If you’re new to cruises, you may not know what to expect when you board your ship. What kinds of clothes should you pack? What will be included in the fare for amenities? Even if you have been on a cruise before, it’s easy to forget what steps you need to take to prepare for your vacation. Follow the six recommendations below to ensure a smooth voyage.


Plan to arrive at least two hours before the latest boarding time. The cruise line should provide a time range for you to board. For instance, if the ship is scheduled to depart at 5:00 p.m., then your boarding time could be between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. If you need to take a plane to your port, try to arrive a day early to minimize unexpected delays. The line may be very long, so try to arrange a meeting with any companions away from the dock before you get in line.


When you finish embarking, your baggage will be checked. Later, you may come back from dinner to see your suitcases waiting at your cabin door. Try to bring luggage that easily collapses so the pieces can fit under your bed. Space in the cabin is limited, so consider bringing a shoe organizer to hang over the bathroom door. You can store toiletries and other personal effects in the pockets.


Some small amenities may already be included with your room, so you should check with your cruise line before packing anything unnecessary. These items include hair dryers, irons, hangers, bath towels, beach towels, and toiletries. 


If you’re traveling with your significant other and there are two twin beds in the cabin, the last occupants likely just left the beds positioned that way. Simply call the front desk and ask for someone to arrange the two beds together to form one bed. Most ships have beds designed for this dual purpose. You can request that the porters fix your beds while you’re away from the cabin.

Motion sickness

If you’re prone to motion sickness or you’re unsure about it, pack something just in case. Useful aids such as bracelets, tablets, or patches can help you to get the most enjoyment out of your vacation. If you forget to purchase a motion sickness aid before your big trip, it’s likely that you’ll be able to purchase something at the souvenir shop on board.


If you need to bring your cell phone, set it to airplane mode to avoid extra data and roaming charges. Also, there’s typically a room on the ship that has computers for Internet access. There should be a phone line for emergency calls, too. Just remember that there will be extra charges for these conveniences.

Cruises are ideal outings because you have food, entertainment, and special events all in one place. With these tips, you should be well prepared for your trip. Now, it is only a matter of time before you are on a relaxing, well-deserved vacation in the sun.