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NCL Cruises Information

What does my cruise fare include?

Your cruise fare entitles you to accommodations, meals and entertainment aboard ship. Certain specialty restaurants are available with either nominal cover charges or fixed price menus and ` la carte pricing in addition to the standard dining program. Items of a personal nature are not included, such as alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, spa treatments, certain specialty exercise classes, laundry, photographs, casino, ship-to-shore phone, e-mail, Internet, fax and Shore Excursions (including all Dive In programs). Government taxes and fees are also not included.

What about Tipping?

A fixed service charge of $10 per person, per day will be added to your onboard account. For children ages 3-12, a $5 per person per day charge will be added to your onboard account; there is no charge for children under the age of three. Our crew is encouraged to work together as a service team and is compensated by a combination of salary and incentive programs that the service charge supports. It is our earnest wish that you enjoy your Freestyle Cruise experience and that our entire crew in all areas of the ship will provide you with the standard of service for which NCL is known. Therefore, if you have any concerns about the service you receive during your cruise, please bring them to the immediate attention of our reception desk staff on board so that we can address any issues in a timely manner before the cruise is over.

Both NCL and NCL America have a structured guest satisfaction program on board designed to handle any concerns raised by our guests relating to the service or on board product quickly and efficiently. In almost all cases we are able to come up with a satisfactory solution to any issues which are raised and make sure our guests can focus on enjoying their cruise vacation. In the unlikely event we cannot satisfactorily resolve the issue through our guest satisfaction program, guests will be able to adjust the service charge according to the level of inconvenience they feel they have experienced. Our clear priority is to have the opportunity of resolving the issue, when it happens, to everyones complete satisfaction.

Unlike most other ships in the cruise industry, there is no required or recommended tipping on NCL America or Norwegian Cruise Line ships. Guests should not feel obliged to offer a gratuity for service that is generally rendered to all guests.

However, all of our staff are encouraged to “go the extra mile”, and so they are permitted to accept cash gratuities entirely at the discretion of our guests who wish to acknowledge particular staff members for exceptional or outstanding service. In other words, there is genuinely no need to tip but you should feel free to do so if you have a desire to acknowledge particular individuals.

Also, certain staff positions provide service on an individual basis to only some guests. We encourage those guests to acknowledge good service from these staff members with appropriate gratuities. For example, for guests purchasing bar drinks the recommended gratuity is 15 percent. Similarly, for guests using concierge and butler services, we recommend they consider offering a gratuity commensurate with services rendered.

How do I pay for onboard expenses?

For your convenience, all shipboard expenses are charged to NCL’s special onboard credit program. Sign up on the first day of your cruise, by establishing your method of payment with Visa., MasterCard., American Express., Discover., Diners Club., travelers checks or cash. If you choose to settle your account with cash, a deposit will be required in advance. You may also use your debit card; however, please be advised that NCL obtains pre-authorization which some banks may hold for up to 30 days.

What about currency?

You may cash travelers checks at the Reception Desk. Currency exchange, at prevailing rates, is available on some cruises. Travelers checks and most major credit cards are accepted in the ports we visit. Proper ID is required when cashing travelers checks. We recommend you carry a small amount of local currency when visiting foreign ports, although credit cards are commonly accepted in shops and restaurants.

What are the customs allowances?

United States residents must declare all articles acquired abroad and in their possession when they return to the U.S. This includes items purchased in “duty-free” shops. The duty-free exemption allowed for purchases or gifts for returning U.S. residents varies, depending on how long they have been out of the U.S. and which countries they have visited. The standard exemption for U.S. residents who have been abroad more than 48 hours is $600 – $800, which may include one liter of alcohol (if you are at least 21), 100 cigars and 200 cigarettes.

* Residents returning to the U.S. from the U.S. Virgin Islands may bring $1,200 worth of goods duty-free. The duty-free exemption for U.S. residents doesn’t need to include items that are mailed back to the U.S.; those will be assessed for duty when they arrive. The duty-free exemption for a package mailed as a gift is $100; the exemption for a package marked for personal use is $200. Non-U.S. citizens should check with their local authorities for customs allowance information. For more specific customs information, be sure to attend the briefing by the Cruise Director before your ship reaches home port. (Check the daily onboard newsletter for time and place.) You can also obtain information before you sail by contacting the nearest U.S. Customs office (look under United States Government, Department of Treasury in your local phone book). You can also visit the U.S. Customs website – www.customs.ustreas.gov – or call 1.202.927.6724 and ask for the brochure “Know Before You Go.” Note: Bottles of liquor you purchase on board or ashore will be held in a secure area and delivered to your stateroom at the conclusion of the cruise.

