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Win a cruise aboard the MSC Magnifica

This month we're giving you the chance to win a Cruise Nation Smart Package for two aboard the spectacular MSC Magnifica in a balcony cabin. Simply enter your details below for a chance to win!

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Getting ready for a holiday is always an exciting time. You will have the opportunity to visit some of the most amazing destinations in the world and be able to make use of all the fantastic on­board facilities.

But before you set sail, there are a number of things you need to remember so that you have the best possible time.

Follow our guide and learn about the essentials required to get yourself prepared before embarking on your voyage.

We will be covering the following:

Travel documents

First and foremost, this is probably the most important part of your packing process, so make this your number one priority!

You will want to keep your passport and other necessary ID and cruise documents with you, so never pack these in your suitcase. It’s a good idea to have a travel documents wallet or folder so everything can be kept together. This is especially useful if you are travelling with your whole family and you want to keep everyone’s information in one place. Check, check and check again that you have all the paperwork you need before you leave. This will ensure you have a smooth journey and aren’t faced with any unnecessary mishaps later on down the line.

Travel insurance

This is a particularly important factor for cruisers to consider. Because of the nature of cruising, the possibility of missing some leg of your trip ­ such as a departure from one of the ports ­ seems somewhat more likely than when you take a non­stop flight that gets you from A to B.

Getting appropriate m​edical insurance ­ http://www.holidayextras.co.uk/holiday­insurance/latitude­travel­insurance.html?agent=WC927​ in an emergency is a safe way to ensure you and your party have some form of assistance should you find yourself in an incident that is out of your control.

Many cruisers are unaware of the fact that their home medical insurance may not always necessarily cover any care they receive outside of their home country. That’s why it’s hugely

important to invest in insurance in order to keep you and your family safe and secure whilst you are off on your travels.

However, insurance isn’t just beneficial for health reasons. Because you are constantly moving around a cruise ­ including flights and ports of call ­ it’s even more of a necessity to invest in insurance in case any of your personal belongings are misplaced. Insurance will help cover the cost of replacing your lost items and take some of the pressure off the stresses of being in that predicament.

Extension lead

There is nothing worse than wanting to charge or use a device and there not being enough plug sockets to work with. That’s why an extension lead is always a handy suitcase item. The shape and size means you can fit it in neatly down the side of your suitcase so that when you’re on board you can use multiple devices at once. Always remember to unplug it/switch it off when you are not using it or when you leave your cabin ­ safety first!

Waterproof camera/waterproof case for your phone

For a lot of people, capturing key moments of their holiday via a digital camera or smartphone is an essential part of their cruise experience. Once your cruise has come to an end, pictures are the only way you keep the memory of your holiday alive. That’s why if one of these devices breaks it can put a real downer on your cruise and create some rather upsetting memories, which you definitely don’t want.

Therefore, we recommend you take a waterproof camera so that when you’re lounging by the pool or you are walking along the shore on the beach, you never miss a single, memorable shot. Keep your digital camera and smartphone for dryer areas and everyone’s a winner!

Medication

Some cruises come equipped with first aid kits (check with your cruise liner) but if you wish to bring your own essentials, it’s worth doing so to ensure you have everything at hand. This can include sea sickness tablets, plasters, any prescribed medication is an absolute must, allergy medication and creams. You can buy a lot of these items on your cruise ship but it is much more cost­effective to bring them with you.

The right clothing for your cruise

Many years ago, cruises used to be a formal affair and guests were often seen in elegant evening attire and tuxedos ­ especially after 6pm. Whilst some cruises still stick to this tradition, others have steered away from this and opted for a more modern and casual feel. That’s why it’s always handy to research your cruise thoroughly and learn about what activities/facilities are on offer before you start packing.

Always bring a mixture of clothes so that you have choices whilst you’re on board. You want to pack clothes that are suitable for varying climate changes. It’s great to have options so bear this in mind when you’re getting your suitcase prepared.

When it comes to packing for a cruise, there are many essential items you need to include and think about before your journey takes place. These are just some of the options we think are worth taking to ensure your trip runs as smoothly as possible.

If you are looking for your next cruise, or you are a first­time cruise goer, why not take a look at our deals? With a selection of cruise ships and endless destinations to dip your toes into, you’re sure to find a cruise line and deal that is perfect for you.

For more information and to speak to one of our friendly and expert advisors, you can call us on 0800 408 0757 . Alternatively, you can fill out our c​ontact form ​and we will be happy to get back to you.

Let us help you create that perfect holiday of a lifetime and see what we have in store for you on your next holiday adventure.