KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: FAQ's OF CRUISING
New Requirements for Travelers
Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative
ALL PERSONS traveling by air outside of the United States are required to present a passport or other valid travel document to enter or re-enter the United States.
LAND AND SEA TRAVEL
The following summarizes information available on the Department of Homeland Security’s website.
U.S. citizens need to present either (a) a passport, passport card (scheduled to be in full production beginning in July 2008), or WHTI-compliant document; or (b) a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, along with proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate.
On June 1, 2009, the U.S. government will implement the full requirements of the land and sea phase of WHTI. The proposed rules require most U.S. citizens entering the United States at sea or land ports of entry to have a passport, passport card, or WHTI-compliant document.
Note: The passport requirement does NOT apply to U.S. citizens traveling to or returning directly from a U.S. territory.
U.S. PASSPORT AND WHTI COMPLIANT DOCUMENTS:
- U.S. Passport: U.S. citizens may present a valid U.S. passport when traveling via air, land or sea between the U.S. and the aforementioned Western Hemisphere countries.
- The Passport Card: Passport card applications are currently being accepted in anticipation of land border travel document requirements. Based on current projections, we expect the passport card to be in full production beginning in July 2008. We will provide additional updates as available. Once in production, the passport card it will only be valid for land and sea travel between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean region, and Bermuda.
- WHTI-Compliant Travel Documents for U.S. citizen travel via land or sea, as of January 31, 2008:
- Trusted Traveler Cards (NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST)
- State Issued Enhanced Driver’s License (when available)
- Enhanced Tribal Cards (when available)
- U.S. Military Identification with Military Travel Orders
- U.S. Merchant Mariner Document when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business
- Native American Tribal Photo Identification Card
- Form I-872 American Indian Card
Passport Fees & Information:
Adult First Time Applicants (Age 16 years and older)
Application Fee Execution Fee
Adult Passport Book & Card $140 + $25
DS-11 Adult Passport Book $110 + $25
DS-11 Adult Passport Card $ 30 + $25
Application Fee Execution Fee
Minor Passport Book & Card $ 95 + $25
DS-11 Minor Passport Book $ 80 + $25
DS-11 Minor Passport Card $ 15 + $25
Adult Renewal (Age 16 years and older)
Adult Passport Book & Card $140
DS-82 Adult Passport Book $110
DS-82 Adult Passport Card $ 30
The Passport Services Office provides information and services to American citizens about how to obtain, replace or change a passport.
A passport is an internationally recognized travel document that verifies the identity and nationality of the bearer. A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave most foreign countries. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue or verify United States passports.
New Application for a U.S. Passport
To obtain a passport for the first time, you need to go in person to one of over 9,000 passport acceptance facilities located throughout the United States with two photographs of yourself, proof of U.S. citizenship, and a valid form of photo identification such as a driver’s license.
Acceptance facilities include many Federal, state and probate courts, post offices, some public libraries and a number of county and municipal offices. There are also 13 regional passport agencies, and 1 Gateway City Agency, which serve customers who are traveling within 2 weeks (14 days), or who need foreign visas for travel. Appointments are required in such cases.
You’ll need to apply in person if you are applying for a U.S. passport for the first time:
- if your expired U.S. passport is not in your possession;
- if your previous U.S. passport has expired and was issued more than 15 years ago;
- if your previous U.S. passport was issued when you were under age 16;
- or if your currently valid U.S. passport has been lost or stolen.
For more information on getting a new passport, please visit How to get a passport page.
Renewal of a U.S. Passport
You can renew by mail if:
- Your most recent passport is available to submit and it is not damaged;
- you received the passport within the past 15 years;
- you were over age 16 when it was issued;
- you still have the same name, or can legally document your name change.
If your passport has been, altered or damaged, you cannot apply by mail. You must apply in person.
For more information on how to renew a passport, please visit How to renew a passport page.
Cruise Q & A
Are there any requirements such as visas or inoculations when I visit certain ports?
and inoculation regulations may vary by destination and change from time to time. It is the sole responsibility of the guest to obtain and have available when necessary the appropriate valid travel and health documents such as passports, visas, vaccination certificates, etc., that are necessary for air travel, debarkation at the various ports of call and re-entry into the appropriate country of origin. We recommend that you visit your nearest consulate office or relevant web site for appropriate requirements.
What is the Liquor and Beverage Policy?
A liquor and beverage consumption policy was created in order for cruise lines to be able to control the liquor consumption of minors and the quantities consumed that lead to the disruptive behavior of others on board.
Liquor and Beverage Policy
Bringing Alcohol On Board - Embarkation Day:
Guests are prohibited from bringing alcoholic beverages on board. However, at the beginning of the cruise during embarkation day, guests (21 years of age and older) may bring on board one bottle (750ml) of wine or champagne, per person, only in their carry-on luggage. A $10 corkage fee per bottle will be charged should you wish to consume this wine in the main dining room; $14 corkage fee per bottle in the steakhouse. (A corkage fee is a charge exacted at a restaurant for every bottle of liquor served that was not bought on the premises)
On embarkation day, guests may bring a small quantity (package of 12 per person) of non-alcoholic beverages onboard, only in their carry-on luggage.
