What’s on MJ’s Pre-Cruise Checklist for a 10 Night Mediterranean Cruise All Carry-On?

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a cruise ship docked at a dock
Adventure of the Seas

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In just a little over a month, I will be setting sail on a 10-night Mediterranean cruise. We are excited here at MJ World Headquarters. Not just because we’re going on a cruise, but excited for our first Mediterranean cruise in over a decade. I’m not counting our 2015 trans-Atlantic from Barcelona that stopped in Malaga. We’ll get some new countries, a new ship (for us), new memories, and a new future trip report and stateroom review here at Frequent Floaters!

a cruise ship docked at a dock
Adventure of the Seas

A Pre-Cruise Checklist is a Good Planning Exercise

Preparing for this trip led me to dust-off my trusty pre-cruise checklist. Yes, I have a checklist. Why? This is no ordinary weekend at the beach. We will be traveling a total of 16 days, with 4 days in Rome pre-cruise and 1 day post-cruise, with 10 nights on the ship, and we will do this with our standard carry-on bags!! Yes, we plan to send out laundry on board the ship. You have to really think about what you need to take with you and the best way to do this is to have a checklist.

What’s on My Checklist?

In addition to the usual are our passports up to date and in our bags, and do I have enough clothing, there are a few contingencies most everyone should plan for. While my checklist probably works for most frequent floaters, we are all unique. For example, I have some unique medical needs (Type 1 diabetic that wears an insulin pump), that must be planned for. Adjust this checklist as needed for your own unique needs.

  • Book any special tours as far in advance as possible.
  • Check-in for cruise when it opens. (Does vary by line, usually 45 or so days – unlike Renés NCL that is 21 day mark). Personally, I use the smartphone apps most lines have now, and place my boarding passes in my digital wallet.
  • Once you’ve checked in and been assigned an arrival time for port, you can then book any transfers needed.
  • If you have any medical needs on board (scooters, distilled water for cpap, etc.) make arrangements.
  • About 2 weeks before travel, assess typical weather and assemble needed clothing that you can go ahead and pack or set aside for packing later. Be sure to check the forecast as you get closer to travel.
  • Take inventory of medications/medical supplies. Place orders for refills if needed. (Note: pharmacies can advance fill prescriptions if you’re leaving on vacation and will run out before return. Fellow insulin pumpers, call your provider for a “travel loaner.”)
  • Print your ship’s luggage tags if they’re not provided to you. Even if I’m traveling carry on only, I almost always hand over my rolling bag to the porters on boarding day so I have less to keep up with during boarding. (Just a personal preference.)
  • Day of travel, check passports, boarding passes, and medications to ensure you have everything you need.
  • Get to that ship and enjoy your cruise vacation!!

Conclusion

That’s my checklist, and yes, I reference it for every cruise. Feel free to customize it in a way that works best for you. Referencing a pre-cruise checklist can be a good way to organize yourself for your trip and make sure your next cruise vacation is nothing but smooth sailing! What’s on your checklist?  -MJ

 

 

 

 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Marshall, how can you pack for 14 days with just 2 carry-on bags for 2 people? Do you each take a backpack for personal items and your drugs? I do understand doing some laundry on the ship will greatly reduce your clothing needs. But do you have formal-ish clothes too?
    Thanks for the explanation.
    John in Arkansas

    • Pack well. Plan on doing laundry. I will likely pack a suit for formal night. Celebrity does “elegant evenings.” In the past, I’ve taken a formal shirt, bow tie, etc, but rented a tux on board. No tuxes this trip.

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