Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Preparation Time Line

36 More Days!

As we're ALMOST a month away, I thought I'd post Chrissy's cruise preparation time line for the last month. Thanks again Chrissy for all the research!

30 Days Before Sailing
  • If you purchased an Air & Sea package, call your travel agent for the details of your airline schedule. Request sea assignments and any special airline meals.
  • If your children are sailing with you, check their wardrobes now (do it too early and the little kids may grow out of garments).
  • Make appointments for any personal services you wish to have prior to your cruise. For example, a haircut, manicure, or pedicure.
  • Get out your luggage and check the locks and zippers. Check for anythin that might have spilled inside on the previous trip.
  • If you need new luggage or want an extra piece to bring home your souvenirs, purchase it now.

2-4 Weeks Before Sailing
  • Receive your cruise documents through the travel agent.
  • Examine the documents for accuracy (correct cabin number, sailing date, and dining arrangements) and make sure names are spelled correctly. If there is something you do not understand, ask your travel agent or the cruise lines now.
  • Read all the literature in your document package for suggestions specific to your cruise. Most cruise lines include helpful information.
  • Pay any routine bills that may be due while you’re gone.
  • Go over your personalized packing list again. Finish shopping.

1 Week Before Sailing
  • Finalize your packing list and continue organizing everything in one area.
  • Check the batteries in your camera and buy extra batteries or memory cards if needed.
  • Refill prescription medications with an adequate supply (and bring a long a copy of the written prescription if this is critical medication).
  • Make two photocopies of your passport or ID and credit cards. Leave one cop with a friend or family member, and carry the other copy separate from the originals.
  • Get cash and/or traveler’s checks at the bank. If you use traveler’s checks, keep a separate record of the serial numbers. Get a supply of one dollar bills for tipping baggage handlers (at the airport, hotel, pier, etc.).
  • You may also want to put valuables and jewelry that you won’t be taking with you in the safety deposit box while you are at the bank.
  • Arrange to have your mail held at the post office or ask a neighbor to pick it up.
  • Arrange for lawn and house plant care or snow removal during your absence.
  • Leave your itinerary, the ship’s telephone number (plus the name of your ship and your stateroom number), ad a house key with a relative or friend. If the ship’s number is not included in your documents, your travel agent can get the number for you.
  • If traveling with small children, purchase small games or toys to keep them occupied while en route to your embarkation point.

3 Days before Sailing
  • Confirm your airline flights - departure times are sometimes subject to change.
  • Put a card with your name, address, telephone number, and itinerary inside each suitcase.
  • Fill out the luggage tags that came with your document package, and follow the instructions regarding when and how to attach them.
  • Complete any other paperwork that the cruise line included with your documents (foreign customs and immigration forms, onboard charge application, etc.). Do not wait until you are standing in line to fill them in.
  • To expedite your pre-boarding paperwork, some cruise lines have convenient forms on their websites. As long as you have your reservation (or booking) number, you can provide the required immigration information, reserve shore excursions, and even indicate any special requests from the comfort of your own home. Be sure to print a copy of the form to present at the pier.
  • Do last minute laundry and tidy up the house.
  • Pull out the luggage and begin packing.

The Day Before Sailing
  • Take pets to the kennel.
  • Water house plants and lawn (if necessary).
  • Dispose of any perishable food in the refrigerator.
  • Mail any last minute bills.
  • Set timers for indoor lights.
  • Reorganize your wallet. Remove anything you will not need (check-cashing cards, department store or gas credit cards, etc.). Put these in an envelope, and leave them in a secure place.
  • Finish packing and lock your suitcases.

Departure Day
  • Adjust the thermostat and double check the door locks.
  • Turn off the water if there is danger of frozen pipes while you’re away.
  • Arrange to be at the airport a minimum of two hours before your departure time (follow the airline’s instructions).
  • Have photo ID and/or passport ready for airline check in.
  • Slip your car keys, parking claim checks, and airline tickets in your carry on luggage. never pack these items in checked luggage.
  • Breathe a sigh of relief...you’re on your way!

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