This page will prepare you for your voyage and answer any questions you may have - which cruise line is best for me, what to bring, what to expect once you get onboard and more.
- TRAVEL DOCUMENTS
- WHAT TO BRING
- DAY OF EMBARKATION
- DURING YOUR CRUISE
- DINING ONBOARD
- DAY OF DISEMBARKATION
PASSENGER IMMIGRATION INFORMATION REQUIRED IN ADVANCE OF YOUR CRUISE
Each passenger is responsible for providing the cruise line with complete and accurate immigration information. The Passengers Immigration Form (PIF) should be completed online, upon the full payment of your booking. Ensure your name appears exactly as shown on your passport. If the name does not match, contact us immediately. Please provide the cruise line with this information at least 45 days prior to your cruise. Failure to do so will result in delayed check-in and, possibly, denied boarding. If you do not have online access, please contact us.
A valid Canadian passport is required for all non-domestic itineraries including Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Caribbean, Europe, India, Mexico, Central and South America, South Pacific and Tahiti. If your cruise requires air travel between the U.S. and the Americas, Canada, the Caribbean, Bermuda or Mexico, you will be required to present a valid passport when departing from or returning to the U.S. by air. Even if your cruise does not involve air travel outside the U.S. , should you be required to unexpectedly depart a vessel prior to the end of the sailing, a passport would be required to re-enter the U.S. by air. As such, Winchester Travel continues to strongly recommend that all passengers are in possession of a passport.
Many countries require passports be valid for six months after the completion of your travel. Check your passport to verify it will be valid for this period of time. Please ensure the name on the passport matches the name on the booking. Additionally, make certain that your passport contains blank pages for entry and exit endorsements and any visas that may be required. If necessary, allow sufficient time to renew your passport and/or obtain additional pages. Canadian citizens sailing on a domestic cruise should ensure passports or other travel documents are valid through the completion of travel.
- When formal nights are held, please observe the dress code in the Traditional Dining venues for the enjoyment of all the guests.
- Smoking is not allowed in the dinning rooms, or any other food service area, or in the show lounges and theaters. Smoking is permitted in staterooms, stateroom balconies, and designated areas. As courtesy to your fellow passengers, please refrain from smoking pipes and cigars in all public rooms. If you do choose to smoke, please observe all safety precautions.
- Should you wish to videotape onboard during your cruise, please feel free to do so while being respectful of other passengers' privacy. Videotaping the onboard entertainment performances is not allowed for copyright reasons.
- We require passengers of all ages to use cover-ups over bathing suit when entering the ship's public rooms. Shorts are not permitted in he fining rooms during dinner.
One of the best things about cruising is the convenience of being able to sign for all your expenses and have them charged to your stateroom. An itemized statement will be delivered to your stateroom prior to disembarkation. By providing your credit card in advance, you are automatically registered for Express Check-Out. There is no need to visit the Passenger Services / Purser's Desk to settle your account. American Express, MasterCard, Visa, as well as U.S., Canadian, British and Euro currencies are also accepted. Those paying by cash will be required to leave a $300 per person cash deposit with the Purser's staff at the beginning of the cruise.
Exploring ports of call will be one of the highlights of your cruise, and one of the best ways to do this is on a Shore Excursion. You will find a variety of Shore Excursion options selected specifically with families in mind. Discounted rates fro children and family-friendly activities may be available to make the most of your time in port.
Shore Excursions may be purchased in advance of your cruise departure or onboard ship on a first-come, first-serve basis. Many excursions have limited participation and reservation forms will be processed in the order received. When excursions are fully subscribed, additional requests will be placed on a waiting list in the order received.
The prices for the Shore Excursions are in U.S. dollar and subject to change without notice. All quotations made include conveyance according to the itinerary and, where applicable, meals, refreshments, guides, and entrance fees, unless otherwise stated. Children, other than infants in arms, will be charged full fare unless noted otherwise.
The standards of transportation very considerably throughout the world. Air-conditioned coaches are not available in many areas, and in some places public transportation may be available. Cars or taxis are also used at some ports where coach or bus transportation is not available or limited. Where excursions are operated by car, four to eight passengers are allocated to each car. Passengers wishing to travel with friends should all leave the ship together, as this will help the Tour Staff to allocate them space in the same vehicle. For the comfort of all passengers, smoking is prohibited aboard the sightseeing vehicles.
The times when booking will close will be published onboard. In the event of any excursion being canceled for reasons beyond the cruise line's control, a full refund will be made. No refunds can be made on any ticket, coupon or voucher unless notice of cancelation is given before the closing date indicated on the booking form for the excursions involved. However, should any excursion have to be abandoned through force manure or difficulties en route, the best possible refund will be arranged according to the circumstances.
What To Bring
BOARDING PASS, PASSAGE CONTRACT, PASSPORT AND TRAVEL DOCUMENTS
Before leaving home, double check that you have all the proper documentation required to travel. Without appropriate documentation, you may be denied boarding of your flight, voyage, pre- or post-voyage land tour or excursion. All travel documents are your responsibility.
