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What's missing from my check list?


JLMoran
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OK, you all know I'm a big planner and like to have everything ready by the time I'm boarding the ship. But this Iceland & Greenland cruise next year is a bit overwhelming with the need to arrange international travel, extended stay at our destination port, figuring out the packing while knowing we're doing laundry, figuring out what clothing items we might need to purchase,...

So here's the checklist I've made so far. This is for a trip that's a little under 3 weeks long. Experienced international / long-time-away-from-home travelers, what am I missing from here that's obvious to you?

Cruise Checklist

  • Book the Cruise ✅
  • Purchase Premium Non-Alcoholic Beverage Package
  • Purchase Internet package(?? It's so expensive, and internet that far north so unreliable, I may skip this)
  • Purchase any specialty dining we decide to do
  • Book Return Flight ✅
  • Continue checking flight prices
  • Book Hotel in Dublin ✅
  • Continue checking for better hotel rates / new options
  • Buy travel insurance!!!! ✅
  • Research Halifax Excursions
  • Book Halifax Excursion
  • Research Sydney Excursions
  • Book Sydney Excursion
  • Research Qaqortoq Excursions
  • Book Qaqortoq Excursion
  • Book Reykjavik Day 1 Excursion ✅
  • Book Reykjavik Day 2 Excursion
  • Book Akureyri Excursion (Looking at Private Journeys for this due to limited time in port and no good options in the Cruise Planner)
  • Book day trip to Cliffs of Moher (Premium / Small-Group Version)
  • Book VIP lounge at Dublin Airport (thanks for the tip on this, @Ray!)
  • Arrange limo / private transport to cruise port / back home from airport
  • Buy Packing Cubes for everyone
  • Figure out Iceland / Greenland / Dublin layers to pack
  • Buy any necessary thermal layers / other clothes
  • Get my suit checked by the tailor (I've gotten a bit bigger over the last year ?)
  • Get passports from safe deposit box (none will require renewal ahead of this trip)
  • Call credit card banks and provide travel notification
  • Set up mail stop with pickup on return
  • Re-Confirm hotel booking
  • Check all camera gear (still and video)
  • Pack up!!
  • Buy 4 bottles of wine to bring on board (2 cabins x 2 bottles each)
  • Get the pets to their temporary caregivers
  • Get to the port and board the ship!! ?
  • Make lots of new memories
  • Get boarding passes for flight home (not until we're in Dublin)
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This doesn't pertain specifically to long trips but something that I am always forgetting and wishing I had remembered to pack is a pair of binoculars! 
On the ship, mid-Atlantic, they won't be of use but once you get where you're going I almost always see something in the distance from my hotel window I wish I could see a little closer. 

Another thought I had was to make sure you have an outing backpack that is smaller than your carry on for schleppin' a small umbrella and packable rain coats with you wherever you venture out to. When I last travelled through Ireland the rain was always hitting at strange times and I was happy to be geared up (that was July, not August, but I assume the wet weather will be similar). 

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1 hour ago, DDaley said:

This doesn't pertain specifically to long trips but something that I am always forgetting and wishing I had remembered to pack is a pair of binoculars! 
On the ship, mid-Atlantic, they won't be of use but once you get where you're going I almost always see something in the distance from my hotel window I wish I could see a little closer. 

 

Ooooh, good one. I forgot to bring them last week on Navigator, and I was PISSED!  I even like them out at sea - never know when you'll spot a whale, dolphin, interesting sea bird, or Kraken #nottherum.

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1 hour ago, SpeedNoodles said:

Ooooh, good one. I forgot to bring them last week on Navigator, and I was PISSED!  I even like them out at sea - never know when you'll spot a whale, dolphin, interesting sea bird, or Kraken.

 

You won't need binocs to see Kraken.  Visit any bar and view the stuff up close and personal...

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Get your cellphone unlocked so you can purchase a sim card in dublin. If you buy the data PAYG pack it will be a lot less and you can use it anywhere in Europe at no extra cost. So when you are walking about the streets of dublin or Reykjavik your cellphone can be on as normal just using the data on the pack you buy

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7 hours ago, JLMoran said:

OK, you all know I'm a big planner and like to have everything ready by the time I'm boarding the ship. But this Iceland & Greenland cruise next year is a bit overwhelming with the need to arrange international travel, extended stay at our destination port, figuring out the packing while knowing we're doing laundry, figuring out what clothing items we might need to purchase,...

So here's the checklist I've made so far. This is for a trip that's a little under 3 weeks long. Experienced international / long-time-away-from-home travelers, what am I missing from here that's obvious to you?

 

Ok after perusing your list, I found one thing that was left out!  Sending me an invitation for a prepaid cruise!!!?

 

 

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Notify your security/alarm company if you have one. Give a very trusted friend/relative a temp passcode and give it to the alarm/security company so they can act on your behalf. Also, in our fairly small-ish town (pop. 21K univeristy town), we notify our police department and they will drive our house several times/week. They don't get out of their vehicles and check doors (unless warranted), but it is nice to have the service.  

