The Spectacular Details of Your Cruise Ship Vacation

The term “cruise vacation” probably brings to mind finding your swimsuit and sandals. But there are a few key things you can take care of before your cruise vacation that can really boost your enjoyment. First ensure that you have obtained a valid passport when traveling outside the US. Next book your spa and shore excursions online. Lastly assess your credit and cash situation to make sure you aren’t caught off guard during your dream cruise. These may seem like small steps but they can add up to a cruise vacation disaster if you don’t take care of them.

Because of recent changes in the law you should get a passport ASAP-especially if your cruise vacation takes you outside US borders. A valid passport is required to reenter the country from Canada Mexico and the Caribbean. Those who have traveled a lot should make sure that it won’t expire soon and that there are blank pages in it. You don’t want to realize upon reentry that your passport just expired.

For some who don’t yet have a passport it’s worth the money to get it processed quicker so it arrives in time for your trip. It’s a great idea to make a few copies of it before leaving. If your passport is lost or stolen while you are gone these copies will come in handy. Make sure to give copies to your emergency contact in the states and put one in your suitcase.

As soon as you get your documents for your cruise vacation read through them carefully. You will find information about shore leave amenities on board ship and other things that make your trip the best it can be. Most cruise lines allow you to make these kinds of reservations online. While you could wait until you board your cruise ship to do this you’ll find yourself in a long line instead of lounging by the pool. You can step on board and begin enjoying yourself knowing that your spa appointment is not booked during dinner or a port.

A cruise vacation is a great way to celebrate a milestone such as a honeymoon birthday or anniversary. Check with your cruise line to see what kinds of special packages are available. You should check as soon as possible so that they have plenty of time to make arrangements. Those who wait until they are at sea to request twelve dozen orange roses will likely be disappointed.

Several months before your cruise vacation assess the amount of credit available on your credit cards. This gives you time to move money around open another card or pay down your balance. Expect that your cruise line will place a hold on your credit card for incidentals upon check in. This hold could range from $50-200 per day.

Confirm your cruise line’s policy with a quick call. This is really important if you plan more hotel stays and car rentals during your vacation which mean multiple holds on your account. While you will ultimately only be charged for actual expenses it make take several days for it all be adjusted. To avoid the embarrassment of a declined credit card during your trip make sure you have enough available credit.

You’ll want to make sure you bring some cash on your cruise vacation as well. Your credit card will get a good workout but there are times when you’ll need cash. Traveler’s checks are not taken as often as they used to because of the high rate of fraud. Most ships have ATMs but you can count on a high fee and they have been known to run empty. You’ll be very glad you have some hard cash to make purchases from street vendors and smaller merchants on shore. Also cash tips are a great way to recognize all the great service from your cruise ship staff. Packing some cash is an easy way to avoid inconvenience on your dream vacation.

Getting organized for your cruise vacation isn’t that difficult. A little advanced preparation will ensure that you enjoy your cruise vacation from the moment you step on board. Get a valid passport make your reservations in advance secure plenty of credit and cash. These small steps will pay off in maximum cruise vacation enjoyment. Oh and don’t forget to pack your swimsuit.

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