Travel With Joy owners, Bob and Joyce Bush, have cruised over 30 times and would like to share a few tips with you.
Before You Leave
- Use a check-off list when packing luggage to help prevent leaving important items. Make sure you have all documentation required, as you will not be permitted to board without it.
- Prior to leaving home get plenty of small bills for tipping purposes.
- Pack all medications and jewelry in your carry-on luggage.
- Use plastic bags to hold small items such as medications, liquids, jewelry, and other small items.
- If you’re planning to do a lot of shopping, bring an empty duffle bag or make sure your luggage will not exceed the airline’s weight limit, which is usually 60 to 75 pounds. (Check with your airline prior to leaving).
Day of Departure
- Make sure you get on the same bus with your luggage when boarding for transportation to the pier.
- Don’t be overly concerned with motion sickness. Ships are designed with stabilizers that resemble the fins of a fish and control the side to side motion. Most new ships are large and built so that you hardly know you’re moving.
- Be prepared for a mandatory evacuation drill at the beginning of each cruise. This is required for all cruises. It takes about 30 minutes and then you’re free to enjoy the cruise.
- Cabin sizes vary on most ships. Make the most of your space and use the closets and drawers for your clothes. You can slide your luggage under the bed for the duration of your cruise.
During the Cruise
- There is a charge for alcoholic beverages and soft drinks on board, but in most cases you can purchase a soft drink coupon for about $30.00 for unlimited soft drinks.
- The room steward, wait staff, and crew are there to make your cruise an experience of a lifetime. Remember that your tip makes up the bulk of their salary.
- If you plan to take tours on your own that aren’t cruise ship sponsored, remember the Captain does not know where you are or that you are not on board. Count on the ship to leave the port on time. Always be mindful of the time and be on board as dictated or no less than 30 minutes prior to the scheduled time of departure.
Heading Back Home
- Upon debarkation, use the services of the baggage handlers, who have a special lane and can breeze you through customs. It’s worth the tip! They will also know which bus you should board for the return trip to the airport.