Tips for Cruisers
BEST Cruise Travel Tips from CruiseDiva.com
~ Mail overflowing your mailbox is
a neon sign to thieves that you aren't home. You can request an
"Authorization To Hold Mail" card from your letter
carrier, by visiting your nearest post office, or online at the www.usps.com
website. Mail that accumulated while you were gone can be delivered
on a date you designate on the card or you can retrieve it yourself
at the post office. Contributed
by Timothy Hickey
~ A "pop-up" mesh
clothes hamper packs flat in your suitcase and keeps your closet
neat on board. Contributed by Sue Adam
bother packing beach towels, they will be provided for your use on
board the cruise ship as well as when going ashore.
~ Have a supply of one-dollar bills
handy for tipping airport skycaps and porters at the pier.
~ Don't pack photo film in checked
luggage as airport screening equipment could ruin it. Put it in
your carry-on instead.
~ An endlessly ringing phone
is a hint that you aren't home. Before leaving the house, either
turn off the telephone ringers or set the answer phone to answer at
two rings. Contributed by Kay Meyerett
~ Notify the cruise line of any
special dietary restrictions when booking your cruise and
follow up on the arrangements a couple months before embarking.
~ When it's
possible, store your valuables in the ship
purser's safe rather than the one in your cabin.
Some insurance policies will not cover the loss of items left
unsecured in your cabin or in your personal guest safe.
~ One of my traveler friends showed
me about putting a rubber band around my wallet to inhibit
pickpockets. Another friend mentioned that her dad’s wallet was
knocked out of his front pocket on a commuter train during a recent
trip. He didn’t have his rubber band around it. Contributed
by Joe Reynolds
~ With limited/expensive laundry
facilities on ships, it's convenient to bring along a pack of 'Bibsters'
(disposable bibs for mealtimes, available at grocery stores, Target,
etc). They keep baby's clothes cleaner and stain free, avoiding
messy garments after meals. The last thing on my mind while cruising
is doing laundry! Contributed
by Stephanie Harrison, Miami, FL
~ When selecting sunglasses, the
most important considerations are the amount of UV light that is
blocked by the lenses and a proper fit. The lenses should shield
your eyes from most angles. Darker lenses do not necessarily offer
better UV protection. Look for sunglasses that block 99% of harmful
don't weight yourself down with a heavy hand
bag or backpack and become a target for purse snatchers or
pickpockets. Carry only what you need and carry it inconspicuously.
~ Items confiscated by airport
security will not be returned to you. If you're uncertain whether
something will pass the security test, pack it in your checked
~ Moms, bring along an umbrella
stroller for walks around the ship and in port with your baby. It
also comes in handy at the airport. Wheel baby right to the
departure gate—the stroller is gate
checked and will be waiting for you at the arrival gate. Contributed
~ Pack and WEAR a hat to protect
your scalp, ears, and face from sun damage and premature aging.
Excessive sun exposure contributes to wrinkles and dark spots.
~ Wrinkles are caused by
under-packing (clothes shift) and over-packing (which squishes
clothes). Avoid wrinkles by packing light and tight.
~ Toss a few empty plastic bags
into your suitcase. You may need them later to pack dirty or damp
~ If you carry
on your laptop computer, you may be asked to "boot it up"
at security—both at the airport & at pier check-in.
carry-on restrictions are
being updated continuously.
Check with your airline before packing
and be aware that purses often "count" as a carry-on item!
~ Folding or
inflatable travel hangers are useful if you need to dry out hand
laundry or a bathing suit in your cabin.
~ Tap water on your ship is
perfectly safe to drink; purchasing bottled water is only necessary
if you prefer the taste.
~ Tuck fabric
softener sheets between garments as you pack to keep clothing fresh
during travels. Contributed
~ Bring your own travel alarm
clock; most staterooms do not have them.
~ Keep track of your boarding pass,
on board charge/key card, as well as a picture ID to take ashore by
slipping them into a bi-fold business card style carrying case.
Cases with a "suede" finish are less likely to fall out of
~ For families with small children,
a cabin with a veranda might not be the best choice. Children are
incredibly quick and accidents can happen, even on balconies with
solid barriers beneath the railing.
~ Pack toiletries, clothing, and
other items in clear zipper top bags for faster security examination
of your carry-on at the airport and pier. This method makes it
easier to repack if your bag is emptied and searched.
