Ladies – Dress, Pants Suit or Sporty Outfit
Men – Sports Shirt and Slacks, no jeans please
Ladies – Cocktail Dress or Pants Suit
Men – Jacket, Slacks – no jeans please
Ladies – Formal Gown or Cocktail Dress
Men – Tuxedo, Dinner Jacket or Dark Suit & Ti
Jeans, t-shirts, tank tops, swimsuits, robes, and bare feet are not permitted in the main dining room at any time. Guests are expected to respect this sailing tradition for the ambiance of the cruise” (This is a quote from the ship)
Note: There will be only one formal night on board the ship.
There will be many tuxedos worn on the Formal night if you don’t have one you can rent one. It will be in your cabin when you arrive. A dark suit can also be worn. Why not add a bow tie and make it look more like a tux!
The most organized way to pack is to choose clothes for actual activities and events. That’s why I like the “worksheets” so much – not maybe for the daytime but certainly for the evenings. Most of this trip will be very casual with lots of beachwear in the daytime; at night, you’ll want to look at the nightly themes to help you decide what to pack.
When we get to the port, the luggage is given to the luggage handlers to put onto the ship (with 20,000 other pieces!). There will be special luggage tags that you will put on your bags which will identify them. The bags should arrive at your cabin before dinner (but could be there as late as midnight, so make sure you have something to wear to dinner on you or on a carry on).
- Carry On Luggage:
Carry ALL your valuables with you, along with medications and your camera. This includes your cruise documents, Set Sail Pass, Passport, Photo ID, Credit Cards and any other identification you might need. There is a time lapse before we have our luggage in our cabins, so put the things you need immediately in your carry-on luggage.
- Checking in:
Anytime after 11:30 is the best time to check in. The earlier the better to avoid the crowds. You must check in before 3:30 pm or your reservation will be canceled! When you check into the desk at the port, your identification will be checked against what you have put into the computer to set up your Set Sail Pass (make sure you fill this out correctly and the name spelling matches).An imprint of a credit card will be taken for your on board expenses. You will then be given your Set Sail Card. This card looks like a credit card and indeed it is, but it is also your cabin door key. You will not need money on board, just your Set Sail Card to charge all of your purchases to your account.The only use for money on board will be in the Casino. You can also pay money on your account when you come on board, that can be used for your account instead of leaving your charges on your credit card. This saves you from worrying about your money and keeping it in your safe.
Your cruise account can be viewed at any time on your interactive in-cabin TV. Just follow the instructions on the screen and it will show exactly what you have charged on your account. Of course, some may not want to see those totals until they leave. :)By 6:00 am, on the last day of the cruise, an invoice is delivered to your cabin. You can keep these charges on your credit card (given at check in) or you can pay cash at the Guest Relations… but the line can get long.
- In Cabin Safes:
In each cabin you will find a safe for your use. You will find them to be extremely good in safeguarding your valuables while on board (ie: jewelry, passports, money, credit cards, cameras & airline tickets).
- Cruise Ticket:
The cruise ticket is really a booklet, filled with all kinds of information. We will receive these about three weeks prior to the cruise. Make sure you read all the rules and regulations before boarding. There is also a complete list of all of the excursions offered by the cruise line in each port. They will check your “Ticket” at the port in order to board.They will need your Set Sail Pass which you should have printed out from your computer (if not, you can fill out their blank forms at the port, but this will slow down your embarkation process). They may also take two pages from your booklet, one has your names and information on it, the other is a form for on-board charges, to be filled out with your credit card information and signatures of those on your account.The luggage tags you find inside your ticket booklet will go on your checked luggage. Note: Don’t attach these to your luggage until right before you head to the port. You won’t need to put these on your carry on luggage.
- Muster Drill:
Before we sail, the ship has a mandatory “Muster Drill”, which is like a fire drill. All passengers MUST attend this lovely ceremony wearing your colorful life jacket. The best thing about the drill is we sail immediately afterwards and that means… “Sail Away Party”!!
