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For Cruising with Royal Caribbean


Published by:


1260 Lake Frances Blvd.

Tavares, FL  32778



                                           1.  COVID-19 NOTICE, and Overview

                                           2.  Paperwork, Paperwork, Paperwork

                                           3.  Pre-Register for your Cruise

                                           4.  Travel Insurance

                                           5.  Special Needs

                                           6.  How do we get to the ship?

                                           7.  What time should we get to the ship?

                                           8.  The Crown & Anchor Society

                                           9.  Gratuities (Tips)

                                        10.  How much cash should I take?

                                        11.  What about Hurricanes?

                                        12.  Motion Discomfort

                                        13.  The Skinny on Shore Excursions

                                        14.  The “NextCruise” Opportunity

                                        15.  A Royal Caribbean Visa Card

                                        16.  What Is The Best Time Of Year To Cruise?

                                        17.  Future Cruises

                                        18.  When Do We Eat?

                                        19.  Packing for your Cruise

                                        20.  Going Cruising—Checklist



                                                                                             Updated November 28, 2022



                                                                                      352 742-3000 or 1-800-333-3960

                                                                 © 2022 by A1 CRUISES, LLC


            COVID-19 NOTICE:  Vaccinations are no longer required to cruise.  Pre-Cruise Testing is only

            required on Cruises to Colombia, Transatlantic Cruises, and Cruises from Australia.


1.  Overview:  Welcome to the Wonderful World of Cruising!!!  If this is your first cruise, or if you are a veteran cruiser, we hope you will find some interesting and useful information in this Cruising Guide.  The modern world of cruising offers huge, fabulous ships, lots and lots of activities, scrumptious food, and absolutely outstanding, world-class entertainment.

     Everyone has a different appetite for cruising.  Some of you may just want to cruise every year.  For yet others, you could cruise a couple times every month, and still want more.  Visit PERFECT CRUISES on our website.  Whatever your appetite for cruising, you should easily be able to find your next cruise, and the one after that, and then the one after that…

     The three-night cruises are over the weekend—they are all Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday night, arriving back in Port on Monday morning.  These cruises are ideal for people who work—they’ll miss work Friday afternoon, when they go to the ship, and they’ll miss work Monday morning, when they get off the ship—but the rest of the week, they can work.  The four-night cruises are mostly during the week—Monday night through Friday morning.  These cruises are ideal for people who like to be home on weekends, or for people who do not want to miss church on Sunday.  The four night cruises are usually a better value.

     Then there are some four and five-night cruises on various days of the week that may ideally fit your particular schedule.  The seven-night cruises are on the newer, larger ships, usually either Saturday to Saturday, or Sunday to Sunday.  Come Cruise With Us!!!  You Will Love it!!! 

                                                           Sincerely, A1 CRUISES, by:  Don & Ruth Raleigh, Cruise Counselors


2.  Paperwork, Paperwork, Paperwork:  You will need Proof of Citizenship to board the ship.  If you do not have satisfactory Proof of Citizenship with you, you will be denied boarding, and you will NOT get a refund. The best Proof of Citizenship is a Passport Book.  (If your Passport expires within six months of the last day of the cruise, you should get it renewed before the cruise.)

     However, if you are a US Citizen, or a Canadian Citizen, and you are cruising in the Western Hemisphere, on a Closed-Loop cruise, then you may use your Birth Certificate and a Photo ID as Proof of Citizenship, instead of a Passport.  A Closed-Loop cruise is a cruise that departs from, and returns to, the same US Port.  If you rely on a Birth Certificate, it must be either the original, or a Certified Copy, issued by the Bureau of Vital Statistics in the State where you were born.  It cannot be just a hospital record, and it cannot be just a copy-machine copy.  If you rely on a Birth Certificate, you must also have a Photo ID, and it must be a Government-Issued Photo ID, like a Driver’s License.

     If you use your Birth Certificate, and the name does not match your name on your Driver’s License, take with you your Marriage Certificate, or whatever paperwork explains why your names do not match.  Guests under 16 will not need a Photo ID.

     If, during your cruise you need to fly home because (1) the ship experiences mechanical difficulty, or (2) you find out there is an emergency at home, or (3) you have an accident or become ill, and you do not have a Passport, you will have a very difficult time trying to fly into the United States without a Passport.  Passports are expensive, but they are good for 10 years.  Your best bet is to obtain a Passport.  You can get a Passport application at any Post Office, most Clerk of Court Offices, or visit our website:  www.A1CRUISES.com, and select Passports from the menu at the left.

