In Addition to Your Cruise Documents You Need to Take ......|
Two(2) Proofs of Citizenship for you and everyone in your party. Your children must have their own birth certificate.
This would include a certified copy of your birth certificate with a raised seal. Also a picture ID. Such as your drivers license or a state ID card. A drivers license alone is not sufficient proof of citizenship. Nor is your voters registration card accepted anymore.
Your current passport supercedes all other identification and may be accepted alone without other types of ID.
Non US citizens must consult with the department of immigration for proper identification requirements.
Will You Need Formal Wear ......
The word "formal" is real a misnomer. A dark suit and tie for the men. A "dressy" Sunday dress or pantsuit for you. These are entirely appropriate for the Captain's Welcome Aboard Cocktail Party. Even the Farewell Dinner.
On other evenings a sport shirt and casual dress or pants outfit is entirely appropriate. However, please no shorts.
Only on the very upscale ships will you see the majority of the
passengers in formal wear on "formal" nights. If you have a tux, by all means take it. If you're dying to wear the dress you bought for that black tie affair. Take it along.
What About Motion Sickness ......
Ships today are well stabilized. Most of the time you won't notice you are even moving.
It's a good idea though to take along some Dramamine(follow the directions on the box). Also aspirin and sunscreen.
If you do have a problem onboard. All ships have a doctor and a nurse aboard. Be sure not to forget any prescription drugs you are taking. These should be put in your carry-on-luggage.
What About Your Luggage ......
When you are using the cruise line's airfare program. You will affix the tags sent with your cruise documents to your luggage. Then check your luggage at the airport. The next time you see your luggage will be in your cabin. There are a few ports where you will need to claim your luggage at the airport. This should be indicated in your cruise documents.
Even if you are flying using your own airfare program. You still need to affix your cruise line tags to your luggage. You will need to claim your own luggage at the airport. On arrival in your port city. Then take it with you to the departure port.
If you are driving to the port. You must check your own luggage when you arrive at the port. Then your luggage will be taking to your cabin.
It's a good idea to check your cabin about 1/2 hour before sailing. To insure your luggage has arrived. If it is not there, check with your steward or the purser's office. It does take a while. They have thousands of bags to deliver to cabins. The most important thing is your luggage tag. Without it, how will they know where to find you?
On the last night of your cruise. You will be asked to put your luggage(except your carry-on bags) outside your cabin. So that it can be taken to the holding area. Then off loaded early the next morning. You will claim your bags in the customs area.
Paying for Items Onboard and in Port ......
The Cruise Line will open you an onboard account. For bar purchases, soft drinks, souvenirs etc. Also to pay for shore excursions. At the end of the cruise, you can settle your account by credit card, travelers checks or cash.
The purser's office will also cash travelers checks for you. You will not be able to cash personal checks onboard the ship.
Most of the duty-free shops onboard and shops in port will also cash travelers checks. Also most shops in port will accept major credit cards. As well as American dollars or travelers checks.
What About Tipping Onboard Ship ......
You should receive information onboard the ship about tipping. It is generally suggested that you tip $2.50-$3.00 per day* to your cabin steward and waiter. And $1.50-$2.00 per day* to your busboy.(*per person in your party)
If you use the services of the wine steward. Or ask the maitre'd to assist in planning a special occasion in the dining room. It is appropriate to tip him whatever you feel is appropriate.
When you see what excellent service you get. How friendly and helpful your waiter, steward and busboy are. I'm sure you will agree that they deserve this gratuity.
If for some reason you are not satisfied with the service you are receiving. Please bring it to the attention of the chief cabin steward. Maitre'd or pursers desk.
Always check your bills. Most cruise lines add gratuities to bar tabs.
On cruises of 10 days or less. It is customary to tip on the last evening. Envelopes will be provided for you.
Should I Take Shore Excursions or Explore Ports Of Call
on My Own ......
This is really up to you! If you're not the real adventurous type. Then consider a shore excursion in at least one port.
Most ships include a program of their shore excursions with your cruise documents. If not, you will have one in your cabin when you board the ship. Lots of the sailing and snorkeling excursions are lots of fun and much easier that trying to arrange them yourself.
It is recommend that you book your "shore excursions" with the cruise line that you are sailing on. If you'd like to get a little more information before you go. About some of the islands/ports that are easy to explore on your own. Contact Your Travel Agent.
Please note that things in our world today have changed. There is a lot of unrest in many countries and ports of call.
Where Do I Find Information About Onboard and
Shore Activities ......
There should be all kinds of "goodies" about these activities in your cabin when you arrive. There will be a daily program of activities put in your cabin each night for the next day. Prior to sailing is a good time for you to explore. Get your bearings. To where the dining room, gym, lounges ect. are located.
If you are a first timer. It is suggested that you attend the "shore excursion talk" or at least part of it. Also the debarkation talk. Both of which will be listed on the daily program. These are very informative. The cruise directors do a pretty good job of making them fun for you.
Any "shore excursions" should be booked as soon as you arriveon the ship. The more popular ones do tend to sell out first. Some cruise lines will allow you to book "shore excursions" right through your TV in your cabin. However, this procedure is available only on a few cruise lines.