Tips for Getting Ready for a Cruise

We will be taking a 7 day cruise on the new Carnival Sunshine Ship which is the largest in their fleet. This will be my 4th cruise so I feel like I have a very good plan in place to make it the perfect vacation. You really learn as you go!

I will be sure to bring back lots of pictures because it really should be an amazing trip. We have great excursions planned and the ship is suppose to be one of the best.

Here is a few pictures of the Carnival Sunshine that we will be traveling on.

The water park for both kids and adults and yes I will be taking part in this!!!

Adult only Serenity Section.

Adventure area for both kids and adults!

A couple of tips I want to share with you no matter if this is your first cruise or 15th.

1. Always check the average weather temperature of the location you are going. You might be taking a November or December cruise and your weather is currently freezing but remember you will not need the your boots on the ship. No need to pack those heavy winter items. The ship does get chilly in the evening so always bring a sweater but just remember you are going on vacation to leave the cold!

2. Start several weeks in advance making a travel packing check list and keep the copy for all future cruises to add to or take away as you learn tips. I have a copy on my Ipad under a Numbers app which allowed me to create a checklist. I have found every couple of days I think of something new and add to it. In a future post I will share an idea of everything on my list.

3. If its possible turn your guest bedroom into a packing station. Once we get to a 2 week period before we leave I will have sections in my guest room to start laying everything out for us. This is not the type of vacation that you want to pack at the last minute. If you forget something important you cant run to the store and purchase something new, your stuck without it in most cases.

4. If you are like us we really over pack but I love over packing because I like options. If I change my mind and want to go more casual I have those items with me. Also most ships now have an open under bed storage and you can put your luggage under so it is out of the way.  I would highly recommend bringing more clothes than what you think you need.

5. Take a picture of each piece of your luggage. The last cruise I took in June with Dallas we had one of her pieces go missing and not make it to the room. The ship was wonderful with helping us find it but it would have been much faster if I could have shown them a photo of the missing piece. It also helps you make sure you have everything when you arrive to your room.

6. Bring a binder with everything printed and in clear plastic sheets. I print out all of our receipts for our shore excursions, our schedule, I place a copy of all of our credit cards in case any are stolen. A copy of our ID but the original stays in our wallet. I bring extra clear sheets so I can save our daily agenda the ship gives us. I like to be able to go back and review them and give a blog review on the events and this helps remind me of all our activities.

7. This is the time to be adventurist! We will be going to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. Take a look at the excursion we are taking part in when we travel to Cozumel. Its the Amazing Secret River. This is really out of my comfort zone but I am going for it!

8. Sea sickness- I do not have an issue with this because I have found a secret that works for me. I love an inside cabin. I find that we are doing so many things around the ship and we do not sit in our room for long period of time so I love it. The center of the ship is very stable so I sleep like a baby. Now my tip here is watch the first few days when you return after a long cruise. It takes me a while to get my land legs back and for the first few days I feel a little rough but noting that keeps me from going again! I love taking a cruise and would highly recommend it.

9. Bring walkie talkies. When you are in your everyday life and need someone in your family you just pick you your cell phone and call but you cant do that on the ship. This time we will be bringing a walkie talkie so we can keep up with each other. We will not be separated often  but since my son will be with us there might be times he and my husband might go to the slides or the arcade and this will help me stay in touch with them. Just make sure you are respectful to others and not have I long conversation on them. It is just to be used to find a location. I have seen times in the past where people will talk on them like its the only time they will ever have a chance to speak to their family and I always just wonder why. When used correctly they are a great tool!

10. Find out what special events your ship offers. Example the ship we are going on has a special Chef's Table event that reservations are required for weeks before you go on your cruise. They only allow 12 people to take part in this event and its only offered 1 or 2 nights. So out of 3500 people only 24 people can take part. There is also a Steakhouse on the ship which requires reservations. You will want to check for additional charges. Excursion also can fill up so check the reviews on them. I will be doing a post to talk more about that.

I will share my list of items we will bringing on the cruise with us because I am sure you will find it very helpful. Again each time I come back I make a note of what I should have packed so I feel I have a great plan in place.

Do you love taking a cruise?

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