     In addition to your required Proof of Citizenship, you should also have a SetSail pass (it’s like a boarding pass), which will save time at embarkation.  When you pre-register for your cruise on Royal Caribbean’s website, you can print out your SetSail pass.  To pre-register, see Number 3 below.  You should also take a debit or credit card with you to the ship.


3.  Pre-Register for your Cruise:  For every stateroom, you should visit Royal Caribbean’s website, pre-register for your cruise, and print out your SetSail pass to take with you to the ship.  (Pre-registering is not available until close to your cruise date.)

     Get four things ready before you go online to pre-register:

1.  Your Royal Caribbean Reservation Number, from your A1 CRUISES Confirmation.

2.  Your Passports, if you are using Passports as your proof of citizenship.

3.  The debit or credit card you will be taking with you to the ship.
4.  The name and phone number of your emergency contact person.

             Then visit: www.royalcaribbean.com, Select: MANAGE MY CRUISE, Scroll way down to WHAT TO     K           KNOW BEFORE YOU GO (It’s on the left.)  Then, on the right, Select: Online Check-In, Then Select: either Sign-In, or Create an Account, & then Sign-In.  Then enter the required information.

Complete all steps in the Online Check-In process and then print out your SetSail pass.  Take your SetSail pass with you to the ship, with your Proof of Citizenship, your Proof of COVID Vaccination, and your credit or debit card.  If you do not have Internet access or a printer, we will be happy to print out your SetSail pass for you.  Please call us at 352 742-3000 or 1-800-333-3960, either for an appointment to come visit us, or to give us over the phone the information we will need to print out your SetSail pass for you.


4.  Travel Insurance:  Most people’s medical insurance does not cover them when they are out of the country.  Medicare does not.  Therefore it is very important to purchase Travel Insurance before you cruise.  We recommend Travel Guard insurance, underwritten by AIG, which we have been selling for 20 years.  Travel Guard has an information number, 1-800-826-1300, available 24/7, that you can call to get answers to any questions you might have.  Then, please do call A1 CRUISES at 352 742-3000 or 1-800-333-3960, and allow us to purchase your Travel Guard Insurance for you.  The cost will be the same as buying it direct, but by purchasing your Travel Guard Insurance from us, you will allow us to monitor your coverage, and service your policy.  We can purchase your Travel Insurance for you, up until the DAY BEFORE you travel!

     Full-Coverage Insurance:  The Full-Coverage insurance will reimburse you for all the non-refundable costs of your trip, if you have to cancel because of illness of you or a family member, or if you have to cancel because of any other covered reason.  We recommend Travel Guard’s Deluxe full-coverage insurance, with $100,000 in medical coverage, or Travel Guard’s Preferred full-coverage insurance, with $50,000 in medical coverage.  If you buy the Deluxe or the Preferred full-coverage insurance within two weeks of your initial deposit—any Pre-Existing Medical Conditions you might have are covered. 

     Pack ‘N Go Insurance:  Pack ‘N Go insurance offers $25,000 in medical coverage plus other coverage, but does not give you your money back if you have to cancel, and it does not cover Pre-Existing Medical Conditions.  The Pack ‘N Go is very inexpensive and you can get it up to the day before your cruise.  We will quote the insurance costs on your A1 CRUISES Confirmation, or you can just give us a call for the costs.

     We recommend that you NOT purchase the insurance sold by the Cruise Line—it is not even insurance.  Therefore, they cannot call it insurance, so they call it “Travel Protection,” and it is not a good value.  Purchase Travel Guard travel insurance instead.


5.  Special Needs:  If you need a refrigerator in your cabin for medicine, if you are bringing a CPAP Machine with you, or if you have any other special, medical, or dietary needs, please let us know right away, as we need to advise Royal Caribbean 30 days prior to the cruise.

6.  How do we get to the ship?  Well, first of all, you are welcome to get to the ship any way you want.  A convenient way, if you live close to the Cruise Port, would be to drive—there is secure parking at the Port.  If you take another couple with you, you can share the cost of the parking, tolls, and any other expenses. 

