The Ultimate Cruise Checklist

The Ultimate Cruise Checklist

So you’ve booked your cruise, and now the only thing standing between you and your holiday are months of dreary weather, an endless stack of work at the office and that feeling of “I wish….if only this time I could get myself organized beforehand….where do I start?” A cruise checklist!

KVI Cruise Checklist

KVI Travel is here to help you with the ultimate cruise checklist. It will escort you till you board your cruise in a timely manner. So, try this for size!  

For your own convenience, KVI Travel sets the beginning of your to-do list way ahead of time, before your cruise. Follow it while keeping an eye out for any sudden policy changes – we all know too well the unexpected can happen, thank you Covid for the lesson. Most importantly, contact your KVI Travel Agent for any concerns or questions. 

Six Months before:

• Ensure that your passport has plenty of time left before its expiry date. Some countries require a period of up to six months unexpired on your passport.

• Do you need any visas for the countries that you’ll be visiting? If so and if the cruise line is not taking care of this for you, find out lead times and make arrangements as necessary.

Passport• Make independent flight arrangements if you have booked a “cruise-only” fare. Try to plan to fly to your departure port the day before you sail. If you are a member of a frequent flyer club, provide this information when booking.

• Make your pre- and post-cruise hotel arrangements if you have booked a “cruise-only” fare. If you are in a hotel’s frequent-guest programme, provide this information when booking.

• Are you a member of your cruise line’s past passenger programme? Ensure that your travel agent and/or the cruise line have your membership number and that you enter it on your pre-cruise registration forms.

Three Months before:

• Check out the cruise line’s shore excursion programme and look at the internet, in bookshops, and at the library for information on independent tours. If there is a ship’s sponsored excursion that you feel is a “must”, book it now as it may become overbooked if you wait until you’re on board.

• Do you need any vaccinations for the areas of the world that you’ll be visiting? If so, see your GP or a travel clinic. Some vaccinations take several months to become “effective”.

• Ensure that you have travel insurance in place if you did not purchase this in conjunction with your cruise. If you travel several times a year, consider taking out an annual travel insurance policy.

Two Months before:

• Have you made your final payment on your cruise? Liaise with your travel agent and/or the cruise line on this as sometimes they don’t send you a reminder!

• Depending on the cruise line, you can expect to receive your cruise tickets around three weeks before your cruise. Find out when the tickets are due.

• Are you sailing or flying from a port or airport? If you are driving to the port or airport, check out port/airport parking facilities, and make your booking if required.

• Do you require a coach transfer or train ticket to your departure port or airport? Check it out, and buy your ticket.

One Month before:

• Watch out for your cruise tickets in the post. Depending on the cruise line, they should be with you by now. Make sure that you have been assigned the cabin that you booked, the dinner seating you requested, that you have enough luggage labels, and if the cruise line is making any air or hotel arrangements for you, that these are correct, and that the flight tickets and hotel vouchers are enclosed.

• If you haven’t already, enjoy your holiday clothes shopping. Have you got your swimsuit, “cover-up”, shorts, t-shirts, sun hat, sandals and your casual/informal/formal evening wear?

For example, here are your 10 “sundries” shopping suggestions:

  1. Camera
  2. Sunscreen
  3. Insect Repellent
  4. Mini Bottles of Travel Toiletries
  5. Sun Hat
  6. Ear Plugs
  7. Paperback Books/Ebooks
  8. Music
  9. Water Wallet/Wet & Dry case
  10. Lip Balm

• If you are planning to take a significant amount of currency, consider purchasing, and using a “safe wallet” or “money belt” until you are able to access your in-cabin safe.

• Make your home/pet/children/parent-sitting/newspaper-picking up, and houseplant watering arrangements. Arrange to have newspaper/milk stopped if appropriate.

• Ensure that loved ones at home know how to contact you on the ship (the ship’s telephone, fax number) in case of emergencies.

• Complete any pre-boarding Passenger Information forms that the cruise line requires. If possible, do this online rather than “hard copy”.

Two Weeks before:

• Pick out your cruise clothes, try them on and do a dry run of your packing to see if it all will fit in your suitcase.

• Get your dry cleaning done. Polish/clean shoes.

• Ensure you have adequate supplies of any vitamins, over-the-counter and prescription medicines that you require.

• If you are taking spectacles or contact lenses make sure you have a backup pair and sufficient contact lens solutions.

• Get your hair cut/coloured/permed.

Cruise Pics

One Week before:

You’re almost there on your ship ready to enjoy the cruise. It’s also the time when you go through this cruise checklist, again. You’re still on time.

• Do your laundry.

• Get your foreign currency/traveller’s cheques. Think about whether you will want extra currency for tipping and get enough accordingly.

• If flying, re-check your flight times and check-in times via the phone or the internet.

• Phone your credit card company and tell them where you’ll be visiting and that you may be using your credit cards there.

• Make a separate note of your credit card numbers and their issuers’ emergency phone numbers (in case of loss or theft) and keep this in a separate place from your credit cards. Leave a copy of this as well as a photocopy of your passport at home with someone you trust.

Three Days before:

• Do your ironing, if you do.

• Luggage labels 1: Complete the cruise line-supplied luggage labels with your name and cabin number. However, unless you’ve been instructed otherwise – that is if you have been told by the cruise line that your luggage is going bonded on the flight and that you will next see it in your cabin on-board – do not put the cruise line labels on your luggage until you are pier-side and ready to hand over your luggage to the porters who will convey it onto the ship.

• Luggage labels 2: Make sure your cases have a separate personal luggage label on them with your home contact details.

Two Days before:

• Book your taxi to the airport/pier/train station.

• Do your final packing. If you are taking more than one suitcase, try to cross-pack. This means putting a little sportswear, a little casual wear, a little semi-formal wear and a little formal wear in each suitcase, in case one suitcase gets lost or delayed.

• Add some empty carrier bags to your suitcase to bring soiled clothes back in.

• Pack a flashlight, particularly if you will be in an inside cabin.

• If you have extra room in your suitcases, take a few wire coat hangers – which you’ll leave on the ship.

• Place a sheet of paper with your name, flight and cruise details and travel dates and your home/mobile telephone number and address into your suitcase before you close it. This is in case your luggage labels or other external identifiers are torn off.

The Night Before:Carry on Bag

Last steps on our cruise checklist. Are you ready?

Prepare your handbag/carry-on/overnight bag. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Passport
  • Photocopy of your Passport (in case of loss or theft)
  • Cruise Tickets
  • Air Tickets
  • Hotel Confirmation Voucher
  • Car Rental Confirmation Voucher, if renting a car
  • Driver’s licence, if renting a car
  • Travel Insurance Documents including the policy number and emergency assistance phone number
  • Currency/Traveller’s cheques (consider using a money belt/safe wallet)
  • Credit Cards
  • Note of Credit Card Emergency Numbers
  • Frequent Cruiser/Flyer/Hotel Membership Cards
  • Glasses/Sunglasses
  • Prescription Medications
  • Valuables/Jewellery
  • Camera
  • Ear Plugs
  • Eye Mask

KVI cruise checklist took you thus far, now it’s only up to you to take one last check, and that’s it.  

Now, set your alarm clock. Set a second alarm clock just in case. Dream of blue seas, white sandy beaches and a world without checklists. Dear Travellers, you’re officially on vacation.

Bon Voyage!

Book now your next stress-free holiday with KVI Travel.

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