Cruising P&O Iona – Cruise Preparation.

If you are a last-minute packer, planner, or cruiser.  This will help you prepare last minute for the most important things you do need to do before you travel. 

I will cover doing the following within 3 days of cruising:

  1. Parking in Southampton.

  2. Travel Insurance.

  3. Pre-booking Drinks Packages & Dinner arrangements.

  4. Cruise Itinerary.

  5. Uploading your travel documents and important travel protocols etc.

As I write this Blog I am cruising tomorrow I booked it a few months ago but like many cruisers, I have left everything to the last moment to prepare. 

1. Parking in UK Cruise Ports:

Because I left this to the last few days before cruising of course the Cruise LInes recommended parking company was fully booked, it took me an hour or so to finally find the right company to book with and it was Secure Cruise Parking in Southampton – Parking4Cruises I booked this 3 days before my cruise no problem.

2.  Travel Insurance.

This is now essential and mandatory now for most cruise lines.  So of course, P&O Cruises sent us a link to book our Travel Insurance.  You don’t have to go with this travel insurance you can arrange your own.  I got a better deal using this link on Cruise Travel Insurance – Why You Need it and How to Get It: (Step by Step Illustrated Guide) – Emma Cruises 

3.  Pre-booking Drinks Packages & Dinner arrangements.

So P&O have a couple of drinks packages:

  1. The Ultimate Drinks Package | On-Board Bar | P&O Cruises (
  2. Non-Alcoholic Drink Package On-Board | P&O Cruises (
  3. The Children’s Drink Package On-Board | P&O Cruises (

If you like a drink or three then the Ultimate Drinks Package is about £39.95 a day at the time of writing this it includes the basics like a lager, cider, house wines anything up to £6.95 which is great for my hubby as he just likes a couple of pints in the afternoon & evening.  Then is quite happy with a house white wine with his dinner.  But if you love cocktails like many people do it is the ultimate luxury and one of the reasons we all like to cruise then the Ultimate package isn’t a good value because most if not all the cocktails are over £6.95 so you’re better off not choosing the so-called ‘ultimate drinks package’ and just buying them as you go.

4. Cruise Itinerary

Full disclosure I haven’t had time to investigate the ports we are visiting on our cruise which are Hamburg, Rotterdam and Zeebrugge we plan to travel to Bruges from Zeebrugge.  But I like to explore a lot of places on my own it’s the joy of cruising finding out what we can do talking to the crew and finding out where they eat and drink ashore.  What the previous guests have raved about.  So I promise that when I return I will share all the highlights of shopping and exploring these fabulous ports.

5.  Uploading your travel documents and important travel protocols etc.

You do need to download and print all your travel documents Cruiselines are so much more organized and ask you to basically check-in before you arrive.  You can easily do this by logging into your account and uploading your passport information.  You will then get your boarding passes, luggage tags and prompts and reminders of any other protocols you need to follow.  I did all this 3 days before my cruise.

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