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Congratulations, you’ve just booked your dream cruise to the Caribbean - time to start getting excited. Before you set off though, there are some things you need to get in order.

From packing to planning, tick off these seven things to ensure you maximise the enjoyment of your Caribbean cruise and minimise any potential stress.


Avoid any difficulties during your cruise by preparing all requirements in advance, so your cruise is as comfortable as possible. For example, NCL will be more than happy to give you advice on any food allergies or dietary requirements.

Elsewhere, if you or any of your friends or family have special requirements to help you get around the ship, be sure to flag these before you depart. Arrangements can be made to help passengers with wheelchair access requirements, hearing problems or sign language interpretation.

If in doubt, contact NCL and have peace of mind before you board the ship.



You want your cruise to be extra special, and aboard your ship there are all sorts of ways to add something that makes it exactly that.

Your cruise will come with a range of packages, often tailored towards a theme you might be enjoying on your cruise.

Romantic extras might include breakfast in bed, champagne delivered to your room or body massages – perfect for those on a honeymoon cruise. Alternatively, party extras such as balloons, confetti, and cake can help you celebrate a passenger’s birthday.

Ship restaurants will also often take bookings well in advance of your departure. If there is a particular establishment you’d like to sample during your stay, then book ahead to avoid disappointment.


Packing is a big part of the build-up to going on holiday, and when you’re heading off for a cruise in a new climate, there can be some confusion on exactly what to pack.

You’re leaving the cold temperatures of the UK behind, so keep your woolly jumpers at home. The warm, welcoming Caribbean climate calls for shorts, swimwear and flips flops. Depending on how much walking you intend to do when you’re exploring your cruise’s destinations, it might also be worth packing some comfortable, lightweight clothes and shoes.

As for the evening, it’s worth familiarising yourself with any dress codes on board. Certain restaurants may require more formal attire, and it can make your cruise extra special if you make the effort to dress up. For that, you might want to pack an evening dress or suit.


Without the correct documentation, you could find yourself in complications before you’ve even embarked on your journey – so there is some prior planning to be done here.

First, you will need your passport. Your Caribbean voyage is likely to start in the USA or Mexico, where you’ll need your passport to get in. With that in mind, it’s also worth ensuring you have the correct visa to get into that country.

The same goes for any stop off locations on your cruise. Each Caribbean country will have its own set of immigration rules and regulations. NCL will be able to advise on which visas you’ll need and point you in the right direction for acquiring them.


When it comes to purchases made on board the ship, carrying currency isn’t necessary. Any expenses made on the ship can be signed to your room, which you will have linked a credit card too. It’s still worth carrying a few US Dollar notes with you, for things like tipping in restaurants.

So, when it comes to currency, you only need to be concerned with when you are off the boat. Most Caribbean countries deal mainly in US Dollars, so make sure you’re all stocked up with plenty of cash to enjoy your trip.


Planning is a crucial part of seeing and doing as much as possible on any holiday. As you’ll be visiting several Caribbean islands, plan and schedule your days if you want to experience them to the full.

NCL sailings offer a selection of fun excursions when on the shore, allowing you to soak in that location with someone who knows the area. On board, your ship will also be crammed full of activities that can fill every minute of your holiday. Take a look at what your ship has got to offer, book ahead, and start filling up your diary.


Aside from the six umbrella ideas above, there are lots of tiny little details that need to be ticked off as the countdown to your Caribbean cruise begins. Our advice is to write up a holiday list that starts out with the things we’ve pointed out here. Break the list down by how close to your cruise date you need to tick off that task, with suggestions such as:

At least a month before your cruise:

  • Research and buy your travel insurance
  • Book a pre-cruise and post-cruise hotel

Two weeks before your cruise:

  • Draw up a (separate) list for packing
  • Make arrangements for your home while you are away – for example, book the dog into dog sitter

A week before your cruise:

  • Draw up an itinerary for arriving at the cruise – including directions and timings
  • Buy yourself a new novel for the trip

The day before your cruise:

  • Print off all your documents so you have a hard copy
  • Book any airport taxis
  • Charge all your electronic devices
  • Set an alarm!

Need to decide which Caribbean cruise you’ll be embarking on? Book the perfect getaway with NCL’s range of Caribbean cruises.