Put mail on hold (and paper if you take one). Nothing scream "Rob me, I'm not home!" like piled up mail and newspapers.

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10 hours ago, JLMoran said:

OK, you all know I'm a big planner and like to have everything ready by the time I'm boarding the ship. But this Iceland & Greenland cruise next year is a bit overwhelming with the need to arrange international travel, extended stay at our destination port, figuring out the packing while knowing we're doing laundry, figuring out what clothing items we might need to purchase,...

So here's the checklist I've made so far. This is for a trip that's a little under 3 weeks long. Experienced international / long-time-away-from-home travelers, what am I missing from here that's obvious to you?

Cruise Checklist

  • Book the Cruise ✅
  • Purchase Premium Non-Alcoholic Beverage Package
  • Purchase Internet package(?? It's so expensive, and internet that far north so unreliable, I may skip this)
  • Purchase any specialty dining we decide to do
  • Book Return Flight ✅
  • Continue checking flight prices
  • Book Hotel in Dublin ✅
  • Continue checking for better hotel rates / new options
  • Buy travel insurance!!!! ✅
  • Research Halifax Excursions
  • Book Halifax Excursion
  • Research Sydney Excursions
  • Book Sydney Excursion
  • Research Qaqortoq Excursions
  • Book Qaqortoq Excursion
  • Book Reykjavik Day 1 Excursion ✅
  • Book Reykjavik Day 2 Excursion
  • Book Akureyri Excursion (Looking at Private Journeys for this due to limited time in port and no good options in the Cruise Planner)
  • Book day trip to Cliffs of Moher (Premium / Small-Group Version)
  • Book VIP lounge at Dublin Airport (thanks for the tip on this, @Ray!)
  • Arrange limo / private transport to cruise port / back home from airport
  • Buy Packing Cubes for everyone
  • Figure out Iceland / Greenland / Dublin layers to pack
  • Buy any necessary thermal layers / other clothes
  • Get my suit checked by the tailor (I've gotten a bit bigger over the last year ?)
  • Get passports from safe deposit box (none will require renewal ahead of this trip)
  • Call credit card banks and provide travel notification
  • Set up mail stop with pickup on return
  • Re-Confirm hotel booking
  • Check all camera gear (still and video)
  • Pack up!!
  • Buy 4 bottles of wine to bring on board (2 cabins x 2 bottles each)
  • Get the pets to their temporary caregivers
  • Get to the port and board the ship!! ?
  • Make lots of new memories
  • Get boarding passes for flight home (not until we're in Dublin)

I didn't see pick up some currency in the US to have in the airport for meals, etc.  But you could also get $$ at the airport ATMs.

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19 hours ago, AshleyDillo said:

Research with your cell phone carrier about what they offer as far as an international plan.  Sometimes you can sign up for the month and be covered in all the ports and on the land portion of your trip.  

Good advice, we learned this the hard way many cruises ago.

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Thanks for all these suggestions, everyone! Some good ones in here I definitely didn't remember / think of...

20 hours ago, AshleyDillo said:

Research with your cell phone carrier about what they offer as far as an international plan.  Sometimes you can sign up for the month and be covered in all the ports and on the land portion of your trip.  

14 hours ago, Ray said:

Get your cellphone unlocked so you can purchase a sim card in dublin. If you buy the data PAYG pack it will be a lot less and you can use it anywhere in Europe at no extra cost. So when you are walking about the streets of dublin or Reykjavik your cellphone can be on as normal just using the data on the pack you buy

My cell phone is already unlocked, and I'm on Verizon's PAYG international plan -- for $10 a day, I have full access to my regular 4G voice and data plan; I've already verified it works in all of the countries I'm visiting. If Dublin were our starting point I'd probably do as @Ray suggested and get a local SIM card, but it's actually the end of our trip (we start in NJ). I may still get one so that we have good cell access for the four days we're there, but it would depend on the cost vs my $10 daily rate.

I haven't decided yet if I'm going to take my phone out of airplane mode while I'm in Iceland, but I don't think there's any point; I'll be doing excursions both days that have me wandering all over the place, and I don't see myself calling anyone or Periscoping or anything like that. I'll still look at the cost of getting a card in Iceland and whether that card will also work in Ireland, but unless it's cheaper overall than my current daily rate would be (and I know how expensive Iceland is!) I doubt I'll go that route. 

20 hours ago, Allen2 said:

1) Check projected weather at all destinations - you mentioned thermals, but sometimes other clothes necessary, as  mentioned in Dublin layers.

 2) Know your air carrier's luggage limitations, and weigh your luggage!

3) Have copies (paper or electronic) of all reservations.

