How to prepare for a cruise from someone who has never been on a cruise before.

(Because you should take advice from someone who has no real prior knowledge)

This Sunday, I am going on my first ever cruise, and with the normal stress of working sales/retail, this trip could not come at a better time! The following are ways that I “prepared” myself for this upcoming adventure.


If you are like me and are tragically allergic to the sun, decide if you would like to get a spray tan in an effort to not blind other cruisers with your pasty white skin. **revision: do not do as I did, and get said spray tan without making sure you are not allergic to it, ie: if your skin is sensitive enough where you cant be exposed to that much sun, spraying chemicals all over like icing on a cake may not be the best idea..unless a rash and hives are your thing :/ 

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Try on every piece of clothing in your closet in an effort to convince yourself you don’t need to buy new wardrobe. Change clothing combinations so much, that out of pity and fear, your cats no longer have the desire to watch you change and suddenly can’t look you in the eye.

Manicure and pedicure. If you are smart you will apply terrible sunless tanner AFTER nails are done so that the nail tech doesn’t think you have some sort of rare skin disease that they should be worried about. Its never good when they break out plastic gloves before doing your manicure.


Google several different ways to successfully sneak your cat on the boat with no one noticing.

Diet until bikini ready body is good to go buy a new or bigger swimsuit/cover up/tarp

Go against your own, silly advice and realize that you totalllly need a new wardrobe and so does the hubby.

Take the 15 days worth of outfits for your seven day cruise and gently throw them into the spare bedroom to separate them from the non-vacation outfits, and to keep them from getting wrinkled before the trip. Nobody wants the ‘non-vacation’ clothes to be jealous and who has time to iron?


Buy wrinkle release because let’s face it, even after all the time you spent babying your clothes before you packed them. The 10 hours you wait to have your luggage delivered to your room..they will be wrinkly again.

After calling port authority and realizing it is illegal to smuggle non-service or aid cats (cause people totally have those) on board and out of the country, con some schmuck your best friend in the whole entire world who you love for ever and ever and ever to come watch your cats while you are gone! (I love you Liz lemon)Nothing kills a vacation high more than coming home to two cats who are low on water, food and attention. Prepared to be clawed.


Save all ports of call in your phones weather app. When you are having a bad day at work, being able to see that its 85* in Montego Bay MAY ease the pain of not being on vacation yet. Or it could make you more irritable..just depends on the situation.

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Find new ways to work into conversations that you are in fact getting ready to go on a cruise. For example: Liz: Hey Jennifer, do you know what time it is? Jennifer: It is currently 6pm. What are you going to do next month when I am on a cruise for a week going to Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, and I am not around to tell you what time it is. Liz: I think I will survive.” Or. William: Hey Jennifer, will you pass the peanut butter? Jennifer: Sure! You know, next month when I am on my 7 day cruise to Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, I will have the same waiter at each dinner who can pass me the same peanut butter all week? William: yeah, I don’t care”

Alienate your friends on Pinterest by creating a “cruise” board and filling it daily with silly pins with titles such as “cruise packing list, cute cruise outfits, cruise nails, 10 things you didn’t know about cruises, how to save money on a cruise..”

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Lastly, and this is a serious one. Go to Facebook, and type in the search bar the name and date of your cruise, (Carnival Magic March 2nd) More than likely, this will bring up a group that has been made by some other awesome cruise goers. Here you can share information about best cruise practices, great excursion ideas, and even plan little events to get to know other cruisers ahead of time! May sound weird, but a lot great advice and funny moments have been shared by the wonderful and spirited people who have joined this group and it gets you even more excited for the fun and memories that are about to be had!


Published by Jennifer Shidler

I am a Hoosier at heart who has moved to the heart of Texas with my husband Matthew, our cats Rowdy & Mosby and our dogs Lucy & Wrigley. Matthew is a Chief Flight instructor at a flight school in Austin and I care for my mother full time and write random thoughts and posts in between. I started writing this blog as a way to keep people back home updated on our lives here in Texas, and has turned into a way to relax, think and to make others laugh!

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