     If you do not live close to the Cruise Port, you can fly to an airport near the Cruise Port, and we can purchase transfers from the airport to the Cruise Terminal for you from the Cruise Line.  Call or email us for the cost of these transfers.

     If you do not want to fly, and you want to consider other alternatives to driving, first of all, ask us whether the Cruise Line is offering bus service for your cruise.  If not, you are welcome to check with:  A. Amtrak,

1-800-872-7245;   B. Cruise Connection by Escot Bus Lines, 941 256-8762;   C. Greyhound, 214 849-8966;   D. Mears Transportation, 407 422-4561;   E. Or you can download a Lyft or Uber app onto your smartphone.

     Finally, if you have a group going on your cruise (more people than just the two of you), we may be able to arrange a charter van or motor coach for your transportation to the ship.


7.  What time should we get to the ship?  You must be onboard at least 1 hour before the ship is scheduled to sail.  However, despite whatever time Royal Caribbean advises you to get to the ship, we suggest you plan to get to the ship by 10:30 AM on the day of sailing.  Embarkation will have started by then, and boarding will start about 11:00 AM.  Taking your carry-on luggage with you, go directly to the Windjammer buffet, find comfortable seats on the shady side of the restaurant, eat a leisurely lunch, and plan to stay in the Windjammer until they announce that the staterooms are available, usually about 1:00 PM. 

    Then take your carry-on luggage, find your stateroom, unpack your clothes, and read the Cruise Compass Newsletter in your stateroom to see when the mandatory lifeboat drill will be, and what else you would like to do before dinner.   

            8.  The Crown & Anchor Society:  Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society is a

              membership organization for guests who have cruised with Royal Caribbean before.  Anyone who

has completed one cruise with Royal Caribbean is eligible to join, and there is no cost for membership.   All you have to do is sign up.  Once you sign up, you get one point for every night that you have cruised.

     There are different levels of membership.  3 Points is Gold, 30 points is Platinum, 55 Points is Emerald, and 80 Points is Diamond.  The higher your level of membership, the more rewards you get.

     Starting at the Gold level, you will be invited to a cocktail party on your next cruise, with free cocktails.  There are Crown & Anchor Discount Coupons available, and when you get to Platinum, you can get a Balcony Discount on every cruise.  When you get to Diamond, there is a Diamond Club, exclusively for Diamond Members, where you can get free hors d’oeuvres and cocktails every day!  So, join the Crown & Anchor Society, and then just keep on cruising on Royal Caribbean, always striving to get to your next membership level.

9.  Gratuities (Tips):  Your gratuities (tips) go to your Cabin Steward (or Stewardess), your Dining Room waiter and assistant waiter, the head waiter, and other service and housekeeping staff.  For your Cabin Steward and your wait staff, your tips are the only money they make—they are not paid, and they work very, very hard.

     We recommend that you NOT prepay your gratuities, as there is no advantage for you to do so—just keep your money until the proper time.  Royal Caribbean will add the gratuities daily to your onboard account, in the recommended amount of $16.00 per guest per day, and at the end of the cruise, your onboard account total will be charged to the credit card you presented when you boarded the ship.

     If specific servers give you exemplary service, you may want to give them a few extra dollars on the last night of the cruise, which you can do either in the provided envelopes, or by just handing them cash.


10.  How much cash should I take?  At embarkation, you will be issued a SeaPass Card, which, in addition to being your cabin key, can also be used to make purchases onboard the ship.  In fact, you cannot use cash anywhere on the ship, except in the Casino.  If you need more cash in the Casino, there is an ATM Machine, and you can get cash in the Casino from the cashier.  So, how much cash should you take? 

     Well, you will need cash for any donations you plan to make in the Casino, to purchase souvenirs and craft items from the natives on Labadee or CocoCay, and you will need cash for any taxicabs you take during your Port Visits.  The merchants at the Ports will accept your debit or credit card.

     So, if you plan to make some donations in the Casino, buy a lot of items on Labadee or CocoCay, and take lots of taxicabs, you might want to take $200 to $300 in cash per person, or even more.  If you do not plan to make large donations in the Casino, buy very much on the private islands or take many Taxicabs, then $100 to $200 in cash per person should be more than enough.

     You might want to give some of your servers on the ship a few extra dollars at the end of the cruise, to show your gratitude for exemplary service.

11.  What about Hurricanes?  Hurricane season is from June 1 until November 30 every year.  However, you should not ever worry about hurricanes.  Your ship will never be in a hurricane.

