Frequently Asked Questions
1) What type of travel documents do I need?
As of June 1,2009, you will need a passport, or other Homeland Security approved travel document. The new Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) will require you to have a valid passport for land, sea and air travel to and from the United States.
The WHTI does allow some leniency for closed loop cruises. These are cruises that embark and terminate at the same port. Passengers on a closed loop cruise still will need valid proof of citizenship, and a government-issued photo ID. These could be an original or certified copy of your birth certificate along with a valid drivers license. All children over 15 need a birth certificate and a photo ID. The requirement on closed loop cruises means that you do not need a passport, be advised that if you would need to fly from the U.S. because you missed embarcation, or leave the ship early due to an emergency, it would only be possible with a valid and current passport, passport card,or an enhanced drivers license. Any cruises which starts at one US port of departure and terminates at another US port requires a valid and current passport.
There are cruise to the Middle East, Africa, and the Far East that require you to obtain a Visa. If this is required on your cruise, the cruise line will provide the necessary paperwork.
For more information on the need for a passport in your situation follow the link below to see a list of WHTI-compliant documents, or to obtain a passport application online.
2) How do I get my my cruise documents?
Depending on the cruise line your will receive your documents by mail directly from the cruise line, from us thru the mail, or you can print them out as e-documents.
3) What is included in my cruise fare.
The following item's are included in your cruise fare are your cabin, your meals, coffee, water(not bottled). Room service is available but there my be charges after midnight.
Things not included are carbonated beverages, wine , alcohol, shore escursions, speciality dining.
4) If I obtain my own air flights, how do I get to the ship?
If you obtain your own air, you are responsible for finding your own way from the airport to the pier. You have the choice of using commercial transportation, (taxi) or obtain transfers from the cruise line. If you use the cruise line transfers you will need to give the cruise line your air schedule so that they can see if their transportation providers, can get you to the ship on time.
5) What time do I have to be at the ship?
In order for you to be allowed to board the ship, you need to be onboard prior to one hour before the published departure time. This is due to Homeland Security and Customs Control. Be sure to check your cruise documents for the departure time of your specific cruise.
6) Can I drive to the pier and park my car?
Yes, you can drive to the pier and leave your car during your cruise. This is for US ports of departure, and some European ports. The cost for parking is about the same as you would pay for long term airport parking.
7) Do I need to get any vaccinations prior to my cruise?
Vaccinations are not required for most cruises to the Caribbean, Europe and the Mediterranean. If the cruise requires that you get a vaccination, you will be notified soon after your deposit is paid.
8) How do I pay for purchases that I make on board?
The cruise lines do not take cash on board, they use sign and sail cards. These cards serve as a ship board credit card that you can use at all the on-board boutiques, the bars, and speciality restaurants. In the morning of the last day you will receive your statement of all your expenses, if you want to leave it on your credit card, you don't have to do anything. If however you wish to pay another way, you will need to go to the Purser's Office to handle this.
9) What if I want to take a shore excursion, how do I make arrangements.
You can pre-book your shore excursions thru the cruise line website. This is the most desirable method. The reason is that you can see all your shore excursion options , along with what is still available. There are also shore excursions available on-board, but not many options. The 6 Star cruise lines will have you pre-book all of your shore excursions prior to sailing.
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