All alcohol/hard liquor/beer (sealed, unopened bottles/cans), wine/champagne over the allowable 1-bottle per guest (sealed, unopened bottles) or excessive quantities of non-alcoholic beverages (over 12 per person, sealed, unopened bottles/cans) will be confiscated and stored for safekeeping until the end of the voyage. The retained item(s) will be delivered to the guest’s stateroom on the last night of the cruise. Unsealed liquids that are prohibited will be discarded, as well as any unclaimed items left after the voyage, and no compensation will be given in either case.
Large cooler restrictions:
Cruise lines do not allow guests to bring large coolers on board their ships. However small, personal-sized coolers, no larger than 12”H x 12”L x 12”W for the purpose of housing small quantities of non-alcoholic beverages and/or medications are permitted as carry-on luggage. Screening and movement of large coolers through embarkation is an impediment to the boarding and security screening process. Therefore, large coolers are not permitted as carry-on or checked luggage.
Alcoholic beverages of any kind purchased in any Port-of-Call will be retained at the gangway, stored on board and held by the cruise lines until the end of the voyage.
Gift Shops On Board:
Alcoholic beverages of any kind purchased in the ship's gift shop will be stored on board and be retained by the cruise lines until the end of the voyage.
Drinking Alcohol On Board:
The minimum age for the purchase and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages in the bars, lounges and gift shops is 21 years of age. In the event that Bar/Restaurant/Gift Shop staff are in question that a guest is less than 21 years old, they shall request picture identification, prior to serving the drink or selling the bottle of liquor.
All cruise lines reserve the right to refuse the sale of alcoholic beverages to anyone.
Do you have luggage restrictions?
Guests are encouraged to limit their checked luggage to two suitcases per person, with each suitcase not to weigh more than 50 pounds and not exceed 16"H x 24"W x 30"L. Please attach your cruise line luggage tags PRIOR to leaving home and make sure that they are still on your bags when checking in. In many ports, guests have the option of carrying luggage on board at embarkation and off the ship at the end of the cruise as long as it does not exceed 24"W x 16"H x 30"L. This is an advantage you may want to consider as it will allow for quicker easier access to your bags. Please note that cruise linesl assume no responsibility for carry-on luggage.
Alternatively, curbside porters are available at the pier to take luggage to the vessel for delivery to your stateroom by shipboard personnel. Customary tip is $1 per bag. Please be sure each piece of luggage is unlocked and has a tag listing your name and stateroom number. Curbside porters are not employees of the cruise lines; therefore, if you experience any problems, please report them to porter management on site. Any luggage left at the pier will be forwarded at your expense. Claims for luggage loss or damage must be made in writing to the debarkation personnel prior to leaving the pier area.
What is the policy for guests who are pregnant?
While at sea or in port, the availability of medical care may be limited or delayed. Prenatal and early infant care in particular may require specialized diagnostic facilities and/or treatment that are not obtainable during the cruise on board the ship or ashore in ports of call. Pregnant women are only allowed to sail if pregnant for 24 complete weeks or less at time of cruise debarkation. All pregnant women are required to produce a physician's letter stating that mother and baby are in good health, fit to travel and the pregnancy is not high-risk. The letter must also include the estimated date of Delivery (EDD).
Because the safety of the pregnant mother and unborn child is our number one concern, cruise lines will not accept any agreement or recommendation from the Guest and/or her physician that the policy be waived.
What is the earliest I can book my return flight?
Recommended times for outbound air flights.
Anchorage - earliest return flight after 11:00 AM
Baltimore - earliest return flight after 2:30PM
Charleston - earliest return flight after 11:00AM
Ensenada - earliest return flight after 11:30 AM for San Diego; 1:30 PM for Los Angeles International
Ft. Lauderdale - earliest return flight after 11:30 AM for Ft. Lauderdale; 12:00 PM for Miami International
Galveston (Houston Hobby or George Bush Intercontinental Airports)- earliest return flight after 1:30 PM
Honolulu - earliest return flight after 11:30 AM
Jacksonville - earliest return flight after 11:00 AM
Los Angeles - earliest return flight after 12:30 PM for Los Angeles International; 1:30 PM for John Wayne-Santa Ana/Orange County
Miami - earliest return flight after 11:30 AM for Miami; 12:00 PM for Ft. Lauderdale
Mobile - earliest return flight after 11:30 AM
New Orleans - earliest return flight after 11:30 AM
New York – Earliest return flights out of Newark, John F. Kennedy or LaGuardia Airports after 1:00 PM
Port Canaveral – Earliest return flight after 12:00 PM for Orlando and Melbourne Airports for 3 & 4 day cruises, 1:00pm for 7 day cruises
Rome - earliest return flight after 9:30 AM
San Diego - earliest return flight after 11:30 AM
San Juan - earliest return flight after 12:00 PM
Seattle - earliest return flight after 11:45AM
Tampa - earliest return flight after 11:30 AM
Vancouver - earliest return flight after 11:30 AM
Can I sail with my infant?
