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I do LOVE my cruises. However there are a few things that I MUST do before every cruise. Of course purchasing a brand new perfect pair of flip flops is number 1 however if you know me that goes without saying. So here’s the top four and a half things that I MUST do to make sure that I have a great cruise.
Clean and prepare my travel wallet. Now this is the cleaning, I ONLY bring the credit card or cards that I will be using on this trip in my travel wallet along with medical\insurance information. I then call the credit card companies of the cards in this wallet to let them know of the dates that I will be out of the country traveling. I also let them which countries that I will be in so that if I charge from a port they will be aware when a charge comes in. This is for MY own protection, and so that my credit card account doesn’t become locked out.
Small Bills. I drive down to the bank and get my small bills. I like to travel with a lot of $1 and $5’s when traveling. They are good for tipping and for purchasing small souvenirs while in various ports.
Prepare my Cell Phone. I contact my cellular phone company to make sure that I have the proper plan for my vacation. Normally I do not have an international plan, so I call the company directly and purchase an add on plan for my time away. Each phone company is different so you will want to check with your cellular phone company to see what is best for you. If you love your cellular data, remember that also costs extra when you are in port, and that is an additional fee. When you are on the ship itself, Wi-Fi can be purchased from the cruise line for a fee. If I were to purchase it, I usually do it by the time I get on the ship, and I MAKE sure that I turn data roaming off. That’s one surprise I do not want when I get home.
Shore Excursions. I always make sure that I have all of my shore excursions in order before I leave home. I actually have these planned as as soon as I can. Being a travel agent I research everything I can about the port and make sure that I’ve made the best choice for what kind of day that we want to have in that port. When I travel to a new port sometimes I want to explore the island and see everything it has to offer. If I’ve already been there, or if there is something it could be famous for, I might just want to do that. For instance, when we went to Jamaica for the first time I really lucked out, after doing my research, I was able to find Konoko Falls which was a quieter water falls with mineral pools to walk up, so we didn’t have the big crowds. Our excursion included some sightseeing and we had a wonderful day, tried some great Jamaican cuisine, and we were back on ship ahead of time. I have found that it’s always best to work with your travel professional ahead of time to get your excursions ready to make the most out of your time at port.