BEFORE YOU GO
~ Mail overflowing your mailbox while you are away is a neon sign to thieves that you are not home. You can request an "Authorization To Hold Mail" card from your letter carrier, by visiting your nearest post office, or online at the www.usps.com website. Mail that accumulated while you were gone can be delivered on a date you designate on the card or you can retrieve it yourself at the post office.
~ Make two copies of your passport, driver's license, and credit cards before leaving home. Leave one set of copies in a safe place in your stateroom. Leave the other copies with a friend or family member at home.
~ Notify your cruise travel professional of any special dietary restrictions when booking your cruise and follow up on the arrangements a couple months before embarking.
~ Tuck fabric softener sheets between garments as you pack to keep clothing fresh during travels.
~ A "pop-up" mesh clothes hamper packs flat in your suitcase and keeps your closet neat on board.
~ Toss a few empty large zip-lock and small plastic garbage bags into your suitcase. You may need them later to pack toiletries and dirty or damp clothes.
~ Wrinkles in clothing are caused by under-packing (clothes shift) and over-packing (which squishes clothes). Avoid wrinkles by packing light and tight.
~ Most ships’ cabins have only one or two electrical outlets located near the desk/vanity table. Packing a power strip allows you to use more than one electrical appliance, particularly if you’re using a cell phone, video camera, laptop computer and other items need to be charged.
~ Don't forget to pack and USE your sunscreen. Why take the chance of a nasty sunburn ruining a great cruise vacation? Protect your skin from injury, aging and skin cancer.
~ When selecting sunglasses, the most important considerations are the amount of UV light that is blocked by the lenses and a proper fit. The lenses should shield your eyes from most angles. Darker lenses do not necessarily offer better UV protection. Look for polarized sunglasses that block 99% of harmful UV rays.
~ Germicidal hand cleaner is a must have when you are going ashore and for adventure excursions where water might be at a premium.
~ Have a supply of one-dollar bills handy for tipping drivers, airport skycaps and porters at the pier.
YOU’RE FINALLY CRUISING
~ Make spa and salon appointments and specialty dining reservations as soon as you get onboard so you won't be disappointed—prime appointment times fill up fast!
~ Check the balance of your onboard account throughout your cruise. Straighten out any discrepancies immediately to avoid the long line at the Purser's Desk the last day or in the morning after your final bill arrives.
~ Ladies, don’t weigh yourself down with a heavy hand bag or where expensive or newly purchased jewelry when going ashore. Otherwise, you could easily become a target for thieves and purse snatchers. Carry only what you need and carry it inconspicuously.
~ Set aside a few moments every day to pack up your used clothing and spend the last afternoon of your cruise doing fun things while your fellow passengers are packing to go home.
Kerry & Nancylee Stange - Xpertise Cruise Travel