Hello all! I haven't blogged anything for the past week because I went on a 5 night cruise to Belize and Cozumel, Mexico. My friends and I went on the Freedom of The Seas cruise from the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. It was superb experience; fun and relaxing at the same time. There were a couple of bumps that we had to go through before going on the cruise though, from missing luggages to absent walkie talkies, we had it all! I learned a lot from this trip on what to prepare for my next cruise trip. If you're planning to go on a cruise soon, here are a couple of my suggestions on what to bring:
1. Passport and ID
- If you're an international student (most of my friends were international students), don't forget to bring your I-20 (and get it signed at your university's international office before you leave for your trip!). If you are a not a US citizen, you shouldn't need a visa for trips to Mexico (because you'll only be there for about 6-9 hours, which is only considered to be a 'transit', so you don't technically need a visa - unless you're planning to stay longer, then check the visa requirements beforehand!)
2. Cash and Credit Cards
- Bring cash in small denominations because you will need to give people tips on the cruise. You might also decide to take the taxi at your destination city to go places and do stuff. A lot of the places we visited in Mexico accepted cash only! Cash is crucial!
- Make sure you call your credit card company ahead of time before going on the cruise. Usually they will ask you for your destination, and for the dates you will be gone, and then put a note on your credit card/debit card profile. This is important because sometimes your credit/debit card will be blocked if you use it at a foreign country to ensure protection against unauthorized use.
- Some of the most important ones: Motion sickness medication, painkillers/headache medication, stomach medication for diarrhea (in case you stop at another country and eat something that upsets your stomach), and allergy medication. Also, any other medication for conditions that you have!
4. Sunscreen and Bug Sprays
- I understand that some people are eager to get a tanner skin while on the cruise, but you don’t want to get burned (or even worse, skin cancer!) afterwards. So make sure to get sunscreens that will protect you from UV radiation. My group brought all sorts of sunscreen. From the SPF 100 sunscreens to the Neutrogena face sunscreen. Whatever works best for you!
- Bug sprays are important if you’re going to tropical places. You never know what kind of insects or small creatures you’re going to encounter, so might as well prepare for the worst!
5. Formal Clothing
- Make sure to check on your cruise’s website for dresscodes. Most of the time your cruise will have a “Formal night”. If you are cruising for 5 days or less, you’ll have one formal night. But if you’re cruising for more than 5 days, it’s likely that you will have more than one. Be prepared with dresses for women, and shirts and ties for men. They might not let you in the dining room if you’re wearing tshirts and flip flops!
6. Bathing suits
- I think this one is pretty self explanatory. No need for bathing towels though, they have plenty of that on the cruise!
- Bring your own shampoo, conditioner and soap! Your cruise is not a hotel and they most likely wont have the amenities that a hotel provides. My cruise didn't have any toiletries.
8. Waterproof makeup for women
- Yes, you want to look pretty in your pictures, but smudged makeup is the source of all disasters! So make sure to bring your waterproof mascara, eyeliners, etc.
9. Walkie Talkies
- There is NO internet on the cruise. And no cellular reception as well. Actually, there is internet, but you'd have to pay hundreds of dollars for it (yaiks!). So if you're traveling in big groups, make sure to purchase walkie talkies to communicate with each other. Make sure you get ones that have a bigger range. My cruise had about 14 floors, so cheap walkie talkies wouldnt've worked. We didn't have our walkie talkie because it was inside our missing luggage. We were kinda forced to stay together during the trip because of it. A little more challenging but still fun! :)