~ Pack a pad of Post-It notes to
leave messages for your cabin steward, family, and shipboard
~ This idea is for anyone who lives
in a colder climate and is traveling in winter to a warm weather
cruise. When you put your summer wardrobe away for the winter, set
aside the casual outfits, sandals, swimwear, and sleepwear you want
to wear on your cruise and store them in the suitcase you plan to
use. You'll be at least half packed and won't be hunting down an
outfit or a pair of shoes later. You will also free up some drawer
and/or closet space at the same time. Hang your evening clothes in a
separate area of your closet and pack them when you're ready to
leave for your trip. Contributed
by Linda Richter, New Hope, PA
~ Check prices before leaving home
to insure you don't overpay for electronics and jewelry at
minor emergencies, pack a first aid "kit" with antiseptic
cream & bandages in your carry-on.
stick-on labels for postcards to the folks back home & you
won’t have to carry along a bulky address book.
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. Leave the other copies with a friend
or family member at home.
~ Binoculars are as useful indoors
as they are outside. Typically
you might think they are only for bringing far off wildlife and
sights within view, but take them into museums, cathedrals, and
other buildings to examine the details of artwork, sculptures, and
you pick an outside cabin, check to make sure your view of the sea
isn’t obstructed by a lifeboat.
~ Print cards with your name,
address, phone number, & email address to share with new
friends. Stiff, business
card-style paper can be purchased at nearly any office supply store
& having your cards handy sure beats hunting for pens &
scribbling on scraps of paper to swap addresses.
~ Even if you don’t think
you’ll need them, bring along extra camera batteries and change
them before you think the old ones are “dead.”
~ Leave any paperback novels you've
finished for the crew library. You'll have more room in your
suitcase and crewmembers will have fresh reading material.
Don't forget to pack and USE your sunscreen. Why take the chance of
a nasty sunburn ruining a great cruise vacation? Protect your skin
from injury and aging. Excessive sun exposure contributes to
Check the balance of your on board account before the end of your
cruise. Straighten out any discrepancies immediately and avoid a
long line at the Purser's Desk that last morning after your final
~ Don't you look gorgeous in your
formal attire? Have a family portrait taken to preserve the memory.
There's no obligation to purchase any photos you don't care for.
~ Set aside gratuity money and keep
it in your room safe. Many cruisers compute the
"recommended" amounts in advance and get cash in the
proper denominations before leaving home. If your ship automatically
charges gratuities to your onboard account, you may adjust the
amounts according to the level of service you receive.
~ Make spa and salon appointments
as soon as you can so you won't be disappointed—prime
appointment times fill up fast!
aside a few moments every day to pack up your used clothing and
spend the last afternoon of your cruise doing fun things while your
fellow passengers are packing to go home.
~ Most ships’ cabins have only
one or two electrical outlets located near the desk/vanity table
(not counting the shaver-only outlet in the bathroom).
A short extension cord allows you to use more than one
electrical appliance at once and gives you a bit more flexibility to
move around, particularly if you’re using a laptop computer.
~ If you are prone to motion (sea)
sickness, the best cabin location for you 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.
be a deck chair hog. It’s
inconsiderate to put towels and personal belongings on poolside
lounge chairs to “save” them unless you are actually in the
~ Don’t miss the morning sun in
your inside cabin. Before you
retire for the night, leave the television tuned to the channel with
the “view from the bridge” and you’ll awaken with a
“window” on the outside world. Remember
to turn the sound off.
along an insulated mug with a lid.
Fill it at the beverage station in the buffet area—your
drinks will stay hot or cold and you won’t have to worry about
bartenders will fill it with ice and water or a soft drink.
With a straw, your ice won’t melt instantly while lounging
at the pool. Better still,
mugs are great souvenirs—buy one that sports your ship’s name
from the gift shop.
a small flashlight to find your way around in the dark or in an
Personal 2-way radios are a great way to keep track of cruise
companions, but set the volume low so you don’t disturb your
nylon tote bag that folds compactly into its own pocket can be used
as a beach bag during your cruise and as an extra carry-on for your
return home with fragile souvenirs.
along a hanging shoe organizer for the closet.
It extends your storage space for small items and keeps your
shoes off the floor.
~ Germicidal hand cleaner is a must
have for adventure excursions where water might be at a premium.
mesh laundry bag that allows damp clothing to dry out is ideal for
gathering soiled garments during a cruise.
anything that can leak in zipper top plastic storage bags.
A nightlight is handy, especially for passengers in inside cabins.