20 Things to Do the Last Week Before a Cruise [Pre-Cruise Checklist]

things to do in the last 7 days before a cruise

Sharing is caring!

Going on a cruise is a lot of fun, but it does require some planning and organization to make sure you’re ready for boarding day.

Some arrangements, like booking flights, should be done several weeks or months before your cruise. However, other things will need to be done within last 30 days and even the last week before your cruise vacation.

In this post I share a checklist of things to do within the last 7 days before your cruise, so that you can embark on your holiday without stress.

This post contains affiliate links which means if you click and buy that I may make a commission, at no cost to you. Please see my disclosure policy for details.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

What to Do in the Last 7 Days Before a Cruise

pre-cruise checklist 7 days before a cruise

1. Get Your Travel Documents in Order

Ensure you have all necessary travel documents, including passports, visas, cruise boarding passes, and any other required identification.

Make photocopies and/or take photos of important documents and keep them in a separate bag or with a travel companion.

Tip: Organize your travel documents in a travel wallet (including cruise tickets, passport, visas) so that you’re prepared

2. Online Check-in

If you haven’t done so already, make sure that your cruise online check is done. During the check-in process will have to agree to provide any required documentation & to follow the rules of the cruise line.

3. Print Your Boarding Passes and Luggage Tags

Print your cruise boarding passes and luggage tags. If you’ve bid for a cabin upgrade, you’ll often be notified by now and your boarding passes will reflect the change.

If there’s a change of cabins at any time up until embarkation, don’t worry. The porters at the cruise terminal and check in agents will help.

4. Consider Using Luggage Tag Holders

Since you’ll be printing your luggage tags, it’s a good idea to use clear cruise luggage tag holders.

These plastic cruise luggage tags are reusable and save time on each and every cruise. They’re available for every cruise line (in wide or long sizes).

Cruise Luggage Tag Holders by Cruise Line:

These luggage tags are secure and are highly rated on Amazon.

5. Book Onboard Extras Through the Cruise Planner

Maximize your cruise budget by booking onboard extras through the cruise planner before departure. Enjoy discounts of 10% to 20% or more on activities, dining, wifi plans, excursions, spa services and packages. Planning ahead not only saves money but ensures you get the most out of your cruise experience. Take a few moments to explore and secure your onboard extras at a more budget-friendly rate.

6. Make Dining Reservations

Enhance your cruise experience by making specialty dining reservations before boarding. Even if the ideal time isn’t available, secure a booking and discuss preferences with the Maitre D once onboard.

Additionally, make sure to highlight any celebrations during your dining reservations to ensure a memorable experience.

7. Print and Organize Travel Reservations

Prior to your travel, take the time to print and arrange all your travel reservations, covering hotels, transportation, shore excursions, and travel insurance. Having a well-organized record of these reservations is crucial for a hassle-free travel experience.

Consider utilizing a travel folder or cruise planner to keep these documents easily accessible throughout your journey.

Related: Life Well Cruised Ultimate Cruise Planner (Printable download)

8. Pack Smart

Efficient packing is essential for a stress-free cruise. Start by creating a thorough cruise packing list, considering your cruise duration, planned activities, and any dress codes. Pack appropriate clothing, including casual wear, swimwear, and formal attire if required.

Don’t forget to pack chargers, travel adapters, and any electronic devices that you’ll need during your cruise vacation.

Related: 33 Prohibited Items You Can’t Bring on a Cruise

9. Prepare Your Medication

Be sure to refill any prescription medications needed for your trip. Have a list of your medications in case the ship needs to provide them during a medical emergency.

Pack over-the-counter medications and basic first aid supplies to handle non-emergencies, minimizing the need for unnecessary and costly visits to the ship’s doctor.

Related: Medical Bag and First Aid Kit Essentials to Pack for a Cruise

Get The Ultimate Cruise Planner

Regular price: $27 Now just $17!

10. Monitor the Weather

Check the weather forecast for both your departure point and destination ports. This will help you adjust your packing list and outfit planning, if needed.

