Do you have to take your passport with you when you get off at each port? Do you show it to get back on the ship?
When you go snorkelling, sailing, diving, swimming with stingrays, etc. do you take your purse/wallet with you? Where do you keep them when you go in the water? Is it safe or has anyone ever had anything stolen?
Do the tenders run back and forth to the ship all day? If you want to go back to the ship, can you?
Is there usually someplace in port that a person can go to sign up for tours? We have heard that they are usually cheaper if you book them once you get ashore. In particular, we are interested in finding out more about the Lamanai Reserve in Belize - is it worth going to, and any idea who we contact about getting there?
Thanks for any help you can give! Only 9 more days to go!!!!
When you go ashore you have to bring your room card. If you are going to the private island probably don;t need your passport. Some of the ports want picture id for when you get back on, I used a county id card not my passport. Or a picture license is fine.
Usually, the room card is your money, everything gets charged to that so I wouldn;t worry about carrying any money or leaving stuff on the beach. You can purchase a plastic waterproof little pouch that hangs around your neck, a couple of dollars and keep you room key in that, which by the way is encrypted with your picture. The tenders run back and forth all day usually every 15 or 20 minutes, so you are not captive there if you want to go back to the ship. We missed the island on our trip, bad weather. I wrote something about it but apparantly no one was interested enough to read it. You can sign up for tours at the excursion desk or do it online and the tickets are sitting in your room when you arrive. Happy Cruising.
You have to bring I.D . when you get to the ship, they will keep your passport. make a photocopy, or just bring a drivers license. Its to get back into the ships terminal area when you need your i.d. (not actually when you are walking onto the ship).
I am sure during excursions, they will tell you what to do with your valuables. just bring the bare necessities.
Tenders will run all day long during days at port if tendering. usually you can catch them every 15 minutes- or depending on how long the tender ride is.
When you get off the ship, you are usually bombarded with lots of tour guides. Some are private, and you can sign up right there. But going with the ship, is a good idea. IF a tour is late coming back to the ship- the ship knows about it..... and wont' leave without you!
First off, I believe that the only passports that the ship takes from passengers are those who are non-US citizens, but I may be wrong. I know that when we cruised, we didn't have passports but the only ones that were kept at the pursers desk or wherever were those who are either Canadians or Europeans or other non-US citizens.
Next, yes you will need to bring a photo ID on land with you and your ships key card. There were sometimes when the ships card was enough, but sometimes they wanted to see a photo ID. If you want to do any shopping or pay for excursions on shore then you will need to bring money or credit card with you. The only time you can charge on your key card is the private Island of Great Stirrup Cay and since you are going to Belize, it sounds like this is a Western Caribbean cruise and you will not be going to the private Island. It is clear on the East near the Bahamas.
There will be excursions to sign up for at the docks and chances are your ship will have a port talk with a port consultant on board. I strongly reccommend going to the port talks if the ship has them. They will tell you about the best shopping, prices of taxis if touring on your own and other beaches or things that can be done if you don't want ship excursions. He or she might be able to help you answer questions you might have.
Tenders go all day, but depending on the Island, you may not want to tender anymore than you have to. Some of the tender rides are only about 10 minutes, like Grand Cayman but in Belize the tender takes 30-45 minutes and that would be a waste of good time tendering too much. In Grand Cayman, we did our shopping and sightseeing first then tendered back to the ship to leave money and cameras there and then went snorkeling. Some places especially if you are on an excursion may have safe areas to put valuables. Hope this helps and answers your questions.
Go to a sporting goods store and buy a plastic, waterproof, wallet that you can pin to the inside of your bathing suit. It'll keep your money, ID, and room card safe and dry. They have some you can wear around your neck, on your wrist, around your waist or you can pin it inside your bathing suit bra or under the waist band. A minor inconvenience for peace of mind.
Wow! Thanks so much for all of the responses - I know that we will probably figure everything out as we go along, but it is so nice to have some idea of what will be happening. I will be sure to bring my photo ID, and I will have to try to find one of those waterproof wallets - have looked here, but not much call for them in Northern Alberta - not much scuba diving here! lol!
Anyway, thanks again for the help!
Only 8 more sleeps!
PS: We are sailing on the NCL Wind - have heard good and bad, so hope it's more good than bad!
Like "Luanne" said ... normally passports are not taken from US citizens on CARIBBEAN cruises. The only times the ship has taken ours was on European, etc cruises.
What we did on a Caribbean cruise in January was make a copy of our passports to take with us on shore excursions. We were in quite a few ports (14 days) . We (and everyone else) actually had to show the photo ID in two ports before reboarding the ship -- Key West and Grand Cayman. The COPY of the passport worked fine.
PARENTS: They only wanted photo ID's from adults. Maybe this will help someone.