Minimum age for sailing is 6 months, with the exceptions of Transatlantic, Hawaii and South American cruises, which are 12 months.
This policy is in place due to the infant's vulnerable health. While at sea or in port the availability of medical care may be limited or delayed. Early infant care, in particular may require specialized diagnostic facilities and/or treatment that are not obtainable during the cruise on board the ship or ashore in ports of call.
What to wear?
Casual attire is the order of the day. We suggest shorts, sundresses, tank tops, etc. for the ladies, and for men; shorts, polo shirts, T-shirts, etc. will do. We suggest you wear rubber-soled, low heeled or flat shoes for extra traction while onboard. The use of any footwear with wheels, including but not limited, to Heelys© shoes, is prohibited on board ships. For dining you may want to dress up a bit and/or bring along a light sports jacket or cardigan.
Most evenings will have a Cruise Casual dress code, but there are those Cruise Elegant evenings one or two nights throughout your voyage, where you will have the opportunity to showcase your more elegant attire. For those who want casual attire for dinner time, the Buffet Restaurants are open nightly, and has a more relaxed theme. However, shirts and shoes/footwear (flip-flops) must be worn at all times inside the Buffet Restaurants.
Both dress codes for the dining rooms are described below:
Cruise Casual Dining Dress Code: Gentlemen - Sport slacks, khakis, jeans (no cut-offs), dress shorts (long), collared sport shirts; Ladies - Casual dresses, casual skirts or pants and blouses, summer dresses, Capri pants, dress shorts, jeans (no cut-offs).
Not permitted in the dining room during the Cruise Casual dinner for ladies and gentlemen: shorts, gym shorts, basketball shorts, beach flip-flops, bathing suit attire, cut-off jeans, sleeveless shirts for men and baseball hats.
Cruise Elegant Dining Dress Code: Gentlemen - Dress slacks, dress shirts. We also suggest a sport coat. If you wish to wear suits and ties or tuxedos, by all means we invite you to do so. Ladies - Cocktail dresses, pantsuits, elegant skirts and blouses; if you‘d like to show off your evening gowns, that's great too!
Not permitted in the dining room during the Cruise Elegant dinner for ladies and gentlemen: shorts, gym shorts, T-shirts, beach flip-flops, bathing suit attire, jeans, cut-off jeans, sleeveless shirts for men, sportswear, and baseball hats.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th, and the Eastern Pacific hurricane season runs from May 15th to November 30th. The Atlantic basin includes the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico. The Eastern Pacific basin extends to 140°W.
Staying Connected - Shipboard Internet
The following is a guide to most ships:
The Internet Cafe/Workstation
For guests who want the option of staying connected to the rest of the world, the cruise lines offer access to the internet via the onboard Internet Cafés and wireless networks using the ships own satellite connection. The Internet Cafés are open 24-hours a day and features private terminals with the latest flat panel computer monitors.
The Internet is accessed via the C-band satellite system and utilizes state-of-the-art compression and acceleration technologies to deliver a great guest experience. As a result, guests can feel right at home while surfing the internet at sea. Guests will have the ability to send and receive e-mail, chat online and access the full internet. Guests can also access their own e-mail account through AOL, Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, etc. Alternatively, guests will have the option to use their very own temporary e-mail account via most of the cruise lines.
Wireless Internet Access (Wi-Fi)
Most cruise lines now offer wireless internet access. Depending on the vessel, you will have either limited wireless access in and around the shipboard internet café and select public areas, known as "hot spots" or a complete wireless network. The complete wireless network allows guests (and crew) to enjoy Internet access from literally anywhere on board, including all public areas, lounges, bars and pool decks, guest suites and cabins. To take full advantage of this feature, guests should bring their personal laptops along with them, as the number of laptops available for rent onboard is limited. In addition, this network supports the latest Wi-Fi enabled i-Phones, Palm Pilots and Blackberrys. "Hot Spots" vary from ship to ship.
To use WI-FI access, you'll need:
Windows operating system
802.11b Wireless networking capability
The cost for Wi-Fi access through your own laptop varies between cruise lines.
Base rate is $.55 per minute or choose from an example of prepaid packages:
- 30 minutes for $16.50 ($0.55 per minute)
- 60 minutes for $24.00 ($0.40 per minute)
- 100 minutes for $55.00 ($0.55 per minute)
- 250 minutes for $100.00 ($0.40 per minute)
Please note that the internet pricing options are identical, whether an Internet Café terminal is utilized, or a laptop. All internet access charges will be billed directly to the guest's onboard account. In addition, when using a Café terminal, files can be downloaded as "read only" but cannot be saved, since a floppy disk cannot be inserted into the PC's. Users who bring their own laptop can read and save files without restriction.
All prices are subject to change without notice. This is a sample guide. It is suggested that you call your cruise line for the most up to date internet availability and fees.