Your cruise has come to an end, and since you had a fun, exciting time by following our Making The Most Of Your Cruise tips, it’s time to pack up and head home.
To continue enjoying the last hours of your cruise, do some preparation the last night. If you do not have to catch a flight soon after docking, relax and take your time leaving. There is no need to end the cruise on a sour note.
Tip #1: Check All Nooks and Crannies
Check under beds for that missing flip flop; in drawers, often times a piece of clothing becomes caught behind the drawer. Look behind couches for that tossed tee shirt; under couch cushions for items left behind, for example: loose change, jewelry. Look over the bathroom for any personal items you want to keep. Most of the cruise ships have a safe in each room where you can store your valuables, for example: passports, jewelry, cash and or travelers checks. Check and recheck the safe for your property.
Tip #2: Prepare for Disembarkation the Night Before
To avoid the stress of filling out forms at the last minute, the night before disembarking, prepare yourself to go through customs. Make sure you have all the paperwork filled out and declare any items of value that you must report. This will help avoid the hassle while also trying to get everyone off the ship.
Go over the printout of your onboard account when it is delivered the final night of the cruise. If there are any mistakes, you will have to go to the reception desk and settle your account. The lines may be shorter if you go right away instead of the morning of disembarking. To avoid any last minute surprises, check your account regularly throughout the cruise.
If you have luggage service, reserve the time and place where your luggage can be found for pick up. Ask when and where you can collect your liquor purchases that were stored for you during the trip. Some cruise lines do not allow off ship purchased liquor to be held in the cabin.
Tip #3: Prepare to Disembark
Disembarking is not as easy as just walking off the ship as you would in a hotel. There are a lot of procedures to follow and may seem daunting and confusing. If you prepare the exit the last night of the cruise you will have a much smoother disembarkment.
There is no need to stress where you parked your car after the relaxing cruise you just took. Continue your vacation and remain in control by using Ace Luxury Transportation.
When you need a ride from the ship to other accommodations, call your Ace Luxury driver to come pick you up!
Watch our videos to find out how easy we make it to locate your driver:
Now that you are on your cruise and followed our Getting From Your Home To The Cruise Port tips, it’s time to start the fun! With so much to see and do, we’ve put together a few tips to avoid cruise burn-out, setting up personal itineraries, and some “must do” tips while on your cruise.
Tip #1: Avoid Cruise Burnout
Don’t forget to sleep! There’s so much to do and see, you may think you have to do it all. What is most important is remembering to rest. Try to get a full 8 hours of sleep at night, and don’t be afraid to take a short nap during the day. Take rests throughout the day where you can just relax and unwind between activities. After eating lunch, sit and enjoy the scenery for an extra 10 minutes to let your food settle, and get ready for your next adventure. Get enough rest from the sun during the day as well. Avoid sunburns and heat exhaustion by taking a break in the shade for a while. Believe it or not, too much sun exposure can make you more fatigued.
Stay hydrated and eat healthy. Dehydration can lead to migraines, muscle cramps, and a list of other vacation ruining symptoms. Loading up with too much fried and fatty foods can lead to upset stomachs and nausea, as well as fatigue and rapid weight gain. Fitting in a healthy meal will help give you the energy you need to get to the next activity without feeling miserable. And speaking about activities; space your activities throughout the day so you’re not running from one thing to another without a break in between.
Take some alone time! Go to the onboard gym while everyone else takes a nap. Relax by the pool while others go to an activity. This will help keep everyone from getting tired of each other and help unwind and relax.
Tip #2: Suggestions for Personal Itineraries
There’s always a “must see” or “must do” activity on each cruise. View the daily newsletter to see what activities, shows, or specialty foods are available that day.
On the Disney cruise to the Caribbean, the jet ski excursion is a lot of fun. The tour guide takes you far from the ship to a sandbar in the middle of the water where you can see the ocean floor in crisp, clear, blue waters. If the tour guide is going a little faster than you’re comfortable with, don’t worry, they will circle the line around so slower drivers don’t get left behind. If you’re on a Disney cruise with the AquaDuck water slide, you must ride it! It isn’t just for kids and is really fun. It makes you feel like a kid again! There is almost always a long line, so it’s best to ride while at port when most people are off the ship.
