For guests who are US citizens and are departing and returning to a US port the following immigration documentation is required: passport (must be valid for 6 months following the last day of the cruise) or state-certified birth certificate and photo ID. US minors do not need a photo ID. Passports are required for all US citizens for all other itineraries. Guests who are not US citizens should discuss requirements with the consulate of the country in which they reside.
With numerous updates of travel document requirements, it’s no wonder that so many travelers are confused and don’t know what form of id they need to bring with them when they travel outside of the US. Check the website link here for the most accurate and up-to-date information on passport requirements.
UNDERSTANDING MISCELLANEOUS CHARGES, TAXES & GOVERNMENT FEES
When planning your cruising budget, you will need to understand that the miscellaneous charges, taxes and fees may not be in included in the base price of your cruise. These charges are per person and vary with the number of cruise nights, ports and destinations. Since these vary so greatly, there is no way to know until you choose a specific cruise line, cruise itinerary and ship. Below is a estimates of the average fees added to your cruise cost to use as a guide-line. Your All Aboard Cruise Consultant will be able to tell you exactly what to expect.
3-NIGHT CRUISE............................... $110.00
4-NIGHT CRUISE............................... $135.00
7-NIGHT CRUISE............................... $210.00
10 OR MORE NIGHT CRUISE..............$270.00
HOW CAN I FIND THE BEST CRUISE FOR MY NEEDS?
• Research cruise destinations that are interest to you.
• Look at the brochures and information available to you and check out what activities interest you.
• Think about what kind of vacations you have taken in the past and what type of experience you are looking for on your cruise. Are you looking for a party atmosphere, a learning atmosphere, a romantic getaway or a quiet and relaxing experience?
• Talk to people who have cruised before to get their opinions. Ask your friends, but remember that you are looking for the best cruise for you.
• Ask lots of questions of your cruise consultant.
WHAT FACTORS SHOULD I CONSIDER TO HELP DECIDE WHICH CRUISE TO CHOOSE?
• Do you have budgeted amount for the overall cost of the cruise?
• Are there any special deals or price breaks for the time of year you want to travel?
• Ask your travel consultant about the reputation of the cruise line and for the quality of its cuisine and its menu.
• What is their reputation for good customer service?
• What is the cruise line’s safety and cleanliness record?
• What is the overall atmosphere the cruise ship? Is it family fun, party time, quite elegant sophistication or romantic getaway?
• What is the length of the cruise?
• What type of facilities and activities does the ship have that are of interest to you and your party?
• Are you looking for a themed cruise?
• What are the ports of call? Is a port intensive cruise?
• What kind of shore excursions does the cruise line offer?
STAY ON TOP OF NEW AIRPORT SECURITY MEASURES
You’re ready to go to the airport. After sitting on your overstuffed suitcase to make it close, you put on your socks and shoes, sling your golf clubs over your shoulder, and head out the door. However, under this scenario with the new security rules, you could be delayed due to further screening.
New passenger checkpoint screening procedures are in effect giving US security agents greater discretion in deciding which passengers will undergo additional screening. Some things send up immediate red flags for check-in agents. You should know that if you are traveling on a last-minute ticket, a one-way fare, or you paid with cash at the airport, you may be asked some additional questions at check-in.
Liquid and gels cannot be carried on the plane unless they are less than three ounces and placed in a see-through quart sized zip-lock plastic bag.
Here are some tips to help you get through airport security as smoothly as possible and keep screening times to a minimum.
Before leaving for the airport
This may sound obvious, but how you dress can mean the difference between breezing through security or being red flagged. Clothing and accessories containing metal will set off the metal detector and may result in additional screening. Pack anything containing metals—such as coins, keys, phones, pagers—in your carry-on baggage, and avoid wearing metal jewelery and hair accessories, clothing with metal buttons and clasps, belt buckles, and for women, underwire bras. Keep metal objects to a minimum.
Note that new rules also require you to remove your coat or jacket for X-ray. To save time, you can pack your outer-wear in your carry-on or do so before the checkpoint.
By packing properly, you make the screeners’ job easier and decrease your chances of being delayed. Check baggage size and weight restriction with your airline before packing. Many airlines now have stricter rules about carry-o ns. Thought you might finish a little sewing on board? Sorry, metal pointed scissors (and any sharp objects such as metal nail files, corkscrews, Swiss Army knives) are prohibited in carry-on baggage. If in doubt, leave it out or check with your federal transportation authority what’s permitted in carry-on and checked baggage.
In addition to your carry-on bag, you’re allowed an additional personal item such as a purse, briefcase or laptop computer. Make sure your electronics are in working order, because you may be asked to turn them on for inspection. Also, label all your electronics, such as cell phones, laptops, pagers and CD players, so you can easily identify them from among other passengers’ items.
Some general rules for packing: • Label your baggage inside and out. • Keep in mind that should your baggage be inspected, screeners will see EVERYTHING, including all personal items. Consider putting personal items in see-through plastic bags so screeners can see them. • Do not wrap gifts as they may arouse suspicion and be opened for inspection. • For ease of inspection, leave your footwear till last and stack them on top of your baggage contents. • Don’t over pack. Over-packed bags could spill contents and are more difficult to inspect, increasing screening time. • Don’t lock! US airport security no longer accepts locked luggage unless you use a TSA accepted and recognized lock. If not, your lock may be broken.
Now, about those boots… Your footwear might be of interest to security screeners. You will be asked to remove all footwear as you approach the walk-through metal detectors. Make sure you wear socks or footies to protect your feet. Even if the metal detector doesn’t sound, agents may pull you aside for more screening. If you must wear boots, make sure they’re easy to remove (and wear good socks).
To save time have a paper ticket, print out your electronic ticket receipt or boarding pass before you arrive at the airport so you can bypass the ticket counter. Speak to your travel consultant on how to arrange this or some airlines have made it possible to print off your boarding pass from your computer.
At the airport
Give yourself ample time to arrive at the airport and check in. The general guidelines are 2 hours for domestic flights and 3 hours for international flights. For flights on holidays allow extra time. You need photo ID and a boarding pass to get to your gate. For domestic flights you must have photo ID issued by a state/provincial or federal government agency or two forms of non-photo ID, one which has been issued by state/provincial or federal authority. For international flights, you are required to show a valid passport, visa or any other necessary documentation.
Passing through security
Before getting to your departure gate, you will be required to pass through a security checkpoint which includes an X-ray of your carry-on baggage, a walk through the metal detector or full body scanner and/or if chosen for additional screening, a hand-wand, pat-down, and explosives inspection. If your electronics are being inspected, do not try to assist the screener. Never make jokes or conversation about bombs, guns, weapons, terrorism or explosives. Agents are trained to treat any such comments as real threats however you intended such remarks. Remain silent, unless required to answer a question from the agent.
Note that some passengers may undergo additional screening at the departure gate. Remember, these inspections are designed to ensure the safety of you and your fellow passengers. Be cooperative with screeners and allow them to do their job.
Having passed through security, you’re now ready to board your flight!