For many people, a cruise represents the ultimate in luxurious, relaxing vacation options. Like many, you might be dreaming of visiting exotic ports of call and soaking up the sun poolside while your cares drift away. While a cruise can be an enjoyable, memorable experience, you need to plan ahead. These tips can help you get the most out of your cruise vacation.
You might assume that you’ll need little more than a bathing suit and summer wear for your cruise. You should bring a variety of other travel essentials, though, to ensure that you are prepared for your trip. Because most cruises feature fine dining options, it is a good idea to pack at least a couple of dressier outfits. You might also want to bring a light jacket and long pants for cool evenings, as well as sunblock to avoid the discomfort of sunburns. Also, you should include sea sickness medication, as well as other first-aid items in case you become ill or injured while on your cruise.
Obtain a Passport
Although a passport is generally not required if you are leaving from and returning to the same U.S. port, it is still a good idea to have a valid passport before you arrive at your departure port. A passport proves citizenship, which can be essential if you are stuck at a foreign port of call. Also, you will need your passport if an emergency occurs and you need to be transported back to the United States. Make sure your passport will remain valid for a period of at least six months after your travel date – this will help you avoid any re-entry problems if an emergency occurs.
Research Your Ports of Call
Before you leave for your cruise vacation, take the time to research your ports of call. This can help you get the most out of your excursions. Otherwise, you will be at the mercy of companies selling expensive excursion packages that only offer access to the most common tourist sights. With a little research, you can find activities off the beaten path to experience the true flavors of your port of call cities. You will also discover photo opportunities to create unique memories of your trip.
Purchase Trip Insurance
Most likely, your cruise experience will happen without any problems. It is possible, though, that you might have to cancel your cruise because of an illness or family emergency. Cancellations and delays can also occur because of severe weather and other problems beyond your control. Purchasing trip insurance gives you the peace of mind of knowing you will be reimbursed for your travel costs if you cannot take your cruise vacation. This inexpensive protection can be well worth the cost if a problem arises.