     First of all, each cruise ship costs from 400 million dollars, to well over a billion dollars, and so no Cruise Line will risk their ship in a hurricane.  Secondly, the Cruise Line wants its guests to have a good time, so the guests will come back again and again, so the Cruise Line does not want its guests to be in a hurricane either.

     So, the upshot is that you will never be in a hurricane.  If a hurricane comes close on your sailing date, the Cruise Line will cancel your cruise, refund all your money, and give you a discount on a future cruise—lucky you!  If a hurricane comes close when you are cruising, the Cruise Line will change your itinerary as necessary to avoid the hurricane.  Your cruise ship can go 500 miles in a single day, and no hurricane can possibly go that fast, so there is no chance a hurricane can catch your ship.  So, go cruise, smile, and be happy, and don’t worry about hurricanes.

12.  Motion Discomfort:  Motion Discomfort (the polite term for Seasickness) is a significant issue that needs to be addressed.  If you have ever experienced motion discomfort, you know that it cannot only be most uncomfortable, it can be completely debilitating.

     First of all, what causes it?  There are semi-circular canals in our inner ears that sense when our body moves, and they communicate this motion to our brain.  So far, so good.  Our eyes also see our surroundings,   

and when our body moves, relative to our surroundings, our eyes also communicate this motion to our brain.


            Still, so far, so good.

            The problem is when our body moves, and our eyes do NOT see us moving, so our ears tell our brain

we’re moving, while our eyes tell our brain we are not moving, and our poor brain doesn’t know how to process this contradicting information, so it makes us start to feel bad.  The feeling can get worse and worse, until we get nauseated, etc., etc.

     So, what can you do about it?  Well, first off, be assured that the ship will not be pitching about wildly the way some ships do in the movies.  The ship has stabilizers that keep it from rolling more than two degrees, which is not much at all.  The front end and the back end of the ship tend to go up and down, but it is not as noticeable in the middle of the ship.  The best location for your stateroom, to minimize the effects of the ship’s motion, is about one third of the way from the back to the front, and as low as possible.  We try to get everyone’s stateroom as close as we can to that ideal location.

     The ship is huge.  It is not affected very much by the waves, and the ship will avoid really bad storms.  Unless you are watching out on deck, you will not realize when the ship leaves the dock, and unless you are outside, you will not even realize you are on a ship.

     Motion discomfort affects everyone differently.  Some people never get it—they can go anywhere and do anything, and they will continue to feel just fine.  For others of us, we can start to feel queasy just riding in a car.

     Okay, let’s start with the lesser cases.  If you start to feel uneasy on the ship, look up from your dinner table, and look across the dining room.  Look out one of the windows, and see whether you can see the horizon.  Watch the horizon for a few minutes.  You’ll see it slowly going up, and then down.  Seeing this may just in itself make you feel better. 

     If that doesn’t help, go to one of the outside decks, and go outside, so you can look out at the horizon while getting some fresh air.  This is where an Ocean-View or Balcony Cabin will help, so you can look out at the horizon, and if you have a Balcony, you can get some fresh air.

     The next step is to stop at the Information Desk and ask for motion discomfort pills.  They will give you some, and they are free.  If the pills don’t help you, and you continue to feel really bad, go see the ship’s doctor.

     Most people know whether they are prone to motion discomfort.  If you are susceptible, you could go buy some seasickness pills at Walmart, so you can start taking them before you even get on board the ship.  Walmart also sells Sea-Bands, that you can put on your wrists to help prevent nausea.

     If motion discomfort really, really bothers you, see your doctor before the cruise, and ask him to prescribe something for you.  This might be a patch you wear behind your ear, or something to take, so you will be sure to enjoy your cruise.

     Hint, hint: The more you cruise, the less you should be bothered by motion discomfort!!!

13.  The Skinny on Shore Excursions:  Shore Excursions, Shore Excursions—everyone is so concerned about shore excursions.  Well, don’t be.  To start with, they are optional.  You don’t have to do any.  That’s right, you don’t have to do one single shore excursion, unless you want to.

     For one thing, you can just stay on the ship.  The ship is wonderful.  It is comfortable, it is safe, it is cool and dry, the food is great, the activities are great, and the entertainment is great.  Everything is even better when everyone else gets off the ship to go on shore excursions, because then there’s so much more room on the ship for all the rest of us!!!

