YOU ARE NOT A U.S. CITIZEN,
PLEASE CHECK WITH THE APPROPRIATE CONSULATE TO DETERMINE DOCUMENTATION
REQUIREMENTS FOR YOUR TRAVEL AND FOR YOUR RE-ENTRY INTO THE UNITED
single parent traveling with a minor child or children or minor children
traveling alone or accompanying another family other than his/her own
must have additional documentation on all international flights …
please check with your airline for these requirements and/or any
additional requirements imposed by the country or countries you plan to
and Baggage Security Notice
– Heightened security at airports worldwide results in longer check-in
and security procedures for all travelers. Please be sure you check-in
early. Many International airports require 100% of all baggage to be
searched – this includes your carry-on luggage and, at random, your
person. It is prudent to travel light! (Also See “Packing” below).
with your airline at 48 hours prior to departure (both going and
coming). Also, check with your airlines for the time they want you to
check-in (each airline is different) and what their baggage restrictions
your valuables and yourself so
use the “lock-box” at the front desk if you room doesn’t have its
own personal safe (most resorts do). Lock your doors when you leave the
room and when you go to bed at night … and test the doors (especially
a sliding door to the patio or balcony) to make SURE it is locked
properly and the lock holds when you tug on it !!! At times we get
caught up in the moment and let our “view of paradise” cloud what is
otherwise good judgment and common sense … DON'T
aware of your flight times (going and coming). A lot of couples believe
it is ultimately important to leave on vacation or (most often) a
honeymoon, the day after a big party or wedding … this is fine as long
as the party doesn’t go into the “wee hours” and the flight
doesn’t leave at “dawn-early” … too many couples spend the first
few days of their trip just recovering from getting there (not a good
way to start the vacation). The same principle holds true for your
return flight (see “Know Your Flights And Your Destination” below)
Know Your Flights
And Your Destination
Flyer Miles and the flights offered by many airlines are becoming
extremely limited and, when available, may offer few flight and time
options. Be aware that flights departing from a number of Caribbean
Islands early in the morning may require you to depart your resort prior
to “dawn-early”. With check-in requirements averaging 1 ½ to 2
hours prior to flight departure, a 1 hour or 1 ½ hour drive to the
airport means that an 8:45 flight time could require you be up and en
route by 5:00 AM. If you wish to use frequent flyer miles plan as FAR
AHEAD as you possibly can … also be aware of potential holiday
blackout periods when many airlines will NOT accept frequent flyer miles
number of Caribbean islands have more than one airport. Know where you
are going to stay and which airport is the best for your travel plans.
& AIRPORT REGULATIONS
One check-in bag and one carry-on bag (that can easily fit in the
overhead compartment above your seat) is wisest. Your
carry-on bag may be more important than you think should the rest
of your bags “mis-connect” or get “mis-routed” you could be left
without some very important basic needs to start your vacation. Here are
a few “carry-on” dos and don’ts:
clippers, nail files, manual razors and/or razor blades, scissors and
the like – these should be placed in your check-in luggage.
pocketknives and such AT HOME (no matter how small).
Liquids or Solids: Fuel, paints, lighters, lighter refills, matches
containers: Spray cans, butane fuel, scuba tanks, propane tanks, CO2
cartridges, self-inflating rafts.
Firearms, ammunition, gunpowder, mace, tear gas or pepper spray
Hazardous Materials: Dry ice, gasoline powered tools, wet-cell
batteries, camping equipment with fuel, radioactive materials, poisons,
and infectious substances.
common items used everyday in the home or workplace may seem harmless,
however, when transported by air, they can be very dangerous. In flight,
variations in temperature and pressure can cause items to leak, generate
toxic fumes or start a fire.
You must declare your hazardous materials to the airline, air package
carrier, or U.S. Postal Service. Violators of Federal Hazardous
Materials Regulations (49 CFR Parts 171-180) may be subject to a civil
penalty of up to $ 25,000 for each violation, and in appropriate cases,
a criminal penalty of up to $500,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 5
certain exceptions for personal care…
medical needs, sporting equipment, and items to support physically
care items: containing hazardous materials (e.g., flammable perfume,
aerosols) totaling no more than 75 ounces may be carried on board.
Contents of each container may not exceed 16 fluid ounces.
and lighters may only be carried on your person. However, "strike
anywhere" matches, lighters with flammable liquid reservoirs and
lighter fluid are forbidden.
and ammunition may not be carried by a passenger on an aircraft.
