Monday, August 10, 2009

It's not too early to

It may be too early to plan your time on the boat, but the time is right for some important pieces of cruise prep!
  1. Book a hotel in Miami. If you're planning to fly in Thursday night, secure a room in a nearby hotel. The reduced room block at the Intercontinental is sure to fill up at only $149/night. Most hotels won't charge you until check-out (or unless you cancel with less than 24 hours notice), so it won't cost you anything to book now. Note: The group rate with the Intercontinental cannot be canceled after February 13 without penalty (thanks Sarah!).

  2. Get a passport. Technically, you won't need an official passport to travel on a closed-loop cruise, but you'll need at least a passport card or a bunch of official documents (see U.S. State Department entry/exit requirements for Bahamas). An official passport for new applicants is $100 vs. $45 for the passport card, but with all the changes and increased requirements for international travel, chances are that passport card won't be much good to you long before it expires in 10 years. If you do the birth certificate method, you'll be stuck if you need to fly home in case of emergency. Carnival recommends getting a passport.

  3. Set up fare alerts for flights. We have a lot of lead time to book travel, and airfares fluctuate like crazy. Sometimes a flight can be $50 less one day than it was the day before. By setting up a fare alert on a site like, you can enter a desired max price for a flight and get an email if a flight meets your requirements.

  4. Get started on that cruise fitness plan! If you're like me and wish you could get in shape just by watching people on TV exercise, you need a very good reason like this to hit the gym. Nothing else could make me stay for two classes in a row, that's for sure! I'm no expert and far from super fit, but what worked for me was joining an all women's gym (bye bye self-consciousness) and committing myself to 3-4 classes/week. If I don't have a giant ripped guy yelling at me to get up the stairs NOW, I won't. By May, we'll all have the leanest meanest baddest bodies!


  1. FYI- Just booked the intercontinental (just in case). Because of the group rate, you must cancel reservation by 2-13-10 to avoid penalties... 3 months seemed crazy to me- so thought I would pass on the info.


  2. I am on the Priority WaitList, but I went ahead and booked a room at the intercontinental..There are only King Sized Bed Rooms left!

  3. I contacted the hotel to see if this yr they would be hosting a NKOTB party and they said no. I told them that last yr hundreds of woman @ the hotel had nothing to do & maybe having some NKOTB music and drinks would be a good idea. Maybe we should do stuff on our own??