Cruise Travel Frequently Asked Questions - Shipboard Questions

Shipboard Questions
Will I need a dinner jacket?

On some cruises, formal dinners or parties are part of the fun. But don't buy a tuxedo just for the trip. If you do want to dress to the nines, many ships offer tuxedo rental services. Even on the most formal of ships, a dark suit and tie are fine for the dressiest occasions.

Can I use my hair dryer or shaver?

Most ships have 240-volt outlets in the staterooms so you should be able to use your hair dryer and shaver. However, most new ships include air dryers in the room. Ask us if your ship has them or not.

Are there safes and safety deposit boxes on board a ship?

Yes, there are. As a matter of fact most new ships have safes right in the cabin with instructions on how to use them. If you would like a safety deposit box, the purser's desk will get one for you..

Are wheel chairs available or do I have to bring my own?

As a rule of thumb, wheel chairs are available for passengers who are injured after they get on board. Most suggest that you bring your own collapsible one if you will need it throughout the cruise Check with your agent when booking regarding your ship's policy on providing wheelchairs to passengers.

Can we stay in touch with the outside?

Quite easily. Most ships have a daily newsletter with news, headlines, selected stock quotes and sports scores. Staterooms on many ships are even equipped with televisions. While many ships now have telephones in passenger cabins, you can also call someone on shore through the ship's radio operator while at sea. And, you can make phone calls from most ports. In addition, many ships have fax capabilities.

Are there medical services onboard?

Virtually every cruise ship (except for some smaller vessels operating in coastal waters) has a fully-equipped medical facility and staff to handle almost any emergency.

Are there laundry services aboard?

Yes. Almost all cruise ships have laundry facilities and a great many provide dry-cleaning services. There is, however, an additional charge for professional laundry and dry-cleaning services. Some ships also have self-service launderettes on board simply because many of their itineraries are 11 nights or longer. Most people don't have enough underwear for a 96 day world cruise. Can you imagine your laundry bill on a trip that long?

Do they take cash on board a ship?

Today's cruise ships have made the transition to a "cashless society." All passengers are given an onboard charge card that typically doubles as their boarding pass. You would use this card for all purchases including drinks, souvenirs, shore excursions, boutique services, spa services, and etc. Cash is accepted in the casino, for gratuities to the staff that served you, and at the purser's desk to settle you onboard account.

Can I pre-pay my shore excursion so that I don't have to wait in line on board?

Most of the mass market lines like Royal Caribbean, Holland America, and Princess let you pre-book your shore excursions to their more exotic itineraries like Europe and the Orient. Currently, only Premier the Big Red Boat allows you to prebook shore excursions in the Bahamas. However, we know that we will be able to pre-book your Caribbean Tours directly with the line prior to travel within the next year or two.

If you are travelling with a group of six or more, we can pre-book your Caribbean and Alaska Tours prior to travel.

Do I need a passport?

Every cruise requires some proof of Australian Citizenship before they allow boarding. While a passport is not required for the some cruises a notarized copy of a birth certificate with a raised seal and picture identification is. No, you may not use military ids, voter registration cards, or a library card. You must have a notarized photo copy of your birth certificate with a raised seal if you do not already have a passport.

Some ports even require a visa but the cruise line will inform you on proper documentation in plenty of trim prior to travel or even final payment.

It's a sad, sad, sad thing to see someone denied boarding for lack of proper documentation. Make sure you have your documentation well in advance. Don't assume it's in your safe the night before your cruise. Look for it by the time you make your final payment.

What should I pack?

Pack like you would for any resort. Cruise vacations are casual by day, whether you're on the ship or ashore. In the evening, ships vary as to dress. As on shore, attire is dictated by occasion. For the Captain's Gala, for example, you'll probably want to wear something more formal, such as a dark suit, or cocktail dress; perhaps even a dinner jacket or gown.