Tips Before You Cruise
Tips before you Cruise
- You’re on vacation so start if off right!
- Take care of pre-boarding registration (see above) please call for any assistance 413-275-6168.
- Bring a hat to protect your scalp, and wear sunscreen - even if you don't burn - you will. Typically, cruise ship personnel wear SPF 50. Bring Lots of it, lotion tends to last longer. (Suntan lotion is expensive on the ship)
- If you are prone to motion sickness, get a prescription for the patch before you cruise, or take an anti-nausea/dizziness medication prior to getting on the ship.
- Call you cell phone service to check on international or Sea plans. Calls at sea are $.
- Every minute counts on your cruise! Plan your days more effectively by reading the daily program left in your stateroom each night.
- Staterooms are equipped with limited electrical outlets, so to ensure you can charge all your gadgets, take a power strip with you.
- If you like your coffee iced or hot, bring a large coffee mug with lid so you can fill them with hot coffee and lots of ice from the buffet, Or you can fill up the cup and put it in your stateroom refrigerator, and just add the ice later!
- Do your homework before you board your cruise! Research the ports you’ll be visiting so you can make a game plan on what sights you want to see once you get ashore. You don’t want to miss any of those “must see” attractions! Book shore excursions before you leave (popular excursions sell out)
- Stateroom lavatories are small, so bring a shoe organizer to hang on the door. You can then fill it with all your toiletries.
- When packing be sure to put your medications and a set in your carry-on bag just in case your checked luggage finishes up in the opposite direction to where you are going.
- Remember to pack your patience as sometimes you have to wait to embark, disembark, make spa and dinner reservations or book an excursion. You are on vacation so relax and enjoy the wait....it's a great time to people watch!
- Purchase onboard credits throughout the year before you take your cruise. So for example, pre-pay online for a wine package, gift certificates and casino credits. That way it will allow you to splurge and spend more at each port of call or make other purchases onboard ship.
- Pack a battery-operated candle for ambiance, which can double as a flashlight for late night trips to bathroom so you don’t wake anyone in your stateroom. Don't forget your phone charger.
- There are no clocks in your staterooms, you might want to bring an alarm clock.
- When traveling always cross-pack by putting an outfit in each others suitcase just in case one bag gets lost.
- Remember to pace yourself when eating. There is so much food on a cruise that your eyes tend to be bigger than your stomach! It is definitely a good idea to “surf” the buffet first before filling up your plate.
- Be sure you don’t over pack for your cruise, and make sure to leave just enough room for souvenirs and gifts to take home!
- There are no ironing boards in your staterooms. Cruise ships may have a designated room or ask you Steward and he will bring you one to use.
- Once you board the ship, make reservations for all your dinners, classes, spa treatments and offshore excursions before they get filled up. Or book everything before you leave so you do not have to stand in line...That way you won’t be disappointed!
- Arrive at the cruise port early. I suggest 11:00 - 11:30am..Even though boarding is at 4pm they start the boarding very early. You can be on the ship by 12pm eating lunch and exploring the ship. Your cabin may not be available right away so pack your bathing suit in a carry on if you would like to swim. Bags might not be delivered to your cabin until later.
General Documentation and Visa Information needed for U.S. Citizens for Cruises
There's no need for a passport when you sail on any Hawaii inter-island cruise. If your ship never sails beyond the islands of Hawaii, all you need is a government-issued photo I.D. which includes a passport or a valid driver's license with a photo. A U.S. citizen under the age of 16 does not require a government-issued photo ID.
Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda, Alaska, Mexican Riviera, Or Canada & New England Cruises
For round-trip sailings (cruises that depart from and return to the same U.S. port), you may sail with either a valid passport, proof of citizenship and a valid government-issued photo I.D. (driver’s license with a photo), or any other WHTI compliant document.
Proof of Citizenship examples include:
- State certified U.S. birth certificate
- Original certificate of U.S. naturalization
- Original certificate of U.S. citizenship
Baptismal paper, hospital certificates of birth and Puerto Rico birth certificates issued prior to 7/1/10 are not acceptable.
A U.S. citizen under the age of 16 do not require a government-issued photo ID.
For open-jaw sailings (cruises that depart from one U.S. port and return to a different U.S. port), you are required to carry:
- A valid passport
- U.S. passport card
- U.S. or Canadian Enhanced Drivers License
- Permanent residents of the U.S. are required to carry their valid ARC cards for boarding AND passport from their country of citizenship, if available.
Note: If you miss your ship at its scheduled U.S. departure port and need to travel outside the U.S. to meet your ship, or should you unexpectedly need to depart the ship from a foreign port prior to the end of sailing, a passport would be required to leave or re-enter the U.S. by air. To that end, Bonnie's Travel and Tours strongly recommends all guests to obtain a passport for their voyage on any Cruise vessel.
Europe and Transatlantic Cruises
A valid passport is required and in some cases, a tourist visa is also required for Russia, Turkey and Egypt.