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What to do a week before your Royal Caribbean cruise

17 Nov 2015
Matt Hochberg

Great news: you have about a week to go before your Royal Caribbean cruise and that means your vacation will be starting very soon.  But what should you be doing now to prepare for it?

In the days leading up to your Royal Caribbean cruise, there are some important things every cruiser should do, to ensure their Royal Caribbean cruise goes off without a hitch!

Complete online check in

If you have not already, be sure to log into Royal Caribbean's web site and complete the online check in.

The online check in will save you a lot of time at the pier, as well as provide you with the necessary paperwork to expedite your cruise boarding procedure.

You will need a copy of everyone's documentation (passport or birth certificate), travel plans and a credit card to store for incidental charges.

Make sure you complete this at least 3 days prior to your sailing.

Print out your SetSail Pass & luggage tags

Whether you filled out the online check in months ago or just did it now, you will want to print out everyone's SetSail Pass along with luggage tags.

Once the check in process is finished, the web site will give you the option to print it all out.

Keep in mind, for the luggage tags, to print out as many copies as you may need.

A good tip is to save a copy of the luggage tags and SetSail Pass as a PDF on your computer in case you need a copy later.


Check the weather

Forecasting the weather a week out is not as precise as we would all like, but it is something that you should start doing now to get a sense of what to expect.

You should mostly focus on temperatures rather than precipitation forecasts, since forecast models often change considerably.

Keep in mind that in the Caribbean (and other tropical areas), rain is often in the forecast but that does not mean it will rain all day or even at all.  The tropics are notorious for pop up showers, which often last minutes rather than hours.

Having a ballpark idea of what to expect weather-wise will help you with the next task.

Start (thinking about) packing

Packing for your cruise vacation is something some folks really enjoy and others lament.  Regardless, we all have to do it.

Packing one week out from your cruise may be premature, but you should make sure all your luggage is good to go (i.e. no holes or rips).

In addition, you should start thinking about what clothing and outfits you want to bring with you.  This may trigger a memory that you wanted to replace a suit or shirt or get new shoes.

If there is anything you can pack now, breaking up the packing process does make it easier, rather than doing it all the night before.

Buy anything you have been putting off

There always seems to be something you have been meaning to buy for your cruise and now is the time to do it, before it is too late.

As your cruise gets closer and closer, you have less time and seemingly more things to get done, so get any shopping out of the way now so you can keep those last days stress-free.

Get cash & exchange money

You will definitely want to bring some cash with you for purchases that cannot be done via credit card or your SeaPass card.

Cash is useful when on shore excursions, tipping porters and other common situations that occur while traveling.  

United States Dollars are fine to use in the Caribbean, but if you are traveling elsewhere, consider exchanging your money for local currency.

You can shop around for some good exchange rates now, rather than taking whatever exchange rate you are subject to on shore during your cruise.

Stop your mail

You should either have the post office hold your mail until you return or arrange with a family member or friend to pick up the mail for you.

Stopping the mail can now be done online, and it is much simpler than having to go to the post office.

Matt started Royal Caribbean Blog in 2010 as a place to share his passion for all things Royal Caribbean with readers. He oversees all the writers at Royal Caribbean Blog, and writes a great deal of content on a daily basis.  He has become one of the foremost expert on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Over the years, he has reached Pinnacle Club status with Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program.

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