Everyone is charged gratuities in advance, so they will be pre-paid the minute you arrive on board. You may add additional amounts for any of the ship’s staff that gave you exceptional service and/or made your stay on the ship a memorable one. There is an envelope that will be left in your cabin on the last night of the cruise for gratuities. Since you already pre-paid them before you sailed, you do not need to do anything with this envelope, unless you decide that you want to tip extra.The pre-paid gratuities cover your waitstaff in the main dining area and your cabin steward. You still have to pay gratuities for alcoholic drinks, spa services and other amenities. Note: tips are usually automatically added to your bill, so make sure you check to make sure you are not over or under tipping.
There are no self service laundry facilities on board. They do have a great laundry service. Put your laundry in the bag provided, fill out the laundry form (it will have prices on it) and simply leave it on your bed and your cabin steward will take it from there. Usually, the laundry will be back the next day cleaned and pressed. If you have to make sure you have a certain article for the next day, check with the cabin steward to make sure it can be returned in time (if you turn in laundry late in the day, you may not see it for two days).They do not supply or allow you to bring irons on board because they are a fire hazard (and fire on a ship is bad). A steamer is O.K.
There is an internet cafe on board where you can purchase packages of minutes to use while on board (either with their computers or your laptop). The more minutes you buy at one time, the less they charge you per minute.
- Drink Prices:
There will be an unlimited soft drink card you can purchase once you get on board. If you drink many sodas at all, this is a good deal.They also offer discounted wine packages. We recommend getting a wine package if you like wine so you can have wine at dinner and even share with friends or make new ones. If you don’t finish your wine, you can have them deliver it to your cabin for you.
We mentioned the fire hazards of using an ironing board, well the same goes for candles. They are a big No No! They have some nice flameless, flickering LED candles available now if you want to set the mood in your cabin.We hope these tips will help you new cruisers get underway…
- I bring a disposable camera along for some excursions. Just to keep my digital safe. Always keep your camera in the safe when not using it. (If it fits!)
- My most important tip is – ZIPLOCK BAGGIES. Can’t say enough about the benefits of packing all your creams and liquids into these little babies. Kind of like a packing “condom”. If things spill they won’t go on your clothes. I also take some spare ones for maybe a wet bathing suit.
- Don’t forget to clean out your wallets… you probably have cards there that won’t be used in Mexico! They don’t take checks either so leave your checkbook home. Bring a photo ID card as well as your passport. Most ports need this with your Sea Pass card to get back on the ship and you DO NOT want to carry your passport around… especially in our ports.!! Can’t stress this enough.
- Copies of your credit card numbers ( and emergency numbers) and your passport picture page can come in very handy in case you lose them. Of course, keep them in a different place than the originals. I copy down the phone numbers to call too for each card.
- A carry-on bag (with shoulder straps) will come in handy for many reasons; to bring what you need for the first afternoon on the ship (before the luggage arrives) and for the last night on the cruise. On that last night, your luggage has to be placed outside your cabin by midnight, which leaves all sorts of odds and ends to carry off the next day. You may even use it to go to a beach along the line.
- Those pretty Bon Voyage cocktails they offer in Souvenir glasses are not free. Drinks are served in regular glasses you can buy the fancy ones in the gift shop.
- Anyone who has gone cruising before knows that the biggest asset to enjoying tours and excursions is – the SHOES. Comfortable, broken in, flat and probably not too gorgeous but if you wear them all day as you trudge through narrow streets and up hillsides, you’ll be a happy camper and ready for those heels at night.
- When I go on an excursion, I take a wet facecloth in a zip lock baggie. Never know when you want to wipe your hands or face with a clean cloth. I also take a little bottle of the hand sanitizer. If it involves a swimsuit I take a large ziplock for it when it gets wet.
- Another great tip concerns anyone that might be coming in a couple of days early. I will be packing what Wayne & I both need in one suitcase. That way, we only have to dig into that one. This can be very easy using the “Worksheets” that go day by day.