You’ve got your ship and cabin sorted and you know where you are going. A few more key details and it’s sailing time! We’ve answered some common questions to help get you on your way.
Covering passport, laundry, tipping and more need-to-know answers about cruising, you'll be an expert before even boarding the ship!
"How do I get to the port to join my ship?"
In most instances, the cruise line will offer seat-in-vehicle transfers from the airport to join your ship if your flights arrive and depart on the same day as the cruise.
It’s best to pre-book this in advance, as some ports have traffic restrictions, and taxis may not have access to the shipside.
"Do I need a passport?"
Yes. Most cruises dock in foreign countries, so in order to explore these fascinating places, you will require a passport.
Make sure it’ll still be valid for at least six months from the date you board, or you may miss the boat … literally.
"Are there medical facilities on the ship?"
Most ships travel with a doctor and registered nurse on board. They will also have reasonable medical facilities to handle emergency situations, though these may be limited on smaller ships.
"How do I get ashore?"
Usually the ship will dock at the port and you will leave by the gangway (as you do when you embark). At some ports, however, you will anchor a little way out from the shore and be taken in by tender.
"Can I get my laundry done on a cruise?"
Most cruise ships offer full laundry and dry cleaning services, which can be billed to your onboard account. Some cruise liners also provide facilities, such as self-service washers, dryers and irons, either complimentary or for a nominal fee, for guests to use.
"What are the onboard dress codes?"
There are three distinct types of dress code: casual, smart casual and formal.
Suggested guidelines are as follows:
- Casual: Sport shirts and slacks for men, sundresses or pants for women.
- Smart casual: Jackets for men and dresses and/or dress pants for women.
- Formal: Suits and ties or tuxedos for men, cocktail dresses or evening gowns for women.
"Do I need to tip people on my cruise?"
It is customary to tip staff members on the majority of ships. If tips are not included in your cruise price, you will receive an envelope in your cabin on the last day of the cruise, or, as a convenience, some cruise lines will automatically charge it to your cabin.
On the other hand, some cruise lines have a no-tipping policy. Ask your travel consultant for guidance.