IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM DANCING MOON TRAVEL!
Your September 1 cruise date is fast approaching! I know we have some first-time cruisers, so I wanted to give you a quick overview of what you can expect on your cruise -- besides a beautiful ship, amazing scenery, fabulous excursions, food and camaraderie. Just a couple of quick essential reminders before we proceed: If you are planning to book into the group's pre-cruise hotel and have not yet advised us and received your confirmation, please contact us as soon as possible so we can make arrangements for you. If you have not yet booked your air or do not have your passport or passport card in hand or applied for, it is absolutely essential that you make application immediately. You will be denied boarding at the pier if you do not have the required travel documents at the time of departure and no refunds will be issued.
Now, on to other things!
Hotel to Pier
: Our group pre-cruise hotel stay includes breakfast and a shuttle to the pier at a cost of an additional $14 per person. The hotel will advise you what time to be in the lobby for your transfer. Please ask them about time when you check in. Upon arrival at the port, a porter will take your luggage (a $2 - $5 tip is appropriate and it will appear sometime between 4 and 7 pm at the door to your stateroom). Please do not check your travel documents, valuables or medications with this luggage -- you should keep those in your possession.
You will proceed through security screening, after which they will direct you to the check-in desk. There may be a line but the cruise line is quite efficient at processing these embarkations and they generally move surprisingly fast. After check-in you may be able to board immediately or possibly may be asked to remain seated in a waiting area until you are cleared for boarding.
Your stateroom will not be ready for occupancy until 1:30 or 2 pm. After boarding, you may proceed to the lido deck to enjoy a buffet lunch and explore the ship, or perhaps enjoy a dip in the pool. Please be aware that it is likely to be rather crowded at the buffet and pool deck until staterooms are ready for occupancy -- at which point the crowds evaporate as if by magic. I would encourage you to make your way to your stateroom early in the afternoon -- unpack (empty luggage fits perfectly under the beds), settle in -- and be sure to attend the mandatory and very important muster drill that will occur prior to sailing. After that ... find a great vantage point from which to enjoy sailaway! Dinner is at 8:15 -- those who would like to get together for a pre-dinner cash bar cocktail can meet up most evenings beginning Day 2 at SkyWalker's Lounge to mix & mingle and share experiences of the day. A complete schedule of our group events and meeting places will be provided onboard.Attire & Packing
: Daytime attire onboard and in port is very casual with jeans being the most popular choice. Dressing in layers
is something of an essential for comfort in adapting to changing conditions throughout your day. A combination of t-shirt or turtleneck, sweatshirt or flannel shirt, medium weight waterproof jacket, hat & scarf will be comfortable for most. Tuck in rain poncho as you are all but certain to encounter showers occasionally. Conditions can vary -- as well as individual cold tolerance -- so take circumstances and your preferences into account when heading out for an excursion. Average overnight lows are in the mid/low 40's, daytime highs in the mid/upper 50's. Comfortable footwear is a given, with lightweight hikers being more practical than stiff hiking boots! Appropriate evening attire
for the dining room includes slacks & polo or sports shirts for the gentlemen -- slacks or dresses for the ladies. No jeans, shorts, bare feet or swimwear are permitted in the dining room at dinner. There will be two "elegant" nights during the cruise where you will see everything from sports jackets with open collar shirts to a smattering of tuxedos for men -- and dressy pants outfits and cocktail dresses on ladies. (This is a great night to have a portrait made!) I have found that the formal nights in Alaska tend to be slightly less "formal" than many Caribbean cruises and you will see everything from dress shirts with ties, to sport coats, to traditional formalwear. A Dancing Moon Special Packing Tip: we suggest tucking a power strip/extension cord in your luggage -- we have yet to be on a cruise ship with adequate outlets for plugging in/charging all our "stuff."Onboard:
The cruise ship is basically a cash free society. During your online check-in, you will post a credit or debit card -- or specify a cash deposit -- to secure your onboard account. At check-in, Princess will give each passenger a card similar to a credit card which will act as your room key and onboard charge card. It will also be scanned when you leave & return to the ship in port. Your gratuities for your waiter and room steward have been prepaid - 15% gratuities for bar staff are automatically added to your tab and it is good form to provide a dollar or two to room service personnel if you take advantage of that amenity. Online Check-in:
Amazing as it seems, it's almost time to start pulling that luggage out! As your departure date is approaching, it is also time to take care of your online check-in and print your travel documents. This is a very simple and intuitive process that will take approximately 10 minutes. Boarding passes and luggage tags are available to be printed from the Princess website at 75 days of embarkation -- and we are almost at that point. To handle this process, simply log onto Princess Booked Passengers, Cruise Personalizer
You will need to enter your name, date of birth and booking number (which is reflected on the Booking Confirmation, Receipt & Invoice I provided to you by email at the time you booked), your name, date of birth, name of your ship (Golden Princess), and sail date (September 1). You will want to have your passport documents and credit card handy. Just click through the simple online form providing the requested information, print your documents, and VOILA! you are ready to go!
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or if you need any assistance with this process. Thanks everybody!
Pat Hand, Owner -- Dancing Moon Travel