• Elle

10 Things Cruisers Should Always Have When Leaving the Ship


Hey, y'all! If you've been around the blog for awhile you know that I'm an avid cruiser. Each year my family gets together for a week full of sun, sand, and surf. Next month I'll be visiting Mexico, Honduras, and Belize for the fifth time. I have to tell you, this is one of my absolute favorite itineraries! I am so stinking excited about spending time in these countries again.

One of the most fun things about cruising is being able to head into port for a few hours to explore. When you disembark the ship, there are a few things that you'll need.

1. Sail & Sign Card (or band, or medallion)

This is probably the most important thing to take off of the ship. You'll need your Sail & Sign Card, band or medallion to check yourself in and out of the ship. This gives the crew real-time information about who is onboard and who is still out exploring.

2. Identification

There are some destinations where simply having your ship card will suffice as identifications, however, there are ports where you'll need government-issued identification to get through port security. I leave my passport locked away in my room safe and take my driver's license with me to port. I use this travel wallet to keep all of my items together in one place.

3. Money

Okay... so this might sound obvious but you're going to need access to some money. While you're on the ship your ship card is attached to your bank account however, this won't work in port. Make sure you have a credit card, debit card or cash money on you in port.

Pro Tip- Almost everywhere you go will accept American currency, especially if you're purchasing goods close to the port.

4. Phone

We live in a society where we are tied to our phones. Make sure you take your phone with you when you get off the ship. It's great for emergencies, and to use as a camera. Just keep in mind that you may have roaming fees if you use your phone out of the country. I keep my phone in a waterproof case while I'm on the beach. I strongly suggest getting a waterproof case, even if you don't intend on taking in the water.

5. A Watch

If you take your phone off of airplane mode, the time will adjust to the local time zone. Remember, as a cruiser you need to stay on cruise time. Make sure you have a watch or keep your phone on airplane mode, so you don't lose track of ship time.

6. Sunblock

Trust me, there is nothing worse than being sunburned on a cruise- especially if it happens early on into your cruise. Do yourself a favor and later up! You can still get a sunburn if it is overcast and many people are not used to the UV index.

7. Water

While we're on the topic of taking care of yourself, make sure you take some water with you. Remaining hydrated is essential when you are in tropical climates. It is very easy to get dehydrated... especially if you're drinking or soaking up the sun at the beach.

8. Mosquito Repellent

If you're going to be spending time outdoors, it's a good idea to spray yourself with a repellent. Many cruise lines provide aerosol cans at the gangway in high-risk areas (such as Belize) but don't rely on them having it. It's best to be pro-active. I use Bull Frog which is a combination of repellent and sunscreen. Two birds... one stone.

9. Gallon Size Bag

These little guys are so versatile! I always pack a few when I am traveling. They are great for storing wet bathing suits and keeping documents dry. You can also fill it half-full of ice and use it as a neck wrap in the event someone is overheated.

10. Pen and Paper

I actually take a Sharpie with me everywhere I go. It's a super handy tool to have on hand. If Sharpie's aren't your thing, I suggest sticking a pen and a small notepad in your bag. You can use this to jot down important information such as boarding times, directions, etc.

What are your port essentials? Drop them in the comments below!

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Updated: 3/2/19

#cruise #packing

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