7 Ways to Prepare for Your First Cruise

by Jules on December 14, 2012

Going on a cruise is a great way to enjoy a holiday. You can relax beside the pool, enjoy a different restaurant every night and take excursions on beautiful foreign shores. So to guarantee you have the best possible time for your money, you should give a moment to prepare for your time away. Here are seven pointers which will help make your holiday go smoothly.

Clothes

You will need to give careful thought to this. Do you plan to attend black tie and ball gown dinners or will you be enjoying a more casual buffet for most of your trip? Your travel agent or booking website will have information about any specific requirements, but it is wise to pack at least one or two smart outfits along with your more casual clothes.

Another thing to remember is that even if your cruise will never be leaving the Mediterranean, it is still wise to pack enough warm clothes for that romantic late night stroll on deck, or midnight star-gazing over ancient Greek islands.

Money

It is always wise to have enough cash with you to spend while on your cruise, but you should also consider which countries your cruise takes in and whether you will want local money to spend while ashore. Most cruise ships have cash machines now, but some have high fees. So to be sure you can enjoy the onboard casino you should take enough money for your time away.

Check your documents.

Take some time to carefully check over your tickets, passport and any other documents for your cruise. Make sure the name on your ticket is correct, as well as the departure date and location. Be sure that your passport is still valid and that the names on your ticket and passport match (this is especially important for newly weds on that special honeymoon cruise).

Handy hints

Don’t pack your passport and ticket in your luggage, as you will need to show these when getting on. Take a small back pack for day trips off the cruise ship, with space for a rain coat and other useful things. Also why not pack a few sweet treats for the hard working staff. A small consideration can bring a smile to the face of your attendants (and who knows, it may even get you some perks).

Important items

Common household items can be costly or difficult to buy at sea. Some useful things you may want to bring are: an alarm clock (if you’re not planning on lie ins every day), batteries, feminine hygiene products, insect repellent, sunscreen, painkillers, flip flops, sunglasses, waterproof clothes.

If you plan on taking your mobile phone and your cruise will be crossing in to other countries then it may be worth talking to your network operator about international roaming rates. You should be spending your hard-earned money on sangria in the sun, not massive phone bills.

Think ahead

Why not take an extra collapsible bag for all the bargains you swore you wouldn’t buy. That way you will have space for the bright Caribbean clothes you may pick up and mementos for friends and family. But don’t be tempted to buy too much. Cruise cabins can be smaller than the average hotel, so leave space for you to relax in.

Final preparation

On the departure day of your cruise, you should run through a quick checklist of essentials and prepare your house for your absence. Make sure you have all tickets and passports handy. Draw your curtains, switch off the water if it’s winter and don’t forget to drop any pets off with your family or neighbours. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport or harbour. You don’t want to miss the trip of a lifetime!

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