• The pricing of cruise vacation usually depends on what the package includes. A cruise package generally covers accommodation, designated dining service, and the entertainments and performances provided by the cruise company. The price of the package does not include air ticket, visa, government taxes, ports, fuels, insurance, excursions, self-paying restaurants, room service, special entertainments, as well as personal expenses in private phone calls, WIFI, laundry, beauty salon, massage, medical care, shopping and cruise service tax, etc. Travellers should check with the cruise company about the details of the package and other fees.
• Beware of cruise company's restrictions on infants and pregnant passengers. Women pregnant for over twenty-four weeks may not be allowed on board, so are infants under 7 months. Even for those who are pregnant for 21 to 23 months, medical certificate is generally required to certify that both the mother and baby are healthy and are suitable for travelling on the cruise. Travellers are advised to check with the cruise company for more details before making the booking.
• For an itinerary which covers various countries, passengers should make sure that they have the travelling documents (at least valid for 6 months) and all the necessary visas. More and more itineraries are now starting at ports in Mainland China and Taiwan. Home Return Permits and Taiwan visas are required. Passengers must always keep the travelling document, identity cards and boarding pass with themselves and should not put them in check-in baggage.
• Generally speaking, there is no restriction on the number of bags or weight of each bag to be checked into a cruise ship, but some companies may require that the bags are subject to certain maximum size or weight. This will mean that passengers may be required to pay a surcharge for over-weight luggage. In case of travelling by plane to designated port for embarkation, passengers should check with the airline on its restrictions on the number, size, weight of check-in bags and carry-on bags.
• Read carefully all information about the cruise ship and its emergency arrangements. This is crucial information for handling emergency situations as it provides safety routes and where to get help. Participating in safety drill and attention to cruise broadcast is also very important.
• Some cruise companies offer shore excursions which should be booked before the start of the journey. Passengers should pay attention to the schedule of such excursions in order not to miss the tours.
• Everyday passengers receive updates on the itinerary, activities, meal time, performances, berthing and debarkation time. Embarkation time is usually one to half an hour before the actual departure time. It is therefore advisable to get back to the cruise immediately after the shore excursions or at least 15 minutes before the announced embarkation time.
• There are 3 dress codes for cruise vacation: casual, formal and specified casual wear for shore excursions. The cruise company organizes a range of activities for its passengers, including entertainment and social events. Passengers are expected to dress according to the dress code for different events. For example, formal dress is required for attending captain’s welcoming reception and themed dinners.
• It is important to behave in good manner on a cruise ship at all time. Life on a cruise ship is like a microcosm of society. While each person is given his or her own space to relax and enjoy the trip, he or she must also know how to respect other people, so that everyone can have a most pleasant vacation.
Relevant websites :
香港郵輪假期攻略 Cruise Companion
(香港旅遊發展局 Hong Kong Tourism Board)