Cruise Vacations: How to Prepare

Going on a cruise vacation is a wonderful thing, which helps explain why cruise vacations are so popular. A cruise vacation can serve as a perfect escape, and taking a cruise is also a great way to see the world in a leisurely manner. Yes, cruise vacations have a lot going for them. However, an unduly-neglected aspect about cruise vacations (and indeed of vacations in general) is the preparatory measures one must take before embarking on a cruise. In this article, we explain some of the key ways to prepare for a cruise vacation.

Before beginning any vacation, you must pack, and obviously cruise vacations require the same. However, unlike most other vacations, cruise vacations can take you through several different climates, so your wardrobe should be correspondingly varied. A Caribbean cruise, for example, will require items like shorts, t-shirts, sandals, and bathing suites, but it is also good to bring pants and a sweater or light jacket for activities at night, as well as for stretches of the cruise that aren’t as warm as a Caribbean beach. It is equally important to remember to bring the appropriate clothing for dining, which can be a formal affair on a cruise ship. If the cruise vacation you select includes such a formal night of dining, men will need to pack a dark suit and tie (you can also rent a tuxedo if you feel like going all out), and women will need a cocktail dress or gown. Semi-formal dining requires less stringent attire: men can wear a button-down shirt with a sport coat, and women a dress or pantsuit. The bottom line is that a cruise vacation may require many different types of clothes, and it is important to keep this in mind as you pack.

Clothes are not the only thing that you’ll need to pack, though. Other important items you’ll want to make sure to bring are the appropriate travel documents and any medications that you have to take. With regard to the former, U.S. citizens traveling outside the country will need to bring a passport, passport card, or WHTI-compliant document (this requirement does not apply to trips to U.S. territories, however). Non-U.S. citizens will need to contact the appropriate consulates or embassies to figure out what documentation they will need to travel to different countries. As a precautionary measure, it is good to check the entry requirements of any countries you may visit, just to make sure you have all the proper documentation.

With respect to medication, make sure to bring any prescriptions you have in their original container (commonly-used, over-the-counter medication, on the other hand, can be purchased from the doctor’s office on the ship). It is a good idea to keep this medication on you, as you might not always have access to your checked baggage. It is worth noting that almost all cruise ships have fully equipped and staffed medical facilities on-board, so while you need to take some measures related to healthcare before cruising, it’s not as if serious medical issues can’t be handled on-board.

Yet another preparatory measure that ought to be taken before leaving is to make sure that the cruise ship can accommodate any dietary restrictions you may have. It is common for cruise ships to offer low-fat and vegetarian meals, among other diet-oriented meals, but you should always check this out before booking a cruise.

By taking these precautions, and making adequate preparations, before leaving your house for your cruise vacation, as well as consulting with the cruise line to make sure you have taken any other necessary preparatory measures, you will be all ready to go, and to enjoy a worry-free cruise vacation.

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