Cruise Travel Tips

Before You Leave

Passport and I.D.

  • Check your passport expiration date when booking your cruise. It should expire no less than 6-months after you return. If you need a new passport, apply as soon as possible.
  • If you don’t have a passport make sure that you bring your original birth certificate (it cannot be a photocopy). I would recommend bringing a folder so you can protect and keep track of it!
  • We also recommend you take your driver’s license or government I.D. no matter what travel document you are using!

Cruise Add-ons

  • Before you cruise (and if not already included), purchase wifi, drink packages and excursions if wanted. You can get deals by purchasing these ahead of time and some cruise lines run special deals so check their websites occasionally.
  • Plan your shore excursions! You can book excursions directly through the cruise line or use a third-party site like or Excursions and tours can sell out fast so make sure you are looking as soon as your final payment is made (or at least 60 days before traveling).

Check-in for Your Cruise

  • Check in online (or with the specific cruise line app or on their website)
  • Print Boarding pass & Luggage Tags at home and make sure you bring them with you

Items to Pack

  1. Passport
  2. Printed boarding pass and luggage tags from the cruise line
  3. Lanyard w/ plastic card holder for key card – For most cruise lines, your keycard is everything! It opens your door, pays for things, and serves as your I.D. when you get on and off the ship. A lanyard can make it easier to keep track of and use.
  4. Motion sickness medication/patch, If you’re worried about motion sickness. These are the tablets we use – they are the generic version of Bonine (meclizine) and are inexpensive, non-drowsy, and really work. If you forget medicine and start to feel sea sick, ginger candy and/or green apples help some people.  (Green apples are often available at the buffet)
  5. Towel clips or towel bands.  If you plan to spend time laying out by the pool on deck chairs these are a must. It’s often windy and these really help your towel stay up if you are sitting instead of laying.
  6. Magnetic hooks.  Cruise staterooms have plenty of room for storing your clothes but what they sometimes lack is places to hang your wet towel or swimsuit. The doors on a ship are metal and magnetic hooks work great.
  7. Speaking of the magnetic doors, it can be fun to decorate your cruise door! The long hallways can be monotonous to walk through so sometimes its nice to have some color on your door if nothing else but to help you remember which room is yours!
  8. Poo-Pourri (bathroom deodorizer) – the cabins are small enough we’ve found that this can make a difference.

These are some of our favorite things to take on a cruise – make sure you don’t forget everything else you need to bring with you! Download our full packing list below:

Once On-Board

  • As soon as you get on the ship, while you are waiting to get into your room, get on the cruise line app to make your dinner reservations for every night (if you have my time dining) if you haven’t previously been able to sign up. And sign up for shows and activities on the ship if needed – this depends on the cruise line you’re cruising with.
  • Try eating breakfast in the dining room instead of at the buffet on sea days. A lot of people don’t realize you can do this but it’s usually less crowded and offers a nice, cooked to order breakfast
  • At the end of the cruise, we prefer to just carry off our luggage.  You get to keep your luggage, instead of putting it out the night before.  It is often faster and more flexible getting off the ship because you can get off at any time (you don’t have to wait for your color and number to be called) and do not have to spend time trying to find your luggage once you disembark.