Cruising the Mediterranean Part 3 – PreTrip ToDos

I’m now less than 2weeks away from my first trip to Europe and the Disney 11 night Mediterranean Cruise. I’ve had such a busy spring – what with the Special Needs Book 2nd edition, the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer – well; I’m just now really able to focus on the trip.

LUGGAGE — First things first, I went to the British Airways website to check out their luggage restrictions. Got to spend time this weekend making sure my carryon and checked luggage will comply with their regulations. I have heard they are MUCH stricter in Europe than the airlines are in the US.

WHAT TO PACK – This is another one of those really hard things. We have a limit of 2 checked suitcases (with weight restrictions). We are going to be gone from May 23rd until June 6th – 15 days! Plus we’ll be on a cruise ship so we also need to pack at least a couple dressy outfits as well as dinner attire. I must remember to pack touring clothes that will cover my shoulders and knees for visits to cathedrals! Oh my!!!! I can tell already those Disney Magic laundry rooms are going to be BUSY!

JET LAG – Another item to focus on is ways to reduce Jet Lag! I have a double whammy of not just the jet lag issue, but the insulin shot issue. As a Type I diabetic (insulin dependent) I take 3-4 insulin shots per day, with meals and then a 24 hour insulin shot at bedtime. Well, bedtime for my body doesn’t change just because I flew to another time zone. Luckily my travel alarm clock allows for 2 time zones to be active so that will help quite a bit.

Jet lag – The most I’ve ever experienced in changing time zones is going from the East Coast US to the West Coast US. A little bothersome, but really, not a big deal. However this time we will be crossing multiple time zones.

I found this great article on the Mayo Clinic website simply called “Jet Lag”! Here are a couple of the tips the article suggests:

1) If you’re traveling east, try going to bed one hour earlier each night for a few days before your departure. If possible, start eating meals closer to the time you’ll eat at your destination.

2) Drink plenty of water before, during and after the flight to counteract the dry cabin air. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.

3) Once you board the plane, set your watch to the destination time zone.

AIRLINE SEAT ASSIGNMENTS – One thing I did not realize until it was too late, is that British Airways only allows seat assignments 24 hours in advance. Their frequent flyers and first class passengers can do their seat assignments earlier, but the rest of us have 24 hours. I’m a little nervous about this, I have to admit. The last thing I want to do is end up between strangers. I don’t do well in middle seats. Plus, I’ll have to give myself some insulin shots during the trip and I really don’t want to do that next to strangers. Hopefully it will all workout ok!

DISNEY CRUISE LINE ONLINE CHECK-IN – To simplify the boarding process, Disney has online check in. There are several forms to fill out and print – Guest Information, Payment Authorization, the Disney Cruise Line Contract, and then Flight and Medical information. This is usually a breeze to do for Disney’s regular cruises — not so for the Med Cruises. For some reason the European airports and other pertinent fields in the database have not been modified for the Mediterranean cruises. We are using Disney Transfers from the airport to our hotel, but our airline information does not show up correctly on the website. ??? So then we tried to bypass that and print out the forms that need to be signed – they also included all the names of most of those tied to our reservations! It has their cabin numbers and lines for us to sign that we allow them to charge back to our stateroom!!!??? Our Travel Agent didn’t understand it but said just to bypass that portion and print out the items we needed to sign.

Let’s see, I have a whole list of other things to do before we leave home. Fortunately we have a master list of all these… well; I think we have a master list LOL.

Here are just a few things you need to make sure are on your list!
1) Stop mail and paper delivery
2) Have a neighbor keep an eye on your home (some jurisdictions suggest letting your local police department know).
3) Call your credit card companies to alert them you are going to be traveling overseas.
4) Change any work/personal voice mail recordings.
5) Make sure you have plenty of your prescription medication. Most mail-order/local pharmacies will allow you to request most refills early for vacations!

Whew – I’m tired just thinking about it.

Life – IT too short!

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Deb Wills, founder of AllEars.Net, is an internationally recognized expert on Disney vacations ranging from Walt Disney World to the Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland and Adventures by Disney. For many years she participated in events designed to raise funds and awareness in the fight against breast cancer, which she herself survived in 1986. She now raises funds for FORCE - Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered, to increase awareness of hereditary cancers.

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