We have put together some pages to help you get organized for your cruise. We think the better organized you are - the better cruise you are going to have. Plan your clothes ahead of time: what goes with what, what combinations will work, especially for the evenings. Don’t make all of those decisions while you are hurrying to get ready for dinner. Use these worksheets for planning you attire: one for daytime and one for evening.
Wardrobe Day Wardrobe Eve
- Bring a disposable camera for the excursions, just to keep your digital camera safe. And always keep your camera in your cabin safe when you’re not using it. (If it fits!)
- The most important tip is – ZIP LOCK BAGGIES. We can't say enough about the benefits of packing all your creams and liquids into these little babies. Kind of like a packing "condom". If things spill, they won't get on your clothes. Also, take some spare ones for wet bathing suits.
- Don't forget to clean out your wallets; you probably have cards in there that won't be used in Mexico! They don't take checks either, so leave your checkbook home. Bring a photo ID card, as well as your passport. Some ports need a photo ID with your Sea Pass card, to get back on the ship. DO NOT carry your passport around, especially in port! Can't stress this enough.
- A photocopy of your passport picture page can come in very handy if you lose it. Copies of your credit card numbers and the lost or stolen card phone number are good to have too. Of course, keep them in a different place than the originals.
- A carry-on bag (with shoulder straps) will come in handy for many reasons; bring what you need for the first afternoon on the ship (before the luggage arrives) and for the last night on the cruise. On that last night, your luggage has to be placed outside your cabin by midnight (or earlier), which leaves all sorts of odds and ends to carry off the next day. You may even use it to go to a beach or for shore excursions.
- Anyone who has gone cruising before knows that the biggest asset to enjoying tours and excursions is the SHOES. Comfortable, broken in, flat and probably not too gorgeous. But if you wear them all day, as you trudge through narrow streets and up hillsides, you'll be a happy camper. Reserve your heels for the night time.
- When going on an excursion, take a wet facecloth in a zip lock bag. Never know when you want to wipe your hands or face with a clean cloth. Also take a little bottle of the hand sanitizer. If it involves a swimsuit take a large zip lock for it when it gets wet.
- Another great tip for anyone that might be coming in a couple of days early. Pack both your needs for those days in one separate suitcase. That way, you only have to dig into that one suitcase.
- The most organized way to pack is to choose clothes for actual activities and events. That's why we like the worksheets so much, maybe not for the daytime but certainly for the evenings. Most of this trip will be very casual with lots of beachwear in the daytime. At night, you'll want to look at the nightly themes to help you decide what to pack.
Men - Sports Shirt and Slacks (no jeans please)
Men – Jacket and Slacks (no jeans please)
Men – Tuxedo or Suit & Tie
Jeans, t-shirts, tank tops, swimsuits, robes and bare feet are not permitted in the main dining room, at any time. “Guests are expected to respect this sailing tradition for the ambiance of the cruise” (This is from the ship)
There will be many tuxedos worn on the formal night, if you don't have one, you can rent one. It will be in your cabin when you arrive. A dark suit can also be worn. Why not add a bow tie and make it look more like a tux!
When you get to the port, the luggage is given to the luggage handlers to put onto the ship (with 20,000 other pieces!). There are special luggage tags that you will put on your bags, which will identify them. The bags should arrive at your cabin before dinner (but could be there as late as midnight, so make sure you have something to wear to dinner in your carry-on).
Carry On Luggage:
Carry ALL your valuables with you, along with medications and your camera. This includes your cruise documents, Set Sail Pass, Passport, Photo ID, Credit Cards and any other identification you might need. There is a time lapse before you have our luggage in your cabin, so put the things you need immediately in your carry-on luggage.
Anytime after 11:30 is the best time to arrive at the port. The earlier the better, to avoid the crowds. You must check in before 3:30 pm or your reservation will be canceled! When you check into the desk at the port, your identification will be checked against the information you put in for your Set Sail Pass (make sure you fill this out correctly and the name spelling matches).
An imprint of a credit card will be taken for your on board expenses. You will then be given your Set Sail Card. This card looks like a credit card and indeed it is, but it is also your cabin door key. You will not need money on board, just your Set Sail Card to charge all of your purchases to your account.
The only use for money on board, will be in the casino. You can also pay with cash for your account when you come on board, instead of charging your credit card. This saves you from worrying about your money and keeping it in your safe.
Your cruise account can be viewed at any time on your interactive in-cabin TV. Just follow the instructions on the screen and it will show exactly what you have charged on your account. Of course, some may not want to see those totals until they leave.
By 6:00 am, on the last day of the cruise, an invoice is delivered to your cabin. You can keep these charges on your credit card (given at check in) or you can pay cash at the Guest Relations... but the line can get long.
In Cabin Safes:
In each cabin you will find a safe for your use. You will find them to be extremely good in safeguarding your valuables while on board: jewelry, passports, money, credit cards, cameras & airline tickets.
Before we sail, the ship has a mandatory Muster Drill, which is like a fire drill. All passengers MUST attend this drill. The best thing about the drill is we sail immediately afterwards and that means... "Sail Away Party"!
Everyone is charged gratuities in advance, so they will be pre-paid the minute you arrive on board. You may add additional amounts for any of the ship's staff that gave you exceptional service or made your stay on the ship a memorable one. There will be envelopes left in your cabin on the last night of the cruise for gratuities. Since you already pre-paid them before you sailed, you do not need to do anything with this envelope, unless you decide that you want to tip extra.
The pre-paid gratuities cover your wait staff in the main dining area and your cabin steward. You still have to pay gratuities for alcoholic drinks, spa services and other amenities. Note: tips are usually automatically added to your bill, so make sure you check that you are not over or under tipping.
There are no self-service laundry facilities on board. They do have a great laundry service. Put your laundry in the bag provided; fill out the laundry form (it will have prices on it) and simply leave it on your bed. Your cabin steward will take it from there. Usually, the laundry will be back the next day: cleaned and pressed. If you need a certain article for the next day, check with the cabin steward to make sure it can be returned in time (if you turn in laundry late in the day, you may not see it for two days).
They do not supply or allow clothes irons on board because they are a fire hazard (and fire on a ship is bad).
There is an internet cafe on board, where you can purchase packages of minutes to use while on board (either with their computers or your laptop). The more minutes you buy at one time, the less they charge you per minute.
There are unlimited fountain soft drink packages you can purchase before the cruise or once on board. For the price of a few sodas per day, you can have unlimited fountain drinks, what a great deal.
They also offer discounted wine packages. If you like wine, we recommend getting a wine package. You can have wine at dinner to share with friends or make new ones. If you don't finish your wine, you can have them deliver it to your cabin for you.
We mentioned the fire hazards of using an iron, well the same goes for candles. They are a big, No No! You can use the nice flameless, flickering LED candles, if you want to set the mood in your cabin.
We hope these tips will help you new cruisers.