if needed, is a safer alternative.

12. Traveling With Only American Express or Discover Cards

Europe favors Visa and MasterCard. It’s wise to carry one of these options and ensure it doesn’t incur any foreign transaction fees.


Cruising Europe can be an experience of a lifetime, but it helps to be prepared. Knowing the common pitfalls can help you bypass unnecessary troubles and focus on making the trip memorable. Whether you’re a veteran cruiser or a first-time adventurer, these tips will guide you towards a smooth and unforgettable cruising experience.

Remember to make the most of your trip, explore new foods, visit local places, and indulge in all that Europe has to offer. Until the next share, happy cruising, and, as always, don’t forget to tune into Cruise Blog for more tips, tricks, and cruise insights! Don’t forget to comment below with your favorite European cruising experiences and tips for fellow cruisers. Safe travels.