Due to the length of this cruise, the weather is almost impossible to plan for beyond a vague guess. I've looked at the average temperature range and rainfall in Canada, Greenland, Iceland, and Ireland in August and will be making packing plans based on that, along with some contingency planning based on the reported weather in the days leading up to departure. We can definitely plan against the weather forecast in Halifax and Sydney, as we'll be there in the first few days of the trip. But we don't arrive in Greenland until the end of our first week on the ship; Iceland is days 10 through 12; and Ireland isn't until two weeks after we've left home. Weather forecasts still aren't accurate more than 4 or 5 days out, so we'll just make our best guesses for what we'll need and what will fit in our luggage, and hope for the best!

Layers, layers, layers, layers! ?

19 hours ago, berkeleykel said:

Power adaptors. 

Make sure 6+ months left on passport after end of trip. 

Have a plan for acquiring some cash (I would typically go to an ATM once in country). 

I wouldn't buy the wine until you get there; can't tell if that's what you already planned to do or not.

We have a universal adapter we got for my daughter when she went to Ghana last year, but I'll have to find that. We'll probably want one or two more for while we're in Dublin, though. Added to the list!

Passports are all good. Mine is the oldest and doesn't expire until summer of 2022.

None of my credit cards charge an exchange fee, so I plan to use that for as much as possible. If I need to get cash for some reason, I'll do it in the country at an ATM; my credit union refunds all ATM fees for me as part of my checking account perks. I've spoken with @Ray about the Dublin and Reykjavik airports and how to plan for them, and if I remember right they both take cards as well as cash. But Ray also warned me to try and have as full a stomach as possible before entering the Reykjavik airport because it's hella expensive!

We're departing from Cape Liberty cruise port, just 45 minutes from my home, so getting the wine is no problem. I have the neoprene carry bags and will throw it into my travel backpack. Which leads me to...

16 hours ago, DDaley said:

This doesn't pertain specifically to long trips but something that I am always forgetting and wishing I had remembered to pack is a pair of binoculars! 
On the ship, mid-Atlantic, they won't be of use but once you get where you're going I almost always see something in the distance from my hotel window I wish I could see a little closer. 

Another thought I had was to make sure you have an outing backpack that is smaller than your carry on for schleppin' a small umbrella and packable rain coats with you wherever you venture out to. When I last travelled through Ireland the rain was always hitting at strange times and I was happy to be geared up (that was July, not August, but I assume the wet weather will be similar). 

You know, I used to have a pair of binoculars but they were the huge variety that wouldn't be travel-friendly. Not sure if I'll make that investment, but I'll ask my wife since she and my older daughter won't have a camera / camcorder plastered to their face and might like have a pair of travel binocs on hand. Added to the list!

And I got a nice compact travel backpack when I did my first cruise last year. Was recommended by @DocLC and has been great on every trip I've brought it! It's my go-to for carrying the wine, camera accessories, water shoes, and other odds and ends either when boarding the plane (as my secondary under-the-seat personal item) or while out on an excursion.

12 hours ago, Baked Alaska said:

Notify your security/alarm company if you have one. Give a very trusted friend/relative a temp passcode and give it to the alarm/security company so they can act on your behalf. Also, in our fairly small-ish town (pop. 21K univeristy town), we notify our police department and they will drive our house several times/week. They don't get out of their vehicles and check doors (unless warranted), but it is nice to have the service.  

Put mail on hold (and paper if you take one). Nothing scream "Rob me, I'm not home!" like piled up mail and newspapers.

No alarm system, but I will be letting our neighbors know we'll be away and to keep an eye on the place as they're able. Never thought of also notifying the police, but that's a good idea. Our home is on a main road and police regularly go by anyway, so hopefully they can just pay a little more attention while doing their regular patrol routes.

And no newspaper subscriptions any more (all digital), but I do already have a mail hold notification in my list.

11 hours ago, ChessE4 said:

I didn't see pick up some currency in the US to have in the airport for meals, etc.  But you could also get $$ at the airport ATMs.

As mentioned above, I don't really plan to use cash at all. But if needed, I'll get some at the airport ATM or even an ATM in town (which will probably be a better option for both fees and exchange rate).

10 minutes ago, MikeK said:

If you take prescription medicine and taking it with you in a pill carrier,  take pictures of all the prescription bottles on your cell phone.  We also take pictures of our passports and drivers licenses.

While we do all take prescription meds, it's just one or at most two. I had asked about whether it was necessary / worthwhile to bring the bottles or pictures of them in case TSA or other airport security asked any questions about the daily pill containers, and was reassured by all it's not necessary. I may still take a photo of our various bottles, though, just in case the worst happens and someone loses their pill container and needs an emergency refill while we're still abroad. Added to the list!

I have the information for all of our passports recorded in secure entries in 1Password, along with my driver's license. Not a photo, but it's as useful as a photo since it's really just the serial numbers and things like issue / expiration date that matter. No one will accept a photo of a passport or DL as official documentation anyway.

 

 

Thanks again for all these tips, everyone! I'll keep an eye out for any others you might have!

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