Many cruises offer onboard Broadway-style live shows, comedy shows, game shows, and trivia contests. These are fun activities and a great experience you may not normally be able to experience outside of a cruise, especially all on one trip.
If you are doing a snorkeling excursion at port, bring your own snorkel to save money. If you packed your own goggles as well, you can have your own private snorkeling excursion for free off the beach. You will be able to see enough sea life in shallow waters – you may even see a small shark!
Royal Caribbean offers a variety of dolphin interaction excursions, both shallow water and deep water. The deep water dolphin interaction allows you to swim with the dolphins, and features a “foot push”, where dolphins push you through the water by your feet. The shallow water interaction lets you swim with, play with, and even kiss the friendly dolphins.
What better way to explore the Belizean jungle or be one with the ancient Maya, than by tubing down the river? Carnival offers the exclusive Crystal Cave Tubing & Zipline excursion that is sure to be fun and exciting. The tour guide tells you interesting facts about Belizean culture, history, and geology as you drive through savannas and villages to get to the hidden destination. From there, you take a 500 foot zipline through the trees to get to the caverns where you begin your tubing journey.
Norwegian offers a fun and exciting ATV Jungle & Beach Adventure excursion in Costa Maya, Mexico. The tour guide takes you on a drive along the coastline of Costa Maya on an ATV. After about an hour, you arrive at a private beach with cool drinks, warm waters, and fun in the sand.
Tip #3: Helpful Onboard Tips
Explore the ship! You may find unpopulated areas when you don’t have any plans scheduled and just have time to walk around and hang out. You may discover a quiet cafe that you didn’t know was there.
Are there multiple food items on the menu that look good? Want to try a couple different meals? Order more than one entree, dessert, or appetizer at dinner, you’re allowed to!
When disembarking at ports of call, bring plenty of single dollar and five dollar bills. If you go to straw markets, you can usually bargain with them for a better price. You should also get a lanyard for your sea pass to keep around your neck to avoid losing it.
You will gain weight on your cruise. There is an abundance of food that is available at all times of the day, so it is difficult to eat healthy with every meal, and limit the amount of food you eat. Walking around the ship frequently can help prevent you from gaining too much weight, but will also help you stay active, energetic, and healthy.
Constantly wash your hands and use hand sanitizer. While the crew does everything it can to keep germs away, not all passengers have the same hygiene that you may expect. Frequent hand washing and using hand sanitizer will help prevent you from getting sick if other passengers don’t exercise the same hygiene practices you do.
Participate in all the activities you want and can handle. Using Ace Luxury Transportation to take you to the port and pick you up gives you the ability to rest and relax on the drive back to the hotel or home, instead of stressing about where you parked the car and getting out of the parking lot.
With your cruise planned using our Planning Your Cruise Vacation tips, it’s time to get ready for your cruise. You may not think these are difficult tasks, but waiting until the last minute to pack or trying to drive to a location you’re not familiar with can be stressful. These tips should help ease your mind.
Tip #1: Notify Your Banks and Credit Cards
The first thing you need to do is contact your credit card companies or banks to tell them you are traveling. They will notate in your account where you are going and how long you should be there. If a credit card company sees usage from your card that is not normal nor being used where you regularly use it, they may cancel your card for security reasons, leaving you without a method of payment. This tip applies to any time you travel, not just cruises.
Tip #2: Deciding What to Pack
Pack motion sickness medication, especially if this is your first cruise. While the waves aren’t bad, the slight movement may be a bit too much to handle at first, until you get your sea legs. Depending on what time your cruise set sail, take the medication one hour prior to leaving port. This allows the medication to absorb and start working before the ship moves. Areas highest up and furthest from the center of the boat are said to make you feel the most movement.
Pack everyday medicine: pain relievers, aloe for sunburns, cold medicine, allergy medicine, upset stomach medicine, etc. You may not need any of it, but it can be very expensive to purchase these items from the gift shops on the boat. You may not be able to bring certain medications back on the boat if you purchase them during an excursion. Make sure you only bring enough for personal use and keep prescriptions in their original containers, or carry a note from your doctor with you.
