So... Book it !
You've done your homework, have carefully checked out the cruise line and read everything in fine print (including all disclaimers).   You know where you want to go, which ship will take you there, what kind of cabin you want and about how much it will cost... 

Book it !  Call your travel agent now.

(Using your credit card for the deposit will afford you the most protection). If you don't have a local agent, you can find one on the Internet.  You need to select several categories or locations, as your first choice may be sold out.  I would recommend booking a minimum of six months ahead.  You should book 9 months or more if: 
  • you need facilities for the handicapped
  • you have a specific cabin in mind
  • you are planning a group cruise
  • You are cruising on holidays or in peak season
If there is a possibility that you may experience inclement weather before you fly, consider flying  the day before port departure.  Some cruise lines will arrange for a prior-nights stay for you. 

Travel insurance is always extra and is strongly recommended.  This policy may cover you for: 

  • trip cancellation or interruption (non-refundable published penalties and expenses when you are prevented from taking or completing a trip)
  • trip delay or missed connection (for expenses that are incurred to join the trip and/or return home)
  • Itinerary changes (such as bad weather)
  • accidents to or from, onboard or in port, including medical and evacuation expenses
  • lost or misplaced luggage
  • bankruptcy (theirs, not yours)
  • AD&D
There are numerous acceptable reasons for refund, but there are some exceptions to this coverage.   Travelex, Access America and Travelguard write these policies.  Your agent can help you shop for one... please let me know if you find a really good one.

Now is the time to request special dietetic meals or table assignments (see my Dining page). 

Whew !  Well done!  Now that the pressure is off, you have lots of time to plan the other aspects of your trip. 


Your Travel Agent will help you decide on the proper identification papers you will need.  I went all the way and obtained a U.S. Passport. In most cases this is overkill, as there are other options, depending on your nationality.  I figured that on the outside chance that I win big at the casino, I can fly to New York and jump on the Concorde to France or something.  I'll already have my passport  :-)

If you are a non-custodial parent traveling with your child, or the child's other parent is not with you, you should obtain a notarized statement from the other parent allowing you to remove the child from the country. Candy's CruisePlanner frames page
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