10 Things To Do In The Last Week Before The Cruise

You’ve sealed the deal on your dream cruise. Cruise line? Selected. Flight? Booked. Hotels? Pre and post-cruise, all set. And now, you must be counting days with excitement and a little bit of anxiety.

Indeed, cruise pre-planning can be like tackling K2, as it requires a lot of proper planning and organization to ensure you’re ready for boarding day.

To ensure that your vacation remains comfortable and hassle-free, there are many little things you still need to do before you begin your journey to the pier to board your ship.

From downloading offline maps for your ports of call to saving important documents to your phone and downloading audiobooks for onboard relaxation, here is my handy checklist that will take no time but will take your experience to another level.

So, without any further ado, let’s get started.

Things To Do In The Last Week Before The Cruise

1- Download Your Cruise Line’s App

cruise app

Nowadays, access to almost everything is just one click away, thanks to modern technology.

Likewise, many cruise lines offer handy apps on iOS and Android. These apps will help you during your vacations, like showing a daily checklist of activities on your ship and letting you make reservations for shore excursions and restaurants.

For midnight cravers, this app might let you order drinks and snacks to be delivered right to you. Sounds amazing, hah?

And the best part? You don’t have to purchase a hefty WiFi package to use these apps.

One more amazing thing is that apps from a few cruise lines, like Celebrity Cruises, make checking in for your cruise super easy. You just have to upload a security photo, and your boarding pass will be right on your phone. So, no more scrambling to print documents before heading to the pier!

So download your cruise line’s app to make your vacations even smoother.

2- Confirm Transportation Arrangements To The Port

cruise port

It’s also important to arrange and confirm your transportation to the airport (if required) and cruise port, whether a shuttle service, train, taxi, or Uber.

Imagine delaying your embarkation day because you won’t get transportation to the port on time.

I would say it’s the last thing you want when you’re excited to start your cruise.

So why take on all these tension burdens? Simply make transportation arrangements just a week before your cruise and relax and focus on enjoying your trip without the last-minute hiccups.

And genuinely speaking, it’s the push start for a stress-free beginning to your cruise adventure. So what more could you want?

3- Check In Online

You might think you’re all set for your cruise, but here’s my tip that could save you time and prevent last-minute hassle: check in online before you set sail.

Remember, before boarding your cruise ship, you must do a lot of paperwork, from personal details like your address and emergency contacts to setting up your onboard account.

For me, it’s very daunting. Imagine carrying heavy luggage in a crowded place and waiting for your turn to fill the papers. Yuk!

For this reason, cruise lines now offer the option to tackle all these things online before leaving home.

So, it’s highly recommended that you complete this paperwork online in advance to quickly breeze through the boarding process. Some cruise lines open their online check-in option months before departure, but you can usually do it this week before your cruise.

Do this and see how your sailing experience is enhanced.

4- Arrange For Pet Care (If Needed)


Before you set sail, don’t forget your furry pals. I know you can’t, but this is just a reminder to lock in those pet-sitting plans to ensure these cuties are pampered while you’re having a perfect vacation.

After all, a happy pet means a worry-free vacation for you!

So take a moment for these buddies and share any special instructions or requirements.

Most importantly, you must provide them with all the necessities like food and meds so they will have a good time in your absence.

Pro Tip:
It’s always a good idea to leave your vet’s contact info for your pet’s good health.

5- Check Your Identification Documents


Before checking in for your cruise, it’s always a perfect idea to take a quick peek at your identification documents to ensure they’re not expired or close to expiring. 

It’s very important as it saves you from last-minute hassle. You must know that re-issuance of the IDs can take time, so it might be a headache near check-in time.

So make sure to check your IDs in advance.

Most cruise lines require a passport, as the countries you visit during vacations need passports valid for at least six months beyond your departure date.

Pro Tip: Grab a new passport if it’s full of visa stamps. For cruise vacations, have at least two blank pages in your passport. And if it’s not, grab a new one, even if it’s not expired.

6- Print Out Your Documents

Printing documents for your boarding process is also important. I know you must think we can show them on the phone. Yes, you can, but I always prefer having a printed copy.

It’s because sometimes your phone might be lost or in checked luggage, or sometimes it might die, leaving you unable to access the documents.

Also, you might face officials, like an immigration officer, and you know they are prone to seeing physical copies of your itinerary before allowing you to proceed.

So, keeping a hard copy of your boarding pass and other important documents is always a good idea.

Pro Tip:
Print out the reservation numbers for hotels and flights and put all these documents in your carry-on.

7- Research Ports In Advance

cruies vacations

Cruise vacations aren’t as easy to plan as other trips, like a relaxing beach getaway. That’s because beach vacations don’t require much planning—you can simply show up and go with the flow.

But when it comes to cruise vacations, the heart of the experience lies in the port calls, which are often brief, sometimes just a few hours, but elevate your cruise experience to another level.

So, planning these days in advance is important to make the most of your enjoyment during these stops. This includes having a plan for things to do during these stops. Otherwise, you might miss out on some of the best parts of your cruise.

Once you’ve confirmed the ports you’ll visit, I recommend researching. Look into the best activities in each destination that cater to your taste.

Watch YouTube videos and see what others have done during their visits to the port so you can have a clear idea of things to do.

Pro Tip:
For popular cruise destinations like Alaska, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean, you can find helpful guides from TPG.

8- Double Check Your Packing List

packing list

Cruise vacation packing requires efficient techniques to save space. And if you do it in a rush without planning, you might forget something at home.

And maybe that's something really important without which your cruise vacation will be ruined.

So make sure to take a moment and double-check your packing list. Make a checklist to help you remember all the items that must be packed in your suitcase.

Related Post: Cruise Packing List

9- Consider Travel Insurance

Remember, traveling, especially cruising, isn't always smooth sailing.

Sometimes, you might cancel your cruise due to emergencies during your trip. Also, keep flight cancellations in mind, as they could cause you to miss your ship's departure.

These are unexpected situations that can happen to anyone. And to tackle them, travel insurance is necessary. It can be a lifesaver in some situations.

So, I recommend you get travel insurance to protect yourself from unexpected hiccups during your cruise vacations.

10- Get Ready To Unplug From Work

A week before your cruise, be mentally prepared to take a break from work and forget about the daily grind.

It's vacation time, after all!

This cruise trip is all about enjoying some well-deserved relaxation. It's your time, so fully immerse yourself in the upcoming adventure and enjoy every moment without worrying about your meetings, emails, or deadlines.

When you return from vacation, everything will be in place, but these true moments will not return.

So, focus on making the most of your well-deserved vacation.

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