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TJ!

Our very first cruise is ALMOST here!!!

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When i was 6 months away from sail date it felt "fake/unreal" BUT now i'm starting to receive my set sail pass, luggage tags, etc and i'm freaking out.

My goal for this post is to ask the community for suggestions and tips especially with black friday coming around the corner.

Does anyone have a shopping list of any and all items you have or suggest I buy for the cruise?

So far I have water shoes, luggage tags, sunblock, thinking about some sort of portable lockbox for personal belongings, and cruise apparel.

I'm in a bit of a stump and drawing blanks on what to do in general as well.

I sail in about 30 days I believe so I want to start ordering everything ahead of time in case anything happens I have no buffer.

Also if you guys know the process of flying from Los Angeles, CA to Florida. (never flown before) Any airports do's and don'ts 

 

Much appreciated! <3 

 

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If you haven't looked into purchasing plastic luggage tag holders, I highly recommend those. They are plastic slips with a metal cord that attaches to your suitcase. They hold great and alleviate any worry you may have of your luggage tag falling off. They can be ordered on amazon. Just make sure you but ones that say Royal Caribbean, as each cruise line's tags are different sizes.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074T36FS1/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Congrats on your coming cruise. You can finds all sorts of tips on this discussion and Matt's Blog & PodCasts, so take some time to search around this site as the info is plentiful. I'd also suggest searching YouTube as well as there are a ton of video tours of your ship, possible even your stateroom, and some on tips for flying and cruising.

Here's some links for things to pack:

https://www.smartertravel.com/cruise-packing-list-what-to-pack-for-a-cruise/

 https://www.amazon.com/shop/cruisetipstv?listId=35JH7HPNVL3F0

 

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I can definitely tell you are excited. Sound like me when I was coming up on my first cruise.

Shopping tips:

Disposable Clothes hamper (dollar Store)

Motion sickness wristband (Just in case, I did not need mine)  

Plastic Luggage Tags. https://www.amazon.com/Royal-Caribbean-Cruise-Luggage-Holders/dp/B074TRRXCS/ref=sr_1_4?crid=34M0ZOUDWX4L&keywords=royal+carribean+cruise+luggage+tags+2019&qid=1574712398&sprefix=royal+carr%2Caps%2C146&sr=8-4

Lanyards. https://www.amazon.com/Lanyard-Polyester-Retractable-Vertical-Offices/dp/B07HQ5Q843/ref=sr_1_4?crid=37K0G5MP1EXRB&keywords=lanyard+royal+caribbean&qid=1574712442&sprefix=lanyards+royal%2Caps%2C151&sr=8-4

 

Cruise Tips Before Sail:

Check out the Cruise Planner to see if there is anything you want to your cruise experience. It's always cheaper to do them pre-boarding.

 

Airports:

Make sure you have all your travel documents

Show up at least 2 hours before boarding.

You are coming from California. I hope you are flying into Florida a day before the cruise.

 

That's all I can think of but I am sure everyone else will have more tips for you.

 

Enjoy your cruise!

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Unless you want very specific wine, don't fly with your 2 bottles. 1) don't want to get charged potential overweight luggage fees and 2) don't want to run the risk of the bottles breaking. Wait until you're in Florida (and then remember to bring them as carry-on to the port and not in the luggage you will leave with the porters).

If you're sailing in +/-30 days, that's right around the Christmas holidays, so give yourself extra time not only to get through security but also traffic in/around the airport. Be a little extra patient with/ nice to airport & airline staff - they deal with irate/ irrational travelers every day, but especially around the holidays, those kinds of travelers really multiply in number.

You might want to also look up the airport map and see what's at your terminal in terms of shopping / food / facilities.

Try to bring snacks from home - airport food is always overpriced, often not the healthiest and sometimes isn't all that great. Check to see if your airline offers a complimentary meal during the flight and plan accordingly.

+1 to arriving at least one day before cruise departure

I always bring at least 2 days worth of clothes in my carry-on (plus all other essentials) just in case my checked luggage gets lost. Pay any luggage fees online as sometimes it's more expensive to pay them at the airport.

General TSA screening reminders: no liquids larger than 3oz, take off your shoes/ belts, check all pockets for electronics/metal (jewelry is OK), separate bin for tablets/laptops

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Travel light.