     Now, if you want to experience the Port of Call, you can get off the ship and go sightseeing, play on the beach, and shop in the shops, without taking any shore excursions.  Except for what you buy in the shops, this will not cost you anything.  On the private islands—Labadee and CocoCay—there is Chicken Bar-B-Q lunch, served on the island, and it is FREE.

     Now, if you want to take shore excursions, you are welcome to do that.  All the shore excursions are listed on Royal Caribbean’s website, and you can look them up right now: 

Just visit: www.RoyalCaribbean.com/beforeyouboard/ShoreExcursions.do Then scroll down below RESERVE NOW, and click on one of the pictures.  Enter your Destination (like Bahamas or Caribbean), and enter your Port City (like Nassau or Cozumel). 

          Then you can view all the available shore excursions, with a description, the time they take, and the cost. After you have booked your cruise, you can book shore excursions online (usually at a discount).  You can also book shore excursions at the shore excursions desk on the ship, and, on most ships, you can book them from the interactive TV in your stateroom.


            Please do NOT book shore excursions with anyone except Royal Caribbean.  If you book with

            Royal Caribbean, your shore excursions will be safe, and the operators will be responsible, licensed

and insured.  Also, if you book with Royal Caribbean and your excursion gets delayed, the ship will know about it, and the ship will wait for you!!!

     If you book your excursion with some other operator, it is at your own risk, and if you are late, the ship will leave without you.  It will then be up to you to catch up with the ship or get home on your own.  So—don’t do it!  Book only with Royal Caribbean.

     As a suggestion—take it easy on yourself.  Just being on vacation is strenuous enough.  If you load yourself up with too many shore excursions, you’ll end up stressed out and frazzled.  Do things in moderation, so you can thoroughly enjoy your cruise.  Booking shore excursions is not available until close to your cruise date.


14.  The “NextCruise” Opportunity:  Royal Caribbean offers a “NextCruise” opportunity to guests while they are on the ship.  This used to be a really good deal, with onboard credit to match your deposit, ability to transfer the cruise into a group, and get the group pricing, etc.

     Well, they changed it.  They no longer offer the onboard credit, you can no longer transfer into a group and get group pricing, and the deposits are now non-refundable (unless you pay a lot more), so booking a NextCruise while onboard is no longer a good deal, and we recommend against it.  We can almost always get you better pricing, with a refundable deposit, than you’ll get with a NextCruise booked onboard, especially if you book your new cruise six months or more before it sails.


15.  A Royal Caribbean Visa Card:  If you have the opportunity to apply for a Royal Caribbean Credit Card while onboard, and get 10,000 points, worth $100 (or more), do it.  This is a very good deal!  It is a Bank of America Visa Card with no annual fee, and you get one point for every dollar you charge to the card—two points for every dollar spent paying for a Royal Caribbean Cruise, and you can redeem the points for onboard

credit, so do apply for the Royal Caribbean Credit-Card while you are onboard.

16.  What Is The Best Time Of Year To Cruise?  For many people, winter is the best time of year to cruise.  Lots of people cruise to the Caribbean, where it is very warm—after all, it is further south than Miami, Florida, so even in the winter, the Caribbean is in the 80’s and 90’s.  Also, most Americans vacation in the summer, and that is when kids are out of school, so summers are busy and therefore more expensive.  In the winter, cruises are less expensive.  However, if you want to cruise to Alaska, Bermuda, or the Mediterranean, then summer it is.  December and January are usually the least expensive months to cruise, except for cruises that have a holiday during the cruise.  We especially like the second week in December.  It’s half way between Thanksgiving and Christmas, most kids will still be in school, it’s inexpensive, and the

 ship will be already decorated for the holidays.

17.  Future Cruises:  Check your calendars, and talk with your cruising friends—then visit PERFECT CRUISES on the A1 CRUISES Website.  All the cruises listed are group cruises that we have already booked, and you are welcome to book your future cruise on any of the cruises listed.  The groups were specially selected to be generally interesting and popular, and also to have good value.  In addition, the prices were locked in early, so in most cases, our listed prices are significantly less than these cruises would cost if purchased from the Cruise Line or any other Travel Agency.

     So, check out our PERFECT CRUISES, and start planning your next cruise!

