What to Do Before a Cruise: Top 20 Checklist

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What to Do Before a Cruise Vacation: What to Do Before a Cruise Tips

What to Do Before a Cruise

You booked your cruise, have a cute new vacation outfit, and packed a flattering swimsuit (or two!) to wear around the pool and at the beach. 🏖️You are all set and ready to go, right?

Not quite!

There are a few things to do before a cruise.

This guide on what to do before a cruise covers the essential things to do before a cruise.

What to Do Before a Cruise: 20 Things to Do Before a Cruise

Let’s get straight to it. Here are things you need to do before a cruise.

You may also want to check out this cruise tips YouTube video as well!

P.S. Why trust me? Because I cruise a LOT!  Seriously. My mom and I cruise on Holland America 2-3 times a year, if not more. 😉

1. Create a Packing List

You don't want to get on a cruise and think, "oh darn! I forgot Tylenol at home!" Start creating a packing list of what to bring on your cruise ahead of time. It's easy to forget essentials like vitamins, medications, and essentials, like sunscreen.

2. Get Cash

Most DIY excursions and taxis are cash-only. To be safe, plan for $100 per person per day.

A private taxi tour around an island can be about $60. Many local businesses also sell their souvenirs (hats, t-shirts, mugs) at a discount if you pay in cash.

3. Book a Pet Sitter if Needed

The best pet sitters book up in advance!

If you have a furry friend at home, make sure to book your pet sitter early.

4. Hold Your Mail with the Post Office

You can ask the post office to hold your mail. This will prevent packages from piling up outside your house.

5. Put on an OOO Email Response

You likely have an OOO message on for work, but what about your personal email?

You will likely get WIFI at each port, but you will be MIA in the middle of the ocean on a cruise ship.

6. Buy a Portable Cell Phone Charger

You can quickly run out of cell phone battery at each port, especially if you are using Uber to get around an island.

Buy a portable cell phone charger for emergencies.

7. Download WhatsApp onto Your Cell Phone

Does your cell phone plan charge for phone calls in other countries?

Texting may be free, but phone calls may be $0.50 per minute.

Download WhatsApp onto your phone. It allows you to make free phone calls via WIFI.

8. Get 2 Weeks of Prescriptions…to Be Safe

You never know what will happen on a cruise. To be safe, pack two weeks of any prescription medications.

9. Paint Your Toenails

Okay, I’m being half-serious…but go ahead and treat yourself to a pedicure before your next cruise. 😁

You’ll likely be wearing sandals on the cruise ship, so why not have fun and pretty toenails?

RELATED: The Best Cruise Nail Polish Colors

This applies to men too. 😉 Or at least, get your calluses removed and your toenails clipped.

10. Check-in Online Ahead of Time

Many cruises prevent you from checking in within 24 hours of departure.

To be safe, check in to your cruise 1 week ahead of time.

11. Print Your Boarding Pass and Luggage Tags

Once you check in to your cruise online, make sure you are near a printer to print your boarding pass and luggage tags.

12. Research the Best Excursions/Things to Do in Each port

Some excursions are overpriced on a cruise ship, while others are cheaper than doing it on your own.

It can be difficult to figure out which excursion to take once on the cruise ship (WIFI is limited for doing any online research), so it’s best to sign up for excursions before you get on the ship.

Plus, some excursions sell out ahead of time.

13. Check Your Closet

Many cruise ships have a Gala night.

Although people don’t get dressed up as much as they used to, you’ll still want to have a nice cocktail dress or a formal dress.

If you don’t own a formal dress that you like (or that fits!), check out these best-selling formal dresses on Amazon for under $50.

RELATED: Best Formal Dresses that Hide Belly and Tummy

14. Get an RFID Credit Card Holder

Keep your credit cards safe when you travel. If you don’t have an RFID credit card holder, you can buy a cheap one on Amazon for under $10.

15. Call Your Credit Card Company

You don’t want your credit card company to de-activate your credit card!

Give them a quick call to let them know you’ll be traveling.

16. Buy a Beach Bag with a Zipper

Many cruise ships will give you a complimentary plastic beach bag in your stateroom.

However, these beach bags are cheaply made and scream “tourist!”

Instead, pack a nice beach bag with a zipper. A beach bag with a zipper will keep your items secure. Plus, you won’t have to worry about things accidentally falling out of your bag.

RELATED: Cutest Canvas Beach Bags for Vacation

17. Make Sure Your Passport Isn’t Expired

Don’t wait until the last minute to pack your passport. It’s essential for most cruises, and it must not be expired!

Save yourself any last-minute stress and double (and triple check!) that you 1) know where your passport is and 2) confirm that your passport is not expired.

18. Download the Cruise App

Many cruises are moving their daily cruise activities to online apps vs. paper guides. (Not my preference, but what can one do?)

If your cruise ship has an online app for viewing daily activities, go ahead and download it ahead of time.

19. Double Check Your Dining Time

When you sign up for your cruise, you probably requested your dining time to be early or late.

Sometimes, however, you get assigned to “dine whenever.”

If you want to eat at a designated time, call the cruise ship to confirm your dining time before you get on the cruise.

If it’s too late, make sure to check in with the dining stewards right away when you get on the cruise ship.

That is one of my tips and tricks for cruise travelers to get the best table possible. 😊

20. Get Uber and Lyft on Your Phone

My mom and I always take Uber or Lyft to get to/from the airport (or hotel!) to the cruise ship terminal.

Taking an Uber/Lyft is MUCH cheaper than a shuttle, and more convenient.

Download both Uber and Lyft onto your cell phone in case one is unavailable or has a long wait.

Summary: What to Do Before a Cruise

In summary, there are a few easy and quick things you’ll want to do a week before you leave for a cruise.

If you are traveling with others, make sure to share this article with your family and friends to help them plan too! 😊

Caribbean Cruise Guides to Check Out

Are you heading off on a Caribbean cruise?

Check out these detailed guides for popular Caribbean ports of call. You’ll find out what to do on each of these islands. 😊

St. Lucia Cruise Port Guide

St. Thomas Cruise Port Guide

Bridgetown, Barbados Cruise Port Guide

St. Maarten Cruise Port Guide

St. Kitts Cruise Port Guide

St. George’s Grenada Cruise Port Guide

Cruise Outfit Guides to Explore

Are you in need of a new outfit for your cruise?

You’ll want to have a cute swimsuit, a nice beach and swimsuit cover up, and comfortable cruise-friendly dresses.

These guides will help you find a new cute and affordable outfit for your next cruise.

Super Cute Plus Size Beach Vacation Outfits

These plus size beach vacation outfits are PERFECT for wearing on a cruise.

Beach Vacation Outfits for Women

Find 35 cute beach vacation and resort-wear outfits. These affordable beach vacation outfits are perfect for wearing on a cruise. 😊

Matching Beach Outfits

Find matching swimsuit and swimsuit cover up outfits that are perfect for a day at the beach!

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Christina Marie from Chic Lifestyle (offering beauty product reviews, very easy makeup tips, and affordable outfit ideas for women)

What to Do Before a Cruise: Checklist of Things to Do Before a Cruise
What to Do Before a Cruise: Checklist of Things to Do Before a Cruise

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