My amazing wife will pack all kinds of crazy things. besides being at 49.9 Lb with her checked luggage she'll have a 40 Lb carry-on and a massive "personal Item". books, chargers, blankets, cross stitch, snacks, vitamins......ETC!

She'll do the same on excursions!!!  Me I don't want to carry ANYTHING! I am a photographer and won't carry around a camera anymore. Your phone should be good enough for snapshots.

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Since you said you have not flown before, remember that the departure time on your boarding pass is the time the plane lifts off.  You MUST be ready to board at least 30 minutes prior to the publish departure time. My inexperienced daughter made the mistake of showing up at boarding time and the plane had already closed the boarding door. Once that happens they will NOT reopen it. Get to the gate early !

 

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1.  Make sure you are checked in to your flight (where you drop luggage) ONE hour before takeoff.  The lock the flight and won't let you on if they haven't received your luggage before.  Lesson learned the hard way on that one (vegas kicked my butt!!)

2.  If there are more than 2 of you in a cabin, maybe consider an over-the-door shoe organizer for misc stuff that you'll end up using.  You can hang it on the outside of the bathroom door - great for flip flops, sun screen, hats, brushes, room keys, first aid stuff, and all the other stuff that will eat up counter space.  

3.  Maybe consider a couple magnets for paperwork.  You'll be amazed at the amount of paper that comes into your cabin every day.  Usually 2 cruise compasses (one for day and one for night) and if you have tickets for excursions they'll deliver those to your stateroom.  Magnets help to keep that stuff organized.

Not much else.  Passport, tickets, money.

have fun!!!

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39 minutes ago, DJsMrs said:

1.  Make sure you are checked in to your flight (where you drop luggage) ONE hour before takeoff.  The lock the flight and won't let you on if they haven't received your luggage before.  Lesson learned the hard way on that one (vegas kicked my butt!!)

2.  If there are more than 2 of you in a cabin, maybe consider an over-the-door shoe organizer for misc stuff that you'll end up using.  You can hang it on the outside of the bathroom door - great for flip flops, sun screen, hats, brushes, room keys, first aid stuff, and all the other stuff that will eat up counter space.  

3.  Maybe consider a couple magnets for paperwork.  You'll be amazed at the amount of paper that comes into your cabin every day.  Usually 2 cruise compasses (one for day and one for night) and if you have tickets for excursions they'll deliver those to your stateroom.  Magnets help to keep that stuff organized.

Not much else.  Passport, tickets, money.

have fun!!!

Could you elaborate on #1?

Do we drop our luggage and check in all at the same time or do you have to check in after you drop luggage?

I heard about flight reservations being done online, no idea what that means as well. Is that the same as checking in?

I have 1 connecting flight so it goes from CA--> AZ--> FL. Do I have to check in at every port and do they give me enough time to get onto the next plan when we connect flights?

thanks in advance!

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4 hours ago, TJ! said:

Could you elaborate on #1?

Do we drop our luggage and check in all at the same time or do you have to check in after you drop luggage?

I heard about flight reservations being done online, no idea what that means as well. Is that the same as checking in?

I have 1 connecting flight so it goes from CA--> AZ--> FL. Do I have to check in at every port and do they give me enough time to get onto the next plan when we connect flights?

thanks in advance!

You can usually check in online 24 hours prior to departure.   That lets them know you’re coming.  Verifies your data and luggage.  Usually that’s when you can pay for your checked baggage also (do it in advance to speed things up at the airport).  Typically you can select seats at this time also - sometimes there is a fee and sometimes there isn’t.   
 

When you get to the airport they will typically tag your bags, verify your checkin and they will take your luggage to go on the aircraft.  Keep in mind they have to have it an hour before departure.    I’d suggest getting to the airport 2 hours prior to departure (especially for your first flight and learning to navigate all the steps).  you May have to wait in line to drop your bags - sometimes they are long.  
 

After you leave your bags at the counter you have to navigate security.  Again, this can take a while.   I’ve whipped through in 10 minutes and have waited an hour.    
 

if you give yourself 2 hours prior to departure you should be good to go.  
 

have fun!!!
 

 

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