How to Prepare for Your First Cruise
If you’ve never been on a cruise before, there are lots of things to consider before departing.
Although this form of travelling is much easier and hassle free than independently travelling to new destinations, there is still a lot of preparation needed.
Check out our top tips for how you can best prepare for your first cruise.
1. Check Your Passport Validility
Make sure you have a valid passport that hasn’t expired and is valid for at least six months after your cruise ends.
2. Check In Online
Most international cruise companies now offer the chance to check in online before even arriving at your ship. This can make the whole process easier and less stressful
3. Create Backup Copies of Your Travel Documents
For anyone who has traveled in recent history, you likely have come accustomed to relying on digital travel documents. While these are often incredibly handy, you should also have a backup plan. You could drop your phone and break it, lose it or it could just run out of battery. Regardless of what happens, you need to have your travel documents easily and readily accessible. Having a backup copy in physical form, saved online or to another device.
Make sure you pack for the places you are going and the duration you are going to be away. Check if there is a dress code, or what the weather will née like this time of year so you can have the right clothing. Even if you are travelling out of summer, be sure to pack clothing for swimming and spas as most cruise liners have amazing facilities, spas, hot tubs and pools which are available to use all year round. Make a list electronic items you are going to take and buy a backup charger and adapter to ensure that you won’t have any trouble using them. Also don't forget your passport and any medication you might take.
5. Get Foreign Currency
You should also get any foreign currency before departing so you get the best rates possible. You will be able to use your card abroad, but somestimes high charges are made.
6. Research the Ship
Every cruise ship is different and you should want to check out your ship online in advance. You can find what activities, restaurants and entertainment are available.
7. Check Where You Are Going
Be sure to find out as much information as possible about your destinations, how far you'll be from the cruise port and make a list of places you would like to visit. You should be able to view available excursions and activities offered by the cruise company online, this can really help you to put togetther a budget and plan for where you'll visit.
8. Share Your Itinerary With Family/Friends
While your mind may be focused on your trip, you may also have issues that pop up when you aren’t home. If you want to be assured that your home is well taken care of, hire someone to check in on your house or house sit. Don’t forget to also share your itinerary with someone you trust, so that no matter where you are along your eastern caribbean cruise, they can easily know how to find you. If the person that you share your itinerary with is not your house sitter, make sure that they know how to reach one another. This way, should anything come up at home, you are easily reachable.
9. Inform Your Bank
Whenever you are going to be away from home in a different country for a long period, you should also contact your credit card company and bank to keep them updated on your travel plans. This way they don’t flag any suspicious activity and block your cards/transactions.
10. Have a Backup Financial Plan
Life can throw you curveballs, often when you are least expecting it. One of the most difficult times to navigate these challenges is when you are traveling. While cruise vacations can be a wonderful and thrilling experience, they can also be stressful when things go wrong. If you want to be prepared for the world of possibilities that can go wrong when you are traveling, here are some ways that you can prepare.
Part of being prepared for potential issues is developing backup plans and you will need a financial plan. With secondary cash or a backup credit card, you can be ready for anything, even during the worst-case scenario.
11. Get Travel Insurance
If you are venturing out of a region you are familiar with, you need to know what the protocol is in the case of an emergency. Whether you experience a health emergency while traveling or run into issues with ill-intentioned thieves, you need to have travel insurance to give you peace of mind. Some cruise companies also require this before even letting you on some ships.
12. Learn Some Basic Phrases
Knowing a few phrases in the region’s language, having a pocket phrase book/online app and being able to communicate with local people will make the trip more fun and enjoyable. Its also polite.
13. Pack a First Aid Kit
While it may seem inconsequential, you should always pack a travel first aid kit. Hopefully, you won’t need it; however, a small travel kit with the essentials can be incredibly helpful. Being able to treat your symptoms with products you are familiar with can be useful if you run into minor medical issues.
Traveling on a cruise can be the most relaxing experience ever; however, for many, these types of vacations, especially for the first time can cause a lot of nervousness and tension. Being prepared can help alleviate some of that and a little preparation goes a long way. When traveling, it can give you peace of mind to know that you can handle anything that comes your way. If you want that peace of mind, don’t forget these key helpful tips.