Back in July I shared that I have the exciting opportunity to write about a Royal Caribbean cruise to the Bahamas! I am so excited and this time I am taking my parents with me! Neither of them have been cruising before and so it is going to be so exciting and fun to share this experience with them! Our cruise is this weekend and we are busily running around, finishing last minute errands, and packing up for our trip!
This past summer I shared the top 13 must pack items for a Caribbean Cruise and we are definitely consulting that as we pack for this trip! Today I wanted to share 10 things to do before you leave on your Caribbean Cruise that I hope y'all will find helpful! (If you want to follow along on the adventure I will be updating my Instagram feed regularly and would love to connect more with y'all over there!)
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.
2. Pack Medicines, Over-The-Counter Meds, Vitamins, Supplements, Etc.
I shared this last year 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. As much as it is possible try to let your doctors know in advance 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. If you want to read more about this or tips with cruising with an illness you can check out my post HERE.
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" HERE.
Also, don't forget to purchase an underwater camera that you can use for any water activities. After the disappointment of the disposable underwater cameras we purchased for the last cruise not working properly, I purchased one for this trip specifically and am excited to see how it works and will definitely let y'all know!
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.
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 to be listed on their forms.
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
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.
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, instagram, facebook, 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!! I have been on two cruises to the Caribbean now and I can't wait for this cruise with my parents! I know that it is going to be extremely relaxing, restful, and rejuvenating. I can't wait to share with y'all!
What are your last minute things to do before a cruise to the Caribbean? I would love to hear your tips and add them to this list!