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FAQ's for the first time cruiser...


Would depend on what ports you are visiting. Most use the euro. Do note that some ships charge for changing travellers cheques, plus usually have a lower exchange rate than what you can get at home.


12 Countries of the European Union use the Euro



Primary countries you'll run into that are NOT using the Euro:
Britain is still uses the pound (£)
Eastern European countries


Camera charger
Cell phone charger
Lint roller
Walkie talkies
Plug adaptor (for chargers etc)
safety pins (for broken zips and temp repairs)
Bottle opener
Corkscrew (for all those bottles we are not allowed to take on board)
cruise documents
Cash--small bills like 1's and 5's (for tipping onboard, on the islands, for bellmen and lugguage handlers also for taxis on the islands) I usually try to have at least $100
Raingear/umberella (for UK cruising)
surge suppressor multi-socket - there's never enough in a room for my laptop & bits (all those chargers )
Insect repellent, with sunscreen if possible, or vice versa
wrinkle release
Address book or labels for sending those postcards
Driver's Licence
Travel Insurance documents


I bring all that John. These are some of the odd things on my packing list:

Antiseptic/Anesthetic spray
ear plugs or white noise machine
vinegar for jelly fish stings
water shoes
travel alarm
underwater camera
visor or hat

I like to sleep with a large "body pillow" so I bring along the pillow case and ask for extra pillows. :)


Release Date: December 10, 2007

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is now collecting additional fingerprints from international visitors arriving at Washington Dulles International Airport (Dulles). The change is part of the department's upgrade from two- to 10-fingerprint collection in order to enhance security and fingerprint matching accuracy.

"Anyone who's watched the news or seen crimes solved on television shows can appreciate the power of biometrics," said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. "They help the legitimate traveler proceed more quickly while protecting their identity and enable our frontline personnel to focus even greater attention on potential security risks. Biometrics tell the story that the unknown terrorist tries to conceal, and it causes them to question whether they've ever left a print behind."

Department of State (DOS) consular officers and DHS Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers collect biometrics—digital fingerprints and a photograph—from all non-U.S. citizens between the ages of 14 and 79, with some exceptions, when they apply for visas or arrive at U.S. ports of entry. The department's US-VISIT program checks this data against a joint Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)-DHS watch list of criminals, immigration violators and known or suspected terrorists. Watch list data comes from several sources, in particular the Department of Defense (DOD), FBI, DHS and other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

Checking biometrics against these databases helps officers make visa determinations and admissibility decisions. It also improves the department's ability to compare a visitor's fingerprints against latent fingerprints collected by DOD and the FBI from known and unknown terrorists all over the world.

Dulles became the first port of entry to collect additional fingerprints from visitors on November 29. Nine other ports of entry will begin 10-fingerprint collection during the next few months, and the 278 remaining ports will begin this process by the end of 2008. This announcement is the result of an interagency partnership among DHS, FBI, DOD and DOS.

The next ports scheduled to collect 10 fingerprints from international visitors are: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; Boston Logan International Airport; Chicago O'Hare International Airport; San Francisco International Airport; George Bush Houston Intercontinental Airport; Miami International Airport; Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport; Orlando International Airport; and New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

US-VISIT, in cooperation with CBP, is leading the transition to a 10-fingerprint collection standard. Since US-VISIT began in 2004, DHS has used biometric identifiers to prevent the use of fraudulent documents, protect visitors from identity theft, and stop thousands of criminals and immigration violators from entering the country.



This appears to be a bit of 'security overkill'...

The Bush administration is expected to propose fingerprinting international travelers to the U.S. Within 24 hours after the traveler leaves the country, his or her fingerprints will be transmitted to Homeland Security under the proposal.

Airline and cruise ship operators are already required to report information on international travelers to DHS. The Department has not, however, required biometric information such as fingerprints to be collected.

Visitors are also already required to submit fingerprints when they enter the U.S. The House Homeland Security Committee says the "biometric exit" program will erase uncertainty about who is entering and leaving the U.S.

