IN SEACLUSION: Tips from a Savvy Cruiser – Part II

(Don’t forget to read the daily chapter from The Love Boat Bachelor at Write Integrity Press:   Chapter Two Port of Call: Cozumel

So, you did your research, found a crazy good deal, and booked your first cruise. Now what?

PassportTip 1: Get a passport. Most ports will require you present a passport and, if you don’t already have one, you need to get started right away. These things take time.

Apply for a Passport

Tip 2: If you’re flying to the port of embarkation, book your airfare.

Most ships begin the boarding process the day of departure in the early afternoon. They typically allow a window of 3-4 hours to move 1,500-4,000 passengers through the lines in anticipation of a late afternoon or evening sailing. Be sure to check with your cruise line for this information.

Many cruisers fly in the morning of departure. This works fine—as long as you have no airplane boardingwoes or other unforeseeable travel delays. Lost baggage can also be an issue. And because we missed two sail dates due to mechanical issues, we now try to fly in the day before. The cost of a night in a hotel near the pier more than offsets the anxiety of too-tight deadlines.

In fact, when distance allows, we like to drive in a day or so before, and do some sightseeing in the home port area. Many hotels around the piers will offer a Park & Cruise package that allows you to leave your vehicle in their secured parking. The hotels also offer transportation to and from the pier.  It sure makes embarkation more enjoyable!

Cruisers with luggageTip 3: Examine your luggage. Do you have what you need? If not, now is the time to purchase. Larger baggage items are tagged, taken, and will be delivered to your stateroom sometime after boarding. Determine what items you need to keep with you, i.e., electronics, money, cameras, medicines, etc. I recommend a carry-on bag of some sort, something that is easy to handle without being a weighty burden. And add a change of clothes, shaving gear, and cosmetics … just in case.

Bon Voyage!

Here are some more “Shore Excursions” from The Love Boat Bachelor:

Betty Thomason Owens:   Behold I Am Doing a New Thing

Marji Laine’s blog:   E-mail to Roselle: From Cozumel

Fay Lamb’s On the Ledge:     Port of Call: Cozumel with Nora Laing

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