U.S. Citizens and residents are not allowed to bring more than 200 cigarettes into the U.S. if they are produced in the U.S., whether made for export or not.

How many suitcases can I bring?

Each person is allowed up to 200 pounds of personal luggage on board. However, if you are traveling by air, ask the airline if it has different restrictions. Airlines and NCL have limited liability for loss, so be sure all baggage and personal belongings are properly insured. Suitcases should be securely locked and tagged. You should hand-carry medication, jewelry or other valuables and important documents.

What about smoking, drinking and gambling on the ship?

Smoking is permitted in designated areas in the bars and outside on open decks. All other areas on board ship are non-smoking. Guests must be age 21 to purchase or drink alcohol** however ages 18 years to 20 years may purchase and consume beer and wine only with a completed parental consent form. This policy is not applicable to the NCLA vessels or Hawaii and Alaska itineraries. This form must be given to the reception desk on board the vessel by the parent or guardian accompanied by the young adult with proof of age and relationship. Guests must be age 18 to gamble on the ship. If a guest under age 18 wins in the casino and cannot provide proof of age, he or she will not be paid the winnings. There is no casino aboard Pride of Aloha, Pride of America and Norwegian Wind. Guests are not allowed to bring on board the vessel any alcoholic beverages of any kind.

**With the exception of Alaska and Hawaii itineraries, NCL permits guests between the ages of eighteen (18) and twenty (20) to purchase and personally consume wine and beer while on NCL ships with the consent of a parent or legal guardian (Parental Consent). Complete details and the Parental Consent form are available on board at the Reception Desk.

Dress Code in Dining Rooms

Freestyle Cruising gives our guests the freedom to dress as they please. Resort casual attire is always appropriate morning, noon and night. However, NCL/ NCLA does not allow any blue jeans, t-shirts, shorts, cut-offs, tank tops, bare feet, etc. in any of our fine dining restaurants for dinner, including all main restaurants, alternative restaurants, and cover charge venues.

Guests are allowed to wear blue jeans, shorts and t-shirts, in the evenings at the buffets, outdoor barbeques, and 24-hour venues, such as the Blue Lagoon, the Cadillac diner, etc.

Below are a few exceptions to the dining room dress code:
Blue Jeans will be allowed in all dining rooms on all Houston departures, due to the Texas culture.
Blue Jeans will be allowed in the Trattoria’s in the evenings.
Bermuda shorts with knee high socks, or Scottish kilts with knee highs will also be allowed in all dining rooms in Bermuda as these are considered formal dress in Bermuda.
Hawaiian shirts are allowed with proper slacks in all dining rooms.
Ladies Capri Pants, which are a length between the knee and ankles, are acceptable in all fine dining rooms as long as they are not blue jean capris.

What time is dinner?

What time would you like it to be? NCL’s exclusive Freestyle Cruising lets you choose. We offer open-seating dining in a variety of restaurants and cafis with individual menus, so it’s your choice. You can have lunch or dinner with friends in one of the elegantly appointed restaurants. Reserve a table for two in an intimate bistro.

Order an omelette prepared just the way you like it from the breakfast-buffet chef. Indulge yourself with delectable selections from the Chocoholic Buffet. There are special menus for youngsters and special entries from Cooking Light.. There’s even a menu created by Henry Haller, former White House Executive Chef under five U.S. presidents. Special meals are available including low-calorie, vegetarian, no MSG, low/no sodium and low/no cholesterol meals, as well as sugar-free and fat-free desserts. All of our restaurants are non-smoking. Most specialty restaurants require a per person cover charge or offer a` la carte pricing. Reservations are recomended and can be made on board.

Will I need an electrical converter?

The current on board is 110 volts AC. However, some high-voltage hair dryers, electric rollers and electric razors may require a converter.

Do children cruise for free?

Children under two cruise at substantially reduced prices when staying in a stateroom with two or more paying guests. However, government fees still apply.

Are there children’s programs?

