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Home > First Time Cruisers > I Booked a Cruise, Now What?
I Booked a Cruise, Now What?

Top 10 Cruise Packing Tips
Whether you're hoping to pack light or just not leave anything behind, here are our 10 best tips for smart packing.

Travel Insurance: What Every Cruise Passenger Should Know
Should you purchase insurance for your upcoming cruise? Find out why it's probably a good idea.
Online Reservations
For first dibs on spa treatments, shore excursions and dinner reservations, book them in
First-Timers' Guide to Shore Excursions
Get the lowdown on booking ship tours vs. exploring the ports on your own, and how to choose the best excursion.
Sign Up for Meet & Mingle Parties
Want to meet other Cruise Critic members on your sailing -- and can get some free drinks and snacks? Sign up here.
Travel Rules and Regulations
Passports, visas, airline regulations, embarkation procedures -- the rules may be confusing, but we'll simplify them for you.
Best Shore Excursions for Kids
We list our favorite kid-friendly shore excursions to help you plan your time onshore.
Cruise Packing 101
It's quite tempting to over-pack for a cruise. Here are some tips to keep you well dressed -- and under the baggage weight limit.
10 Ways to Add Zip to Your Cruise
Turn your next cruise into the event of the year with our 10 zip-worthy tips, many of which won't cost a dime.
Ship-Sponsored or Independent Shore Excursions?
Cruise Critic editors give their rules for deciding between touring independently or booking cruise line excursions.
First-Time Cruising Basics
You've booked a cruise -- what's next? Here's the scoop on flights, packing, embarkation and more.
10 Packing Tips for New Cruisers
Cruise Critic members share their expertise on beyond-the-basics packing for your first cruise.
Pre-Cruise Planning Checklist
Don't forget key pre-cruise tasks! Refer to this checklist from the time you book your cruise to the night before you sail.
My First Cruise To...
Alaska Arabian Gulf
Baltic and Northern Europe Bermuda
Eastern Caribbean Greek Isles
Hawaii Norway's Fjords
Panama Canal South America
Southern Caribbean Western Caribbean
Western Mediterranean

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