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When taking a cruise, the highlight of the cruise are the ports. It’s exciting to stop and see the sights, or to have that once in a lifetime experience, like swimming with the dolphins or with the stingrays. But what do you bring? Here’s a few items that are a must have when going into port.
First of all NEVER forget your cruise card when getting off of the ship. Every ship has a way of identifying you, either by a cruise card, or a band, or a medallion. When you initially board the ship you will get this and the cruise line will give you your card. Most likely this will be how you get into your room, make charges on the ship, and how they will know who you are when you get on and off the ship.
I always bring my smartphone. I know that it goes without saying in today’s world, however, there are quite a few reasons I bring my smart phone. First of all, before I leave the US I setup my phone to make sure that I have the proper phone plan and data plan is setup for the countries that I am visiting. I also use it as a camera when on land, and I use it as a watch to keep time.
Speaking of a watch, don’t forget that you MUST always go by ship time not by the time of the port. In other words, if your ship time is Eastern Standard Time, and the port is on Central Standard Time, when the Captain says to be back at 4 PM, the ship is leaving at 4:30PM it is leaving at 4:30PM Eastern Standard Time.
I bring some cash for shopping for souvenirs and trinkets. I always want to make sure that if I’m taking a tour that I have enough cash for tips. I also bring a credit card. Before I leave home I call the bank to let them know that I will be on vacation and visiting these particular ports. This way they know that my credit card will be used in the following countries.
If I’m doing a water activity like snorkeling, swimming with the dolphins, or just hanging out at the beach I always bring my waterproof camera since my smartphone can’t get wet.
And to protect myself from the sun, I bring suntan lotion, and a hat. I also bring a bottle of water from the ship. I never want to get dehydrated while off of the ship.
I also bring mosquito repellent with me when in port. With the Zika Virus a lot of cruise ships offer it however I always like to have my own with me.