18.  When Do We Eat?  For some people, it’s all about the food.  If that’s you, you’ll find taking a cruise is like being in heaven.  You can eat at any time of the day or night, and it’s all-you-can-eat, and it’s all included in your cruise, so, once you are on the ship, it’s like FREE FOOD.  There are also food options that cost money, but they are just options, so you can skip the options that cost extra, and there is still plenty of food that is totally free!

     Let’s start with the main dining rooms.  There are two or three or four main Dining Rooms, depending on which ship you are on.

     The daily newspaper, CRUISE COMPASS, delivered to your cabin the night before, tells you which of the main dining rooms is having Breakfast with open-seating and which of the main dining rooms is having Lunch with open-seating.  In the main dining rooms, you order from menus, and waiters bring you your food.
     There is also usually a Grab and Go Breakfast in the Windjammer Buffet from 6 AM to 7 AM, and then regular Breakfast Buffet is served from 7 AM to 11 AM.  Lunch Buffet is served in the Windjammer from 11:30 AM until 3 PM.  Afternoon Tea is then served in the Windjammer from 3 PM until 5 PM.

     Dinner is served in the main dining rooms at 5:30 PM or 6:00 PM, with a second seating at 8 PM or 8:30

    PM.  At embarkation, you will be assigned a table number and a time for your dinner every night
            in the main dining room.  If you decide to eat in the buffet instead, or you do not show up for dinner in

the main dining room, your seat at your assigned table will be empty.  As a courtesy to your tablemates, if you are coming to dinner, please show up promptly at the assigned starting time for dinner.  Casual Dinner Buffet is also served in the Windjammer from 6 PM until 9 PM.

     Voyager-Class and other Ships also have Café Promenade, open 24 hours, with mini sandwiches, Pizza, and desserts, and other ships also have Sorrento’s Pizza.  In addition, there is soft-serve ice cream available Poolside from 11:30 AM until 7 PM.  All the above food is FREE, no charge, all-you-can-eat.

     Besides all the free food, there are optional specialty restaurants, so you can dine at Chops Grille (Steaks), Portofino (Italian), or Johnny Rockets (Burgers, Fries, and Shakes) with a cover charge per guest.  There is also a charge for Cupcake Cupboard, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Vintages Wine Bar, and Starbucks Coffee (or Seattle’s Best Coffee).  The Specialty Dining varies from ship to ship.  So, whether you stick to the free food, or whether you also try the specialty dining and other options in this paragraph, your challenge on the cruise (which we take quite seriously) is to not miss any meals!!!

     You can usually book specialty restaurants online at a discount, and usually there are waiters in the Windjammer at lunch on the first day offering discounts at the specialty restaurants for the first cruise night.

     The average person gains a pound a day on a cruise.  Now, you don’t have to eat that much.  You can try to restrain yourself, and there is a state-of-the-art health club and spa, and there is even a walking/jogging track, but, the average person still gains a pound a day on a cruise.  As a helpful hint, if you brought some clothes that are a bit tight, wear those outfits on the early days of the cruise, since toward the end of the cruise,

you may not be able to get into them!

19.  Packing for your Cruise:  Most people pack way too much for their cruise.  It’s as if they pack all the clothes they own, so they can decide on the ship what to wear.  What we recommend is that you decide before you leave home what you are going to wear, and pack just that.  To start with, do NOT take any pillows or blankets—these will be provided free, even if you want extra ones.  Do NOT take any towels or washcloths—these also will be provided free.  Do NOT take an iron—they will not let you take it onto the ship.  Do NOT take a hair dryer—there is one in every cabin.   You may take up to two bottles of wine per cabin onto the ship, if you want to.  On your prescription medicines, take them in their original containers, and take copies of your prescriptions with you. 

     Let’s use a 4-Night Cruise as an example.  The cruise is only four nights.  Focus on what you want to wear to dinner on those four nights.  For the first night, which is always informal, wear what you wore to the ship, to dinner that night.  You can also wear that same outfit to dinner on the last night, which is also informal.  So, that leaves only two nights.

     One of the nights will be formal (a recommendation only).  So, if you want to dress up for formal night, it’s a tux or suit, or jacket and tie, or just a jacket and a turtleneck for the guys.  For the gals it can be a formal gown or just a cocktail dress, or any dressy dress.  The guys can rent a tux onboard if they want.

