Since I just returned from a quick Bahamas cruise in December with my travel friend, I decided to drop a few cruise travel tips your way…….Enjoy!
Tip 1: Pack your carry-on bags wisely. Pack a change of clothes and important meds or toiletries in the bags you will take on the plane and personally transport onboard. This is important for two reasons: First, if your luggage gets lost by the airline on the way to your cruise, at least you’ll have some essentials with you. It can take a while for your luggage to be found and then shipped to the next port of call. Second, in case your suitcases are delayed in being delivered to your cabin, you’ll have a bathing suit or dinner attire on hand and can enjoy all the onboard activities right away, rather than waiting for your bags to show up.
Tip 2: Know the dress codes. While some folks still like to dress to the nines (formal gowns and tuxedos) for ships’ formal nights, most people dress in business attire (suit for men, cocktail garb — flowing pants suits or silk dresses — for women). The irony is that the more luxurious the line (with the exception of the upscale Crystal Cruises, whose passengers really do like to dress up), the more elegantly casual passengers dress. The more contemporary the line — like Carnival and Royal Caribbean — the dressier folks are on formal occasions. If you love to dress up, know that some lines do offer tux rentals so you don’t have to pack your own. Allergic to formal wear? Most cruise lines offer buffet-style dining for dinner, even on formal nights (or sup in your cabin via room service).
Tip 3: Save some room in your suitcase. Don’t forget that you’re likely to pick up at least a few souvenirs during your cruise and that you’ll need room in your luggage to bring them home. This is particularly prevalent on Hawaiian-based itineraries where, by voyage’s last night, just about everyone has dispatched their continental garb for Aloha-wear. Consider packing an extra duffle that can fold up into your suitcase on the way to the cruise and later be filled and checked for the trip home.
Tip 4: Don’t assume your favorite toiletries will be in your cabin. You’ll always find basic toiletries onboard, such as soap and shampoo. In main cabins on some cruise lines — Royal Caribbean, NCL, Carnival — toiletries offered are limited (in some cases to pump bottles of mystery soap affixed to the wall), so you may want to make room in your luggage for your favorite brands. Same goes for hair dryers. Most staterooms come with weak dryers so if you’re picky, pack your own.
Tip 5: Remember the basics. Most cruise ship cabins don’t come with alarm clocks, so if you want to know the time and set an alarm (rather than a phone wakeup call), bring your own. If you’re using your cell phone for this job, make sure you don’t incur roaming charges simply by leaving it on in foreign waters. Other items you might want to pack because they’re not provided or super-expensive to buy onboard include: extra hangers, over-the-counter meds, batteries, camera memory cards, sunscreen, ear plugs, plastic bags for transporting liquids or wet things (or keeping water out of your gear on water-based tours) and power strips to charge all your
Tip 6: Keep all important documents with you. Always make sure you pack your necessary IDs and cruise documents — and never pack them in your checked luggage. You’ll want your passport or other photo ID and cruise ship boarding pass on hand, so even if your suitcase misses the boat, you can get onboard. Make sure you have the correct type of identification, as wannabe cruisers have been turned away from the pier for having just a copy of their birth certificate (and not the required original) or a passport with a name that doesn’t match the one on the ship’s manifest (often in the case of a honeymoon cruise). Also, remember to acquire any necessary visas and immunizations necessary for your cruising region and carry them with you, too.
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Next stop – Skiing…………….