Here are the answers to some commonly asked cruise questions.
Do I need a passport?
A Passport will be required for ALL US citizens for ANY travel outside the US (even Mexico & Canada) as of December 31, 2006. A passport application may be
picked up at any post office or Federal Building. Visas may be required for
some destinations. Please inquire at time of booking.
What about my luggage?
For domestic flights, one carry-on and three checked bags per passenger and for International
flights, one carry-on and two checked bags per passenger. Remember to hand carry all valuables,
money, medications, and documents. Airlines may assess extra fees for checked luggage or fuel surcharges. Please inquire at the time of booking.
What about money?
On board ship, all purchases are charged to your cabin and will be paid on the last day, this may be done by credit card, cash, or traveler’s check. Gratuities to the staff and casino expenses are cash only. The purser’s office will cash traveler’s checks and break large bills. Only in limited European ports is there a currency exchange onboard. Cash advances on credit cards are at the discretion of the casino manager.
What about my flights?
If you have chosen to purchase air through the cruise line the following guidelines apply: The Cruise line picks the airline, and the airline picks the times and routing. Flights are assigned 30 days prior to sailing and cannot be changed at that time. For a small fee, cruise lines will do custom air requests up to 180 days before sailing, allowing you to choose your airline, times, and dates. If you purchase air independently of the cruise line, consult your travel agent for arrival and departure times set by the cruise line. If you purchase cruise line provided airfare and do not opt for the custom air service, please reread lines 2 and 3 above. Be absolutely certain to reconfirm your flights 24 hours before departure, to confirm gate and time.
What about tips?
Suggested tips are as follows:
$4 per passenger per day for the waiter
$4 per passenger per day for the cabin steward
$3 per passenger per day for the assistant waiter
These gratuities are now added to your ship board account. You may change the amount by visiting the Purser's office.. Most cruise lines automatically add 15% to bar and beauty salon charges. These are just guidelines, as tipping is a personal matter.
What is the dress code?
Daytime wear is the same as any resort in the climate to which you are traveling. Casual is the rule of the day. Evening wear is more varied. On any 7-night cruise, there are 4 casual nights, 1 informal, and 2 formal nights.
Casual wear: Men- Slacks and polo shirts
Ladies- Skirt, blouse, or pantsuit
Informal: Men- Sport coat and slacks
Ladies- Dresses or dressy pantsuit
Formal: Men- Dark suit or tuxedo
Ladies- Cocktail dress or gown
No shorts, jeans, or T-shirts after 6 p.m.
What about theme nights?
Not anymore. Other than the passenger talent show, there is no need for costumes or special attire. One exception is Queen Mary 2's transatlantic crossings. Please inquire.
How do I know what to do onboard?
The ship’s daily newspaper will be put under your door each night for the following days activities. You can do as much or as little as you choose, it’s your vacation.
Is there a doctor onboard?
Yes, a coast guard certified doctor and nurses are onboard and are on-call 24 hours a day. The doctor will maintain visiting hours through out the day. The hours are posted in the ship’s daily paper.
What’s not included in my cruise fare?
Alcohol and soft drinks
Purchases from the ship’s shops
Organized shore excursions *May be included in some 5 Star lines.
What about in port?
The ship is operational 24 hours a day for services and meals. Many passengers often never leave the ship for the duration of the cruise. You may come and go as you please while the ship is in port. Don’t forget that your meals are already paid for. By law the casino and gift shop are closed while in port.
What about communication?
You may call anywhere in the world from your bedside telephone for approximately $7.95-$20.00 a minute. Cell phones generally don’t work out at sea, please check with your cell phone provider concerning your service. Ships phone number will be included in your documents to leave behind for your family.. More economically, a telegram can be sent to your cabin using 1-800-MAR-ISAT. The cheapest way to call home is collect from a payphone in port. UPDATE: Some Ships are now equipped for cell phone usage. Please inquire at time of booking regarding the status of your ship. Don't forget your charger.
What is disembarkation?
On the last full day of the cruise, the cruise director will give a lecture on procedures for leaving the ship. Basically, luggage will be packed and placed in the hallway before retiring for the night and will be taken by the stewards to the pier. The following morning, breakfast will be served while immigration and customs clear the ship. Once the ship is cleared, passengers are disembarked by flight time. You will claim your bags and go through customs. Once cleared, cruise line staff will direct you to your transportation home.
Some final thoughts:
A cruise is the easiest vacation to take, and is also the most flexible. You choose what you do, where and with whom. It can be very busy or relaxing, it’s all up to you!
If you have more questions, call Ahoy Cruises at (469) 583-5528 or for quicker response, e-mail your questions to