However, unloaded firearms may be transported in checked luggage if
declared to the agent at check in and placed in a suitable container.
Handguns must be in a locked container. Boxed small arms ammunition for
personal use may be transported in checked luggage. Amounts may vary
depending on the airline.
ice (4 pounds or less) for packing perishables may be carried on board
an aircraft provided the package is vented.
wheelchairs must be transported in accordance with airline requirements.
The battery may need to be dismounted.
brush/paste – hair brush/comb
– change of under garments – a “resort casual” change of clothes
(with appropriate footwear) – and other such items that could become
VERY useful should your bags go to Barbados instead of the Bahamas,
Jericho instead of Jamaica, or Tasmania instead of Tahiti. You can
ALWAYS find toilet articles upon arrival – but the “bare
essentials” to get to the beach, go to dinner, etc. may be a little
more difficult (and a lot more costly).
and camera equipment
and all personal identification and all documentation relating to your
travel arrangements should be carried on your person NOT in your
carry-on luggage and
NOT IN YOUR CHECK-IN LUGGAGE!!
rain a tropical island wouldn’t be a tropical island – while
everyone understands the phrase “poop happens!” not everyone
understands that “rain happens”. Plan ahead !!! Don’t let
rainy days make you (or your vacation) miserable. Think of things you
might like to do (or see) if you are unfortunate enough to get caught up
in a few days of “liquid sunshine”.
– even if it’s cloudy the UV rays of the sun WILL burn you! Too
many people end up miserable from sun burns after staying out all
day when it’s cloudy … remember you WILL get
travelers miss one of the world’s most relished pastimes …
“people watching” … rainy days are great times to meet people
or just sit around and people watch.
mindset will be the single major determination to the success of
(or honeymoon)! Try to remember your vacation is to “get away from
it all” and to spend time together, as much as it is about the
beach, et al.
always about the money! Most well traveled vacationers understand
“value” versus “cost” – cheap is not always a good value …
just as high cost doesn’t insure good value.
VALUE can be defined
“worth as measured in usefulness or importance” – to get
the most out of your vacation (or honeymoon), your task
is to, first, ask yourself “what do we want” and then to find out
what resort or resorts will provide you with your wants. THERE
WILL BE TRADE-OFFS, but the fewer the trade-offs you have the
better value you will have for your vacation. DETERMINE YOUR PASSIONS
and then work through some basic guidelines:
“what we want on this vacation” … it constantly surprises us
how many people haven’t really made this determination … do you
want “laid back”? … quiet sophistication or an all-out
party atmosphere? … maybe a combination of the two? … is a GREAT
beach the key to your happiness or is it OUTSTANDING service? … Is
golf, scuba, tennis, water skiing or sightseeing a primary factor in
your travel plans? … or is it the “chill factor” (as in we
just want to chill-out and veg…)? How about excellent food and
drinks … or a large room with a view? In MOST instances it will be
a combination of many of the above factors … put them in your
order of importance THEN go to step #2;
your budget … and how long you want to stay on vacation. More
often than not, these two items will go hand-in-hand because your
budget (coupled to your choices in #1) may not let you stay as long
as you’d like to stay! (or, happily, let you stay a few extra
nights) … or … you may want to switch a few of your priorities
around to help you find a resort which meets MOST of your “we
wants” and is priced to let you stay longer.
trade-offs may have already begun … and now you can start
determining where the “best value” may be for your trip … for
it worth $500 to $1000 more to have an oceanview?
you be happy with a few less primary “wants” for a nicer
“the room” not as important as the other included offerings
or is the room more important than those inclusions?
consider something very few people think about … who are you going
to be vacationing with? Sometimes a great vacation experience is
determined by the people you meet, the interaction you have and the
“comfort level” you have on that vacation. As an example, a
fun-loving, party-hardy couple with a rather limited budget may not
feel completely at home (and at ease) in a low-key, quiet and
high-end sophisticated environment … or … the couple wanting to
just get away from it all may not be terribly happy with a resort
catering to the “action set”, or a resort with a lot of families
and children! NOT ALL RESORTS ARE FOR EVERYBODY … and the last
thing you want to do is to feel “a bit out of place” when you
are on vacation!!!
YOUR VALUE QUOTIENT – take the time to THINK about your vacation and
DETERMINE what is “worthwhile” and what is of lesser or little
importance to you … THEN look for the resorts that you believe most
closely fit into your measure of importance and worth with as few
trade-offs as possible.
