We've all had them, that vacation you looked forward to and worked so hard for but in the end becomes a hard-learned lesson on why you should never leave home. You depart with passport in hand expecting chic hotels in charming cities only to find out you've been conned by a good Photoshop job and poetic copywriting.

From seafaring smorgasbords to drab luxury hotels and dirty beaches, we've compiled our most profound travel faux pas to help save you from ever having to duplicate our mistakes.

Imprisoned on a Cruise Ship
Survival Tip: Avoid group dinners, drink like a fish and if you're single, skip the passengers and swim with the staff.

Once-in-a-lifetime getaway or seafaring torture camp of frozen food and amateur Broadway shows? You won't know what hit you as you observe your fellow shipmates checking-in at the shipside passport control in ever-glamorous Port of Los Angeles. Once you board, there's no escape.

The first night is spent at a communal table of eat-till-you-burst travelers all too often with single middle-aged children who never have their own rooms. After a single night you realize it is going to be a very long cruise, especially after watching the Broadway-themed variety show that includes pitchy show tunes from Hair and Starlight Express.

The Garbage Riviera
Survival Tip: Leave. Regardless of forfeiting room nights and paying surcharges, don't waste your beach vacation on a second-class strip of sand.

It's a picturesque day at the beach in a location often refereed to as "the new St. Tropez." We probably should have known it was a bad sign that a walk along the harbor meant plugging your nose. But we did as the locals and walked to the nearby beach, a short way from the town's Roman ruins and inner village. It has the makings of a great beach as you strip out of your clothes, wade in the shallow water and take your first plunge.

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