Cruise Travel Tips

How to Cruise Like a Pro

Tips and tricks that will help you look like a cruising pro on your next vacation. I’ve been to six cruises so far and I’ve picked up on a couple unexpected things that can help make your cruising vacation even better. I learned these the hard way so you don’t have to! For more information check out my latest cruise Vlog on my YouTube channel Valentin Forever Channel Here’s my list of tips and tricks for your next cruise vacation:


Cruises have many thing available for you to enjoy on board. Some things are not included in your vacation package. Things as crucial as water. So,  my number one tip is to check on with your cruise line to see the prices of their water package and see if it’s worth it or not. A lot of cruise lines let you bring water bottles, wine and snacks on your luggage which makes the cost of your vacation lower. I would recommend to definitely check with your cruise line to learn about their regulations for bringing your own water, wine and evern snacks. Also, if you got the cruise drinking package, make sure you ask for the fine print exclusions. I forgot to do this on our last trip and assumed it included water bottles and cappuccinos and come to find out it didn’t. That’s when we ended up paying for it separately. The last cruise I went, we paid $60 for a case of 12 (20oz) water bottles. That money we could’ve use for an excursion.


Make Reservations in advance:

Make sure you make reservations in advance (way in advance) because there’s a lot of people that would like to do the same things you do and they get filled up quickly. I would recommend making reservations for your excursions and even for your specialty dining as soon as you can so you can ensure you will be able to do them.


Remember to take/bring stuff in case you get sea sick

 I get car sick so I know I would probably get sea sick. I get the patches and wear them when I go on cruises. I learned that if you want the patches to work during the cruise vacation, it’s better to put them on two days prior so the medicine it’s in your system by the time you have that Day at Sea. Believe me, being sea sick can make your vacation miserable. I also got the ginger gum or the ginger candy to help with the sea sickness. If you go on a cruise longer than 4 days, I would recommend to bring another patch with you to wear it for the other half of your trip. I went on a 7 day cruise vacation and wore it just once and when I got home I was Land Sick. I’ve never heard or ever experience that but it could happen. I felt so sick at home for tree days and I just want to save you that miserable time and advice you to take precautions when it comes to sea sickness and land sickness.


Bring a Day Bag on DAY 1

 It’s important that you bring a bag or a backpack with things you need for day one. I mean bring your bathing suit, toiletries, a nice change of clothes for dinner time. Remember that they take your luggage when you enter the crusie and you have to wait for them to deliver it to your room cabin.  It happened to me twice already that I got my luggage delivered after 8pm on Day 1 of our vacation. That means I was stuck with the clothes I had on and was not able to enjoy some of the cruise activities because of my attire. I was not able to go in the pool or even go to the formal dining room because my clothes was all in my luggage.


Cabin items you need to bring:

  1. Extension Cord: Cabins have limited plugs to charge your phone, etc. On our last cruise we had ONE plug in our cabin. This is why it’s important know that you have to bring your own power strip. I got one on amazon that we were able to use in our Europe cruise and our Mexico Cruise. This one has the converter to be able to use in international plugs. Kind of like this one Power/converter on Amazon.
  2. Alarm clock: I don’t use an alarm clock at home. I just use my phone. However, when you are in a cruise vacation sometimes they go through time zone changes and because of poor phone signal you may not be able to know what time it is. We learned this the hard way and had to go find out the time on the T.V.s they had on the halls. It’s a great way to ensure you know what time it is specially when you have to go to an excursion.
  3. Noise machine: I personally have not been clever enough to bring this on my cruise voyages. Cabin walls are so thin and you can hear everything (people passing by, people from the rooms next to you, etc.). On our last cruise I couldn’t sleep because of this and a noise machine would’ve been awesome to have. The people in the room next to us kept coughing and we could hear them as loud as if they were in the room with us. That brings me to the next point.
  4. Clorox wipes & hand sanitizes: I am a germophobe and I cannot recommend bringing cleaning supplies with you enough. Like I mentioned, the people next to our cabin were coughing up a lung and getting sick would have ruined our vacation. As soon as they let us in our cabin I clean all the surfaces and handles to ensure the people that were there before us didn’t leave any trace. I got the To-go package so it didn’t take much space to pack.
  5. Playing Cards/Journal/Book: There is a lot of down time when you are on your day at sea. I never thought about bringing my own entertainment, but I definitely recommended! I usually bring a book and my Bullet journal to spend a relaxing afternoon in while the ship sails through the ocean. I would also say bring a deck of cards to play when you run out of money at the casino. Also,  Netflix has the option to download episodes. This way you don’t spend a fortune on the wifi the cruise has to offer and enjoy your favorite shows while you sip on a piña colada.
  6. Bring a cardigan or jacket: Cruising can get pretty chili out in the ocean. I always recommend bringing a light cardigan and a jacket to wear.
  7. Door Decoration: Cruise cabin doors all look the same and an easy way to spot your door is to decorate it with magnets. We got ours from the dollar store. Check your cruise line to see if they have restrictions. I know some cabin doors are magnetic and some are not. This could be a way to celebrate someone’s birthday, bride to-be, anniversary, sportsfan, or even a holiday (we did Easter decorations).
  8. White board: Since phone signal is limited in the cruise ship,having a whiteboard on the door can help when you are with a group and want to let people know where you’ll be so they can find you. We also used our white board for people passing by would write us messages. It was such a fun surprise every time we went back to our cabin. People also use walkies to avoid getting lost in the cruise ship.


Items to bring when you get down on ports and go on your excursions

  1. Lanyard: Your keycard is what you use to get in and out of your cabin, to get in/out of the ship and to purchase items inside the cruise. A lanyard could save you from losing your key card which it crucial since it’s linked to your credit card and it’s your way in/out to the ports. I know this can easily make you look dorky, but get creative and find some cute ones on Etsy.
  2. Binoculars: This was such a good item to bring specially to see dolphins swimming along with the cruise ship. It’s just an easy way to enjoy the beauty nature has to offer while you sip on your margaritas.
  3. Bag: This was a hassle but at the same time a saver. Some cruise line let you bring their beach towels so a bag comes in handy to pack those along with snacks and a water bottle.
  4. Ziploc bags: They help keep you valuables safe especially when you are going on a tropical cruise vacation. This way if you go to the beach or go to any water excursion it will keep your key card, wallet and ever phone safe from water damage.
  5. Towel clips: I know it sounds like this is not a thing but believe me when you are trying to lay out at the pool deck and the wind is blowing full blast you will be thanking me for this one. I saw a lot of people with cute towel clips special just for deck chairs. I didn’t have those cute ones so I use binder clips instead and it worked!

Thank you so much for stopping by! Do you have any cruise tips to add to this list? I would love to hear about it! Feel free to leave me a comment!


Laura Valentin


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