To pull off a successful cruise vacation, you’re going to need to do a lot of planning. Once you’ve book the ship and the destination you’ll be able to start plotting out your possible shore excursions, what onboard restaurants you want to try and how you’re going to get to the ship. The excitement and planning will reach their peak for the week before the cruise. Here is an action plan to help:

Make a List

This list isn’t your cruise bucket list (you should have one of those, too!). This should be the list of what you plan to pack. Write out the outfits, the shoes, the chargers, the first-aid kick and anything else you think you’re going to need for the vacation. As you pack, check off the list. You don’t want to leave any of this for the night before or the morning of your departure.

Get Your Cash

You will be using credit cards and debit cards on your cruise but you’ll also need cash. Again, running to the ATM at midnight the night before you leave shouldn’t be an option. You will also want to alert your bank that you’re going on a trip so that they can put a travel notice on your card. Otherwise it might look like someone is off having a dream vacation on you dime. Finally, if you’re going to a foreign country, then you should exchange currency before getting on the ship just so you have some to spend.

Set up Work-free Zone

If you’re going on vacation, then it means not bringing any work along with you. Everyone at your place of work should know that you’re “off the grid” for the duration of the vacation. No company emails. No projects to finish up. Take care of all of that on the last day of work before the trip.

Print Backups

A lot of boarding passes for your flight can now be downloaded onto your phone. That works fine expect if your phone battery suddenly dies. That is why you should print backups all of all your tickets, boarding passes and itinerary. Keep it all in a folder or envelope in your carry on for easy access.

Get Some Sleep

The week before your vacation it will be your primary focus. Don’t let it keep you up at night. You want to get a lot of rest before your vacation because your “body clock” might be thrown off. You don’t want to miss out on any fun because you’re exhausted especially on that first night.