Many of us have been on many cruises, but all of us remember that first time! I wanted to share 5 cruise tips for first time cruisers that Costco, online discount travel sellers and your Uncle Joe who’s sailed around the world 100 times won’t tell you!
1. Bring proof of citizenship and a photo government id. (and have it in hand!)
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in line at the cruise terminal hearing the person in front of me loudly complaining, “I wasn’t told I need proof of citizenship, here’s my drivers license, Chop, Chop!”
It’s probably true that Bill working at Costco didn’t mention it to you, but speaking as an experienced travel agent, I always tell my clients to be sure to have either their passport (preferably) and/or their birth certificate to show port officials before and after their cruise vacation. You will also need a valid picture government i.d. (drivers license).
Ever since 9/11, our government has stepped up efforts to ensure our cruises are safe and free from incident. Proper citizenship documentation is critical for any travel experience. Imagine if you get left behind at a foreign port of call? The only way to get home is probably by air, so a valid passport is truly your golden ticket to return to the USA!
2. Expired passport and/or drivers license.
You’ve booked your 120 day world cruise! You’ve finished buying thousands of dollars in new clothes for the trip (I shop at Jos. A. Bank)!You’ve even purchased $1000 worth of new Samantha Brown luggage off of the Home Shopping Network!
So, you’re excited about trip, it’s about a week before you leave, and you decide to find your passport.
Carnival is fairly liberal with their beverage policy. According to their website, “On embarkation day, each guest may bring a small quantity of non-alcoholic beverages on board and only in their carry-on luggage. A small quantity is considered a maximum of 12 cans, 20 ounces each or less.”
On Carnival, you can also bring one bottle of wine per adult.
Don’t try to smuggle alcohol on the ship. It will be confiscated!
4. Just because you are platinum, don’t think that your 100 family members sailing with you are also!
Here’s the dealio. I’m Platinum on Carnival. I’ve spent a lot of money to earn my Very Important Fun Person (VIFP) status. Yes, the other person in my cabin can share in my status before, after and during the cruise (with certain limitations), but anyone below Platinum level is out of luck! Granted, they can try to buy “Faster to the Fun”, but don’t try to tell the port officials, “I’m with Scott!”
5. Have a checklist
You can spend a week packing and still forget something, and usually it’s something important!
If you have a checklist broken down by person, you will ensure you won’t forget important items.
Anyway, I hope that these tips will help new cruisers. If you haven’t booked your cruise (or all-inclusive) vacation yet, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll take care of you!