Before leaving from home make copies of your passport and license along with cc and debit cards., also document your medications. Leave one copy with someone at home and pack a copy in your luggage.
Keep your important papers, medications and anything irreplaceable in your carry on.
Always make a list of everything you packed and even take a .photo of the contents.
Irons are not permitted on board (fire hazard). Bring a small hand steamer. (you can borrow an iron from your room steward to use for a short time)
Bring an over the door hook. This will come in handy to steam clothes or hang on the bathroom door for the same effect.
When you receive your room key/charge card ask the receptionist to punch a whole in it so you can hang it on your lanyard ( I have included w/ your goodies) this will make paying for items much easier.
Call your cell carrier and ad international calling (if your phone has it) to your phone, request rates and policy in writing so there is no misunderstandings. Do not have "data" or "data while roaming" turned on after leaving the US port.
Using a cell phone is cheaper than using the ships phones.
Throw your room steward a little x-tra cash the first day or two. He has the power to make your stay extra special.
You will have the opportunity to have many photos taken. Wait until the last day to chose which you would like to purchase. You will have a better comparison.
If you see something on board you would like to purchase, wait to buy. Most of the time the deep discounts will appear the last day.
When looking for places on the ship remember all fish or designs on the carpeting always lead to bow (front) of the boat.
Glow sticks are a nice alternative to a nightlight.
Your tips are included in your bar bill. Standard 15%.
Bring an extension cord. You only have two outlets in your room and they are not in the ideal locations.
Depending on what cruise line you are on , some will have your itemized bill with your daily expenditures available on your T.V. screen. It is a good idea to check this a few times during your trip ( No one likes to be surprised at the end of a great time. You may have to go to the concierge desk to do this) Also if there are any discrepancies it is easier to take care of this while on the ship. I suggest you save your receipts and check them every so often against you bill. Last cruise I found a few double charges?
If you give a CC/debit card for your on board account, know they put a hold on funds and this could take a few weeks to clear.
All rooms have a hair dryer, a shampoo and wash dispenser and most balcony and above rooms will provide you with a robe and an honor fridge. If you bring water or soda on board you can request your steward to remove what is the fridge to make room for your stuff.
Here's a trick that might help, if you are the 3 rd person in a balcony room upon boarding & seeing your stateroom attendant, ask her/him to find/bring an extra comforter or two along with the egg crate padding. At night, set it up with the comforter(s) on top of the egg crate, over the thin cushion/padding on the sliding sofa tops, and then, the regular comforter/sheets & pillow - it will feel a lot better as if it's a down/feather bed bottom, soft & easier to toss and turn.
Pack an extra bag for souvenirs.
Most ships have internet access for a charge.
You will receive dailies, which tell schedules and drink specials for the next day. (highlight what you find interesting)
If you have a union discount or AARP discount remember to bring proof.
Remember kids have the capability to charge on there room card also. Either block the charge feature or put an amount of cash you are comfortable with them spending on their key card.
One of the first things we do when we get in the cabin is wipe down all the door knobs, handles, phone and remote control with disinfecting wipes.
Track down your stateroom's deck or section of the ship and its corresponding elevator banks. Point out the nearby landmarks as a family and practice the route from the room to a well-staffed public area of the ship. This way, if you and the kids get separated or your kids are old enough to explore on their own, you'll all be able to meet back at the room.
Get a sense of the times and places you'd like to chow down as a family. If you need any reservations, figure out what times work best and book them. If your cruise has freestyle dining, pick out the restaurants you'd like to try.
Ships have a curfew for kids under 17. (Usually it's past my curfew)