Your Cruise is Booked. Now What?
A little planning goes a long way toward a smooth sailing. To help you best prepare for your upcoming cruise, read the following information.
Passport and Entry Documentation
Please verify the spelling of ALL PASSENGER NAMES. The name on your invoice must match your name as it appears on your proof of citizenship. Please contact us if there is a name misspelling. It is the passenger’s responsibility to provide the correct name spellings of all guests traveling. Any fees involved with name change will be at the passenger’s expense.
Please note: You will be denied boarding without refund, if you do not possess valid proof of citizenship and any other required entry documents for the countries you are visiting.
Passports must be valid for 6 months after the return date of travel.
Because entry requirements vary depending on the nationality of your passport and the entry requirements for the country you are visiting, it is the passengers responsibility to know and obtain all required entry documents for the countries you are visiting. The cost of all visas and other travel documents and other country imposed fees such as entry and exit fees are also the passengers responsibility.
Some countries require vaccinations: https://www.cdc.gov/
For information concerning possible dangers at international destinations, contact the Travel Advisory Section of the U.S State Department, (202) 647-5225 or you can visit their website www.travel.state.gov. For medical information, call the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 1-800-232-4636 or you can visit the website at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. By embarking upon his/her travel, the traveler voluntarily assumes all risks involved in such travel, whether expected or unexpected.
Traveling With Minors Under Age 18
A notarized affidavit signed by both parents with permission to travel is required for children under age 18 when traveling outside the United States.
AAA Travel strongly recommends the purchase of travel insurance.
Why buy travel insurance?
- You need to cancel your trip
- You miss your connection
- Your flight is canceled
- You get sick or injured on your trip
- Your baggage is delayed or lost or damaged
- You require emergency medical evacuation
- You need emergency assistance services
We suggest you limit your luggage to a maximum of one bag per person, if traveling on cruises of 3-5 days duration, and no more than two bags per person, for cruises of 6 days or longer. In addition, you must personally carry-on any boarding documentation (passports, Visas, I.D.), valuables, medications and items which require special handling.
Each checked suit case and carry-on suit case should not weigh more than 50 pounds, and when lying flat, bags must not exceed 16 inches high by 24 inches wide (the length of the bag is not a factor). For security screening purposes, all luggage should be unlocked. Oversized luggage and locked luggage may cause delivery delays.
Pack Your Carry-On Bag
On the day your cruise departs, your checked luggage will arrive to your stateroom late in the day. We suggest packing a small carry-on bag with:
- Proper Travel Documentation (passport, Visas, I.D.)
- Important paperwork (tickets, insurance information)
- Wallet (just the necessities: cash, credit cards, driver’s license)
- Prescription medications in their original containers
- A change of clothes
- Personal toiletries
- Anything else you might want access to before your luggage arrives
- A swimsuit in case you want to enjoy the pool.
Getting to the Ship
You are responsible for getting to the ship on time. If you have made your own flight reservations independent of the cruise line and you are delayed and miss a cruise departure, the cruise line will not assist you in getting to the ship. We suggest, if possible, arriving at the port of embarkation a day prior to departure.
Most staterooms have standard 110-volt AC electrical outlets and hair dryers (some also have Europe’s 220-volt plugs). Check your ship’s specifications to determine if you need an adapter. Some ships, but not all have USB outlets. It is a good idea to bring a power strip equipped with USB plug-ins. Cabin outlets can be limited and laptops, phones and cameras will definitely require recharging. Almost all cabins have a small safe to lock your valuables in.
Most cruise lines offer laundry and dry cleaning services. Some even have self-service laundry rooms with token- or coin-operated washers and dryers. For safety reasons, most ships ask that passengers not iron in their staterooms, and provide irons and ironing boards in a self-service area.
Cash and Currency
Most cruise ships have an ATM on board however, they usually have high service fees, in some cases the fee can be as much as $6.00 per transaction! In some international ports of call, the ship’s front office might provide currency exchange services. There is typically a fee involved for this exchange service. If you think you may do some shopping while in port, you may want to obtain currency before you depart. It is best to carry a small amount of local currency when in foreign ports for taxis and for purchases at small shops and street vendors.
Many lines now offer passengers the option for either flexible/open seating (meaning you dine at whatever time and with whom you want) or more traditional assigned seating (meaning you have a fixed table, dining time, same companions and server for the duration of your sailing) in the main dining rooms. In addition to the main dining room, most cruise ships specialty dining alternatives. Typically, a steakhouse, Italian or sushi. These specialty restaurants usually charge a nominal fee of $15.00 – $30.00 per person to dine.
Gratuity policies vary somewhat by cruise line. The general standard suggests that passengers pay $12 to $14 per person, per day for gratuities. These fees are automatically added to your onboard account. Gratuities are included with cruise fare for many of the luxury cruise lines. Please make sure to check your line’s policy so that you are aware of expectations.
Settling You On Board Account
On the last evening of the sailing, you’ll receive an itemized bill of your on board charges. If you notice any discrepancies, be sure to contact the cruise line’s purser or hotel desk to dispute any charges if necessary. If everything looks correct, leave the the bill as is and the balance will be charged to the credit card you provided at check-in.