     Okay, select your outfits for your four dinners.  If you mix and match, you can get more outfits with fewer items.  You do not need a pair of shoes in every rainbow color.  Black shoes go with anything.  White shoes go with almost anything.  You might want to take a pair of tennis shoes, or comfortable walking shoes, for when you get off the ship.

     Cruises to the Caribbean will be very warm—in the 80’s and 90’s—you will not need jackets and coats.  On the other hand, the ship will be air-conditioned really cool—you should take a light dressy jacket, sweater, or shawl to wear at dinner, and to the theater.  

     There is no limit to how much luggage you take on your cruise.  However, look carefully at the following two choices:

     Choice Number 1.  You take one carry-on with rollers (upright or spinner), up to 36” x 22” x 14”, and a personal item (laptop or purse).  You take your luggage through security with you, and keep it with you until you get to your cabin.  When it is time to get off the ship, you take your luggage off the ship with you.  There is no chance any of your luggage will get delayed, damaged, broken into, lost, or stolen.

     Choice Number 2.  You take a bigger suitcase than above, or more than one.   You will have to check

your luggage at the ship, for delivery to your cabin later—as much as 5 or 6 or even 8 hours later—maybe not even in time for dinner.  There is a chance some of your luggage might be damaged, broken into, left on the dock, or lost.  You will have to leave your luggage outside your cabin door the last night of the cruise, to

be picked up by the crew, and you will be given a number to retrieve your luggage.  You will then have

            to wait onboard until your number is called, before you can get off the ship.   Then you will go to an                   

            on-shore warehouse and find your luggage, before you can go through customs and immigration. 
Now, which choice do you want to make, Choice Number 1, or Choice Number 2?

     You will need Luggage Tags ONLY on the luggage that you plan to check when you get to the ship—not your carry-on luggage.  Pare down your clothes.  Find clothes that do not wrinkle.  Roll your clothes, instead of folding them.  Mix and match your outfits.  Find a dress that is reversible.  Wear the same thing twice—life is not a beauty contest.  We suggest you limit yourself to one carry-on per person.  However, if you need to take more than one suitcase, in order to enjoy your cruise, then what can we say, except, “Go for it!!!”

20.  Going Cruising—Checklist:  It is a good idea to use a checklist to make sure you do not forget anything.  If you are reading this Checklist online, print a copy.  Cross off the items AFTER they have been packed, or AFTER they have been done.

Things to take:

  1.  PASSPORTS (recommended), or Birth Certificate and Photo ID, and your SetSail Pass.

  2.  Proof of COVID Vaccination.

  3.  Debit or Credit Card.

  4.  Driver’s License and Keys.

  5.  Money.

  6.  Wristwatch.

  7.  Cell-phone and Charger.

  8.  Two-way radios and charger (to talk with each other on the ship).

  9.  Medicines, including motion-discomfort pills.

10.  Cosmetics.

11.  Glasses and Sunglasses.

12.  Hat for protection from the sun.

13.  Sunscreen.

14.  Bathing suit.

15.  Comfortable walking shoes.

16.  Underwear and socks.

17.  Formalwear for two nights (on 7-night cruises, 1-night for shorter cruises).

18.  Clothes for the days and nights of the cruise.

19.  Jewelry.

20.  Shaving apparatus.

21.  Perfume/cologne/aftershave.

22.  Dopp kits.

23.  Laptop computer.

24.  Wallet/purse/fanny pack.


Things to do:

  1.  Make arrangements for your pets.

  2.  Have your mail held by the Post Office, or saved for you by a neighbor.

  3.  Return library items.

  4.  Put some ice cubes in a glass in your freezer (do you’ll know if your electricity has been off).

  5.  Leave an appropriate message on your answering machine.

  6.  Tell a neighbor, and a relative, what cruise you are going on, and when you will return.

  7.  Make sure your windows are locked.

  8.  Set your curtains, shades, and lights the way you want them when you are gone.

  9.  Set your thermostat to the desired temperature for when you are gone.

10.  Turn off your water heater.

11.  Shut off the water to your house.


Please feel free to Contact Us
Telephone: Tavares, FL: 352 742-3000
E-mail: Info@A1CRUISES.com
Facsimile: Toll Free: 866 314-9497
Visit Agency, by appointment only,
or Send Mail:
1260 Lake Frances Blvd.
Tavares, FL  32778


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