A credit system is widely used on the majority of Cruise Liners, and is operated for all onboard services with the exception for foreign currency exchange and 'games of chance'. Your account will be open from the time you embark the ship to disembarkation. At first, a swipe card will be issued at check-in and this will act as your onboard account card. You will then be requested to present your credit card at reception early in the cruise so that a swipe can be taken. This is necessary to avoid any queues to settle your account at the end of your cruise, and your account will be automatically debited after disembarkation. You can check the balance of your account at any stage in the cruise; this is done by taking your swipe card to the reception desk.
The following credit cards are widely accepted among all cruise lines: American Express, Diners Club, Euro card, MasterCard and Visa. Visa Debit cards are also accepted. Unfortunately, the following cards are not always accepted: Maestro, Solo, Electron or travel agents foreign exchange' debit cards / Traveller's cheque cards. Depending on which Cruise Line you are travelling with, the currency onboard will either be Sterling, Euros or Dollars. This will have to be used if you are settling your onboard account in cash.
When booking your cruise you will be given the option to pick a cabin number, or to book a ‘guarantee’ cabin. When booking a ‘guarantee’ cabin/stateroom, you will not be given a number or location of your cabin/stateroom up until you receive your cruise tickets. However, you will be guaranteed the cabin/stateroom grade booked or above. In most cases, you will have to pay a higher price to secure your cabin/stateroom number. From the moment you embark the ship staff will be waiting to welcome you and show you to your cabin/stateroom. To open your cabin door you will be given either a swipe card or a key, and this is to be used for the duration of your cruise.
All cabins/staterooms are provided with a welcome pack, which will contain all the necessary information including a ship guide. Your cabin stewardess will replace any towels or linens when required and also keep your cabin in immaculate condition. The majority of vessels will offer complimentary cabin service for breakfast, lunch, dinner and also light snacks.
This will widely vary depending on ship. Some ships offer a great range of children facilities such as kids clubs, children’s pool, children’s areas and night nurseries. Please ask your cruise specialist when calling.
Dining differs from ship to ship. Some ships require you to request a dining time, if this is so then your cruise specialist will advise you of this when booking. However some ships offer a more flexible dining service, which may include buffets or a choice of specialty restaurants. If your dining time is not available when booking, your cruise specialist will try their best to request this for you or to add you to the waitlist. In most cases your requested dining time will become confirmed. All Cruise lines will meet the majority of dining requirements such as fat-free, vegetarian or gluten-free. When booking your cruise, your cruise specialist will ask if you require any dietary requirements, this will enable the cruise line to prepare any special requests you may have.
If you are booking your own flights to connect with the ship, please allow 4 to 5 hours connecting time between flights. This is to allow for any delays. Passengers on fly/cruises will receive full embarkation instructions with your ticket packet. Embarkation generally commences 2-3 hours prior sailing. It is required that you check in no later than 1 hour prior to sailing. Exact details of embarkation will be included in your ticket pack. On arrival to the cruise terminal you will be directed to the baggage drop off area. Porters will be on hand to take your luggage and they will ensure your luggage will be taken directly to your cabin, after security checks. You will be required to provide your passports and tickets at check-in and this is when you will be issued with your ship pass and boarding card. Your ship pass will act as your security pass and onboard account card.
Each time you embark or disembark you will need this pass as it will record whether you are on board or ashore. For security reasons it is strictly prohibited that no visitors are allowed onboard. When embarking the ship your hand luggage may be scanned for security reasons. The Merchant Shipping Act prohibits the carrying of certain items on board ship which include:
A vast majority of cruise lines welcome any passengers with limited mobility, however all cruise lines request that an able-bodied companion is present. The number of wheel chairs on each ship may be limited; therefore most cruise lines respectfully require wheelchair users to bring onboard their own wheelchair. Regarding fly cruises, it is important for the wheelchair user to advise their cruise specialist immediately if they need assistance with aircraft steps so we can ensure suitable airport assistance is available.
Dress code differs from ship to ship, however common practice is as follows- During the day Casual dress, which may include short sleeved shirts, shorts and beachwear. However in the dining areas it is not appropriate to wear beachwear. Please note that the sun is much stronger at sea, therefore it is essential to bring sun cream, hat and sunglasses. We also recommend that you take a lightweight jacket or fleece, depending on the itinerary.
Formal nights For gentlemen it is appropriate to wear a tuxedo or dinner jacket, alternatively a dark suit and tie is also acceptable. For ladies, it is acceptable to wear a cocktail or evening dress. Informal nights/Themed nights Informal is more relaxed and casual, however beachwear and shorts may not be appropriate for dining. Some cruises have special themed evenings like British Night and make suggestions to wear items such as red, white & blue clothes.
On the majority of cruise ships it is not permitted to bring aboard alcohol purchased ashore. Any alcohol brought from ashore will be placed in safe keeping by the ships security officers and returned at the end of your cruise. However you may purchase alcohol, cigarettes and tobacco onboard which may be consumed in your cabin. All duty free must be personally carried and be for your own use - which includes gifts. When returning from EU countries there is no limit to the amount of goods you can bring back to the UK, however if you bring back large quantities of alcohol or tobacco a customs officer may ask you about the purposes for which you hold the goods. The customs allowance for landing in the UK from non EU countries is: 200 cigarettes, or 250 grams of tobacco or 50 cigars plus one litre bottle of spirits and two bottles of still table wine, 60ml of perfume, 250ml of eau de toilette when purchased at tax free rates. Please note on fly/cruises it is airport policy which applies.
Plan Your Cruise Holiday...