Cruise Vacation Checklist – Warning: Written Pre-Covid19

Cruise Vacation Checklist update

I, as your travel agent, can help you with ALL of these things listed. Its up to you how involved you want me to be.  I am always here for you, just please communicate what you’d like help with! (Reminder: This was written Pre-Covid, some things have changed)

  • Book Your Cruise & Purchase Travel Insurance – Contact your favorite travel agent and get your cruise booked
    • Pay your Deposit
    • Be sure to make your final payment by the due date
    • Ensure that everything on the reservation is correct
    • Travel Insurance is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to protect your investment of the vacation & to offer peace of mind knowing that you’re covered if an emergency occurs prior to the trip, or during the trip.
      • Be sure to understand all options and all coverage
      • This needs to be booked ASAP to cover all expenses.
  • Locate Your Passports / Birth Certificates/ Citizenship Identification  – Keep Safe
    • Ensure that each member of your family has the proper documentation to board the ship/country
    • Some countries also require that you get a VISA as well
  • Apply for a Passport 
    • This process could take AT LEAST 6-8 weeks, sometimes longer. Do NOT wait.
  • Book Your Flights
    • It is recommended to fly into your cruise departure port the day before you set sail. This is to give yourself extra time in-case of any delays or cancellations.
    • If you do have to fly in, on the day of the cruise, choose the very first flight in that morning.
    • After the cruise, it is recommended to book your flight back home after 12 pm (noon).  This is to allow for delays & to factor in time to get from the ship to the airport. The ship has to arrive, clear customs, clear passengers, and all of the passengers all have to go through customs as well.
  • Book Your Pre-Cruise Hotel  & Post-Cruise Hotel
    • It is best to find a hotel near the cruise terminal or airport. Its ideal to have a shuttle available for  AIRPORT to HOTEL or HOTEL to SHIP so that you can save a little bit of money.
    • If you are driving to the port, try to find a hotel that has a Park & Stay rate that will allow you to leave your car parked at the hotel vs parking it at the port for the duration of you cruise.
  • Book/Arrange Your Transportation From the Airport to the Hotel, Hotel to Ship, or Airport to Ship  (Getting to the Ship)
  • Book/Arrange Your Transportation from the Ship to the Airport, or Ship to a Post-Cruise hotel
  • Book Excursions / Plan Your Time at each Port of Call
    • You have a few different options here.
      • Book excursions through the Ship
      • Book excursions through Third Party tour operators (research/read reviews)
      • Research what there is to do in the area & explore on your own
      • Plan to take a taxi to a local beach or place of interest
  • Book Drink / Dining Packages and Reservations
    • Alcoholic Beverage Packages, Soda Packages, Water Packages
    • Book Specialty Dining Packages or single Reservations
    • Some ships allow you to make reservations for the Main Dining Room if you have My Time Dining or Freestyle Dining.
  • Purchase Desired Extras or Decorations
    • Cruise lines offer Decorations and gifts that you can purchase to be delivered – take a look through your cruise line’s booking manager to see what is offered.
    • You can pre-purchase photo packages
    • You can pre-purchase SPA services
  • Book Shows / Entertainment
    • Some ships allow you to pre-book times for Shows / Entertainment activities
  • Complete your Online Check-In
    • You’ll have to complete your online check-in, which is available around 90 days prior to your trip.
    • This is a pretty quick process. You’ll enter your citizenship document information, provide an emergency contact, and setup your Onboard Account.
  • Purchase any additional items that you want to bring on the cruise
    • Visit the travel aisle at your favorite store to purchase toiletries and small travel items
    • Research cruise packing lists and purchase items like Towel Clips, Magnet Clips, Magnet Hooks, Collapsible laundry hamper, packing cubes, etc
  • Get Cash from your bank (lots of smaller bills)
    • You’ll want to have small bills to give extra tips to many people that you encounter during your cruise – for example: the porter who handles your luggage at the port, taxi drivers & taxi fare, excursions tips, cabin steward, crew members, etc.
    • Its also recommended to use cash in port versus a credit card – smaller bills are easier to deal with
  • Notify your Credit Card Companies to let them know that you are travelling
  • Print all of your documents, luggage tags, tickets, receipts, etc.  (Your Travel Agent can print and mail these, just ask)
    • Keep these safe near your passports
  • Pack for your cruise – DO NOT FORGET ALL of your DOCUMENTS & PASSPORTS
    • Search Cruise Packing Lists (I’ll have one to link here soon). They offer many things that you might not think about.
  • Check-In for your flight (24 Hours Prior to Departure)
    • ESPECIALLY for SOUTHWEST as it determines your boarding position. I always set an alarm for 10 minutes before the time to make sure that I am ready.  You’ll need your confirmation numbers.
  • Double Check to make sure that you have all passports/wallets/documents before walking out of the door  (and check when you are in the car as well before you leave the driveway)

Thanks for reading, I hope this helps πŸ™‚


πŸ“² 424-298-7988

Request a quote here –

Published by Your Perfect Getaway by Brittany Watson

Hi, I am a certified travel agent. I have been married to my husband, Christopher, for almost 15 years (March 2007). We love to travel. My favorite thing to do is go where I have never been. We also love to share our experiences to inspire others to go out and see your city, state, country, and world! There's so much to explore!

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