There are always some preparation tips to make any journey go smoother, so today I share a few ideas for preparing ahead for cruise embarkation…
Prepping for Cruise Embarkation
Before you head to the port for embarkation, there are some things you can do ahead of time at home to make that process go smoothly.
1.Ensure you or your travel professional has completed the online check-in ahead of time – otherwise you’ll slow down your embarkation filling out forms.
2.Plan to fly in at least a day early. It’s always good practice to fly in the day before embarkation – flights get delayed, problems happen. If the ship isn’t leaving port until the day after embarkation then you can fly in on embarkation day, but otherwise you’ll have a better experience being early and relaxed for your cruise.
3.Pull out your passport and check the expiration date. A large number of countries require your passport be valid for six months after you return. Ensure you’ll meet that requirement or get your new passport before time for your cruise.
4.Sign up for spa and excursions before you leave. You’ll get to pick the excursions that most appeal to you and select the optimum spa slots that fit your activities schedule; you’ll avoid spending embarkation day standing in lines to make spa appointments or reserve some excursions.
5.If you are on a cruise line that doesn’t include drinks in the cruise fare, decide on drink package and pre-purchase. It can be more cost effective to buy the package before the sailing and saves time on the day of embarkation.
6.Pack a small carry-on (tote bag or backpack size) to take onboard so you can get right to your vacation instead of waiting for your luggage to arrive in your stateroom. See that picture to the right – that’s all the luggage they have to get onboard and get delivered on the day of embarkation. Make sure you pack the carry-on bag with your medications, bathing suit and anything else you may want to change into. Assume you won’t get your luggage until a few hours after you get access to your stateroom.
7.While it’s easy to get foreign currency from an ATM while traveling, your schedule of excursions may make it hard to find an ATM between activities, or the ATM near the port may not be affiliated with a bank, and you don’t want to use one at a convenience store. If you are visiting a number of countries with different currencies, like Denmark (Danish krone), Poland (Polish zloty), Netherlands (Euro) and Great Britain (British pound) in one cruise, order your currency before you leave home, so you don’t have to worry about it when you arrive in port.
8.Prepare your cruise line luggage tags ahead of time if they aren’t pre-printed with your name.
9.Read your cruise line’s rules about bringing alcohol or water onboard, so that if you plan to bring a few bottles of wine after a day in the vineyards, or souvenirs of your vodka tasting experience, you don’t want to have problems as you go through security.
Taking the time to do these things ahead of time will make embarkation so much easier. Next week we’ll talk about the things to do on embarkation day.