Right After Booking Your Cruise or Land Tour:
After booking your cruise vacation or land tour, no matter how long until your vacation, make sure you save a copy of your confirmations. You should also keep any receipts or records of deposits or vacation payments. Ask your cruise line or travel agent for some important deadlines that apply to you. These deadlines could be things such as final payments, cancellation deadline, etc.
Right After Booking Any Flights or Transfers:
If you book airfare or transfers you should also save a copy of your confirmations and payments. I recommend booking these around the same time you book your cruise, if possible. Do not procrastinate booking airfare or transfers because if the dates & times you need fill up quickly you might find yourself in an undesirable situation.
Applying For Proper Government Photo ID:
You will most likely need to have certain documentation or photo id to travel. Ask your cruise line what type of travel documentation you will need or visit a state or country's website to find more information about valid identification. Never assume that something will be accepted. Always research and check in advance to make sure that you have correct documentation. Apply for required photo id or documentation in advance. I recommend that you apply for these items at least sixth months in advance. Give yourself plenty of time to receive these items and time for processing. Not having proper documentation or photo id could cause you to be turned away from your cruise.
About 3 Months To Cruising:
- Keep important dates that you have researched or learned about in mind and act on dates that are approaching.
- Make sure you have all travel documentation & id requirements. If you don't have these things apply as soon as possible.
- Make sure you have secured any transfers, airfare, and lodging that you will need pre or post cruise vacation. Keep a copy of confirmations for transfers, airfare, and lodging as a proof of purchase to try to prevent any problems that may occur with reservations.
- Don't neglect any payments or forget about important dates.
- Talk to your travel agent, travel professional, or cruise line to see if you are eligible for any price drops.
- Research your Alaska cruise's ports of call and start getting ideas for shore excursions or things you want to do while your ship is docked in port.
About 1 Month To Cruising:
- Make sure you are taking care of or have taken care of important deadlines, dates, etc.
- Verify again that you have all of your travel documentation and IDs ready. If you don't you might still have time to apply. Sometimes there are ways to get documentation expedited for an extra fee. If there is a delay you could risk not having your required items in time to cruise.
- Start writing a packing list and thinking about what you will need.
- Be checking your bookings online, if your cruise line offers this, to make sure nothing has changed.
- Continue researching your cruise ship, Alaska ports of call, and anything else related to your vacation.
When to Start Packing:
The time that you start packing is up to you! When I cruise I start by writing a packing list about one month ahead of the cruise. I think about what I will & may need for the cruise vacation. About 2 weeks prior to the cruise vacation I start putting some items in a dedicated corner that will be packed later. About a week before the cruise I have my suitcase out and in my packing corner. One or two days prior to the cruise I put my items into a suitcase and cross them off my list to make sure I don't forget anything.
- Try to stay organized with your packing and create a list.
- Cross items off your list when they are packed so you know what you have.
- Don't forget your basic toiletries and necessary medications.
- Check your cruise line's website for prohibited items that cannot be packed or brought on the cruise.
One To Two Days Prior To Leaving:
- Finalize your packing and verify again that you have your travel documentation.
- Don't forget to pack your camera, batteries, and/or a battery charger! I usually start charging my camera's batteries about two days ahead and I also pack a battery charger for during the cruise.
- Have your mail stopped if nobody is going to come by and collect it. You might want to consider having a trusted neighbor pick up your mail & hold it for you while you are gone. If you don't have a trusted neighbor you can try to have the postal service hold your mail.
- Keep packing and thinking of things that you want to bring.
Before Leaving The House:
- Make sure have water faucets off, stove off, appliances off, and valuables secured and hidden.
Note: Some people turn off their water or basic utilities before leaving. If you are one of these people that do this don't forget to follow your routine!
- Make sure you lock all doors and windows and turn on your security alarm, if applicable.
- Make sure you take all luggage, documentation, and anything else you will need.
- Unplug electronics from the plugs as a precaution in the event a power surge occurs while you are gone.
- Leave excited for your Alaska cruise!