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Pre-Cruise Planning Checklist

Pre-Cruise Planning Checklist (Photo: areebarbar/Shutterstock)
Pre-Cruise Planning Checklist (Photo: areebarbar/Shutterstock)

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Updated January 8, 2020

We've all heard the horror stories of people who show up for their cruise, only to realize they don't have the right passport or visa. Perhaps we've been guilty of putting off travel research, only to find out that the tour guide we want is booked up or a shore excursion sold out. Or -- and who hasn't done this? -- we're staying up until 3 a.m. the night before our trip, trying to do last-minute packing and other preparation.

A little planning goes a long way toward a smooth sailing. To keep you on track -- and keep important tasks from falling through the cracks -- click on (and print out) this and refer to it from the time you book your cruise to the night before you set sail. We realize that not every line item will be applicable to your trip and -- depending on when you book and your planning personality -- you might be checking off tasks a little earlier or later.

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Booking a Cruise Onboard: How to Score Extras and Discounts
If you're like us -- hesitant to miss out on even a minute of precious cruise vacation fun -- you've inevitably breezed past your cruise ship's onboard sales office, ignoring the colorful brochures and promises of booking incentives. The thing is, if you're going to go on another cruise someday -- and, face it, we all know you are! -- you really do want to check in at the sales desk to see the kinds of deals featured. That's because your cruise line is likely to be offering onboard credit, reduced deposits or an attractive discount when you book a future cruise onboard your current sailing. Many also let you change your cruise dates or ship or even cancel by a certain date with no penalty or fees. In most cases, you have nothing to lose if your travel plans change and everything to gain if you're going to take another cruise with that line. Here's a look at some of the key benefits the major lines offer when you book a future cruise while aboard a sailing on their ships.
7 Dumbest Cruise Mistakes Ever
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