Typically, your deposit is due up to 5 days after your agent makes your reservation. Final payments vary by cruise line, but are typically due anywhere from 130 to 75 days prior to your departure date. Your agent will advise you of your final payment date and send a reminder.
It is a good idea to make note of this final payment date on your calendar, along with a reminder. If you miss making your final payment date, you may forfeit your deposit.
Additionally, also make special note of the cancellation terms and conditions and when cancellation penalties begin to apply – sometimes cancellation penalties begin before you make your final payment.
Bring your ID:
Cruise ship stabilizers have made significant advancements since the inception of cruising and now offer a comfortable, stable ride, especially in the middle of the ship (midship).
If you are prone to motion sickness on land or want to be prepared in the event of motion discomfort, consider contacting your doctor pre-cruise for the best option for you. This could be anything from over-the-counter medication, prescription(s), sea bands, or perhaps even homeopathic remedies.
Motion sickness medication can be expensive and lacking in options onboard.
You could explore on your own, take a guided tour (i.e., shore excursion) through the cruise line, or select a reputable third-party excursion provider.
Cruise ships offer a variety of shore excursions, from leisurely activities to high thrills adventure. Some luxury cruise lines may include shore excursions as part of your cruise fare and can be reserved after a specific date.
Review your invoice for this important information or ask your travel agent when these reservations can be made. For included shore excursions or the ship’s optional shore excursions, it’s important to book early for the best selection.
Consider packing as you would for land vacation. In general, daytime attire is more casual and comfortable for on-shore sites and activities, however, evening dining in some restaurants will have a specific dress code that vary by cruise line. Think smart casual – typically slacks and a collared shirt for men, and dresses, slacks, pantsuits, or informal evening-wear for women will suffice.
While cruising in general has become more casual, most cruise lines still have gala or formal nights where a dark suit, jacket and tie, or tuxedo for men is commonplace, as are cocktail dresses or gowns for women. There can be one to three formal nights during a sailing and are at the ship’s discretion.
Most times swimwear should be worn only on the pool deck. Shorts, ripped jeans, and swimwear are not commonly accepted dining room attire. Sometimes shorts may be acceptable during breakfast and lunch service, depending on the dining venue and cruise line.
Some ships have themed nights, which range from masquerade balls to ‘white hot’ party nights, where guests glow on the dance floor in their white attire.
Again, these themes vary by cruise line and can be found in your onboard account, cruise line FAQs, or by searching the internet.
If you have questions about appropriate attire, see if information is available by logging in to your cruise line’s website, or visit your cruise line FAQs for more detailed information.
When you check-in on embarkation day, please ensure that you have a carry-on bag with irreplaceable items such as medications, passports, visas, credit cards, cash, other identification, boarding documents, sunglasses, eyeglasses/contacts, and expensive items (jewelry, camera equipment, etc.), and maybe some toiletries, etc.
Make sure to NOT give this bag to the porters at the port - keep this bag with you. Often times, people will pack a swimsuit & coverup, as well as a change of clothing in this carry-on bag. That way you can begin enjoying the pool area, if you wish, prior to your large luggage being delivered to the outside of your stateroom later in the afternoon/evening.
Assure that all luggage given to the porters has your specific luggage tag (that you printed out during the check-in process) securely affixed to it.
(https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html) to review travel advisories and precautions for your intended destination(s).
Consider enrolling in the free STEP program (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program): https://step.state.gov/step/
This is a service of the Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State that allows U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip(s) with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Visit your doctor and the “Travelers’ Health” section of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/travel-vaccines) to see if there are recommended vaccines for your destination(s). You could also contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) via the International Travelers Information Line 1-877-347-8747.
Visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention
(https://www.cdc.gov/) to learn if specific diseases are prevalent in your intended destination and if vaccinations are recommended.Learn more about the Zika virus
Hotel, cruise, tour group travel-specific apps
If you do not have Global Entry, having this app at one of the 31 air/cruise ports in which the Mobile Passport app is available may help save some time going through customs.