Preparations needed prior to departure include: Cruise pre-registration, required personal identification & travel documents, travel insurance, what to pack and more.
Is a passport or visa required?
Passport and visa requirements will depend on your itinerary. We can advise you of the specific entry requirements.
If you will require a passport, all that’s needed to apply are: two identical, passport-sized photos; proof of citizenship (birth certificate); and a valid form of identification such as a driver’s license. Visa applications are through the government of the country you’re requesting entrance; the process varies by country. We can guide you on how and where to apply, and the fees.
Please note that we can only advise you on how to obtain a passport or visa, but it’s your responsibility to apply, purchase and make sure you receive the passport and/or visa prior to your departure.
Also, if you’re traveling to destinations which require a vaccination certificate, it’s your responsibility to get the required vaccinations prior to departure.
Will I need to buy travel insurance?
Most vacations go off without a hitch, but mishaps do occur, and with the right type of travel insurance you’re likely to have more control over the outcome.
Travel insurance offers numerous levels of coverage ranging from simple plans such as insuring an airline ticket, to comprehensive plans which cover you in the event of baggage loss, damage to personal effects, delays, medical, dental, emergency evacuation or assistance, and trip cancellation. We can help you determine what coverage will be suitable for your vacation.
Will I need cash onboard?
Most cruise lines have gone to a cashless system – which is why they obtain your credit card number upon embarkation for you to charge all the “extras” to your onboard account. When it comes to tipping the staff, the practice of automatically charging your onboard account a daily flat service charge is becoming increasingly popular among most cruise lines.
For onshore purchases, using a credit card is the best policy. But for smaller purchases, cash is an easy alternative. Also, travelers’ checks or rechargeable cash cards are a good idea to bring along in case your primary form of cash or credit is lost or stolen.
We will advise you of the tipping policies and need of monetary funds based on the cruise line and itinerary.
How do I pre-register for my cruise?
Your cruise documents will detail how and when you should pre-register for your cruise. If you have questions, contact us at any time!
What type of clothing should I pack for a cruise?
It’s a vacation, so feel free to pack like it. But do be aware of the seasonal temperatures/weather of the destination(s) you’ll be exploring and pack accordingly (i.e. Alaska in the summer will still require a warm jacket). Ask about the voltage requirements on the ship if you plan on bringing electrical, plug-in items.
Also, you will need to adhere to the cruise line’s dress code; some are more formal than others. Many cruise lines maintain the tradition of dressing up for dinner. However, what qualifies as “dressing up” has evolved over time. Many cruise lines now designate some evenings for “casual” dress, some for “informal” dress and some for “formal” dress. What these code words mean varies a bit from one cruise line to another, but in general, here’s what to expect (and pack):
Casual dress means open-necked sport shirts and slacks for men; and sundresses, slacks or capri pants with coordinating tops for women. In general, jeans, shorts and baseball caps are not allowed. On luxury cruise lines, casual may take one more step toward formal, with jackets (but not ties) required for men and women expected to wear dresses or skirts.
Informal (or “smart casual” or “resort casual”) dress means slacks, button-down shirts, ties and jackets for men; dresses, dinner suits or pantsuits for women.
Formal dress means dark suits, dinner jackets or tuxedos for men; evening dresses for women. On luxury cruise lines, it’s not unusual to see women in full-length gowns on formal nights.
Note that some cruise lines require the specified form of evening dress not only in the dining rooms, but everywhere on the ship. If you really want to be flexible with your attire, consider a cruise line that has no dress code.
What is a medical release form, and how do I know if I have to submit one?
To ensure proper treatment in case of an emergency, cruise lines require that all guests with special medical needs submit this information to them prior to travel. Passengers who carry syringes for medical use must also carry a letter from their physicians indicating such.
Can I bring alcohol on the ship?
Cruise lines have a variety of policies regarding how much alcohol you can bring onboard with you. Some do allow you to bring a bottle or two of wine or Champagne, others do not. Ask your Cruise Expert to check the latest rules on your specific cruise line.
Do I need to bring my own life preserver?
No, life preservers are provided in your cabin. You will be required to attend a lifeboat drill where you will be taught how to use them in case of an emergency.