10 things to do before you leave on your caribbean cruise

July 18, 2023

Hello friends! Today I am so excited to share with y'all 10 things that you should definitely do before you leave on a Caribbean Cruise!

One of the questions that I receive on a weekly basis is for packing tips and suggestions along with vacation tips! These are great questions and realistic needs as you plan to leave on a trip and before I went on my first Caribbean Cruise back in 2014 I spent a ton of time researching these answers. Since that time nine years ago I have been so blessed to go on 5 additional cruises (nearly one a year) and even a river cruise on the Rhine River (which was incredible!) and am looking forward to some additional cruising adventures in the coming two years! (As a side note if you ever want to see where I am heading next for travel you can find the information HERE!) 

I share that to say that along the way there has been lots of different learning curves and so I hope that this list of 10 things to do before you leave on your Caribbean Cruise will help you have a stress-free and fun-filled and memorable vacation!
1. Make a List, Check it Twice
I know that not everyone is a "list-maker" like I am (color-coded and everything for y'all that know me well! *smiles*) but lists for a Caribbean cruise are extremely helpful. If you are like me and over-the-moon excited for your trip, it can be easy to forget something important so I definitely recommend making a list and then checking it several times. Also- consider making a second list of items that you can't pack until the morning that you leave.

I love using fun notepads and paper to make my lists on and THIS ONE from Rifle Paper Co is one of my favorites! You can find it HERE!

Some additional posts to help you with your list making in this step:
// 10 Things People Forget to Bring on Their First Cruise // 
// Top 13 Must Pack Items for a Caribbean Cruise //
// 16 Unexpected Things to Bring on Every Cruise //
2. Pack Medicines, Over-The-Counter Meds, Vitamins, Supplements, Etc.
I share this and many other helpful tips in my post, 10 Tips for Cruising With a Chronic Illness, but make sure that you pick up any medicines and over-the-counter meds you need a few days before your trip. 

If you are living with a serious or chronic illness this can take a lot of time to plan and prepare your medications and supplements. Honestly, it can take a bit of maneuvering (and even a lot of patience) to make sure that you have all of our meds before a trip. Try to give your doctors as much advance warning as you can that you will be going on a cruise and that you will need meds (and extra meds depending on your situation) for the duration of your cruise. 

I have said this before, but I can't encourage you enough to try to work on this as much of you can ahead of time as some medications can only be purchased with insurance at certain intervals so you will want to work this out with your doctor and insurance company. Also, check with the cruise line as many cruise lines require that your medications are in the original containers not just in random pill containers. 

For ease with travel when I was sick I used a carrying case like THIS for all of my pill bottles to keep them in one handy place! It was so simple and easy (and even held some of my oils and supplements too!) 

Some additional posts to help you with this step: 
// 10 Tips for Cruising With a Chronic Illness //
3. Purchase Any Specific Caribbean Cruise Items You Need In Advance
Definitely make sure that you have clothes, shoes, and specific items that you need for the Caribbean purchased a couple of weeks before the cruise. Depending on the time of year that you are traveling and where you live, you will also want to make sure that you have plenty of "summer weather" items including suntan lotion, water shoes, sandals, etc. 

Looking for a list of "must pack items" for your Caribbean Cruise? Check out my post "13 Must Pack Items for Your Caribbean Cruise" which you can read by clicking HERE.

Don't forget to purchase an underwater camera that you can use for any water activities. Don't want to spend a ton of money on an underwater camera? Consider purchasing THIS underwater camera to use! I purchased one for our Royal Caribbean Cruise and it was wonderful! You can see some pictures that I took with a post about n underwater camera from our Reef Snorkeling and Sandbar Getaway Shore Excursion by clicking HERE!
4. Call Your Bank/Credit Card Companies to let them Know You are Traveling
Make sure to call your bank and credit card companies to let them know that you will be traveling out of the country to the Caribbean. Some people think that because it is just the Caribbean that you don't need to do this but it is definitely so much easier to make a phone call from home than to figure out when you are out at sea why your card was blocked during your cruise! 
5. Print off and Make Copies of All Your Documents and Passports
Make sure that you have paper copies of all of your documents and even a copy of your passport for your Caribbean Cruise. While I love the ease and convenience of having everything on my phone, I also understand it is wise to have a "hard copy" of everything that I need, including a copy of my passport in case something gets lost. Looking for a cute passport holder and something to hold your tickets/credit cards/etc in one? Checkout THIS ONE which is less than $14 (with an extra coupon right now!),  comes in a variety of colors and has nearly 20,000 positive reviews!! 

