A world cruise is a fabulous vacation and a significant investment, so we want to ensure you have nothing but smooth sailing with these preparation tips.
Here’s a checklist that will help you prepare, from the day you book until the day you sail. Keep it in a visible place, check items off as you go, and rest assured that you’ve prepared well for the cruise of a lifetime!
Note: Cruise Specialists will be happy to help you with the asterisked * items below.
When you book your cruise
- Purchase travel insurance: a relatively small but wise investment that will cover if you need to cancel your cruise reservation or cut your cruise short*
- Make sure your passport will be valid for six months beyond the end your cruise; if not, apply for a new one
- Check on visa requirements* for the countries you’ll visit and apply for any that you’ll need
- Check on immunization requirements* and make an appointment to receive any that you’ll need
- Read up on ports of call along your itinerary and consider what you’d like to see and do on shore
Four months before you sail
- Choose and reserve shore excursions* (world cruise shore excursions can often be booked up to a year in advance)
- If flights from your home to the ship and back are not part of your cruise package, book them now*
- If you’d like to extend your stay in your port of embarkation or debarkation, book your accommodations*
Three months before you sail
- If you’re sailing with a group, order group t-shirts, hats, tote bags and other fun items
- Pay the balance of your cruise fare (the timing of this payment varies by cruise line, so be sure to comply with your booking agreement)
Two months before you sail
- If you want to rent a car in any port, make your reservations*
- Shop for clothing, shoes, luggage or accessories you need for the cruise (remember to consider the ship’s dress code and the cultures, weather and terrain of the places you’ll visit)
One month before you sail
- If airport transfers are not part of your cruise package, book them now*
- Complete and submit any forms required by your cruise line*
- Order pre-printed luggage tags from the cruise line*
- Sign up for beverage and dining packages*
- Sign up for onboard spa treatments and specialty dining*
- Make arrangements for your home:
- Hold mail and other deliveries for the time you’ll be sailing
- Arrange care for pets
- Arrange for lawn/garden care or snow removal
- Give a key to a trusted neighbor or friend who can come in weekly to water plants and check that everything is OK; give them the information needed to contact the ship in case of emergency
- Arrange to pre-pay bills or have them paid automatically while you’re gone
- Write out a packing list that includes:
- Clothing (include items needed to dress appropriately for the ship’s dress code, in different cultures, and in the different types of weather you may sail through; don’t forget shoes, jackets and hats)
- Toiletries (remember that your stateroom may be equipped with everything you need; if you do want to bring your own, bring enough to last three months)
- Medication (be sure you have enough to last the length of the cruise)
- Personal electronics
One week before you sail
- Make a copy of your passport, your itinerary, flight information, and contact information for the ship and leave it with a family member or close friend.
- Call or email your credit card providers to let them know you’ll be traveling.
- Get a pre-cruise haircut or manicure/pedicure (unless you’ll be having that done in the ship’s spa and salon)
- Pack everything on your list; one of your bags should be a small carry-on that you will keep with you, and it should hold:
- Passport, identification, cruise documents
- Credit cards and cash
- Medications and any other necessary medical supplies
- One change of clothes (in case it takes a while for your checked bags to find you)
- Camera, mobile, e-book reader, other electronics and their chargers
- Upload photos from your camera to your computer so you’ll start your trip with a clean memory card (you may want to pack an extra memory card, too)
- Attach cruise line luggage tags to your bags
The day before you sail
- Charge up your electronics (mobile phone, e-book reader, tablet computer, camera, etc.), then put the electronics and chargers in your carry-on bag
- Double-check that you’ve packed everything on your list
- Check in for your flight
- Set your bedside wake-up alarm
- Get a good night’s sleep and dream of the wonderful places you’ll visit!
Whether it’s the day you begin thinking about a world cruise, the day you leave or the day you return our consultants are here to make it your best trip.
Contact Cruise Specialists today to learn about the benefits of our hosted world cruises and more!