Caravan Sonnet: 7 Things to Take With You When You Are In Port

5/2/17

7 Things to Take With You When You Are In Port

One of my favorite things about cruising is the opportunity to explore so many different places of the world. I love traveling to new places and I love getting off the ship to explore all of the different ports that the ship stops at. 

When I first started cruising though I had no idea what I should take with me each time that I got off the ship, so today I wanted to share with y'all seven things to always take with you when you off the cruise ship when you are in port. 

A quick side note. I have used a ton of different bags when disembarking off the ship for going into port over my time of cruising. I love to find something that matches where I am at so when I have been in the Caribbean I have used a large straw bag (like this one (it comes in several different colors) or THIS fun beach one (which is less than $50!). If you are looking for a smaller straw bag THIS Rebecca Minkoff Beach Hair Pompom Straw Clutch is adorable! 

Other times I have used a favorite large purse or tote (like this Madewell 'The Transport' Leather Tote or the Junior Women's Street Level Slouchy Faux Leather Tote With Pouch). The great thing about choosing a larger bag is that you could easily use this for embarkation day too! Choose whatever works for you as you will want to carry everything in your bag for the entire time you are off the ship.
1. Cruise Ship Card
Your cruise ship card (or band/medallion/etc.) is something that you will want to carry and keep with you when you are on the ship and when you are getting off. As you leave the ship to disembark at port you will scan your card which will allow the ship to keep record of who has gotten off. When you come back to the ship you will re-scan your card and it will show that you have arrived back on board. 

In addition to this, if you are cruising to a ship lines personal island (like Coco Cay(owned by Royal Caribbean) or Castaway Cay(owned by Disney Cruise Line)) your ship card will work just like it does on board the ship if you wish to purchase anything on the island. 
2. Passport
You will definitely want to take your passport with you when you are embarking off the ship if you are in a port that is international. If you are not at a port that is international and you choose to not take your passport with you, make sure to lock it up securely in your safe in your room. I personally carry my passport with me at all times, but I know some people prefer to leave theirs in their room if they are not at an international port. 

Extra tip: Do you like to have your passport stamped as part of your souvenir but are not sure where to get the stamp in port? When you disembark make sure to ask someone who can easily direct you to where you can get your passport stamped. Every port will have a local town office where you can get this done and it is usually within in a short walking distance from the ship. If you are disembarking in Nassau the government building is literally down the walkway from where the ships let you off. If you are stopping in St. John (Canada) you will need to walk up the hill but the gorgeous views of the city and the port from the top are well worth the climb!
3. Camera
This one might seem like a silly reminder, but I can't tell you the number of times that I have been getting off the ship and seeing people trying to get back on because they had forgotten their camera. Don't forget to bring this as you definitely want to capture all of the memories that you will make! 

Going to be visiting beautiful islands and want to use an underwater camera but don't want to spend a ton of money? Consider purchasing the Nikon COOLPIX S33 Waterproof Digital Camera to use! I purchased this for our Royal Caribbean Cruise in November and it was wonderful! You can see some pictures that I took with it in my post about our Reef Snorkeling and Sandbar Getaway Shore Excursion HERE!
4. Money/Credit Card
Even though cruise ships operate on a cashless system your stops in port won't. Make sure that you bring the appropriate money or credit card to use when you are getting off the ship. (Also, just like I suggested in my post, 10 Things to Do Before You Leave on Your Caribbean Cruise, make sure you call your bank and credit card companies and let them know where you will be traveling.)
5. Sunscreen
Don't forget to pack extra sunscreen in your bag as you leave the ship! If you are stopping in a warm-weather port you will definitely want to have this with you!
6. Water
One of the things that can be easy to do is to forget to stay hydrated in the midst of all of the fun. Make sure to throw in a bottle of water as you are leaving so that you can easily stay hydrated throughout the day. Not sure why you should be drinking water? Check out this post on the 15 benefits of drinking water!
7. Medications/Supplements
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. I find that it easiest to divide out my supplements by days and then when I am getting off the ship I just take that days specific supplements with me. For medicine I take all of the meds I may need in a small bottle for the day (separated out as some meds can interact with each other). 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. 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. If you want to read more about this or tips with cruising with an illness you can check out my post HERE.

What about y'all? What are things that you always take with you when you are in port? I would love some extra tips! 

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