Should you have a problem
– should you not like your room – if you don’t have good service
– if something seems “amiss” – DON’T just “wait and see”
if it will fix itself --- DON’T BE SHY – let the person (or people)
in charge know immediately that you are not at ease with your
circumstances … and … if an attempt is not made to rectify the
situation quickly … go to the manager of the resort or the ship's
pursers desk!!! If you tell “someone” about a dissatisfaction, you may
find that “someone” may or may not be able to, or care to find a
remedy for you … and that is UNACCEPTABLE … At all resorts the
“buck stops” at the General Manager … be nice, be a bit patient
and be realistic … but DON’T just wait around and do nothing !!
truth of the matter is … every day is not paradise in paradise.
“Stuff happens” and, at times, it’s unavoidable, however, quite
often it can be rectified easily and quickly (IF you’re talking to the
what to expect by doing your homework – learn about your room options,
your meal options, your daily activity options, etc. It doesn’t do you
any good to complain about the menu offerings if you are a “health
enthusiast” staying at Junky
Haven’s Fried Food Resort & Spa !!!
Nor will you get much sympathy at the Cheapside
Cot & Bunk Hostile when
you try to tell someone (actually anyone) that you really
expected “better” and would like to be upgraded to, at least, a
presidential suite !!!
you find yourself in an unsatisfactory or unhappy situation START
WRITING – take notes, write down times, dates and peoples names (as
well as what is said at the time). If you end up in what you believe to
be “the vacation from hell” you will want to be able to
document your experiences in those “fire and brimstone” situations.
you have a pre-existing physical condition … let someone know, before
nowhere does it say your destiny is predetermined at a resort … and by
just accepting something that makes you uncomfortable and, after your
return, complaining about it, doesn’t do much good at all – don’t
by shy – but DO be realistic – and a bit patient and, by all means,
WHAT TO EXPECT
on the pictures and the rhetoric you find in brochures – remember, a
lot of what you see and read is designed as “sales tools” –
designed to make you WANT to be there (wherever “there” might be)
… so do a little homework.
Start with knowing
yourself. Think about what the #1 thing is you are looking forward to on
your vacation – then work on #2 & #3 (if you go beyond that you
will know you REALLY, REALLY need to get away SOONEST). And …
it’s not always a matter of “what you want” it may also be a
matter of “what you don’t want”!
Consider any number
of factors in choosing your resort:
it appear these are “your type of foods” – check out the menus
(if you don’t see any information about the foods offered you may
want to ask for details).
you looking for romantic evenings, dancing to a combo on the
verandah? … or … a nightclub (or two) that will knock your socks
off with live and disco-styled dancing? Are you most interested in
the theme nights and beach parties or the stage shows and piano
bars? Do you want 24-hour parties or do you want to “party at
will” and be able to escape back to a “quieter and more
gentle” Caribbean hideaway? Make some decisions – and you will
find your resort selection becomes easier and easier.
many resorts require a minimum dress code of “casual elegance”
or “resort elegant” in at least one of their restaurants …
which usually means the women get to where casual, but stylish
eveningwear (tea length and cocktail dresses, pants suits, et al)
and the men wear slacks (even chinos are OK) and a polo-styled shirt
(sometimes a sports jacket is required over these casual items for
certain restaurants). In the evening don’t expect to walk into one
of the nicer restaurants in shorts or swimwear – you are likely
not to be seated, you will be unhappy and the resort will be unhappy
having to confront you with “the rules”. Don’t want to have to
“dress up” – all these resorts always have other eateries with
little or no dress codes.
most of the resorts aren’t overly “health conscious” when it
comes to food. The term “gourmet” in itself conjures up rather
elaborate and sumptuous FEASTS … if you are really looking for
resorts catering to mainly the highly “health conscious”
vacationer has a few options for you (actually very few) but even at
most of the other “feast conscious” resorts you will be able to
find enough healthy foods to see you through … just remember …
if it doesn’t specifically state “health foods” et al … you
WILL be somewhat limited in your selections.
and additional expenses –
you need to be comfortable with what IS included (or not included)
at your choice of resorts … even the most all-inclusive resort can
not be totally all-inclusive for all people! Here are a few
resort offers free jet skiing or parasailing (the liability factor
is just too high)
a very few resorts offer horseback riding (again the liability
skiing, though included at nearly every resort, may not be possible
for that particular resort’s beach and will require you go
(transfers included) to a sister resort to ski.
diving clinics and lessons do NOT mean “free scuba diving” –
though most of the resorts DO include free scuba diving, read the
fine print to be sure.