Sunscreen and sunglasses are a must! You want to pack enough sunscreen to keep you safe for your whole trip, even if you’re not going swimming or laying on the beach. You should wear a minimum of 30 SPF and reapply throughout the day. Sunscreen wears off from sweat, not just by being in the water. Wearing sunglasses is equally as important as sunscreen. They can protect your eyes from the Sun’s harmful UV rays, plus, they make it easier for your eyes to adjust between being outside on the deck and going inside to eat all that yummy food.
To avoid ATM fees, bring enough cash if you plan on visiting an on board casino. If you plan on doing water excursions, investing in a small, inexpensive waterproof camera, waterproof phone case, or one-time use waterproof cameras can come in handy for taking pictures of the sea life and your water activities. Don’t forget to bring enough batteries for all your devices for the whole trip, and don’t forget the charger to your devices. Even having a spare rechargeable battery for your phone, camera, video recorder, etc. can come in handy. Don’t forget to recharge them while you’re not using them. There’s nothing like getting ready to take an awesome picture just to have your camera power off from a drained battery.
Bring a sweater, even if you are going to the Caribbean in Summer. Community rooms such as dining halls, bars, and theaters may have their AC higher than you prefer, so bringing a sweater will help keep you comfortable. Many cruise dinners require certain dress codes. Be sure to pack enough clothes that meet the requirements of the dinners for each dinner you attend. Usually some dinners require you to dress up a bit by wearing slacks, a dress shirt, a dress, a blouse, or a skirt. Don’t forget to bring shoes to match your dinner outfit.
Wear comfortable, slip resistant shoes. Walking by the pools can be slippery, and though the crew does their best to keep the pathway clear of water to prevent falls, it’s still possible to slip on the deck. Pack more than one swimsuit. Having multiple swimsuits will allow one suit to hang dry while you wear another. This will help avoid chafing and foul odors that sometimes happens to clothes when they’re not dried.
Tip #3: Planning What to Eat
Most seasoned cruisers will tell you that you will eat until you explode while on your cruise. The abundance of food and buffets on the ship are nothing to pass up. You’re on vacation, enjoy the variety of food! How should you prepare for the massive feast? You don’t have to eat only celery and water for every meal leading up to cruise time, but eating small, healthy meals will help prevent you from overdoing it while on vacation. It can be very hard counting points or calories while on vacation, especially with the temptation of 24-hour access to delicious icecream stations, but you know your body and what you can handle. Save the big dinners for the cruise, where you can try new things without worry, and eat a variety of things. Smaller, healthier meals before your trip will help keep the weight off and stay healthier. Going for walks frequently will also help prepare you for all the walking you will be doing on the ship and during excursions.
Tip #4: Setting Up a Sleep Schedule
Get a good night’s sleep the night before your cruise. You will be walking around quite a bit checking out the ship and all the activities, as well as getting acquainted with your room and dining halls. Staying at a hotel near the cruise port will help keep you stress free so you don’t have to worry about a long trip to the cruise port. Don’t forget to sleep while you’re on vacation too!
Tip #5: Security Considerations
Hiring a transportation service to pick you up and take you to the cruise port helps take away the worries of car break ins, parking fees, and hassle of getting to and from the parking lot on time. Using a shared transportation service can limit the amount of people in your party, but you also run the risk of someone else grabbing one of your bags by accident. If you use personal transportation, like Ace Luxury Transportation, you don’t have to worry about other people. Your party and your bags will all arrive at the correct location on time and together.
Tip #6: What to Expect From Your Transportation Provider
You’ve decided to let go of the stress and use a transportation service to take you to the cruise port – excellent choice! Now, what should you expect from your transportation provider? You should select a provider that has a great reputation, trustworthy chauffeurs, offers a clean, smooth ride, and will treat you and your family as though it was their own. Ace Luxury Transportation performs a background check on all their drivers, as well as trains them to be courteous hosts behind the wheel.
Many transportation services ask that you pay in advance for the service. It is important to make sure the transportation service is well established, otherwise they may no longer be available when it comes time for your trip. Ace Luxury has been in business for over two decades and has the most 5-star reviews in transportation in Orlando.
Be on the lookout for hidden fees such as fuel surcharges, meet and greet fees, cancellation or change in reservation fees even 30 days in advance. Other than driver gratuity, a reputable company should never charge more than what is advertised. Ace Luxury Transportation does not charge extra fees, taxes, tolls, parking, or any other hidden fee.
