Things I Wished I Had Known Before My First Cruise
(and other useful tidbits)
Before you leave home
- Make sure you have your passport or certified birth certificate
and government issued photo ID (voter registration cards are NOT
- Look over your documents and make sure you understand them and
they say what your travel agent told you
- FILL OUT THE FORMS in your documents BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE!!
Make sure all these papers are in your purse or carry-on. DO NOT
pack them in your luggage!
- If you want a Tuxedo for the 2 formal nights (men), the form
should be in your documents. You can fax or call them at least
2 weeks in advance with your credit card number, and it will
be waiting in your cabin upon arrival. Don't forget to ask for
2 shirts and shoes if you need them.
If you take a hotel day prior package, pack everything you will
need for the overnight in your carry-on, as your luggage may go
directly to the cruise ship from the airport. Also, any medications,
valuables, and anything else you cannot do without should be in
your carry-on bag. An extra pair of black pants and shoes, and
underwear, would be nice to have in case you never see your luggage
again (which very rarely happens). You can always buy some shirts
when you get to your destination. Another thing I always like
to remember is to bring an extension cord, and electric clock,
and a flashlight
you never know when you will need them (Especially
if you have an inside cabin). Also, some ships have hairdryers
but they are not as powerful as we are used to.
For your nighttime clothes, pick out your favorite 7 outfits,
2 formal, 1 semi-formal, and 4 smart casual. Shorts are worn most
often throughout the daytime hours. It is wise to bring at least
2 bathing suits. (Note: Everyone usually over packs his or her
daytime clothes!) DO NOT FORGET THE SUNSCREEN!!! The rays in the
Caribbean are particularly strong year-round and you will want
to keep this on you even if you are in the shade.
As you enter the ship
After check-in, you will enter the ship, get your photo taken
and then be greeted by the staff and guided to your stateroom.
Your steward will find you and introduce himself/herself to you
and ask if there is anything you may need. This is a good time
to ask for extra pillows, towels, etc. If your bed is not in the
configuration you asked for, this will be the time he/she will
ask you how you would like it, if you want ice, etc
Your dining table assignment will also be in your stateroom.
If this is not to your liking you must go see the maitre d' in
the dining room now.
Unpack your carry-ons and head to the deck and get some well-deserved
lunch! THIS will begin the eating process! After that
the ship and walk it off!
LIFEBOADT DRILL is mandatory
this is the only mandatory
thing that you will have to do all week (except for leaving at
Who Do You Tip
Dining room waiter and 2nd waiter (a.k.a. busboy) and your cabin
steward. This is done on the last evening on the ship. Trust me,
you will find the envelopes in your cabin in advance! This is
when you use cash. You put the tip in a sealed enveloped and give
them at the last seating. Give it to them in person. Cabin stewards
and waiters can get approximately $3.50 per day, per person (yes
children too). The busboy gets $2.00 per day. On a 7 night cruise,
this is approximately $63
you can give more or less as you
Other Miscellaneous Information (in no particular
Back to top