5 Things To Do Before You Cruise
In preparing to cruise, there are many things that I do for our family before sailing. Today, hoping to help you to prepare for your cruise, I share 5 of those things with you.
Clean The House
After a week or two of experiencing a stateroom steward to keep your living space clean, and being waited on hand and foot, the last thing you’ll probably want to do upon your return home is contend with dust-bunnies and disorganization. Upon returning from our cruises, I like to keep the laid back, relaxed vibe going by coming home to a clean house.
Given that our two boys are like two tornados, my pre-cruise housecleaning is not necessarily a deep clean – after all, I am a working wife, mother, and entrepreneur. While the place doesn’t have to be spotless, I like to have disinfected floors, dusted furniture, clean kitchen and bathrooms, toys/books/etc. put away in the right places, and laundry done.
At present, I have a few bags of clean clothes from recently doing laundry, and I am ok with leaving those in the laundry bags until we return from vacay. As parents and household managers, we each know what we are willing to give and take, and that’s key. I encourage you to create that peaceful space, before you sail, to welcome you home from your voyage.
Get A House-Sitter
It is recommended that you not draw attention to the fact that you are away from your home while on vacation. You don’t want to set your home up to be a target, so ask a trusted family member or friend to stay at your house while you are away. Hopefully, it’s a family member or friend who won’t cause a mess in the house you’ve just cleaned. Ha!
Be sure to provide your cruise itinerary and any specific location information, such as pre-cruise or post-cruise hotel stays, and any emergency contact information, to your house-sitter, so that he or she can contact you if there is an emergency.
If you have an alarm system, then be sure to let your house-sitter know how to operate your alarm system.
Ask your house-sitter to clear your mailbox daily, so that the mail does not pile up in, on, or around your mailbox. A pile of mail in the mailbox could draw attention to the fact that you’re away, which is not what you want to do.
From the title of this section, one may say that automatic bill pay pretty much takes care of this step, which is a good point. However, I am NOT a financial expert, and the purpose of this isn’t to provide financial advice, so I am not suggesting that everyone reading this set up automatic bill pay because that’s a personal financial decision. However, if you are like me, then you have some bills on autopay, and you have other bills that you actively pay each cycle. While enjoying a relaxing, carefree vacation, the last thing you’ll probably want to deal with is making credit card, student loan, rent/mortgage, or other payments, and you certainly don’t want to deal with any late fees for having neglected to pay a bill that was due while you were away.
Call Banks, Credit Card Companies, and Mobile Phone Companies
It is good practice to call your banks and credit card companies prior to your vacation, especially if your vacation is overseas. The bank and card company representatives usually note, in/on your account, that you are traveling to your particular destination, so that bank or credit card activities during your vacation will not be flagged as suspicious, and your purchases will not be declined.
It is also good practice to call your mobile phone service provider, prior to your vacation, if going overseas because you want to ensure that your telephone will operate in the country or countries that you will be visiting. If you learn that your mobile phone will not work in the other country, then the company’s representative may be able to guide you through the steps to take to allow your phone to work in that other country. Even if you generally keep your phone and electronics off during your cruise and international travels, as I do, it is good to have the option to use your mobile phone in case of an emergency or in case you simply desire to do so.
Photocopy or Print Necessary Documents
We travel with photocopies of two pages of our passport: the page that reflects our photograph and personal data, and the adjacent signature page. It is highly recommended that you do this, so that, if for some reason, you need to replace your passport while you are traveling, the photocopy can help to expedite that process. Also, if you sail on a cruise line that does not require you to show your passport to get back onto the ship in each port, then when you’re leaving the ship to go into port, you can leave your passport in the safe in your room, and take the photocopies with you. If, for some reason you need to contact the embassy while you are in port, then the photocopies of your passport can, hopefully, expedite your business with the embassy.
We also print our cruise documents, cruise tickets, and luggage tags, which, if you have completed your online check-in, are all usually provided by your cruise line within a certain number of days prior to sailing. Cruise lines are usually very good about sending you notification by email to complete online check-in and to print your cruise documents, cruise tickets, and luggage tags. You will need to show those documents at the cruise port in order to board the ship.
We print airline confirmations, hotel confirmations, excursion confirmations, and the like, and usually travel with these documents in a folder.
Do you already do these things? Which one of these things do you already do?
Are any of these things new to you? If so, which ones?