Published On: Tue, Feb 5th, 2019

How to Prepare for a First Cruise Holiday

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Before beginning to pack for a first cruise vacation, there are many details to consider and decisions to make. Checking off three more details up front will help travelers prepare for a worry-free first cruise.

How to, Cruise, Holiday

Update Vaccination Records for the Cruise Destination

Certain vaccinations may be required or just advisable for any cruise vacation or international travel. Often vaccinations require a waiting period of several weeks or even months to take effect, so it’s worth checking out these details early in the trip planning.

Department of Health websites in Canada and the United States will list health concerns for countries included in cruise itineraries. Many travel health websites also give advice on health topics. But the best source of information and vaccination advice is a doctor or medical professional. Many Public Health departments have travel nurses who specialize in giving advice, and even give the needles during the visit. While there is a fee for this service, it can put a traveler’s mind at rest.

Adults need to update their immunity to some common diseases, and check their immunity to others. A family doctor or travel nurse can help travelers sort out these details.

Also, having an updated Vaccination Record for every member of the family is useful in presenting this information in readable form. It’s convenient and may be necessary in crossing some international borders for shore excursions.

Purchase Cruise-Sized Toiletries at Home

Generally airlines and cruise lines restrict small bottles in carry-on luggage, but handy travel-sized items can be packed in checked luggage. Smaller items fit the convenient shelving of cruise ship cabin washrooms. Purchasing sample-sized quantities at home avoids unexpected costs of replacing items in unfamiliar ports-of-call or ship-board stores. A list of specific items might include:

Eye drops
nasal sprays and similar items
Specific types of shampoo, conditioners, and other lotions
Mini-tubes of toothpaste and floss
Nail polish remover
Topical burn or bug bite lotions
Stomach aids (check with cruise lines and travel agents for what’s allowed)

Bring a Backpack for Shore Excursions

A backpack comes in handy for shore excursions into the many ports-of-call along the way. On longer hikes and exploring adventures, it’s easier to carry and puts less strain on muscles than a shoulder bag.

It needs to be large enough to hold that huge beach towel the cruise lines provide, since it’s the only towel vacationers can take out of the cabin. A backpack will hold water bottles for the hot weather, and souvenirs to take back home.

A backpack with wheels also doubles as an airline carry-on to help bring home souvenirs. (Check the airline to be sure of the weight and number of bags allowed: extra charges can add up quickly.)

A bit of advance planning helps make first cruise holidays successful for everyone. This list is only a starting point. Every traveler will have a few of their own tips to add. It’s always a good idea to check travel tips on websites and online resources, and to ask experienced travelers for advice before you go.

About the Author

- Paul Linus is an eminent online journalist who has been writing news, features and editorials on different websites from across the world for about a decade. He can be contacted at

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