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HOT Tips for Cruisers

The BEST Cruise Travel Tips

~ To prevent mail from overflowing your mailbox while you are away, request an "Authorization To Hold Mail" card. You can get this at your post office or online at the website. Mail that accumulates during your trip can be delivered on a specific date you designate.

~ Bring a "pop-up" mesh clothing hamper that packs flat in your suitcase. This will keep your closet neat while traveling.

~ Forget packing beach towels. They will be provided on and off the boat during your trip.

~ Keep handy some one-dollar bills for tipping airport skycaps and porters at the pier.

~ Make sure you notify the cruise line of any special dietary restrictions when booking your cruise, and follow up on the arrangements some time before embarking.

~ Check your insurance policy before storing your valuables. Some prefer that anything valuable be stored in the ship purser's safe rather than the one in your cabin.

~ With limited/expensive laundry facilities on cruise ships, it is very convenient to bring along a pack of "Bibsters" (disposable bibs for mealtime, available at most grocery stores). They keep your baby's clothes cleaner longer, avoiding messy clothes after meals.

~ Do not weigh yourself down with a heavy hand bag or backpacks that become a target for purse snatchers or pickpockets. Carry only what you need, as to not draw attention to yourself.

~ Items confiscated by customs will not be returned to you. If you don't know if something will pass through security, pack it in your checked luggage.

~ Make sure you bring a hat to protect your scalp, ears and face from the sun.

~ Wrinkles in clothes are usually caused by under-packing (clothes shifting) or over-packing (which squishes clothes). Avoid wrinkles by packing your clothes light and tight.

~ Bring a few empty plastic bags into your suitcase. You will want them later to pack your dirty or damp clothes.

~ If you bring your laptop computer, you may be asked to turn it on at security—both at the airport & at pier during check-in.

~ The tap water on your ship is fine to drink; purchasing bottled water is only if you prefer the taste.

~ Bring your own travel alarm clock (cell phones work great); most staterooms do not have alarm clocks.

~ Keep track of your boarding pass, on board charge/key card, as well as a picture ID to take ashore. Cases made with "suede" are less likely to fall out of your pocket.

~ Pack toiletries, clothing, and other items in clear bag for faster security examination of your carry-on at the airport and pier.

~ Pack some Post-its to leave messages.

~ If you plan on buying things at the "duty-free" shops make sure you check prices before leaving home to insure you don't overpay for electronics and jewelry.

~ Make two copies of your passport, driver's license, and credit cards before leaving home. Leave one set of copies in a safe place on your ship. If the ship's purser holds your passport (which is often the case, to expedite clearing the ship in foreign ports), carry the passport copy ashore with you. Then leave the other copies with a friend or family member back home.

~ If you pick one of the outside cabins, check to make sure your view of the sea isn’t obstructed by a lifeboat.

~ Bring extra batteries. They are often expensive while traveling.

~ Pack and USE your sunscreen. A nasty sunburn will ruin a great cruise vacation. Protect your skin from injury and aging.

~ Don't forget to set aside gratuity money.

~ Make spa and salon appointments right away so you won't be disappointed—prime appointment times fill up quick.

~ Set aside a few moments every day to pack up your used clothing allowing you to spend the last afternoon of your cruise doing fun things while fellow passengers are busy packing.

~ If you are prone to motion (sea) sickness, the best cabin location is on a lower deck in the middle of the ship (midway between the bow and the stern). Pitch, roll, and yaw—the movements made by a ship—will be less noticeable in that area.

~ Don’t hog the deck chairs. It’s annoying when others put towels and personal belongings on poolside lounge chairs to “save” them, unless you are actually in the pool.

~Pack a small flashlight.

~ Personal 2-way radios are a great way to keep track of your party member, but set the volume low so you don’t disturb everyone else.

~ Germicidal hand cleaner is a must.

~ Pack all things able to leak in zipper top plastic storage bags.