What to do Before Your Cruise - Part 1

Sep 25, 2023
booked a cruise

Welcome back to Byte Size Cruises! So, you’ve officially booked a cruise for next year. That’s amazing! But… Now what do you do? How soon do you prepare and get ready? In this two part blog series we are going to break down what to do 6 months, 90 days, 30 days, and 1 week before your cruise so you can head off to your vacation fully prepared. 


6 Months Before Your Cruise:

  1. Travel. Make sure you have your plane tickets squared away or, if you’re driving to your port, make sure you have a plan for travel. 
  2. Book your excursions! Get on the app or on the cruise line website, go through the excursions available for your cruise and make your reservations. We have been finding recently that excursions have been selling out, so you’ll want to make sure you get this locked in far in advance. 
  3. If you’re going to get the drink package for your vacation, go ahead and get it now. The price will only go up the closer you get to your cruise! (Photo 1)
  4. Double check your accommodations. Take a look at what cabin you booked, maybe last year, and make sure you are satisfied with what you have and where it is located. If not, now is the time to upgrade, downgrade, or switch!
  5. Make sure your travel insurance is set! Don’t wait and risk forgetting. Cancellations and emergencies do happen and you’ll want to make sure you are covered. Read the fine print and make sure you have this all set and ready to go. 
  6. Get your passport if you don’t have one and double check the expiration date on your passport if you do. It takes time to get this taken care of and the last thing you want is to not be able to cruise because you waited until the last minute to get your passport. 
  7. Put an additional deposit on your cruise. This is a good time to start paying off your vacation and it’s always better to do this in small pieces rather than being forced to pay a large final sum. 
  8. Establish your cruise budget. This is one of the best pieces of advice we can offer you here at Byte Size Cruises. All too often we think that the price we booked the cruise for is the final price we will pay and that is simply not the case. On top of the booking price you’ll be paying gratuities, taxes, and of course you’ll want space in the budget for some fun. On all of the cruise lines you’re going to be nickel and dimed a bit. Put a budget together and really put the numbers down to make sure you set yourself up for success. Do it 6 months out so you have time to save!
  9. Join a Roll Call! You can join these on social media or on Cruise Critic and in these groups you’re going to get a bunch of great tips and tricks for your upcoming vacation. Now on Facebook, our big tip is this: join the group ahead of time and then leave it the moment you step on the ship. Here’s why; generally, the moment the vacation actually starts these groups get very negative and everyone starts complaining. We don’t need any of that negativity while on our cruise and neither do you. 
  10. Research your ports. This is our last tip for 6 months before your cruise. Get on the internet and start to investigate. Not all ports are created equal and there can be a vast difference between ports, even ones that are close to each other. Plan ahead as to what you want to see at port and what excursions you might want to do so you can book them. Good things to find out are: What kind of currency do they accept? Do they speak English? Is the water safe to drink? Are there specific things to look out for? Check out all of these things no matter what port you are going to. (Photo 2)


You’re getting closer to your cruise and getting excited! Three months have passed. What should you do now?


90 Days Before Your Cruise:

  1. Pay it off! Finish paying for your vacation; your bill is due 90 days before departure. Get that taken care of and double check all of your booking information. Is your name spelled right? Are you in the correct cabin? Etc. 
  2. Passport check. You should have ordered this at the 6 month mark if you needed it, so double check now that it is in order.
  3. Check visa and vaccine requirements. Are you going to Europe or anywhere you would need a visa? Do you need any vaccinations? Double check everything here. 
  4. Double check your travel to and from your cruise. Is your airfare all set to go? Have you booked the hotel you’ll stay at the night before you depart? Make sure all of these things are set to go. (Photo 3)
  5. Lock in your excursions! If you were thinking about booking something but haven’t yet, make sure to do it now. The prices from now on will go up and things will start to sell out, so make sure your reservations are taken care of.
  6. Items to purchase. Make a list of things you need to buy before you leave on your cruise! It’s all the little things you’ll want to collect now and start early. The last thing you want to be doing is rushing around a day before your cruise or (worse) realize you’ve forgotten something important.
  7. Check the state of your luggage. Do you have everything you need to carry your belongings with you on your vacation? Do you need luggage tags? Stickers? Double check this and purchase what you need now. (Photo 4)
  8. Transfers. Start making a plan for how you are going to get from the airport to your pre cruise hotel, from the hotel to the boarding dock, etc. and make sure these things are in your budget. We recommend using rideshares such as Lyft or Uber, or often you can book a transfer vehicle with the cruise line. 
  9. Diet and health changes? This is completely optional but something to think about; some of us like to trim up before we go away. Also, on vacation we do tend to consume more than normal. Keep this in mind and make any changes or shifts you want to earlier rather than later. 
  10. Check out the fun things on the ship! Download the cruise app and look online to find out more about the ship you are sailing on and what it has. Now’s a good time to start to think about the things you definitely want to check out on the ship while at sea. 


Those are our top 10 things to do 6 months and 90 days before your cruise! Would you add anything? We would love to hear from you! Comment below.


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