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Old 12-16-2005, 08:43 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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hello.

Me[18] and my Dad [49] are heading out on a Father Son Expedition on monday. Neither of us have any experiance with proper cruising. Have a few questions last minute, that after reading reviews and user accounts i'm still not sure of.

1) Excursions. Say we wanted to go on a snorkling excursion, or something in the water like kayaking, what do we do with our wallets/passports/money/sea pass cards. Never have seen this mentioned anywhere. At the start of the excursion is there lockers or something? or do people have waterproof fannypacks they keep things in?

2) Dinner, the mikado restaurante i think it is called. I understand there will be one formal night. I think we're skipping this one to avoid the hassle of having to wear fancy clothes, and going to the windjammer. But on the other 3 evenings, what is the dress code like in the restaurant. Will a blazer, buttoned shirt, jeans type set up be acceptable?

3) Baggage. Is this service for big bags, or for people who just can't carry all thier bags to their rooms. I'd have no problem lugging a big bag on board and off board myself if it means i dont have to wait for/pack early on the last night, my stuff. If everyones bags have to go through the 'system' for secruity reasons though, this is fine.

4) key west - still not sure how the customs situation works. i read 'no one can leave until everyone is cleared'. where do the cleared people go?

5)we got a cheap dael on this cruise, is december 19th a quiet time of year?


thanks alot, will be sure to add my account of the cruise to cruise reviews when i'm back.
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Old 12-17-2005, 08:50 AM
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<<]1) Excursions. Say we wanted to go on a snorkling excursion, or something in the water like kayaking, what do we do with our wallets/passports/money/sea pass cards. Never have seen this mentioned anywhere. At the start of the excursion is there lockers or something? or do people have waterproof fannypacks they keep things in?>>

I always suggest buying a cheap wallet for use when you are in a port. Leave your wallet and passport in the safe in your cabin, but put a color copy of your passport, driver's license and contact information in your port wallet along with your ship room key, one credit card (if you intend on using one) and some cash for the day in your port wallet.

This way, if your wallet is lost or stolen, no biggie. The ship will accept copies of your driver's license and/or passport as picture ID.

<<2) Dinner, the mikado restaurante i think it is called. I understand there will be one formal night. I think we're skipping this one to avoid the hassle of having to wear fancy clothes, and going to the windjammer. But on the other 3 evenings, what is the dress code like in the restaurant. Will a blazer, buttoned shirt, jeans type set up be acceptable?>>

Generally a pair of slacks and sirt are fine. If you are going to take a blazer, you can wear that on formal night and you won't feel out of place. While there will be some men in tuxs, many more will be wearing suits and sportcoats.

<<3) Baggage. Is this service for big bags, or for people who just can't carry all thier bags to their rooms. I'd have no problem lugging a big bag on board and off board myself if it means i dont have to wait for/pack early on the last night, my stuff. If everyones bags have to go through the 'system' for secruity reasons though, this is fine.>>

During embarkation, you will need to clear a security check (like the airport security machines) and only carry-on sized luggage can be screened there. For that reason you will check your larger bags with the porters when you arrive at the terminal. Be sure to tip them a couple of bucks as they do not work for the cruise line, but rather the port itself.

<<4) key west - still not sure how the customs situation works. i read 'no one can leave until everyone is cleared'. where do the cleared people go?>>

The immigration officers will board the ship early in the morning and meet with the ship's staff to review the passenger's documentation. Once they are satisfied, they will clear the ship and a general announcement will be made over the ship's speakers. At that point you will be free to disembark. You can be enjoying breakfast while this is happening as you do not have to present yourself to the immigration officers.

<<5)we got a cheap dael on this cruise, is december 19th a quiet time of year?>>

I expect that there will be a good number of families cruising with you folks. You and your Dad will have a blast.

Have a great cruise.

Tom
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Old 12-17-2005, 09:33 AM
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those were helpfull responses thank you. The alternate wallet is a good idea, but i'm still not sure what you actually do with the thing while swimming around snorkelling or whatever?!

and also, on disembarking on at a bahamian port, do the immigration authorities not ask for your real passport?
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Old 12-17-2005, 10:13 AM
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Location: Maryland
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Quote:
and also, on disembarking on at a bahamian port, do the immigration authorities not ask for your real passport?
Joe, when you get off the ship at a port stop, the security officer standing at the gangway will scan your SeaPass card, and that's it. When you get back on the ship, you'll have your pass scanned again (the security officer will check that your face matches the picture embedded in your pass card info), and you will go through a metal detector. It's an easy-off, easy-on procedure.

For the dining room, restaurant-type clothing is perfect. What they don't like in the dining room after 6pm are shorts or sloppy jeans. Otherwise, you should be fine.

Especially on short cruises, I've seen men in the dining room on formal nights in a sports coat and tie. No one will throw you off the ship if you don't appear in a tux (few men wear tuxes on short cruises) or even a suit. But the Windjammer buffet is excellent as well. At night, they even put tablecloths and flowers on the tables in the Windjammer. The waiter comes over to take your drink order. It's very quiet up there and you can easily get a table by a window.

Not sure about the wallet-while-swimming question. I hope someone else can help you with that one.

Sandy
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Old 12-17-2005, 10:32 AM
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Hi Sir Joe. At the scuba shop near my house, you can buy waterproof containers/pouches to place belongings in while you are underwater. They can be alittle expensive. To me, peace of mind always is expensive. Welcome to cruise-chat. Good luck, Lil' Lori
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Old 12-17-2005, 10:58 AM
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While we are at beaches or on snorkeling tours, we have never worried too much about theft of money and valuables. In many cases there are lockers available - either included in the cost of admission or available for a small fee.

For tours which include going on a bus or a boat we have trusted the tour employees to guard our stuff. They have a vested interest in ensuring no one gets ripped off. Word gets around after all, and an unscrupulous tour operator would soon be out of business. The local tourism board won't put up with it and have revoked licenses for tours that don't get with the program. Plus, the tour workers usually look for tips at the conclusion of the tour and don't want to jeopardize that. However that doesn't mean we don't verify things once we return to the boat or the bus.

You will find tours being sold by the ship - and these are certainly safe bets. However, you can find good deals once ashore too. It just comes down to common sense. If a tour operator has access to the pier, he probably is safe. Someone leaning against a wall downtown selling a tour? I'd keep on walking. My usual advice for a first time cruiser is to go with the tours sold on the ship. This takes a lot of the guess work out of it.
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Old 12-18-2005, 02:23 AM
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When I am going to a beach, snorkling, kayaking, etc.; I always wear board shorts with a pocket that closes securely with velcro. Into this pocket goes my driver's license, my cruise card, a credit card and some cash. My passport, wallet, other credit cards, etc., stay in the room safe. I then play in the water all I want and never worry about my valuables. Sure the cash will get wet, but I have never had anyone refuse the money because it was wet and you can spread it out overnight in your cabin and it will quickly dry.
 
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