First Time Cruiser
What do I Pack?
Khakis and a polo shirt, a skirt and blouse or a sundress for dinner. The ships do not allow jeans, T-shirts, shorts, cut-offs, tank tops, bare feet, etc. in any of the restaurants at dinner.
On the formal nights which there are normally 2 on a 7 night cruise, black tie or dark suit for gentlemen and evening gown or cocktail dress for ladies. But remember, on formal evenings you can always choose to dine in one of the other restaurants instead and enjoy some of the other lounges and leave your dressier clothes at home.
In warm climates, shorts, slacks, sundresses, jeans and tops - and of course a swimsuit and cover-up are all appropriate daytime attire. Air conditioning can feel chilly, so pack a sweater. Because weather is difficult to predict, in cooler climates dressing in layers is the best approach. Be sure to bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes, too. Other essentials: sunglasses, a sun hat or visor and sunscreen. Don't forget to bring prescription medicines in original containers and an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses. Carry valuables and medication in a handbag you keep with you at all times.
Important Note: All suitcases are collected the night before we return to our home port, so be sure to bring an overnight bag with a change of clothes for the trip home and also fill it prior to boarding with the clothes you would like to wear to dinner on the first night.
How do I pay for things while I am onboard?
For your convenience, all shipboard expenses are charged to special onboard sea pass. Sign up on the first day of your cruise just before you get on board, by establishing your method of payment with Visa®, MasterCard®, American Express®, Discover®, Diners Club®, travelers checks or cash. If you choose to settle your account with cash, a deposit will be required in advance.
Do I need a Passport?
On January 8, 2007, ALL persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling by air between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda will be required to present a valid passport, Air NEXUS card, or U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document.
As early as January 1, 2008, ALL persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda by land or sea (including ferries), may be required to present a valid passport or other documents as determined by the Department of Homeland Security. While recent legislative changes permit a later deadline, the Departments of State and Homeland Security are working to meet all requirements as soon as possible. Ample advance notice will be provided to enable the public to obtain passports or passport cards for land/sea entries.
For information on how to get a passport please click Here
What's a shore excursion?
That's a term that refers to anything you do off the ship, in port. At every stop, you'll have the option of exploring the area on your own or as part of a group with a planned itinerary. You might hike a tropical rain forest in the Caribbean, fish for king salmon in Alaska, tour Mayan ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, or take a sightseeing tour.
How do I book shore excursions?
If you are booked on a cruise, a Shore Excursions brochure and pre-request form will be mailed to you with your cruise documents. Some tours are available to pre-request online, you can also purchase them once you get onboard. I highly recommend going to your cruise lines webpage approximately 3 months before your cruise to look at the options available and if there is something you really want to do sign up for it then so you can make sure you will get it.
What's included in the price?
The price of your cruise price includes your cabin, all meals (including the midnight buffet!), entertainment, parties and, of course, all transportation between all the ports on your itinerary. On most ships, alcoholic beverages and optional shore excursions are not included in the basic price.
• Stateroom or suite accommodations
• Ocean transportation
• Gourmet dining
• Supervised kids' programs
• Vegas – or Broadway-style shows
• Entry to nightclubs, piano bars & more
• Activities like yoga & basketball
• Gym, pool & hot tubs
• Port charges
• Spa treatments
• Alcoholic beverages
• Soda- You can pay for a soda card when you board
• Casino gambling
• Organized tours & activities onshore
• Nominal fees at some specialty