Kid’s Crew is our onboard children’s program and it’s one of the most comprehensive at sea. Click here for more info on our Kids Crew Program.

Are babysitters available?

NCL offers group sitting for ages 2-12 for a nominal fee with the Kid’s Crew counselors. In addition to our regular sitting hours of 10 pm – 1 am, group sitting is available in port from 9 am – 5 pm. Private babysitting is not available. Click here for more info on our Kids Crew Program.

Are there any pool regulations?

According to United States Public Health (U.S.P.H.) regulations, no diapers of any kind are permitted in the swimming pools or jacuzzis, including those marketed as “swimmers.”

What other services are available?

Beauty parlor and spa services include hair styling, manicures, pedicures, facials and massages in our Mandara Spa Salon

Gift shops feature duty-free shopping, with fine jewelry, perfumes, clothing, cosmetics and limited drug store items

Laundry & dry-cleaning services

Tuxedo rental prior to sailing

Internet Cafi

Art auctions

Photographs taken throughout the cruise

What about guests with special needs?

NCL welcomes guests with special needs. Of course, we may require advance notice in order to accommodate them, so they must advise NCL’s Ship Coordinator Department of their needs at least three weeks prior to their cruise.

All of our ships have designated staterooms with wider doorways and bathrooms that will accommodate wheelchairs and staterooms with lights and under-pillow vibrating alarms for guests with hearing impairments. Guide dogs are permitted on all NCL ships.Many staterooms have refrigerators that can be used to store medications that must be kept cold. Guests who need oxygen or require oxygen therapy are welcome on all NCL ships; however, they must supply their own oxygen. Guests who use wheelchairs must provide their own. Click here for more information for guests with special needs.

Is there a doctor on board?

A physician and nurse are on each ship to provide medical care and services at customary charges. Commonly used medications are kept on board and may be prescribed by the ship’s doctor.

What if I’m pregnant?

NCL will make every effort to accommodate you, providing you have not entered the 24th week of pregnancy when the cruise ends. However, you must provide the Ship Coordinator Department with a medical certificate establishing your due date prior to your cruise.

What about Shore Excursions?

An updated listing of Shore Excursions are available approximately 3 months prior to the first sailing of each cruise destination season. If you are booked on a cruise, a Shore Excursions brochure and pre-request form will be mailed to you with your cruise documents. Some tours are available to pre-request online, or you may fax the completed pre-request form to 1-305-436-4110. Once onboard, Shore Excursions can also be purchased at the ship’s Shore Excursion Desk.

How can we celebrate a special occasion?

You may purchase wine, or bon voyage gifts, such as fruit baskets, champagne, birthday cakes, canapis, flowers or other gifts for your stateroom. Please let us know at least three weeks before sailing.

What if I need to stay in touch while away?

All of our ships have computer terminals you can rent by the hour at the Internet Cafi. You can also telephone, telex, radiogram or fax to anywhere in the world and be billed* at applicable ship-to-shore rates.

NCL guests can also be contacted on one of our ships by calling 1.888.NCSHIPS (1.888.627.4477) from USA. For the rest of the world please dial 1.732.335.3280. When guests are contacted with the ship via satellite, they can be reached directly, if they are in their stateroom. If not, a message about the incoming call will be delivered to their cabin and then they can call back* the shore via satellite. Click here to for NCL Ship Telephone & Fax Numbers.”

*Please use the American Express, MasterCard and Discover card, only.

Documentation, visas and passports

The United States Government recently enacted the Border Security Act, under which, effective January 1, 2003, all guests must provide key personal information in advance of sailing. Guests may fill out the Advance Guest Registration online, or they can obtain a form through their travel agent to return via fax or mail to NCL

All United States and Canadian citizens must carry proof of citizenship such as a valid passport or birth certificate along with a government issued photo ID (16 years or older). It is your responsibility to check with your travel professional, local immigration office and/or respective embassy or consulate to determine requirements for passports, visas and other documentation, including vaccinations for infectious diseases. Guests denied boarding by local immigration officials for lack of proper documents are not entitled to a cruise refund. Here are some guidelines, but please note that this list is not exhaustive.

For travel from the United States
To destinations in Canada, Bermuda, Mexico, the Bahamas and the Caribbean, guests who are not United States or Canadian citizens must carry a valid passport and multiple entry visa for entry into the United States (B-2 Visitor’s Visa), or a visa waiver.

