Cruise Preparation Checklist

A European cruise is a magnificent adventure, one that will linger in your mind – and in your dreams – for years to come. The following checklist will help you to plan and prepare for your trip, so you can relax and enjoy your European cruise.

Finding Your Ideal European Cruise

  • Make a list of European countries and specific cities you would like to visit. Are there any specific attractions or historical sites you would like to visit while on your European cruise?
  • Make a list of amenities and activities you would like to have on board. For example, is it important for you to have several dining options, a lively nightlife and a fitness club? Or are you looking for 24-hour concierge service and a rich educational experience?
  • Determine your budget. Remember to at least 20% extra to your total budget, for unforeseen expenses. You may also want to add room in your budget for special shore excursions or extended stays in ports of call.
  • Research various cruise ship options. For example, would you prefer a megaship with its resort-like atmosphere, or would you prefer a smaller ship more focused on ports of call?
  • With your priority lists in hand, compare various cruise itineraries, cruise ships and cruise lines.
  • With a narrowed down short list of possible European cruises, research further to find out which cruise lines offer all-inclusive packages, which cruise lines provide extras and freebies and which cruise lines can provide exclusive shore excursions that may interest you.

Booking Your European Cruise

  • Contact your travel agent, a discount cruise booking service or the cruise line directly to determine availability and pricing.
  • Determine your first-choice cabin and second-choice cabin.
  • Book your cruise. Make arrangements for any land or air transportation that is not included with your cruise package.
  • When your cruise materials arrive, read all of the information thoroughly and make note of any questions or errors. Contact the cruise line with your questions and concerns. Book any shore excursions, spa treatments, workshops or classes that are offered at this time.
  • Make note of any pre-cruise deadlines detailed by the cruise line, including final payments.

Preparing for Your European Cruise

  • Obtain a passport, or make any updates to the one you have. Find out from the cruise line if you will need to obtain visas for any of the countries on your itinerary. Usually, the cruise line will handle this for you.
  • Make a list of items to pack for your trip. Do not forget to pack your cruise materials.
  • Make two photocopies of your passport, driver’s license, and the front and back of your credit and ATM cards. Leave one set at home, and pack another set in your luggage separate from your original documents.
  • Make a list of important contact numbers, such as your bank, credit card companies, physician and pharmacy. You will want this list with you in case any of these items are lost or stolen.
  • Make arrangements for your pets and home in your absence.
  • Fill any prescriptions you will need on your cruise. You may also want to stock up on contact lenses at this time.
  • Pack formal attire for each evening formal dress is required for dinner.
  • Confirm your cruise arrangements with your travel agent and directly with the cruise line.