Wondering what documents you should bring? Check out the post below for some helpful tips: 
6. Give an Emergency Contact All of Your Information
Make sure to let someone know the important information of the dates you are traveling, your flight numbers, hotel names, contact information, and the ship and room number that you will have. This is important in case anyone needs to get a hold of you while you are traveling or if you have an emergency on board. Just a heads up also that most cruise lines require an emergency contact (of someone not traveling with you) to be listed on their forms when you are checking in.
7. Arrange to Have Your Mail Held or A Neighbor to Pick it Up
Depending on how long your cruise is you will want to make sure that you have your mail held at the post office or that you make arrangements to have your neighbor pick it up. Just a heads up: stopping and holding mail at the post office can take a few days to "kick in" so you will want to give yourself at least 7 days to do this!
8. Organize Your Wallet/Purse
Take a few minutes to re-organize your wallet for your trip and remove anything that you won't need including department store cards, gas credit cards, etc. Put all of these together in an envelope and keep them in a safe and secure place for you to have once you return from your cruise. 

Looking for a purse organizer? Get this ONE. Y'all... I swore against these for the longest time and now I can't stop talking about (and gifting it) to everyone I know. They are FANTASTIC. There are tons of different color options and keep everything so organized. I also love that I can easily transfer it from bag to bag with everything in it! I started off just using them for trips and now I use it everyday! I LOVE this one and it is less than $30 and has nearly 30,000 positive reviews! All different colors and sizes are available for whatever size purse or bag you are carrying! Click HERE!
9. Deal with Your Phone 
You will want to make sure you understand the fees and roaming charges on your phone with your provider before you get on the ship. If you are wanting to use your phone, social media, etc. while you are in the Caribbean you will want to make sure to call your cell service provider and ask for a package for the countries that you are visiting. You will pay a ton less and be thankful when you get home. 
10. 10 More Things to Do the Day Before You Leave/the Day You Leave
(1) Take Pets to be Boarded
(2) Water house plants
(3) Mail Last-Minute Bills
(4) Clean Out Refrigerator
(5) Set timers for any lights for your Home
(6) Adjust the thermostat in Your Home
(7) Turn off water in your Home if there is a Danger of Frozen Pipes while you are Gone
(8) Double Check the Locks in Your Home
(9) Double Check to Make Sure you Have all Important Documents, Including Passport
(10) Fill out Luggage Tags and attach according to the cruise specification
Most of all- get ready to have a blast!! The Caribbean is beautiful and relaxing and I hope you have a wonderful cruise! If you are looking for additional cruising tips (to the Caribbean or other areas of the word) you can find the following posts on my blog:

                                        //  7 Things to Take With You While In Port  //                                          
                           // 10 Things People Forget to Bring on Their First Cruise //                         
                            //  Top 13 Must Pack Items for a Caribbean Cruise  //                            

Want to read about some of our cruising adventures and excursions in the Caribbean? Check out the following posts on my blog: 
Disney Dream (2016): // 5 Must Pack Items for Your Disney Cruise to the Bahamas/ /
//  Disney Dream Ship Review //  Disney Dream 6192 Stateroom Review // 
// Spectacular Shows // Port of Nassau //  Castaway Cay Island // Atlantis & Aquaventure //  
// Disney Dream Food & Dining Review //  7 Tips for a Perfect Embarkation Experience //  
// Boarding the Disney Dream // Boarding Outfit // 


Castaway Cay (Disney's Private Island): //  Castaway Cay Island // 

Coco Cay (Royal Caribbean's Island) // Coco Cay Island // Reef Snorkeling & Sandbar Getaway // 

I hope that this list of 10 Things to Do before you leave on your Caribbean Cruise have been helpful! Let me know if you have any questions!!


  1. These are such great tips! Thanks for sharing. Looks like an AMAZING TIME!!!

    1. Thanks so much Tawni!! :) You are so sweet to stop by and take the time to comment!! I hope you have a wonderful day!!
      :) Rebecca

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.