Many other transportation services charge extra to meet and greet you at your pickup location. Ace Luxury Transportation offers a complimentary meet and greet hospitality service upon your arrival.
Now You’re Ready to Set Sail
Vacations are about having fun and relaxing. Contact your bank and credit cards to tell them about your trip so you don’t get an unexpected card cancellation. Pack enough clothes to stay comfortable and meet the requirements of any dress codes on the boat, as well as wear comfortable, slip-resistant shoes, and bring more than one swimsuit. Pack the medications you need as well as some you may need just in case since purchasing these items on the ship can be expensive. Pack your sunscreen and sunglasses to stay safe while having fun in the sun. Capture all your memories with your camera and be sure to bring enough batteries and chargers for all your devices. Splurge and bring along a waterproof camera or phone case to capture all the water activities you participate in. If you plan on sampling all the different foods the ship has to offer, prepare for your trip by eating lighter meals before the cruise. Be sure to get a good night’s sleep the night before to avoid fatigue while exploring the ship on the first day. Leave your worries behind by setting up transportation services to take you to and from the cruise port and you won’t have to worry about getting there on time. Don’t let your fun vacation be plagued with stress and worry. Following these tips will help ensure that you have the time of your life by making it easier to get ready for your cruise. “Sea” you on the ship!
So let’s start at the beginning, planning your cruise.
Today there are as many different types of cruises as there are cruisers. If you’ve never cruised before, the choices can be a little overwhelming. One popular online cruise booking service currently lists 18,748 sailings to choose from! Nearly 1,000 of those sailings (997 to be exact) are from Port Canaveral alone.
Tip #1: Use What You Can’t Change To Narrow Your Cruise Choices
If you know you are going to be cruising as a family, a couple, a group, or a single, that can be a great first step in finding cruises that would be a great fit. Though most cruise lines have wide appeal, they usually have particular specialties.
If you are going to be vacationing with your family, especially teens, tweens and younger, Disney Cruise Line has to be on your short list of companies to check out. They offer Disney themed cruises with special events like character meet and greets and Disney movie nights on deck under the stars. Mom and Dad can get some special time too while the kids are attending one of the many onboard children’s programs supervised by Disney castmembers.
If you are traveling with a group you might want to check out Carnival. Carnival cruises tend to be more affordable and offer a diverse set of experiences so everyone in the group can find something of interest.
Couples and singles should consider Royal Caribbean or Norwegian Cruise Lines. Both of these lines offer more formal cruising options that may be appealing.
You might also know that your vacation time is at a certain time of year or only for a certain number of days. Cruising out of Port Canaveral is a good choice any time of the year. Other destinations, like Alaska or the Mediterranean, are typically better during the summer. If you only have a short time to get away you can focus on cruises as short as 3 days. This brings us to our next tip…
Tip #2: Don’t Rush Your Cruise
Vacation is supposed to be a time to take a break and recharge from the daily grind. Too many people get a week off work and try to cram in a 7 day cruise. Flying in the morning your ship departs adds a lot of stress. Trust us, they won’t hold the boat for you. Arriving the day before the cruise can give you some time to start unwinding and relax a bit.
For Port Canaveral, the nearest airports you can fly to are about a 45 minute drive from the cruise port. We strongly recommend scheduling all travel arrangements so you arrive at the cruise port area the day before the cruise departs. Fly in to Orlando anytime during the day and hire a transportation company like Ace Luxury to take you to a hotel near the port where you can spend the night. If you realize you’ve forgotten anything, you can still take advantage of normal pricing at a convenience store. One of our services includes a free convenience stop. That’s something you can’t do with a shuttle or bus. The next morning you can take advantage of a complimentary breakfast offered by many hotels and hop on the hotel shuttle for the 5-10 minute ride to the cruise port. Day 2 of your vacation starts your cruise adventure!
The same idea applies to the day your cruise returns. Most cruises return to port very early in the morning, but who wants to have to rush to get off the boat and then rush to get to the airport (remember it’s at least 45 minutes away)? There are thousands of other people with the same plan. If you go with a later flight and a private transportation company, you can take advantage of what we like to consider a double vacation. Take your time getting off the boat and take advantage of one of our recommended excursions before having to get to the airport.
