Little Lessons – Cruise Control

I am The List Lady.  My life is made up of lists.  If you need a list for almost anything, it is likely that I have one.


I don’t see this as a bad thing.


I will be enjoying my fourth cruise in a few weeks.  Of course, I have a cruise preparation and packing list at the ready.  I have it saved on my computer and printed, and I have laminated the sheet for durability and so I can use a dry erase marker to check items off as I am compiling and packing.  By using my system on this list, I rarely forget to bring anything!  (I have a separate packing list for the road trip to the port and home afterward, and another packing list for clothing for the cruise, not included here.)


Tips for What, When, Where, Why & How

Items in red are absolute essentials!  Everything else can be replaced on board.



  • Cruise documents (boarding pass, passport, visa, driver’s license, photo ID) – make multiple copies in case they are lost or stolen
  • Medical insurance card
  • Credit cards Be sure to call credit card companies before traveling to notify them of travel plans
  • Cash in small bills for tipping porters, valets
  • Prescription drugs, essential medications
  • Glasses, contacts and saline solution, reading glasses, sunglasses
  • Cell phone and charger
    • Change lock screen on your phone to display emergency contact information, including email address and an alternate phone number
  • Necessary toiletries and wet wipes
  • Swimsuit and cover-up
  • Ink pen (not gel-type pens)
  • Lanyard with clear pocket
  • Vehicle keys

Do pack: (placing a dryer sheet in each piece of luggage will help to keep everything smelling fresh)

  • Use soft-sided luggage so it can be stowed under the bed after unpacking
  • Appropriate clothing needs (plan two outfits per day + 2 swimsuits)
  • Hygiene needs (for liquids in bottles – remove lid, place a small piece of plastic wrap over the opening and replace lid to avoid spills)
  • Camera, extra memory card, charger or extra batteries
  • Binoculars
  • Waterproof phone cover
  • Small flashlight
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Sunhat or baseball cap
  • Extra folded duffle bag
  • Tote for excursions
  • Lightweight jacket or sweater
  • Watch
  • Small clock for stateroom
  • Ear plugs
  • Dramamine or seasickness bands
  • Tylenol, Advil or other pain reliever
  • Anti-diarrheal medication (*if you get diarrhea and go to the ship’s MD, you will be quarantined! Take care of it yourself if possible*)
  • Ziploc bags
  • Pop-up hamper or trash bag for dirty clothing
  • Travel coffee mug and/or insulated cup with straw
  • Clothespins – a half-dozen should be plenty
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Magnets or magnetic clips/hooks
  • Bottle of Mio or other water enhancer
  • Hanging shoe organizer
  • Highlighter marker
  • Multiple outlet converter
  • Umbrella
  • A few extra hangers
  • Clips to fasten towels to deck chairs
  • Dry erase board with magnets on back
  • Collapsible closet organizer
  • Small first aid kit (bandages, antibiotic ointment)
  • Lint roller
  • Safety pins
  • Hanging air freshener

Don’t pack:

  • Clothes iron or travel steamer
  • Weapons
  • Candles
  • Small electrical appliances (coffee pot, toaster, hot plate)
  • Cooler
  • Sports equipment (snorkeling equipment is okay)
  • Scissors with blades longer than 4”
  • Electrical extension cords
  • Swim towels, beach towels
  • Valuable jewelry
  • Liquor or beer


  • Complete online pre-registration
  • Bring your packed carry-on and don’t check it with your other luggage
  • Luggage tags affixed securely
  • Take a photo of luggage before checking in
  • Be on time! Checked in and onboard no later than 90 minutes before sailing time
  • Avoid the lunch buffet while waiting for the stateroom to be ready.
  • Download Royal Caribbean app to use for communication with the group
  • Choose a location for meeting other than staterooms
  • Check into embarking day spa specials
  • Check out the ship library for reading material


  • Turn cell phone off or to airplane mode and turn data OFF
  • Take advantage of free room service for breakfast and snacks
  • Order whatever you like at the main dining hall. You are not limited to one of each appetizer, entree and dessert in the main dining room. You can order two entrees or three desserts if you choose. You can also order appetizer-sized portions of entrees as starters or order a few appetizers for your main meal. It’s a great way to try new foods you’re not sure you’ll like
  • Check stateroom Bible for extras left behind for you by previous cruisers – drink cards, coupons, so on
  • Check out saunas, showers, and steam rooms – bigger shower stalls, more clean towels, fancy toiletries
  • Use the stairs – less crowded, burns more calories, plus see many great pieces of art!
  • Green apples and saltines will help combat seasickness
  • Use the slot machine as a loophole to get actual cash money instead of the expensive ATM. Just insert your card into the slot machine. Consider betting a nickel or so on a slot pull just for fun. Now cash out with the banker and you’ve just turned your onboard credit into cold hard cash
  • Main lobby deck is a good place to get away from hustle and bustle of upper decks


  • Check that all charges are accurate
  • Complete customs declaration form
  • Keep all ID documents in your carry-on
  • Count checked luggage. Take a photo of bags outside stateroom door.
  • Pack your carry-on same as for boarding, minus swimsuit


Above all, remember to have a great time on your vacation!  That is why you are going, right?


1 thought on “Little Lessons – Cruise Control

  1. Pingback: Little Lessons – Road Trip! | everythingbeautifule311

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