First Timer Cruising Tips
This is a list put together several years ago by a Royal Caribbean Crown and Anchor member and may be useful for first time cruisers. It may also have a few tips for experienced cruisers.
- 1. Make sure that you have completed the required cruise pre-registration information so that you are not delayed when you get to the port. Plan to get to the port a minimum of 90 minutes before the scheduled departure time; that's pretty much a requirement so that the ship can send a complete passenger manifest to Homeland Security 60 minutes before departure. Regardless of what your travel documents from the cruise line say, boarding generally starts between 11:00 AM and noon.
- 2. Make sure that you have a passport OR the documents required to cruise including your original or certified copy of your birth certificates with a raised seal and a photo ID.
3. Make sure that you have all of the cash you want to take. You will not need any local currency in most port locations.
4. Make sure that you have planned carefully for your arrival day and time at the cruise departure port; i.e., plan to travel there a day early, especially in winter months, and /or if you will be required to make flight connections. You don't want to miss your cruise due to a flight delay.
- 5. Pack for the various activities of the cruise including exercise wear, swim wear, formal wear, casual clothes for the daytime and sports/resort casual clothes for after 6:00 PM. After you pack look at what you have and try to eliminate as much as you can; think mix and match tops and bottoms and plan to wear each piece twice; or do laundry on ship (or use the laundry service); Royal Caribbean brand ships do NOT have self service laundry but they will all do it for a fee. Here's the price schedule: http://media.royalcaribbean.com/content/en_US/pdf/LaundryPriceList.pdf
- 6. Pack shoes for the various activities like beach shoes, sandals and/or flip flops, sneakers and good walking shoes, and shoes to wear sports casual and formal.
- 7. Make sure that you have any prescription medicines for the entire trip plus a week. Your cabin will have towels and soap provided, including pool and beach towels, and a hair dryer. It will also have a generic hair shampoo so you do not need to bring that unless you like a specific brand. Don't bring an iron or steamer. Those are prohibited items and it will be confiscated until after the cruise. You can bring a flat iron for your hair.
- 8. Pack clothes using plastic from the cleaners and place between clothes or buy travel size of "wrinkle release."
- 9. Include in your carry-on bag: music player and its charger and headphones, camera and its charger or extra batteries, a couple books to read (or a Kindle or Nook); a large insulated cup with a seal-able lid. Always pack your medications in your carry on bag. ALWAYS pack your jewelry, camera, phone, IPad, money and other valuables in your carry-on bag.
- 10. Plan carefully what you want to wear when you board the ship because the ship's photographer will take a boarding photo which you may want to purchase and you may be in those clothes all day and evening. Your luggage may not get to your cabin until about 5-6:00 PM