First Timer Cruising Tips
This is a list together several years ago by a 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 Mexico.
- 4. Make sure that you have planned carefully 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