Avoid This Amateur Mistake When Packing For Your First Cruise

You're getting ready for your first cruise and couldn't be more excited. You're almost done packing; you just have to do a final run down of your checklist. You have your medicine and toiletries, your swimsuit and sunglasses, your passport and ID. The question that comes to mind is: Regarding your passport and other documents, such as your booking confirmation number and health information, where do you put them?

They'll be secure and unbothered in your suitcase, but more accessible in your carry-on. Which do you choose? For those first-time cruisers who don't know what to expect, this is a major question. After all, it's not like you're going through airport security, right? It might be tempting to throw documents in your luggage and not have to think about them. However, more experienced cruisers know the answer is always to put them in your carry-on. If you don't, you're making an amateur mistake that could cost you time — and possibly even your entire vacation.

What happens if you don't have your IDs

If you pack away your passport, ID, and other important papers and documentation, you'll find yourself in a predicament during embarkation. After waiting in line, you'll begin to check-in only to realize that security won't let you on without the proper documents. At this point, you'll have already given your bags up to be checked and delivered. You won't see your luggage again until later in your cabin — if you're able to get there.

If you make this amateur mistake, at best, you'll have to wait for your bag to be retrieved. This could take a long time given there are hundreds, if not thousands, of others dropping off their bags as well. At worst, you'll be turned away, unable to board the cruise at all. You'll miss out on the onboard entertainment and your vacation as a whole. Additionally, you won't be able to get your bags back until the ship returns. Both of these scenarios are less than ideal, especially the latter. You can easily avoid this situation: just remember to have your documents and IDs readily accessible before you board.

Keeping organized

One way to ensure you'll stay organized with your documents is to put everything in a folder. Before you leave for your vacation, stop by a store and pick up a folder that'll hold everything. That way, when you need your information, it's all stored in one place, ready to go. You can easily slide it into a backpack or fit it into a large purse.

If you have your ID, passport, and paperwork in an easily accessible place, and your belongings don't contain anything that's banned, you can relax during embarkation. The process, depending on when you arrive, might take a while, so be prepared to wait. This time is a great opportunity to strike up conversations with those around you — you might just meet a new friend.

Cruises can be a delightful experience, but before you can start partaking in all of the activities, you have to get onto the ship.