Pay attention to the advice from frequent cruise travelers. They have seen it all and have the stories to tell. Using their guidance can make things a bit easier for an inexperienced cruiser. After all, no one wants any “surprises” to put a damper on your cruise enjoyment.
Nothing is more frustrating that digging through your bags at airport security or customs on the way to your cruise. Have everything handy and in one place. Use a little carrying case, something similar to a business card holder or small pocket photo album to contain everything.
Copy several sets of your driver’s license or photo identification as well as your passport or visa. Your credit cards and traveler’s checks should be copied. Leave one set at home with a trusted, easily reachable family member. Lock one set up in the personal safe in your ship cabin or lock it in the ship’s main safe. Also keep your originals and another copy with you at all times, but in separate places. This will help you in case you lose anything or it is stolen.
Items that are handy:
If you don’t want to miss the beautiful sunrise or a particular activity, bring your travel alarm clock. If you are in an inner cabin aboard the ship, there are no windows so it will be dark and virtually impossible to know what time it is.
Take a mesh laundry bag with you to stow dirty or soiled clothing. This will keep your clean clothes separated. There is nothing worse than having some of your clothes stink like dirty, sweaty socks!
An extension cord or two comes in handy with those cabins that have electric outlets in strange places. Many times, they are not where you need them, so the cords will be helpful.
Clear Ziploc baggies are useful when packing your suitcase. Such items as shampoo and sunscreen could possibly leak, so the baggies would contain the leak and keep your clothing from being ruined. Medications can also be packed into clear baggies. Going through airport security or customs can be a hassle too, so baggies allow the security officials to see the contents of your suitcase at a glance and you won’t have to unpack a travel toiletry bag for inspection this way.
If you decide to bring your cell phone to stay in touch with friends and family at home, check with your service provider about temporarily extending your calling area or inquire about special rates during your travels. No one wants to be shocked with a cell phone bill that is a few hundred dollars higher. Or should you leave your cell phone at home, invest in a few prepaid phone cards. This is a cheaper option than using the phone service on the ship.
Take extra batteries and memory sticks for your digital camera. Your battery charger might be useful too, depending on how much your camera will be used. Should you decide to use a camera with film, do not pack it in your luggage if you fly to your cruise port. Airport security scanners could ruin your film.
Binoculars are a must for sight-seeing. Sometimes, you will not be able to get up close and personal to things, so you’ll be glad to have them. You don’t want to miss anything, do you?
This is your time! Don’t spend it fretting about your ruined camera film or lamenting about the greasy sunscreen that leaked all over your suitcase. By heeding the advice from seasoned travelers, you will save yourself some trouble in your cruising vacation. Now prepare for some fun and adventure!