As visa requirements vary by country and are subject to change, guests who are not United States or Canadian citizens are urged to contact your travel professional, local immigration office and/or respective embassy or consulate to determine the entry requirements for your cruise destinations.

For travel from Hawaii
At the time of printing, U.S. Immigration regulations required all guests on Hawaiian cruises that call at Fanning Island in the Republic of Kiribati to carry a valid passport.

For travel abroad
As visa requirements vary by country and are subject to change, all guests traveling abroad are urged to contact your travel professional, local immigration office and/or respective embassy or consulate to determine the entry requirements for your cruise destinations.

Where can I keep my valuables?

Security envelopes and/or safe deposit boxes are available from the ship’s purser at no charge. Most staterooms and suites have mini-safes. Please note, however, that NCL is not responsible for valuables left in staterooms or elsewhere on board.

Are visitors allowed on board?

Due to security reasons, unfortunately, no.

What to Pack?

Freestyle Cruising gives you the freedom to dress as you please. So come as you are. No need to check for a suggested dress code in the ship’s Freestyle Daily as you would on traditional cruises. Resort casual attire is always appropriate morning, noon and night. If you like, you can slip into a pair of khakis and a polo shirt, a skirt and blouse or a sundress for dinner. We do not allow jeans, T-shirts, shorts, cut-offs, tank tops, bare feet, etc. in any of the restaurants at dinner.

For those who do love to dress to the nines and get that annual formal portrait photography done, there is one optional formal evening in at least one of the main restaurants on every cruise; at least two formal evenings on longer cruises. This means black tie or dark suit for gentlemen and evening gown or cocktail dress for ladies. But remember, on formal evenings you can always choose to dine in one of the other restaurants instead and enjoy some of the other lounges and leave your dressier clothes at home.

In warm climates, shorts, slacks, sundresses, jeans and tops – and of course a swimsuit and cover-up are all appropriate daytime attire. Air conditioning can feel chilly, so pack a sweater. Because weather is difficult to predict, in cooler climates dressing in layers is the best approach. For visits to places of worship, check your Freestyle Daily for attire guidelines. Be sure to bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes, too. Other essentials: sunglasses, a sun hat or visor and sunscreen. Don’t forget to bring prescription medicines in original containers and an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses. Carry valuables and medication in a handbag you keep with you at all times.

Important Note: All suitcases are collected the night before we return to our home port, so be sure to bring an overnight bag.

What can’t I bring onboard?

Passenger is not allowed to bring onboard the vessel without the previous written permission of the Carrier any intoxicating liquors, or beverages, firearms, weapons of any kind, ammunition, explosive substances or any goods of a dangerous nature, nor animals of any kind, except service or guide animals, provided the passenger notifies Carrier prior to the cruise of his intention to bring such animal and agrees to take sole responsibility for any expense, damage, injuries or losses associated with or caused by such animal.

NCL Age Requirements

Company policy dictates that a passenger under 21 years of age must be accompanied in the same or connecting stateroom by a passenger 21 years or older who expressly agrees to be responsible for the under 21 passenger throughout the cruise. This includes, but is not limited to, preventing under-age purchase or consumption of alcohol**, preventing under-age gaming activities and preventing violations of any ship’s rules. Passengers must be age 21 to purchase or consume alcohol and age 18 to gamble on the ship. If the accompanying adult is not the minor’s parent or legal guardian a NOTARIZED PARENTAL/ GUARDIAN CONSENT LETTER that authorizes the minor’s travel and further authorizes medical treatment in case of an emergency must be delivered to an NCL representative at the pier. Failure to produce this letter at embarkation may result in boarding being denied, with no refund of cruise fare provided.

Note: Two people under the age of 21 may travel together in the same stateroom without someone over the age of 21 in the same stateroom if they purchased the cruise under the family plan and have at least one person who is 21 years or older in the adjoining stateroom. The age limit will be waived for married couples less than 21 years of age provided proof of marriage is presented to an NCL representative at the pier.

**With the exception of Alaska and Hawaii itineraries, NCL permits guests between the ages of eighteen (18) and twenty (20) to purchase and personally consume wine and beer while on NCL ships with the consent of a parent or legal guardian (Parental Consent). Complete details and the Parental Consent form are available on board at the Reception Desk.