Things You Should Do Just Before Your Cruise

Posted on 2 Mar 2023 , updated on 9 Nov 2023

Sometimes planning your dream cruise can start more than a year ahead of the cruise itself. While there are many things you can start planning, booking and ticking off your list from the beginning, there are some tasks you will need to leave until just before you cruise.

Download Offline Maps

Setup Offline maps on your phone
Setup Offline maps on your phone

Did you know Google Maps allows you to download offline versions of its maps to your device.

Offline maps - as the name suggests, allows you to use Google Maps without needing to be connected to the internet. You can use the maps to search for locations and address, and even get directions.

To add offline maps to your device follow the instructions here.

Download Streaming Movies and Shows

Download shows from your favourite steaming services to watch offline
Download shows from your favourite steaming services to watch offline

This is not just useful for your cruise - but if you have any flights to and from the departure port - can be very useful at the airport or while in transit.

Most of the major streaming services will allow you to download selected shows and movies to watch offline on your device.

While cruising, there is a limited selection of things generally to watch on the TV in your stateroom if you want to have a quiet evening in before bed, so it is best to take your own shows.

Book Your Airport Parking or Transfer

It's a good idea not to leave this one to the last minute, as there is nothing more stressful than finding that there is no parking available for your cruise dates. Often there are discounts for booking in advance, so look online, do your homework and know the prices of Uber/Taxi vs parking at the airport or cruise terminal.

Print Your Luggage Tags

Have your luggage tags printed and ready for speedy embarkation. Image: queen_of_subtle @ flickr
Have your luggage tags printed and ready for speedy embarkation. Image: queen_of_subtle @ flickr

For speedy boarding when you arrive at the cruise terminal, make sure you have printed your luggage tags - these are used by the cruise line to help your bag navigate efficiently to your stateroom once its aboard the ship.

Also remember to pack some way to secure the tags to your bag - such as a small roll of sticky tape or a small stapler.

The bag tags are only used once for boarding - so despite what some cruisers do - there is usually no need to laminate them or make them a permanent part of your bag.

Let Your Bank Know You're Travelling

There would be nothing worse than going to pay for a meal, tour or souvenir in a foreign port only to discover your credit card has been blocked.

Credit card companies use sophisticated transaction monitoring software to block any cards or transactions that look sus or out of place (such as someone who lives in Australia suddenly spending money in a store in Vanuatu).

Most banks offer through their online banking, a way to record your planned travel including dates and countries to help prevent false blocks happening - so don't get caught out - log onto your internet banking before your cruise and let the bank know you're travelling.

Charge Your Devices and Get a Powerbank

Keep your devices charged when travelling with a powerbank
Keep your devices charged when travelling with a powerbank

Day one can chew up a lot of battery on your devices - from keeping yourself amused while travelling to the cruise terminal (especially if you're taking the risk of flying to the departure city that same day), to locating and showing your check-in documents, boarding pass, proof of vaccination, etc, AND all of the photos you are going to want to take.

Make sure to fully charge all of your devices before you start your journey - and maybe even invest in a power bank so you can top-up your devices during the day without needing to leave them at a powerpoint.

Download a Language Pack

Heading to an area that speaks a different language. Did you know the Google Translate app allows you to download language packs, so you can translate using your phone without an internet connection? Find the instructions here.

What's Your Experience?

Do you agree with this list, or do you have other things you consider a must do?

Share your thoughts in the discussion below.


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