QUICK TIPS TO KNOW
BEFORE YOU GO
Small Details that Make a BIG Difference
STUDY YOUR DECK PLANS
Become an expert before you even step onboard. Watch my YouTube ship tour videos and read the deck plans to know where all the important areas are located (e.g. your stateroom, dining room, theater, etc.).
CELL PHONE SERVICE ONBOARD
If you plan to use your cell phone on a cruise ship, it’s important to know that once you sail away from the embarkation port, your cell phone will go into roaming mode, which translates into higher rates and extra fees. While it’s impossible to avoid these charges altogether, there are ways to lessen the costs.
Major wireless providers have a cruise ship plan with lower rates than regular roaming rates. Contact your provider to sign up for the plan before you depart. Wireless carriers offer data, messaging, and calling plans for cruise ships that are similar to on-land packages, so you can pick the one that best suits your needs.
Remember that if you buy the cruise ship plan from your wireless provider, those rates only apply when you’re in international waters. Once you’re within 12 miles of a port, the roaming rates for that country apply.
ARRANGE FOR PET CARE
Remember to make arrangements for your 4-legged-friends. This may include boarding kennels, professional pet sitters or having them cared for by family or friends.
BRING A FIRST AID KIT
Pack a First Aid Kit, it's always a good idea to prepare for the unexpected. By taking care of your own minor medical needs when possible (cuts, scrapes, blisters, etc.), you can avoid a trip to the ships clinic.
Get a letter from your doctor for medications you are bringing. Some countries have strict laws, even against over-the-counter medications, so check with the embassy of your destination before traveling.
Before traveling abroad, notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel and check exchange rates. For information about using cash, debit/credit cards, and ATM's overseas, read information about your destination.
Be sure to complete the online check-in process before arriving to the cruise terminal. Taking care of this task ahead of time helps you breeze right through the cruise terminal and onto your ship (otherwise you're stuck filling out LOTS of paperwork).
BRING A CARRY-ON ONBOARD
Often, your luggage won't arrive at your stateroom until later in the evening. Be sure to carry-on items you'd like to use on the first day after boarding the ship (e.g. medications, swimsuit, camera, sunscreen, etc.).
TRAVEL DOCUMENTS AND IDENTIFICATION
Having the correct travel documents is the most important part of getting ready for a trip. If you need a new passport, be sure to apply several months in advance. If you already have one, it should be valid for at least six months after you return home and have two or more blank pages, depending on your destination. Otherwise, some countries may not let you enter.
Before you leave, scan a copy of your passport, e-mail it to yourself and take a photo of it to save on your cell phone. That way, if you need your passport while out (but it's locked up in your stateroom safe), you'll have access to all your details. Plus, if it's stolen, getting a replacement will be that much easier.
PROTECTING YOUR HOME
Home burglary prevention can be as simple as doing a little maintenance. You don’t have to throw steel bars up on all your windows and doors, follow through on the following advice for peace of mind knowing that you will return home to just as you left it.
All your doors and windows should be locked before you leave, including any doors from the garage into the house.
Close the blinds or drapes on windows where people could look inside your home.
Put some indoor lights on timers so the lights turn on and off in the evening to simulate household activity.
Stop the mail, newspaper, and UPS deliveries. Alternatively, have a trusted neighbor or relative watch the house and pick up the items. Be sure to ask them to pick-up any throwaway papers tossed on the driveway too.
Put small valuables, such as jewelry, electronics, money and important papers, in a locked safe that’ is difficult to move. Or use a safety deposit box.
Don’t share your vacation plans before or during your trip on public share sites. Share your vacation pics upon return on social media. If you must share the memories with family and friends immediately, do it via email