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Cruising 101: Expert advice from our Cruise Specialists!

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Travel Documents & Tickets

Please note that tickets may arrive as late as the week of sailing. When you have received your travel documents, please be sure to verify that your ticket information is complete and accurate. If an error is found, contact our office and we will promptly correct it.

 

Proof of Citizenship

Due to new security measures, all cruise lines now require proof of citizenship and photo identification. You must carry a valid passport and current photo identification with you on your trip. No photocopies will be accepted. Passports must be valid for a minimum of six months after your return home. Cruise lines reserve the right to deny you boarding if you do not produce these documents.

Visas may be required for your cruise or cruisetour program. For answers to questions regarding visa and documentation requirements, please consult your country’s embassy to verify current regulations. It is your obligation to have with you the proper travel documentation.

 

What to Pack

  • All travel documents: a valid passport and current photo identification.
  • Clothing specific to the climate conditions of the travel destination. Comfortable shoes, a hat, sunglasses and protective sunscreen are highly recommended regardless of the destination.
  • Adequate supply of prescriptive medication, contained in their original packaging.
  • All necessary eye wear, including the following: Prescriptive glasses, contacts and sunglasses.
  • Your camera and binoculars
  • And don't forget your flight & cruise tickets!

 

Motion Sickness

If you happen to experience motion sickness during your cruise, most cruise lines will offer complimentary sea sickness medication, available at your ship's Guest Relations desk. For more severe cases, professionally trained medical staff is available onboard for assistance. Customary charges apply to services and medical care provided.

 

What to Wear

Dress comfortably and as you would for a land-based resort. As a suggestion for port wear, it is best to keep in mind the temperatures, humidity levels and local customs of your cruise destinations. You may also wish to consult your Cruise Expert for more destination-specific information.

Cruise lines also require guests to follow certain dress codes such as casual, formal and informal wear. Please refer to your cruise brochure for guidelines regarding appropriate attire.

 

Transfers

Optional transfers from the airport to the cruise line terminal on the same day of departure are not included in the cruise fare, but are available for a nominal fee.

Please note that if a transfer is not purchased, you will be responsible for the transport of your own luggage, to and from the airport and the cruise terminal. Independent porters and taxis are generally available outside the airport terminal if you should require any assistance. Please note that gratuities for these independent services are not included in your cruise fare.

 

Embarkation

Start your cruise early! Arrive 3-4 hours prior to the scheduled cruise departure time and you will be able to sit back and relax as your baggage is taken care of. Please observe departure times carefully to avoid the disappointment of being denied boarding onto the ship.

 

Shore Excursions

To make the most of an enriching cruise vacation, be sure to participate in at least one optional shore excursion. Depending on the port of call visited by your itinerary, excursions can vary from a relaxing sightseeing tour to an adventurous white water rafting expedition.

Be sure to book them early! The most popular shore excursions sell extremely quickly. Excursions typically cost anywhere ranging from $25 to $400 per person, per excursion.

Most cruise lines allow guests to browse or book shore excursions online prior to sailing using their cruise reservation number, ship name and sailing date. For cruise lines with policies that require reservations in person, it is strongly advised that you book your excursion(s) on the first day onboard ship as spaces are limited and are reserved on a first come, first served basis.

 

Baggage

Baggage tags will be sent to you along with your cruise documents. To avoid discrepancies and/or delays due to lost or misplaced luggage, please complete and attach these tags to your luggage before you leave home.

Once you have embarked the ship, your luggage will be promptly delivered to your stateroom. Cruise lines do not limit the number of baggage items you bring, whereas airlines will have restrictions. Please check with your airline for baggage restrictions and policies. Also, keep in mind that your luggage is to be stored inside your stateroom.

 

Cruise Fare Amenities

What's Included:
  • Ship accommodations
  • Most non-alcoholic beverages
    (tea, coffee, milk, juices)
  • Use of pools & saunas
  • Ocean transportation
  • All meals & room service
  • Onboard entertainment
  • Fitness facilities

What's Not Included:
  • Alcohol & soda pop
  • Photographs
  • Laundry services
  • Shore excursions
  • E-mail, fax, Internet & mail
  • Gratuities
  • Spa, health & beauty treatments
  • Enhancement programs
  • Specialty restaurants
  • Medical services
  • Other personal items
  • Other business services

 

Tipping

Gratuities are given to the shipboard service staff to award them for their efforts. Most major cruise lines have implemented an automatic gratuity program directly charged to guests' onboard accounts. Guests will always have the flexibility of increasing, decreasing or eliminating the suggested amount at their own discretion. If your preference is to offer tip in the traditional style of presenting cash in envelopes, you may still choose to do so.

Depending on the cruise line, standard amounts range from $10 to $25 per person, per day. Please note that bar tabs and spa services often charge an automatic 15% gratuity. Please check with individual cruise lines

 

Rebooking Onboard

Guest loyalty is significantly valued by cruise lines. If you choose to book a future cruise while still onboard the ship, you will be able to enjoy exceptional benefits, varying from discounted cruise fares to stateroom upgrades and shipboard credits. A small deposit amount is required by the cruise line, but without any immediate commitment to a specific destination or sail date.

 

Cashless Accounts

Cruise lines have made life onboard a cruise a worry-free cashless society. Upon boarding, each guest is issued an identity card serving as a room key as well as an onboard charge card for shipboard purchases. Guests can choose to have their shipboard charge card linked to a credit card, debit card, or traveler's checks. Cash can also be used, provided that an initial cash deposit is made and additional refills are made to the onboard credit account.

 

Spa & Enrichment Programs

For a special luxurious spa treatment that you've been longing to experience, or an enrichment program you don't want to miss, be sure to plan your onboard spa and health activities ahead of time. We strongly recommend booking these popular appointments on the first day of embarkation.

 

Dining Reservations

Cruise lines do their best to comply with your requests for particular dining times and table sizes, although they are not guaranteed. You may be required to verify these arrangements once onboard. It is always best to reserve your preferred dining times on the first day for any specialty restaurant offered onboard. Additional surcharges and/or à la carte pricing apply to all specialty restaurants.

 

Children's Programs

With extensive educational programs, special menus and facilities designed for children and teens ages 2-18 years, cruising has become a vacation experience the entire family can enjoy! Babysitting services, where available, are offered for a nominal fee. Parents may enjoy their vacation with peace of mind, reassured that their children are in good hands. Kids will surely have loads of fun with specifically-designed programs as they meet new friends.

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