Honeymoon Cruises: Things to Remember

You’ve booked your honeymoon cruise and you’re ready to roll — er, sail. You’ll want to be fully prepared so you can have an amazing, stress-free honeymoon. While, you’ll most likely receive an informational packet from your cruise line in the mail that outlines all of the rules, guidelines and important tips for the trip, here’s a short list of things to remember while preparing for the honeymoon.

CRUISE PREPARATION

• If you’ll be traveling to any foreign countries, remember to have your valid passports as well as other photo identification with you at all times. If either of you doesn’t have a valid passport, get them now!
• Briefly research the customs of the countries you’ll be visiting. Certain clothing or dress styles may be unacceptable. For example, in several Caribbean countries, it’s offensive to wear camouflage clothing.
• Remember to bring spending cash as many of the smaller onshore shops may not accept credit cards. There should be an ATM machine onboard, but the transaction fee is likely to be very high.
• If your cruise line requires you to select a dining time for dinner, consider and request which dining time you’d prefer. There are generally main and late seating options. While eating earlier might give you more free time during the evening, choosing the later seating might give you more time to enjoy activities into the early evening without having to worry about rushing back for dinner.
• Depending on your cruise line, there may also be several dress “themed” dinners during the trip. It’s helpful to look up this information in advance. Typical themes are casual, semi-formal, formal or tropical wear. (See below on what to pack.)
• Be aware of any shots or inoculations you need to have before traveling to certain countries. Your cruise line will supply you with this information. You can also check out the US State Department’s health warnings for traveling abroad.

PACKING FOR THE TRIP

• For formal nights, cocktail dresses are preferred for women, while suits and tuxedos are acceptable for men. Most ships also have tuxedo rental onboard for a reasonable cost.
• For semi-formal nights, dresses, skirts or slacks are preferred for women, while dress slacks and a sport coat are acceptable for men.
• Pack light or bring extra luggage so you can bring back souvenirs and purchases from the trip. Remember that any international travel has duty-free purchases. This means no sales tax. Popular duty-free purchases are liquor, electronics and jewelry.
• Remember to pack any medication you’ll need during the trip.
• Don’t bother packing bath or beach towels. They’re almost always provided for you onboard.
• Pack two swimsuits so you’ll always have a dry one.
• Research the climate for the region you’ll be visiting and also go over the activities you’ll be doing. These criteria should dictate the types of clothing you bring.

WHILE ONBOARD THE SHIP

• You’ll be given a ship card that will be your form of identification and payment onboard. Keep this card with you at all times because it will be the only way to pay for drinks and gifts on the ship. You’ll also need the card to get off and on the ship. At the end of your trip, you can pay it off with cash or credit card.
• Most cruise lines have sponsored onshore activities. The cruise lines usually recommend that you not use any independent vendors for your excursions because they may not have the same safety requirements the cruise line recommends (this especially applies to waverunners and mopeds). However, if you thoroughly research outside vendors, it often isn’t difficult to find similar options onshore at a fraction of the cost of what the cruise line offers. Just make sure that you’re purchasing form a reputable, licensed and insured operation. But if you have any doubts about the company’s background or business practices, err on the side of caution and book with the cruise line.
• Gratuity is typically included on liquor purchases made onboard.
• At the end of the trip, it’s customary to tip specific members of the staff for their service during your stay. Standard gratuity is $3.50/day for your stateroom attendant, $3.50/day for your dining room waiter, $2.00/day for your assistant waiter, and $.75/day for your head waiter. These tip amounts are per person, per day. Some cruise lines also offer a lump sum tipping option that covers all of the ship’s staff members for $XX per day, if you’d rather not fuss with divvying it up every day.

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