• Rita M. Perez

Don't miss the boat!

Well, you might be missing cruising if that's all you can think about doing lol...am I right?? I'm so wanting the cruise lines to start opening more of their 2022 itineraries , so I can get something on the books. And speaking of--because these vacations are going to be so needed and wanted; I think it's important for me to remind you of a few tips that could help save time, money, or both!

1. Arrive at your departure port the day BEFORE your cruise. So much can go wrong with airport delays, interstate traffic, cancelled flights, etc. A few Decembers ago, I made sure to arrive a day ahead for my European river cruise and it worked in my favor because I would've missed the first day of my cruise due to flight delays. It gives you peace of mind having that extra day for wiggle room. 2. Don't cruise without a passport (even though many cruises out of the states don't require one) If you have to fly home from any of your ports-of-call because of a family emergency or an illness or injury, you could be totally out of luck! A passport is a small investment to ensure that you can return home quickly and hassle-free. 3. Remember to turn data roaming off on your cell phone Before the ship sails off into the sunset, you should go to the settings on your phone and make sure that data roaming is turned off, and airplane mode turned on. This will keep your cell phone from racking up huge charges and using data even when it is in your pocket. Make sure to check with your phone carrier's international plans, as you may be able to turn your phone back into full service at the port. 4. Return back to the port on time When the captain says that the ship is leaving port at 5:00, he means it. If you get left behind in port, you are responsible for your own transportation to the next port or back home. The costs can be several thousand dollars each and will be even more complicated if you are traveling without a passport. My advice? Plan on arriving back near the ship 1 to 1.5 hours before your "All Aboard" time. 5. Book later flights on disembarkation day Cruise lines (and myself!) recommend not booking flights before noon on disembarkation day. Just because your arrival time says 7:00 a.m., there is almost no chance of catching an 8:30 flight. Depending on port and time of day, it could take that long, just to arrive at the airport, let alone check in and go through security. Save yourself the stress, and select the later flight.

These tips may be pretty standard to you avid cruisers, but it never hurts to refresh; especially during this great hiatus. Happy Travels, Rita

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