Plan ahead to reduce stress and get your vacation started right.
The moment you have been waiting for has finally arrived - embarkation day for your cruise! Though your time on the ship is sure to be relaxing, getting everything ready to embark can sometimes feel like a job in and of itself. From lost documents to delayed flights, unexpected complications always happen when you least expect them. However, proper planning, preparation and foresight can increase your odds of having a stress-free travel experience. To make sure your vacation really feels like one from the moment you leave your home, here are six tips that you can use for a hassle-free embarkation day.
1. Get your documents in order
From vaccination records to visas, the amount of paperwork you need to fill out for your trip may surprise you. Worst of all, a misplaced document can mean the difference between strolling onto your flight and frantically dashing to a help desk. Avoid slip-ups by using a plastic folder or passport holder to carry important documents like passports and boarding passes. If you are flying to the port, check in online before your flight and print out any boarding passes from home if possible. Many airlines offer a “digital” boarding pass option, which can save you time in the long run.
2. Ship your luggage ahead of time
Dragging luggage through taxis and airport terminals can put a serious damper on your relaxation time. Avoid the hassle with Seabourn’s Personal Valet Luggage Service, powered by Luggage Forward. Our service arranges for your bags to be picked up from your home and delivered to the ship, so they’re waiting for you when you arrive. No luggage means no worrying about checking bags, navigating crowded baggage claim areas, or paying any luggage fees at the airport. Just board your flight and meet your bags in your onboard suite. And upon disembarkation, your luggage is delivered back to you once your cruise is over.
3. Dress for comfort
If you are traveling a long distance to the cruise port, you might find yourself sitting in a car or plane for an extended period of time. So, when it comes to choosing an outfit, comfort is key. Plan ahead by wearing shoes that are easy to remove such as sandals, ballet flats, boating shoes, or slip-on sneakers. Reach for shoes that you have worn before, rather than attempt to break in a new pair that could give you blisters.
For clothing, stretchy fabrics with loose fits are ideal. Women should opt for leggings or a long skirt because they allow for maximum freedom of motion and are unlikely to irritate skin. For men, a looser cut of jeans, stretch khakis, or sweatpants is a good choice. A scarf can be especially valuable when you are sitting on a chilly plane, or waiting by the port. Use a wool or cashmere version as a blanket, and simply knot it around your neck when you’re done.
4. Eat before arriving on the ship
While you may be anticipating the full array of gourmet food waiting for you on board, remember that it can take some time for the crew to process every incoming passenger. Don’t arrive at the port on an empty stomach, or the wait might feel much longer than you think. Plan ahead by packing portable snacks like trail mix, nuts, or granola bars. This type of planning is especially important for healthy eaters, who may not be satisfied with the limited options that some cruise ports provide.
5. Keep yourself entertained
Though Seabourn offers Wi-Fi on board, there may be points during your embarkation day where you will be without internet service. Load up a tablet or your phone with downloaded movies, TV shows, books, and songs. If you don’t have enough devices for the entire family, consider purchasing a split headphone jack. These jacks, available on Amazon, allow two people to watch video on a device at the same time through a shared earphone cord.
6. Get exercise where you can
Traveling to the embarkation port can involve a lot of sitting and waiting along the way. Remember to stretch and maintain your normal level of activity so that you are energized for the first day of your cruise vacation. Low impact exercise, like walking or stretching, can also reduce stress, keep everyone in your traveling party occupied, and make you feel less guilty for splurging on a rare bottle of wine at one of Seabourn’s fine dining options. Whether you are waiting in the airport terminal, or preparing to get on the ship, there are many opportunities to get a few steps in.
Organization, diet, exercise, and entertainment are all necessities that can be overlooked in the rush to arrive at your cruise. By taking steps to focus on your own health and well-being while you travel, and sending your luggage in advance, you can avoid a variety of potential stressors. With proper planning and a little foresight, getting to your cruise can actually make the journey feel like a vacation.
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