It’s a good idea to pack a light sweater, hoodie, or rain poncho in your packing list as a precautionary measure. Evenings on deck can get breezy, and having these items on hand ensures you stay comfortable in various weather conditions.

Related: 27 Cruise Packing Mistakes You Might be Making

11. Notify Your Bank and Credit Card Companies

Prevent any potential transaction hiccups during your trip by notifying both your bank and credit card companies about your travel plans. This is especially important if you don’t travel often, as using a credit card for a large purchase outside of your country can be flagged.

12. Travel Money

When it comes to travel money, consider obtaining some local currency for your destination if required. Most Caribbean destinations accept US dollars, but this may be the case in other places in the world.

When it comes to spending money, it’s a good idea to have a supply of small bills in USD, including $1, $5, $10, and $20 denominations. You can use this for tips, taxi rides and for small purchases during port days.

Related: How Much Spending Money Should You Bring on a Cruise?

13. Arrange Transportation

Arrange and confirm your transportation to the airport (if required) and cruise port, whether it’s a shuttle service, train, taxi, or Uber.

14. Notify Emergency Contacts

Share your cruise, travel itinerary and contact information with a trusted friend or family member in case of emergencies.

15. Review Cruise Line Policies

Before you head to the port, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the cruise line’s policies and what to expect onboard. This includes gratuities, onboard spending, and any specific rules or regulations including what items you cannot bring onboard.

16. Verify Your Cruise Itinerary

Review your cruise itinerary and make note of important activities and shore excursions. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the ship’s layout and facilities before you board.

Related: 14 Tricks to Board Your Cruise Ship Faster on Embarkation Day

17. Secure Your Home

Make arrangements for someone to collect mail, water plants, and check on your home while you’re away.

18. Confirm Pet Sitting Arrangements

Confirm and finalize your pet-sitting arrangements to ensure that your furry friends are well taken care of during your absence.

Review the schedule, communicate any specific instructions or needs for your pets, and supply essential items like food and medications. Share the contact details for your veterinarian as well as any other important information for the care of your pet.

19. Last Minute Preparations

As you go through your packing list, it’s inevitable that you’ll notice a few last minute things you’ll need for your cruise. There may also be a few last minute things to do.

Some things to consider are:

  • Pick up some travel sized toiletries
  • Confirm hair, manicure and pedicure appoitments
  • Finish up any projects at work
  • Don’t forget to get some rest in the days leading up to your cruise.

20. Pack an Embarkation Day Bag

In addition to your regular cruise packing, be sure to pack an embarkation day carry on bag or backpack.

It will take a few hours for your checked luggage to be delivered to your cabin. As you board, you’ll want to have your first day necessities, medication and valuables in your carry-on luggage.

Related: 23 Essential Things to Pack in Your Cruise Carry-On Bag

Get The Ultimate Cruise Planner

Regular price: $27 Now just $17!

More Things to Do Before Departure

  • Put your mail on hold (notify the post office)
  • Pay any bills that are due
  • Check for international phone plans (for ports)
  • Buy some snacks for the plane or even the cruise (candy, gum, chips, granola bars)
  •  Set up out-of-office notifications for your email and phone
  • Prepare Your Home – Clean out your fridge, wash sheets & make bed, empty dishwasher, fold laundry, clean the house. Cook or buy one meal to put in freezer for when you arrive back home & don’t feel like cooking or take out.

Related & Popular Posts

Video: Things to Do in the Last Week Before a Cruise

Final Thoughts

There is a lot to do before going on a cruise, from packing to online check in to excursion planning! This list of things to do in the last 7 days before a cruise breaks up the planning process into manageable steps and ensures you won’t forget a thing.

Is there anything else that should be added to this pre-cruise planning checklist? Please let me know in the comments below.

Happy Cruising!


If you found this article helpful, please pass it along. Please feel free to share on Facebook or PIN to your favorite Pinterest board (share buttons at the top). Thanks so much!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.