Thirty days from now, my husband and I depart on our next cruise, a 10-day Caribbean cruise on the Celebrity Reflection, and I have started cruise planning with gusto!
After trying several deferent cruise lines, we have settled on Celebrity as the best fit for our particular needs. We travel with three or four other fifty-plus couples and we find that Celebrity tends to attract passengers most aligned with our demographics. The cruise ships are tastefully decorated and the entertainment and activities onboard are diverse enough to give us plenty to do. The ships also offer sufficient laid-back pursuits such as piano bars, movies on the back deck and isolated retreats to fulfill our need for relaxing, leisurely days. The dining and quality of service experienced on Celebrity is exceptional and they certainly live up to their reputation for upscale ambiance without the luxury cruise line price.
Using some of my tips from my Ten Best Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Next Cruise and with a month to go before the cruise, I have entered full cruise planning mode and have so far completed the following preparations:
Booked Through Costco Travel and snagged some perks. I booked this cruise last fall through Costco Travel because they were offering a $310 Costco Cash card for booking through their website. I also booked during a promotion time when Celebrity was offering double perks for balcony cabin bookings so I also received two free perks with which we selected free beverages and a $300 onboard credit.
Booked our flight to arrive one day before departure and a hotel near the cruise port. We have been through enough flight delays and lost luggage to want to avoid the stress of wondering if we will make it to our ship in time and have something to wear onboard. Always plan to arrive the day before the cruise.
Checked for pre-departure specials from Celebrity. Through the Celebrity website cruise planner, I pre-ordered an unlimited internet package at a 10% savings and charged it against our onboard credit. Sign up for email notifications from your cruise line after you book and watch for pre-departure specials for excursions, internet packages and dining options.
Completed check-in and documentation. I have completed the check in process on the Celebrity website and have set up my onboard expense account. Having all your documentation completed before you arrive at the port will save you a lot of time on embarkation day.
Ordered luggage tags. Luggage tags that you can print from home are included in your eDocs. However, if you complete your check-in process at least three or four weeks in advance of your cruise, Celebrity will mail you eight complimentary luggage tags. Because I have completed my eDocs and still have a month before the cruise, I ordered luggage tags from the Celebrity website. I also have these great luggage tag holders which will help keep my luggage tags intact through the rough handling of airport baggage and taxi cabs.
Ordered some must have items from Amazon. There are never enough outlets in cruise cabins so to avoid a battle of the outlets, I ordered this power bar with USB ports to take with us. With three outlets and two USB charging options, we should have enough for our iPads and cell phones during the cruise. I also saw this cute tote bag for port days at the beach and ordered one of those as well.
That’s it for now. More to come as we get closer to our departure date. Sign up to receive email notifications as I review each day of my next cruise on the Celebrity Reflection.
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