In 34 days my mom and I will be living life on the high seas! Our last cruise was to Hawaii and that was 14 years ago and the last time we took a mother/daughter trip without the kids or hubby was probably more than 10 years ago. We are way overdue for a girls trip!
Carnival Miracle Western Caribbean Cruise is a 7-day cruise that leaves out of Tampa and we’ll be stopping in Grand Cayman, Isla Roatan (off the coast of Honduras), Belize and Cozumel. I travel a lot but cruising usually takes more planning on my part because I want to be prepared since its harder to get things you need in an emergency without paying an arm and a leg.
If you’re going to be traveling out of the country make sure and have your passport and whatever other documents you need. Leave a copy with family in case something happens. I also did a post with tips on traveling out of the country.
One of the first things I like to do is pre-book excursions. I found a really great deal online for an excursion that I want to do that wasn’t through the cruise line. Yea I’m taking a chance by doing it on my own but I’m also saving a ton of money. I’ve read all the reviews and talked with the company a lot and I’m pretty confident we most miss the ship. And if we do I’ll just start a new life and learn spanish…LOL!
Most of us have a budget in mind when traveling but a lot of times cruises can get expensive with a lot of the little fees for things like soda, wifi and dinner. While the majority of meals and drinks are included there are a lot of “exclusive” things that they have on board that can make your bill double before you know it. To save on drinks you can pack a 12 pack of soda and one bottle of wine person. I’ll be making sure my mom has one in her bag as well…LOL! I’m not big on soda so water and wine will be perfectly fine for me!
I’ve been working on being a better packer to get myself ready for this cruise. Before you even start to pack, make a list of what you’ll need. Remember those OTC that you might need like ibuprofen or allergy medication. Nothing worse than having a headache and paying some crazy amount for a bottle of aspiring. Also if you’re like me you’ll be needing that Dramamine too!
When you’re in tight quarters you don’t def want to over pack and there’s no need. I plan to make sure and take a hoodie for the cool nights and the rest of the items will consist of swimwear and other items that don’t take much space. A lot of cruise line have certain nights when the dress code isn’t as casual so make sure and check that out too. I also plan to take my toiletry bag to hang over the door since I won’t be able to just spread all my crap all over the sink.
Notify your bank and credit card companies that you will be traveling. You don’t want to be out there living your best life buying stuff and then all of a sudden they freeze your account. Also talk with your cell phone company about getting an international plan or just plan to only use your phone when you’re on wifi.
Don’t forget to bring cash. Certain places don’t accept credit/debit cards and its also a little easier to haggle over prices when you have cash…lol! And I’m pretty cheap when it comes to taking my money out of ATM machines. Those transaction fees add up quick!
Have you been on a cruise? What’s your #1 tip that you always share so that people can get the best out of their trip? Share below!