Sea Fishing is generally NOT included at these resorts (with the
rare exception at one or two Fijian resorts). Deep Sea Fishing is
often available and often an expensive “option”.
Tours are seldom included at resorts (with the obvious exception of
the Aventura Spa Palace Resort in Mexico) but are also available at
an additional cost.
is seldom included at resorts (with the exception of Grand Lido Sans
Souci in Ocho Rios, Jamaica) but is available at an additional cost
in most resort settings in the Caribbean.
shops and spa services generally are “optional” venues though a
few resorts do offer credits or massage inclusions beginning at
various room categories.
we say the all-inclusive concept means “leave your wallet at
home”, common sense has to dictate that there WILL be a few things
you will likely want to pay for and/or purchase. ALSO, “leaving
your wallet at home” doesn’t mean for you to also leave you
credit cards at home … at check-in, many resorts require you to
offer a credit card against “possible additional expense items”
to be used only if you charge gift shop, spa, laundry to your room
… or for phone calls.
before you go … think through what is included- what you might (or
might not) want to do that is NOT included, etc.
anything as simple as a sprained toe to needing a walker or wheel
chair … there are a few resorts that are simply NOT friendly for
the physically impaired – too hilly, no elevators, no ramps, etc.,
so be sure to let us know before you make a final resort selection
… or if that sprained ankle happens just before departure also let
us know – we will notify the resort and make every effort to be
sure you have accommodations suitable to your needs.
this case we are talking about ATTITUDE,
ATTITUDE, ATTITUDE … (also see “The Smart Money” above)
… yet another old axiom (sorry about that) is “knowledge is
power” and in this instance it also means your awareness and
understanding of your vacation is going to go A LONG, LONG WAY to
making your vacation just GREAT! Though these things don’t
happen very often (and seldom happen in pairs) they DO happen and by
understanding and being prepared for the “potential” really
helps you along:
ARE delayed – sometimes you expect to arrive at your destination
before noon only to get in just after the OTHER 12:00 (midnight) …
not fun, not good … you’ve lost the better part of a day … but
if you let this make you “miserable” you are doing yourself an
injustice … you still have nearly ALL your vacation left –
don’t let “miserable” be the first emotion you have on
Flights ARE cancelled – and you have to be rescheduled on the next
available flight - this is a rarity (and why trip protection plans
are so widely taken) – there isn’t much to say here except see
#a just above.
rains and rains and rains – not good but, unless attitudinally
impaired, also not the worst thing in life … you are STILL “away
from the maddening crowds” and on vacation … make the best of it
… spend more time together (isn’t that one of the reasons for
this vacation?) … meet people … people watch … plan ahead for
what you just might want to do on a rainy day!
don’t arrive when you do … or … bags NEVER arrive (also a
rarity) … make sure you have all the basic essentials in your
carry-on bags (see “Packing” above) and spend a few dollars to
buy some new resort wear ! and then do what you are supposed to do
… VACATION! (again, yet another reason why trip protection plans
are so widely taken).
resort service, other problems? – DON’T BE SHY and DON’T
PONDER or BROOD over it – do something about it IMMEDIATELY … go
to the General Manager and explain the issue!
Lastly (and DEFINITELY by far the LEAST)
believe everything you hear from other vacationers –
the phrase “the last liar is always the best liar” can sometimes
be applied to the mindset of a certain caliber of vacationer! NO ONE
wants to admit or say “they paid more” or “they got less”
than someone else … so, some vacationers are known for their
particular style of “one-upmanship” trying to make YOU just a
little uncomfortable and uneasy and make THEMSELVES just a little
more comfortable and easy … because (as they will let you know
without even asking) THEY got more and paid less and got special
treatments and on and on and on … right into “barfidom” … if
you’ve done your homework you can be very comfortable in the
knowledge that YOU got the right deal and YOU aren’t the
ones needing to prove something to someone else. What to do? Just
enjoy the show … consider it’s an added feature to the
resort’s comedy entertainment schedule.
under the age of 21 years must be accompanied by
a parent, relative or guardian 25 years of age
or older in the same stateroom. The only
exception to this policy is when parents are
traveling with their children in different
you pregnant and how many months at the time of
the cruise? You must be under 27 weeks or
you will be denied boarding. Insurance will not
cover a pregnancy.
Legal Names and Spellings will
result in a denial to board the ship. There is a
$ 50.00 charge per person to correct the names.