The term "cruise preparation" probably brings to mind finding your swimsuit and buying film and memory cards for your cameras. But there are a few key things you can do before your cruise that can really boost your enjoyment. First, make sure you have a valid passport. Next, book your spa and shore excursions on-line. Lastly, assess your credit and cash situation to make sure you are not caught off guard during your dream cruise. These may seem like small things, but they can add up to a cruise disaster if you do not take care of them.
If your cruise takes you outside the borders of the US, you should renew or get a passport as soon as possible. The new rules require a valid passport to come back into the country from Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean. If you've traveled a lot, you want to make sure you have blank pages in your passport and check the expiration date. A perfect cruise can be ruined if you find your passport expired during your trip. Those who do not yet have a passport should pay the extra money for faster processing in order to get it as soon as possible before your trip. Make a bunch of copies of your passport before the trip. They will come in handy if yours is lost or stolen. It's a great idea to put one in your suitcase and give one to someone back home.
A month or so before your cruise you'll receive your cruise documents. These contain vital details about the amenities on your ship, shore excursions and all the activities available. You can probably make your reservations through the cruise line's web site. Those who wait until they get on board to do this will find long lines and inconvenient appointment times. If you book ahead you can start enjoying your cruise knowing that your spa appointment was not booked during dinner.
A cruise is a great way to honor a honeymoon, birthday, anniversary or other special event. Check with your cruise line to see what kinds of special packages and indulgences they can arrange. But make sure you do this well in advance to give their staff time to make all the necessary arrangements. If you wait until you get on board to arrange a special cake, you'll probably be disappointed.
One of the most important things you can do before your special cruise is assess the amount of credit you have access to. If you need to pay down your balance, open another card, or just move your finances around you'll want plenty of time to make these kinds of preparations. Like most hotels and resorts, upon check in your cruise line will place a hold on your card to cover incidentals during your stay. You can expect a hold ranged anywhere from $ 50- $ 200 per day. A quick call will confirm your cruise line's policy. If your trip itinerary includes a stay at a hotel or rental car there will be multiple holds on your cards during your vacation. It may take a while before all these holds get worked out to reflect your actual charges. This could mean that your card gets declined in the interim, which you want to avoid during your trip.
You'll want to make sure you take some cash on your cruise as well. Your credit card will get a good workout, but there are still times you'll need cash. Traveler's checks are not taken as much as they used to because of the high rate of fraud. And do not expect your cruise line to cash a personal check. Most ships have ATMs but you'll pay a good sized fee and they have been known to run empty. You'll be very glad you have some hard cash to make purchases from street vendors and smaller merchants at your ports of call. Also, a cash tip is a great way to show your appreciation for all the great service you get from your cruise ship staff. Packing some cash is an easy way to avoid inconvenience on your dream vacation.
Even a chaotic person can get organized for a cruise vacation. Just a little bit of planning can ensure that you arrive at your ship ready to delight in all aspects of your cruise vacation Make sure your passport is current, reserve your shore excursions and spa appointments ahead of time, and size up your credit and cash needs . These are little steps that will help make sure you are able to relax and truly enjoy your cruise. Make sure you do not forget your film and swimsuit!