ASK THE EXPERT: Top 5 Tips to prepare for your cruise

Cathy Maddalone

Whether you’re a first-time cruiser, a veteran, or somewhere in between, here are a few tips I’ve learned and recommend in preparing for your upcoming cruise:

  1. Have your documentation in order – Since most cruises travel to international destinations, you’ll need to be sure your passports are valid for at least six months beyond your trip’s return date, any necessary visas are processed, and that your pre-cruise registration is complete.
  2. Book shore excursions early – This is especially true for any “must do” activities. While you can book shore excursions after you’re on the ship, the more popular excursions should be booked ahead of time to ensure availability.
  3. Stay plugged in – Be sure to pack enough chargers for all your electronic devices you plan on bringing, and even consider adding an international plan to your cell phone service if you plan on calling home.
  4. Arrange any special needs – Let your travel agent know if you have any dietary requirements, need mobility assistance, or other special needs so they can make these arrangements with the airline and cruise line. Also, if you’re traveling with medication, make sure you have enough to last the duration of your trip.
  5. Have fun – Take lots of pictures and experience as much or as little as you want to create those memories that last a lifetime. After all, this is your vacation.

Cathy Maddalone is a Travel Agent in the AAA Grand Junction store who loves to cruise. She holds Cruise certifications with Princess and Holland cruise lines, as well as several other Destination Specialist designations. Contact Cathy at 2454 Hwy 6 & 50, Grand Junction; 720-593-5234; or cmaddalone@colorado.aaa.com.