Whether this is your first cruise, or you’re a seasoned professional, here are our top 5 things to have in hand before you set sail to ensure that you have a happy and stress-free trip.
You’ve researched all the shore excursions, you’ve made your spa appointments, and now the day is FINALLY here! Today is the day you board your beautiful floating home, and you are more than ready. Or are you? There’s always that last-second bit of panic over what you should have packed in your suitcase or what you should have brought with you. To help ease your mind, I give you my top 5 suggestions of what to keep with you in the terminal.
1) Cruise Line paperwork – Whether you have filled out your forms ahead of time online, or are completing the documents mailed to you by your Cruise Line, you must bring signed copies of the Cruise Contract, Embark/Departure Form & Payment Authorization Form. Make sure the Cruise Contract is signed by all members of your party and then present all your forms at the check in desk.
2) Citizenship Documentation – US citizens must present a passport, passport card, or an original birth certificate with a government-issued photo ID. Children under 16 may use just an original birth certificate. However, if the cruise begins and ends in different ports, passports are required. Non-US cruisers should consult their local Consulate or Embassy for document requirements.
3) Family – As tempting as it is to have one person stand in line while the rest of the party checks out the terminal, my advice is to stay close. Or at least keep a watchful eye on the person making their way through the check-in line. When it’s your turn, everyone in your party will need to be at the desk to be photographed. The pictures that the ship photographers take of you on board the ship will be linked back to your family through facial recognition technology. So when the cast member checking you in takes your picture, remember, smile and don’t blink.
4) Day Bag – Since your suitcases will not be delivered to your stateroom for a few hours, there are a few things you may want to carry on the ship with you. I highly recommend bringing your swimsuit (if it’s not already under your clothes) and sunscreen. The water slides will not be too crowded and neither will the pools, take advantage. No need to worry about towels, they are supplied for you. Keep your camera in this bag. Also, if you have any kind of medication, best to keep it with you at all times.
5) Your smile – This should be a no-brainer, right? However, a crowded terminal can turn even the happiest camper into one ready to turn around and go home before the trip has even started. While cruise lines such as Carnival and Disney among others have done a great job at staggering embarkation times and has cast members to keep the line moving, there will still be cruisers that don’t have everything in order and slow down the process. Now sit back, relax and imagine the wonderful trip you are about to take and let that smile sail across your face. What are your top 5 things to have in hand for smooth sailing?
What are your Top 5 Things To Have In Hand Before You Set Sail?