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Do I need a Passport?
Yes, for all sailings a valid passport is required and your passport must have at least six months validity after your date of return. Children and infants must hold their own passport.
Do I need a Visa?
For the vast majority of cruises, British passport holders do not require a visa for travel.
However, there are exceptions, and any visa requirements will be advised in advance of travel. It is your responsibility to ensure that any visa requirements are met and that the correct documentation is held upon embarkation.
Do I need any Vaccinations?
Depending on the region of the world you are visiting, the cruise line will specify the vaccinations you require for your trip and the Department of Health will also recommend certain vaccinations.
We would advise that you contact your local GP in good time before departure to discuss your specific cruise itinerary.
Alternatively, you may wish to use the Department of Health's website.
Do I need Luggage Tags?
You will receive luggage tags with your cruise documents. Please complete them and have them on your bags prior to arriving at the airport.
If you are booked on a "Guaranteed Cabin" (also referred to as GTY) you will get your cabin number from one of the porters at the cruise terminal. They have a manifest and will write your name on your tags when you arrive.
The porters at the cruise terminal have extra baggage tags and will help you complete them when you arrive.
How much luggage can I take with me?
On cruises sailing from and returning to UK ports e.g. Southampton, Dover etc, you can take as much luggage as you wish - but remember there is often limited wardrobe space in cabins unless you have booked a suite.
On standard fly/cruises the luggage restriction is likely to be between 20 - 25kgs depending on the Airline. We would advise that you check out the luggage allowances for the airline you will be flying with, as the restrictions will vary from airline to airline.
Charges for excess weight may cost you around £5 per kilo.
Your cruise line should provide you with baggage labels and instructions with your ticket documentation. These should show your name, ship, embarkation port, sailing date and cabin number (if allocated).
The security arrangements at airports, particularly in the USA, have been significantly increased in recent years since the events of 9/11. The airport authorities there do open luggage to check the contents and they will break locks in order to do so. Travellers are often advised to leave their luggage unlocked on flights to or from the USA.
My cabin was booked as a Guarantee. When will I know my cabin number?
A "Guaranteed Cabin" (also referred to as "GTY") means that you will receive your cabin number and deck assignment when you check in for your cruise. You will receive a cabin in the category that you booked and no lower than that category.
If your booked category is not available when you check in, then you will receive a complimentary upgrade to a higher category.
This process is very similar to booking a hotel room. With a hotel, you book a room type and you're assigned your room number when you check in. The same principle applies here. This is a very common practice among all major cruise lines.
Once you arrive at the cruise ship passenger terminal, the baggage porters will have the passenger manifest and your stateroom number. They will then help you complete your baggage tags and deliver your luggage to your room later.
What clothes should I pack?
There are three styles of dress for your cruise:
- Casual (daytime): swimwear, sundresses, shorts, t-shirts.
- Smart Casual (evening): dresses or trouser suits for women: trousers & collar shirts for men.
- Formal (evening): cocktail dresses for women; suits and ties or diner jackets for men.
The daytime dress code onboard is always casual. Footwear is required if you want to take lunch in any of the dining areas. Some countries have strict dress codes and you may need clothes that will cover both legs and shoulders.
There is now a trend towards more casual cruising and a choice of dining options with different dress options. Cruise ships assign daily dress codes - casual, smart casual and formal - that take effect in public rooms and restaurants from 6 pm onward, depending on the cruise duration.
- 3 to 4 night cruises include one formal night and two or three casual nights.
- 5 night cruises include one formal, one smart casual and three casual nights.
- 7 night cruises include two formal nights, one smart casual night and four casual nights.
- 10, 11, and 12 night cruises include three formal nights and three smart casual nights.
- 14 and 15 night cruises include three formal nights and four smart casual nights.
If you would rather not dress for dinner, you will be able to dine in one of the alternative dining spots where the formal onboard dress code does not apply.
What else should I pack?
Don't forget those essential extras, specifically if you have a favourite brand of sun-cream or pair of sunglasses.
For hotter climes it would also be advisable to pack some insect repellent to help avoid irritating insect bites. If you are taking any personal medication, please ensure you bring sufficient to last the duration of the cruise.
Typically, dressing gowns are only provided in suite accommodation. For the swimming pool, towels are provided at the poolside.
Also, don't forget your camera! However, in the event that you do forget anything, onboard shops are typically very well stocked with 'ordinary everyday' goods and the onboard library has a selection of books.
When will I receive my tickets?
As a guide, all tickets are sent to you by first class post approximately 7 to 10 days prior to departure, or as soon as we receive them from the cruise line. Increasingly, cruise lines now issue e-documents as opposed to traditional tickets.
An e-document will often have a summary of the booking details and a reference number that will be recognised by the airline or cruise line.
Will I need to wear a dinner jacket?
On some cruises, formal dinners or parties are part of the fun. But don't buy a dinner jacket just for the trip. If you do want to dress for dinner, many ships offer dinner jacket hire services. Even on the most formal of ships, a dark suit and tie are fine for the dressiest occasions.