I'm set to cruise on 10/22 aboard the RCI Raphosody of the Seas. There are about 60 women that booked a "scrapbook" cruise thru a Scrapbook Store in San Antonio. I'm the only one who has not received their cruise packet which was sent out about 10 days ago. The travel agent (arranged by the host store) says I technically don't have to have my ticket to get on the cruise but he understands that I would really like to get my packet just like everyone else. He wants to wait a couple more days to see if it finds its way back to him. I'm fine with that. He says the cruise line will charge him $50 for a replacement ticket and I sense hesitation since he knows I can board without the actual ticket as long as I have my id docs.
This is my first cruise and the thought of standing curbside and filling out luggage tickets doesn't really appeal to me and I really just wanted to "cruise" right thru the line by having all paperwork in hand. Plus, I have to admit that I've been "breathlessly" standing by the mailbox for the past 10 days so I could finally have my "cruise packet". Silly, I guess!
I totally understand your anticipated excitement of the arrival of the tickets! It's the point when it's feels like a reality to me.
Our last cruise, on Carnival Glory, was booked last minute (less than a week before departure). We had been scheduled to cruise on Star Princess, which caught fire the previous week. (We couldn't bear the thought of giving up our vacation, so we booked the only ship we found availablity on.)
Because of the late date, they didn't send tickets. We printed a copy of the confirmation email, and that served as a ticket. The only thing that was a pain for us was completing the Bahamas immigration form at the pier. We didn't check bags, so we didn't have the luggage tags to deal with. I have heard of people printing labels to put on the luggage tags. I think that's a pretty good idea. If you do that, be sure to put your name, ship name, cabin number on it.
While I haven't cruised RCL, I can tell you that the other lines I've cruised on, Princess, Carnival, NCL, the check in was very quick and smooth. As long as you bring the proper ID/birth certificate or passport, you should breeze through the check in too.
If you really want the paper tickets, you can push the TA. I'm sure they don't want to cough up the $50, and at this point, they might not show up on time anyway.
I would be sure to have all my information done on-line before I left, then there really is no need for the actual ticket. The luggage tags are also available as soon as you arrive at the pier, not a big deal either.
In the meantime, hopefully your tickets will show up and there will be no worries.
It is true that you don't need anything more than your required ID (Passport or Birth Certificate and Government issued, picture id), money and credit card to get on the ship but for your first cruise I can really see where you want to have those documents in your hands.
It does add to the excitement of the cruise. It's up to you to press your agent to get them reissued or not. Documents usually show up within seven days of sailing. The question is: How bad do you want them? It's up to you to answer that question. If it's yes, make your TA do what they need to in order to make it happen.
I personally would just grab my passport and go but while the documents are still fun to get the luggage tags are about the only thing that actually ends up going with me.
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You can and, I think, must fill out the on-line form for Carnival anyway. You will need to know your booking number, which your agent should have if you don't. That will also help expedite your boarding. But, I also get the disappointment. The cruise becomes real to me when I get that packet. Sorry you missed out on that pre-vacation thrill!
Nana, all you need to do is to go online to your cruise documents and print out your Set Sail Pass. This, our ID, and our credit card are all we needed to board the Serenade last spring.
You can always make out labels to put on your luggage tags when you get to the pier; that will save you the time at the dock.
Have a wonderful cruise with all of your friends!
Mariner of the Seas 3/30/08
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
Thanks for all your advice and comments. As it happens, the TA gets to hang on to his $50 because the docs showed up in the mail today! If you know a "scrapbooker" you'll also understand that the docs are all part of the thrill as we hang on to every piece of paper and memorabilia so we can incorporate it into our books (especially if it is a "first")! Haha! We tend to be obsessive...
Check with your buddies and see if they have extra luggage tags, just be sure that you're on the same deck.Each passenger usually gets more tags than they need, so I'm sure you can borrow a couple.
Is your entire group women? What a blast you are going to have!!!!
A little tip, that I've used on my trips. Instead of a purse, try a backpack. I got mine at Walmart,like the kids use. It was perfect, great on the plane and while going on excursions. Holds your camera, wallet, etc and you still have room for gifts that you purchase. I just kept my travel documents in the front zipper pocket and I could get to them in a snap.
JudySalyers, yes we are all women although there may be some hubbies cruising to but won't be scrapbooking. I seriously don't know how much time I'll have to "scrap" since it is my first cruise and I LOVE to people watch!
Thanks for the great tip about the backpack. I already have a backpack for my cameras/lenses and a backpack for some scrap stuff. I also have an Aquapac for my digi camera so I can take it underwater. I'll probably keep my moolah and cards in the aquapac as it will be on my person all the time while on the excursions.
Thanks again for such a friendly and very informative site. Jeannie