Tip #3: Prearrange Private Cruise Transportation
This is your vacation. Don’t be stuck with someone else’s schedule. Using a private company for transportation to your cruise is a no-brainer no matter how you look at it. It’s less stressful. It’s personal. It’s probably more affordable than you might think (and even cheaper than some alternatives). Professional companies, like Ace Luxury, take care of everything for you before your trip so you don’t have to worry about fumbling around for your wallet to tip the driver or losing your luggage before the trip even begins.
Let’s look at the stress level first since this is supposed to be a fun vacation.
Private cruise transportation compared to a cruise shuttle:
Available on your schedule, when your flight arrives.
Belongings are kept with you the entire time and not mixed with strangers on the same shuttle.
If your plans change, call your transportation company and update your reservation. Ace Luxury allows unlimited reservation changes.
Private cruise transportation compared to driving yourself and parking at Port Canaveral:
Someone to help you load your luggage in the car
A professional driver who knows exactly where he or she is going
You can relax on the ride and enjoy time with your companions
Don’t have to worry about finding a parking space
Don’t have to worry about something happening to your car while you are on your cruise
Private cruise transportation compared to renting a car:
All the benefits of using a private cruise transportation service compared to driving yourself, plus
Get picked up right at baggage claim, your hotel, or wherever else you like
No waiting at the rental car counter
No trying to figure out if you need extra insurance or a full tank of fuel up front
Consider the personal aspects of using a private cruise transportation service too.
Private cruise transportation compared to a cruise shuttle:
Go directly to where you want to go with only stops you want to make
Comfortable sedans, vans, or specialty vehicles chosen for your unique needs
Private cruise transportation compared to driving yourself or renting a car and parking at Port Canaveral:
Okay, maybe using your own car is more personal than having someone drive you, but that also means you have all the personal stress too.
And let’s not forget about the fact you could actually save money with all of those benefits.
A typical cruise shuttle will be about $70 per person, plus tip. Private transportation will cost about the same or less if you have four or more people in your group, and some companies, like Ace Luxury, include the tip in the fee. As your group gets larger, you save even more using a transportation company for your cruise because you pay for the vehicle, not each person.
If you use your own car or rent a car you have to consider the expense of gas at $2-$3 per gallon, wear and tear or rental fees, and parking. Parking at Port Canaveral for the duration of a cruise can cost more than $100 by itself, and you are still parking at your own risk. What if something happens to the car while you are enjoying your cruise? That can really be a downer when you arrive back in port.
To Sum Up
We hope this has been helpful for new cruisers and seasoned travelers alike. Choosing the right cruise, arriving relaxed, and arranging for private cruise transportation will help ensure your cruising vacation is all you dream it to be.
Cruising is the vacation of choice for those who yearn for ease while still being treated to a trip of their dreams. Why is it that the cruise lifestyle cannot be shadowed in the hours leading up to your departure? Port Canaveral now has the answer! Port Canaveral is now the proud home of a brand new state of the art cruise terminal (CT1). Late in December, passengers of Royal Caribbean International’s Explorer of the Seas had the honor of being the first to cruise from the standout new facility.
Safety was one of the biggest concerns while constructing this new terminal. The pedestrians are conveniently located in a separate area from the commercial traffic giving you ease and peace of mind. And tired of waiting in long lines for your bags to be checked? Port Canaveral’s newest cruise port has conveyor belts from the parking lot to get them off your hands as soon as possible.
Ace Luxury is proud to be the Orlando and Port Canaveral area transportation of choice and we bring you the same peace of mind and simplicity to your cruising experience.
(More info & photo available at: http://spacecoastdaily.com/2014/12/cruise-terminal-1-opens-saturday-wows-passengers/)
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Contact Ace Luxury for all of your Orlando FL Airport Transfers and Florida Vacation Transportation!
Figuring out your vacation transportation can be a huge hassle. Who do you trust? Where do you start? Can I find a company to bring me here, there, and back? If you need to get to the airport, and then from the airport to the hotel and back again, we know exactly who you can trust. When planning your Orlando FL vacation, be sure to let Ace Luxury provide you with your Orland airport transfer service that makes your trip comfortable and convenient.
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