Vacation time, is such an exciting moment your energy is much higher, everyone is excited and all you can do is a count down for when the vacation begins. But with all of that excitement comes a checklist of things to do, things to work on and a list of things to prepare before heading out. In my case I like to make sure many things are done before leaving so when I return I dont have to worry about those things, it may be a little too hectic before taking a trip but as soon as I returned I am able to concentrate on whats ahead and not feel overwhelmed.
Pack as early as 2 weeks prior;
That being said, I tend to pack and prepare the items I need at least 2 weeks before my trip… Simply because right then I will know if there are some things I dont have that I need to purchase.
We have been able to travel on different cruise lines (well to be honest just 3) which are Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian.. All 3 I can say have a similar system but all 3 have there unique experiences which makes them all special in my opinion.
Check in early
Traveling with a Cruise Line is similar to Air travel, because is necessary to check in, the good part about the Cruise line is that you can check in as early as 30 days prior to your travel day. We notice if you check in early with Royal Caribbean your luggage tags will be mailed to you, but with the other Cruise Lines once you finish checking in your luggage tags can be printed.
If for some reason you are still missing information or waiting for your passport to arrive then is best to wait to check in once all of the items are received. For example we check the name blank and once our kids confirm they can make it then we fill out there information. Since you need your passport information when checking in then is best to wait but you can still fill out some information as that arrives. Before your travel day verify which documents IDs are required to travel.
Once we check in and printed our boarding pass and luggage tags we then print our check list to make sure we dont forget any items for this trip.
Briefly I will share how I plan for a Cruise Trip..
It would be easier to pack everything ahead of time, grab your bag and go. But the day off travel there are items you can only pack on the same day such as your chargers, electronics, toothbrush and toothpaste (for that reason I always do a checklist just to make sure I packed everything I need)
Here is my checklist I hope is as helpful to you as it has been for me and my family..
Powerstrip in a cruise? Here is why;
In the checklist you might find items that my apply to your trip or it may not, for example you may not need a powerstrip (I know it seems strange) but in some cases when traveling with a family of 4 and other family members we notice the rooms didnt have many plugs. (we all have cellphones, apple watch, other electronics as well which made it harder to plug everything at one time).
Lanyard (is it necessary);
Another item we sometimes forget and that is why it was added to the checklist is the Lanyard.. There are times we just want to be out of the room enjoy the ship without the need of carrying a purse or wallet so we enjoy just having the lanyard which can hold our room keys and any other card shape item (such as a credit card).
Motion Sickness Medications;
I always take motion sickness pills, I learned that from my first cruise. To be honest most of the times I dont use them but is good to have it just in case. We also notice Royal Caribbean provides motion sickness medications if requested but I always bring them with me just in case.
Most Cruise Line provide, shampoo/conditioner, and soap (sometimes facial soap too). You might wonder why are those items on the checklist, well the quality is not the best, instead I pack a small travel bag, I add a large ziploc bag and place all of the items I need for the bathroom so everytime I need those items all I have to do is grab my travel bag. (Inside I place travel size Shampoo/Conditioner, body wash, razor, hair brush, feminine products, hairspray, face cleanser, deodorant, moisturizer and perfume) Getting items that are travel size are perfect for a small week or so trip lets you bring many items and it doesnt take so much space.