Cruising 101: The Caribbean

Venturing to far-off places, snorkeling in crystal-clear waters, extraordinary cuisine and first-class treatment is what cruising is all about. You’ve researched and found amazing Caribbean cruises, but now what? Taking a cruise is definitely not a last-minute vacation. You need the proper paperwork, current passports and up-to-date vaccinations, depending on your location. Below are things to consider before exploring the sights and culture of the Caribbean:

Passport


Your cruise can be denied for the simplest of reasons, like misplacing your passport. Your passport can’t need to be renewed in less than six months. A valid passport is essential when traveling so if it needs to be renewed, do it now.

Visa


Visas are required, depending on your location. This generally doesn’t include the Caribbean but does in Europe, Central and South Americas.

Sea Travel


For voyages that begin and end in the same U.S. Port, U.S. citizens may travel with both a Government-issued birth certificate and Government-issued picture ID card, preferably your driver’s license.



Luggage Tags


Make sure every piece of your luggage (including carry-on and purses) have luggage tags. That way it will be very clear which ship you’re sailing on, the dates you’re going and the stateroom you’re occupying. With easy-to-read luggage tags you decrease the change your luggage will be lost or stolen. When checking in to your first port, generally there will be a porter to take your luggage and an attendee to give you luggage tags and tell you your stateroom number.

Documentation


Make sure the name on the cruise reservation is exactly as it is stated on the passport or other citizenship document. If your name has changed for any reason, it is required that the documentation be updated with the new name. If you do not, you could run into delay or possible denial of boarding.

Vaccinations


Be up-to-date on all your vaccines, especially when traveling out of the country. If you think you might be due for a vaccine, contact your doctor’s office of your cruise line on recommendations.

Special Health Concerns


If you or anyone you know is traveling with disabilities, you need to notify the cruise line so proper measures can be taken. Services that require advanced notice include raised toilet seat, large print material, shower stool, service animal relief area, oxygen and dialysis supply and medical refrigerator.

Payments


Payment for your cruise should be made during your booking process online and sent to your travel agent or cruise line. Final payment is due 75 days prior to sailing for standard and holiday departures and other select departures require final payment 90 days prior to sailing date, according to celebritycruises.com.
Guests who do not bring the proper documentation with them may be prevented from boarding their flight or ship or from disembarking or entering a country and may be subject to fines and will not be reimbursed any amount of money. So before you book those Celebrity Caribbean cruises, make sure you have all the required documentation.

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