You will need the following items before departing on your cruise or cruisetour:
- Boarding pass
- Cruise or cruisetour documents
- Flight tickets
- Visa(s) (if applicable)
- Medical insurance and/or travel insurance (recommended)
- Passage Contract
- Personalizes cruise or cruisetour itinerary and Travel Summary that states all the services you will receive during your cruise or cruisetour.
If you are flying to your embarkation port, please ensure that you have your voyage tickets available at the airport as you may be required to present these.
We strongly recommend you hand-carry all valuables and breakables, including jewelry, electronics and cameras as well as any medications. Please read the Passage Contract, for limitations and responsibilities for lost items and baggage.
You should dress for a cruise the same way you would for any all-inclusive resort. Casual sportswear, including shorts, lightweight pants and jogging suites, is the order of the day both at sea and ashore in hotter climates. Refer to The Weather Network for the latest weather information on the region you are visiting. We recommend you bring a sweater, a jacket or an all-weather coat for cool evenings, and for shore excursions, depending on your destination. Due to unpredictable weather, don't forget a hat or visor and a collapsible umbrella. Please be sure to bring proper clothing for visits to religious sites. You'll also want low-heeled, rubber-soled shoes for strolling on deck, as well as comfortable walking shoes or sandals to wear.
There are two designations for the dress codes when you're dining onboard: Smart Casual and Formal
Passenger attire should be in keeping with that they would wear to a nice restaurant at home.
- Skirts/dresses, slacks and sweaters for ladies
- Pants and open-neck shirts for men
Inappropriate dinner wear such as pool or beach attire, shorts, ball caps and casual jeans (with fraying and/or holes) are not permitted in the dining rooms. Shoes must be worn.
- Evening gowns, cocktail dresses, or elegant pant suit for women
- Tuxedo, dark suit or dinner jacket and slacks for men
Cruise lines offers formal wear rental on all cruises; this can be arranged prior to embarkation.
Day of Embarkation
Today's the day you've been waiting for - let your rejuvenating, exciting escape begin! But before you board, there are some things you should know to help make the first day of your vacation as seamless as possible.
CRUISE CHECK-IN & EMBARKATION
Prior to departing home, print your Boarding Pass and Travel Summary to carry with you to the cruise. Verify the check-in time and embarkation times. At cruise check-in, be prepared to present your signed boarding pass and have your credit card available for pre-authorization of onboard charges. Additionally, you must present your passport plus any required visas and original vaccination certificates. Failure to present the required documentation at check-in will result in denied boarding.
TAG YOUR LUGGAGE
In addition to your personal identification tag, please attach a completed cruise line luggage tag to each piece. Tags have been included in your eTicket documents. Please remove any old airline flight tags. Also, please follow the directions in your itinerary regarding luggage for your land tours. Please note: Many airline carriers are now imposing charges for baggage, so it is advisable to check with your carrier.
If you purchased a cruise lines airport-to-ship transfer, a cruisetour transfer, or a cruise plus hotel package, you will be met by a uniformed cruise line representative at the embarkation port airport. For domestic U.S. flights, you will be met inside or just exiting the luggage claim area. For international flights, you will be met as you exit the secure customs area. Claim all your luggage prior to exiting the luggage claim area. From the airport, you'll be transferred to the ship or your hotel. If you have not purchased your air from the cruise line, you must provide them with flight details prior to purchasing a transfer.
During Your Cruise
Shop the Boutiques Onboard for the perfect gifts to remember your cruise vacation. Cruise lines offer incredible tax-and duty-free savings off suggested U.S. retail prices on fragrances, cosmetics, jewelry and gifts, apparel, accessories and liquor. In addition to the everyday savings, they bring you special promotions throughout the cruise. Once onboard, please check the community board for times and locations of these exciting events.
The little extras you find in the best hotels - fresh fruit upon request, evening bed turn-down, chocolates on your pillow, complimentary shampoo, conditioner and body lotion - are provided in every stateroom. Bathrobes are available upon request from your stateroom steward for your comfort and convenience. For those of you who wish to enjoy a relaxing drink in the privacy of your stateroom, a selection of fine wines and stateroom bar packages is available for purchase at non-duty-free prices though room service.
Each stateroom has other luxuries for your convenience, such as a private safe and refrigerator. In addition, each room is equipped with 110-volt, 60-cycle alternating current (AC) with standard North American plug fittings. Please ask your stateroom steward to check your appliances for suitability before use if you have any questions. All ships are equipped with an electric hair dryer in every stateroom.
INTERNET AND EMAIL ACCESS
Internet access is available on all vessels though the 24-hour onboard Internet Cafes and wireless network. Use the state-of-the-art computer systems to access your web-based email account, or browse the internet for world news, sports and stock trading. Or bring your wireless-enabled laptop and access the Internet from the comfort of the beautiful Lobby/Atrium or other wireless hot spots. Passengers who subscribe to email services from an Internet Service Provider (ISP) are available to verify that their ISP has a web-mail viewing site prior to sailing. Most major ISPs have websites that allow email access via a web browser using an email address and password.
Please contact the Internet Cafe Manager onboard for information regarding the charges that apply to internet and wireless services and any other specific requirements.
