First Time Cruiser?


For the most current government requirements, please go to:

IS IT BETTER TO TAKE A SHORE EXCURSION OR EXPLORE PORTS OF CALL ON MY OWN? A lot of that is really up to you! Most ships include a program of their shore excursions with your cruise documents but if not, you will have one in your cabin when you board the ship. We recommend that you plan and schedule your excursions before you board so that your vacation is truly a vacation. We have access to some of the best shore excursions in various ports, and can help you choose one that is right for you and your budget. We recommend considering at least one shore excursion in order to truly experience your port of call.

DO I NEED TO PACK A TUXEDO OR FORMAL DRESS? Cruising has become much more of a casual vacation, even on more formal lines. Plus with airlines charging to check bags, it’s best to pack light if possible. Cruise lines assign daily dress codes from resort casual to formal nights. Daytime is always casual. For formal nights, ladies will need a cocktail dress, gown or dressy pantsuit and suit or dinner jacket with slacks for men.


  • Government-issued photo ID
  • Passport, if applicable
  • eDocs (one copy per stateroom)
  • Luggage labels with bag tags
  • Credit card for onboard expenses
  • Small bag with essentials

HOW DO I PAY FOR ITEMS ONBOARD AND IN PORT? The Cruise Lines will open an onboard account for bar purchases, soft drinks, souvenirs, to pay for shore excursions, etc, which you can settle by credit card, travelers checks or cash at the end of the cruise. The purser’s office will also cash travelers checks for you. In addition, most of the duty-free shops onboard and most shops in port will also cash travelers checks. Most shops in port will accept major credit cards as well as American dollars or travelers checks. YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO CASH PERSONAL CHECKS ONBOARD THE SHIP.

There will be all kinds of “goodies” about this in your cabin when you arrive and prior to sailing is a good time to explore and get your bearings as to where the dining room, gym, lounges etc. are located. There will be a daily program of activities put in your cabin each night for the next day. For first-timers, it’s best to work with your Cruise Planners Travel Advisor to seek the best possible options. Through their knowledge and contacts, your Advisor will recommend an excursion perfect for you and your budget. It is recommended that shore excursions be pre-booked so once you board the ship, your days are already planned and all you need to do is relax.

WHAT HAPPENS TO MY LUGGAGE AFTER I LEAVE IT AT THE AIRPORT (OR PORT, IF YOU ARE DRIVING)? If you are using the cruise line’s airfare program, you will affix the luggage tags sent with your cruise documents and check your luggage at the airport. The next time you see it will be in your stateroom! There are a few ports where you will need to claim your luggage at the airport–this will be indicated in your cruise documents and, again, call me if you have any questions. If you are flying but NOT using the cruise line’s airfare program you still need to affix your cruise line tag but you will need to claim your own luggage at the airport baggage area when you arrive in your port city and take it with you to the port. If you are driving to the port, you will check your luggage when you arrive at the port, and they will take your bags to your stateroom.












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