active family travel,  family,  Travel

Cruise Checklist – 5 Things to do Before The Cruise

A cruise checklist like this one is essential to starting your cruise out on the right foot. You look forward to that holiday and you’ve saved for months. Don’t let a lack of preparation ruin it. Before you cruise, you should have all of your ducks in a nice, tidy row to ensure that your time is spent relaxing and having fun and not trying to work out unnecessary kinks in the trip.

Successful cruises, like many amazing trips, often are the result of weeks of planning. I mean that’s often a huge part of the fun. Having a cruise checklist can help ensure that your cruise is smooth sailing and fun for all.



Cruise Checklist – Tick These off, so YOU’RE not Ticked Off

If you’ve ever gone on a cruise, you know it’s so much more than just getting tickets and stepping on the boat. This is top of mind for us right now as we set sail this month. There are several things that have to be done, or that SHOULD be done before you get to the ship. In fact, most of them can be done from your home to ensure that your cruise is all about fun, with zero, or close to zero, headaches.

Pay Your Service Fees Ahead of Time

If you can, it’s always a good idea to pay any fees, tips, and other extra expenses associated with your plans ahead of time. This saves you SO MUCH TIME. It also saves you a lot of hassle. When you pay for any excursions and extras ahead of time, you can spend more time adventuring and relaxing because you never have to worry about settling any bill while you’re there.

Check Excursion Options and Book Ahead of Time

And speaking of paying for any extras, including excursions, check those out ahead of time. You can see what excursions and other day options are available for your cruise online. From there, you may be able to book the excursions that appeal to you right from your computer instead of trying to do it while you’re on your cruise.


Check In Online

ALWAYS! In most cases, you’ll have the option to check in online. Do this. Check in lines can be an absolute pain in the butt, so why not skip the line and the hassle and just check in online? It makes embarking and checking in so much easier, and if you’ve ever taken a cruise, you know that embarking can be one of the most stressful parts of the entire process.

Have All Necessary Paperwork and Identification on Hand

Speaking of check in hassle, have ALL necessary paperwork and identification on hand. Make sure you have your check in paperwork, ID, and any other necessary items required for board. It is essential that you remember to keep these on each and every family member’s person. If you arrive, and you don’t have the necessary items, chances are you might be looking at a cruise that doesn’t happen.

Pack More Than You Think You’ll Need

This might seem counter-intuitive to what you normally do, but I like to pack a bit more than I think the family will need. You’re on a boat in the middle of the ocean, so if you run out of shirts, you’re kind of out of luck. Be sure you pack a spare outfit or two, just in case you happen to get dirty on a day trip, have a delay of any sort, or spill wine on that blouse.

On our most recent Harmony of the Seas Royal Caribbean cruise we had a bit of rain at the start of the trip so we needed a light jacket or pants. Luckily I had two pairs of pants with me. Even so, I always run out of dresses for the fancy dinners and formal evenings. Check for dress code prior to boarding and be prepared.

[tweetthis]Check dress code prior to boarding and be prepared. Is there a formal night? #cruising[/tweetthis]

Cruise Checklist – Because Who Wants a Hassle

A cruise, whether it’s a romantic trip or a family cruise, should be all about rest, relaxation, adventure, and hanging out with the family. It shouldn’t be frustrating. For a smoother cruise, follow this cruise checklist, and save yourself a substantial amount of time and headache by doing all you can before you get on the ship. Trust me, you’ll have a much better cruise holiday.

Now that you have your list of things to prepare and your cruise checklist check this post out CRUISE Wreckers. Don’t let this happen to you.

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.


  • Pinkoddy

    I have never been on a cruise so I wouldn’t have even thought about some of these things and it is definitely better to be prepared. Can you pay tips in advanced – for cooks etc – as I have heard that it is expected that they are paid.

    • Paula

      Tips are added on a per guest basis so our last cruise was $13.50 per person per night. That adds up. I think the tips were about $600 at end of the cruise. We can pay that in advance and save a bit that way. Plus it’s less frightening at the end when you do it that way. Extras are purely up to you. We often tip a bit extra for the housekeeping person – they sometimes go out of their way to get to know you and your family and really are in charge of making your stay comfortable.

  • Debra Schroeder

    All of these tips are right on. I travel a lot, and paying for everything sooner rather than later is always a great strategy, whether you’re on a cruise, a safari, or just a road trip through a country.

  • Heather Pfingsten

    I’ve never been on a cruise but it is on my MUST DO LIST for 2018 (if not sooner). I am always on the lookout for what needs to be done, the best ways to save for our vacation, and where to go. Thank you for the pointers, I made a list of your 5 musts and shared them with my husband!

  • Michelle Waller

    This is a great list! Hopefully my husband and I can take our first cruise soon and I would have totally forgotten about getting all the paperwork and whatever needed in order.

  • Eileen

    I love cruising and I actually just came back from one too! These are some tips! totally agree on you with packing more, it definitely comes in handy!

  • Ann B

    I have always wanted to go on a cruise. Thanks for the great checklist. I am hoping to go on a Disney cruise next winter. It is at the top of my travel bucket list.

  • My Teen Guide

    What a brilliant tips! I’ve never been i any cruise and I’m hoping this year I can go wtih my husband.

  • uprunforlife

    I loved going on a cruise. We had a ton of fun. My husband booked one of our excursions ahead of time and I highly recommend it for popular excursions. Some of them have limited space so you might miss out if you delay booking it. We went in the summer time and thankfully we didn’t need jackets or pants.

    I also recommend taking an empty bag in your suitcase. You will likely come home with souvenirs and if you don’t have room in your suitcase you may be stuck buying an expensive bag that you didn’t need.

  • Heather

    I’ve cruised twice, but back then there wasn’t an option to check in online. I love that! I also love the idea of paying your fees and tipping ahead of time. Sometimes you feel like you have more money to spend on excursions, but then don’t count those extra little fees in.

  • Kathy

    These are all some great tips. I’ve never been on a cruise before. My husband and I would love to go on one someday though. It sure looks like a lot of fun.

  • Jesica h

    These are really great tips! Being prepared for formal dinners is important and knowing just what to pack! I miss going on cruises I haven’t been on one in over 10 years!

  • Maria Han

    I haven’t try to go in a cruise but I wanted if I have a chance, This is really a helpful tips. I can use this for the future Glad you share this tips.