LAUNDRY AND DRY CLEANING SERVICE
Take advantage of the onboard laundry and dry cleaning service for a nominal fee. All laundry is returned within 48 hours, or on the same day with the express service. There are also self-service coin-operated launderettes onboard.
Onboard each of the ships is a library that includes contemporary and classic titles, as well as books related to specific cruise itineraries. You'll find subjects on art, history, sports, travel, health and wellness, natural history and reference materials. As well as a fine selection of fiction and biographies.
TRADITIONAL DINING– Enjoy early or late seating (6 pm or 8:15pm), in the same dining room with the same waitstaff and table mates each evening.
OPEN SEATING DINING– Just like a restaurant, dine with whomever you wish and according to your own schedule, any time from 5:30 pm to 10 pm.
Should you need to change your dining preference, call us no later than three weeks before you sail. Requests for preferences and changes are considered on a first-come, first-served basis. It is not always possible to alter dining preferences or seating arrangements once they are reserved. The cruise line will do their best to accommodate your preference.
SPECIALTY DINING– Each ship has specialty dining options such as fine Italian restaurant to prime cut steaks and other grilled selections.
BALCONY DINING– Indulge in the pinnacle of dining – a romantic multi-course breakfast and/or dinner served on your balcony with inspiring views, fresh air and dedicated waitstaff.
CASUAL DINING– When a casual mood calls, you’ve got choices:
- 24-hour buffet
- Late-night bistro
- International Cafe
- Burger & hot dog grill
- Ice cream bar
- Room service pizza
- Cookies & milk
- 24-hour room service
Call for personal room service at any time of the day or night. To have continental breakfast delivered to your stateroom, just fill out the breakfast card and hang it out at night on your stateroom door. For a full stateroom menu, please see your stateroom portfolio or call the number listed in your onboard telephone directory.
A cover charge of $15 to $35 per person may apply at the alternative dining venues. Prices may vary or change without notice.
Passengers under 21 years of age are not permitted to purchase or consume alcohol onboard. Duty- and tax-free alcohol is available for purchase and will be delivered to your stateroom the last day of your cruise.
Alcohol purchased at any port of call, including the port of embarkation, may not be consumed onboard. It will be collected at the gangway for safekeeping and delivered to your stateroom on the last day of your cruise, prior to your disembarkation. You may bring wine or champagne onboard to celebrate special occasions (refer to your specific cruise line for limitations). If consumed in the dining room or alternative restaurants, each bottle will be subject to an uncorking fee.
SERVICE & GRATUITIES CHARGES
During your cruise, you will meet staff throughout the ship who provide you will excellent service. Many more crew support those who serve you directly. A discretionary Hotel and Dining charge from $7 to $12 per passenger per day (including children) will be added to your shipboard account on a daily basis. This charge will be shared amongst those staff who help provide and support your cruise experience, including the waitstaff, stateroom stewards, buffet stewards, galley staff, laundry staff and others.
A 15% gratuity is added to bar charges and dining room wine accounts. This is shared amongst the beverage staff and their support staff, including cleaners and utility staff. We know you will find these services onboard exemplary.
Casino dealers and Spa personnel do not share in the Hotel and Dining charge, as not all passengers utilize these services.
Day of Disembarkation
PRIOR TO DISEMBARKATION
Your stateroom steward will provide you with a disembarkation letter containing information regarding your departure from the ship. You will also receive coloured tags for each piece of luggage. Please put your name, home address and other information requested on each tag. Also, remove any old airline flight tags or embarkation tags. We strongly recommend you hand-carry fragile items, valuable and medication. Before you retire for the night, your bags should be packed and placed outside your stateroom door to facilitate customs clearance and disembarkation. Make a final check of your stateroom cabin and safe for any personal items, as the cruise line is not responsible for items left behind.
IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS CLEARANCE
Due to U.S. and local customs restrictions, passengers may not leave the ship until all luggage is off-loaded. With this in mind, we suggest that you relax in one of the many public lounges to wait for customs clearance and disembarkation by pre-designated groups.
Customs and immigration inspectors will review with you the customs declarations form upon which you have listed all the articles bought in foreign ports or in the ship’s boutiques. Canadian citizens, when out of the country for more than eight days, may bring back up to $750 CAD duty-free. It is recommended that passengers keep their sales receipts handy for declaring their purchases. Food items should not be brought into U.S. or Canadian ports.
For further customs information, we recommend that you attend the Cruise Director’s disembarkation talk given during the last days of the cruise.
DISEMBARKATION AND TRANSFER INFORMATION
At the dock, luggage is arranged according to colour-coded tags provided prior to disembarkation. You will likely to required to identify and clear your luggage though customs. As you leave the ship, you will be directed by a cruise line representative to the luggage claim area for your colour group. Please check each luggage tag to ensure you are claiming your own luggage.
If you have purchased a ship-to-airport transfer, Cruise plus Hotel Package or are participating in a cruisetour, you will be directed by a cruise line staff to the transfer departure point. If friends or relatives are meeting you at the pier, be advised that disembarkation may take up to four hours after scheduled arrival of the ship to clear immigration and customs.