Visitors Leaving U.S. May be Fingerprinted for Homeland Security


USA TODAY's Mimi Hall reports this morning that the U.S. government plans to start fingerprinting foreign travelers -- including cruisers -- as they leave the USA.

The proposal, to be unveiled today by the Homeland Security Department, would require cruise lines to collect the fingerprints from passengers as they board ships in Miami and other U.S. ports. Airlines would have to collect fingerprints at airports.

Only foreigners would be fingerprinted, not U.S. citizens. But the requirement could cause delays for everyone at cruise ship terminals. It's also expected to add to the cost of turning around ships in ports -- costs the cruise lines likely will pass on to consumers. The proposal calls for cruise lines and airlines -- not the U.S. government -- to pick up the tab for the fingerprinting.

The cost "is above and beyond our biggest nightmare," a spokesman for the International Air Transport Association told USA TODAY's Hall. "This is literally the most expensive security program in the history of aviation."

The U.S. government's own projections place the cost at more than $2 billion over 10 years.

Airlines, cruise lines and others will have 60 days to comment before a final requirement is issued. A Homeland Security Department official, Robert Mocny, tells USA TODAY's Hall that nothing will change for airline and cruise ship passengers between now and June 2009.

Mocny says the proposal is aimed at helping the government track down visitors, including suspected terrorists, who stay in the USA after they are required to leave.

U.S. government plans to fingerprint cruisers at terminals - Cruise Log - USATODAY.com


Full DHS press release...

DHS Proposes Biometric Airport and Seaport Exit Procedures

Release Date: April 22, 2008

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

Collection of Alien Biometric Data upon Exit from the United States at Air and Sea Points of Departure; US-VISIT Program

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today a notice of proposed rulemaking that will establish biometric exit procedures at all U.S air and sea ports of departure. The majority of non-U.S. citizens are already required to submit digital fingerprints and a digital photograph for admission into the country. The US-VISIT Exit proposal would require non-U.S. citizens who provide biometric identifiers for admission to also provide digital fingerprints when departing the country from any air or sea ports of departure.

“The 9/11 Commission called for biometric entry and exit records, because biometrics confirm that travelers are who they say they are and the purpose of their travel is as they claim it to be,” said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. “We’ve built an effective entry system, and combined with the proposed exit system, we’ll have made a quantum leap in America’s border security. Air and sea carriers would actively participate in the proposed exit system, and I look forward to an ongoing dialogue on solutions to meet this key 9/11 Commission recommendation.”

The United States Congress, the 9/11 Commission and the department have concluded that biometric records of the entry and exit of international visitors are essential for the integrity of the nation’s immigration and border management system. The proposed rule does not change current exit procedures for departing visitors. Visitors departing the U.S. should continue to return their paper Form I-94 or Form I-94W to airline or ship representatives.

The proposed rule would require commercial air carriers and cruise line owners and operators collect and transmit international visitors’ biometric information to DHS within 24 hours of leaving the United States. Carriers are already required to transmit biographic information to DHS for all passengers prior to their departure from the United States. DHS is committed to protecting the privacy of international visitors and will require that these systems meet the department’s transmission capability and data security requirements. The proposed rule does not designate a specific location within the port of departure for biometric collection and does not apply to small carriers or vessel owners and operators, or to general aviation.

DHS completed a test of biometric exit procedures at several U.S. airports and seaports last year. Based on the results of this test, DHS determined that biometric exit procedures must be integrated into the existing traveler process to ensure compliance and provide visitors with a consistent experience from port to port.

DHS intends to implement air and sea biometric exit procedures by January 2009, fulfilling a key provision of the Implementing the Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007. This proposed rule will enable the Secretary of DHS to retain the necessary authority to manage the Visa Waiver Program effectively. If the exit program has not been implemented by June 30, 2009 the department may not be able to extend Visa Waiver Program privileges to new countries. The Secretary's waiver authority is critical for the United States to invite more of its allies to participate in the Visa Waiver Program.

The notice of proposed rulemaking will be published in the Federal Register and will provide the general public an opportunity to submit written comments electronically or by mail. Once published, comments may be submitted via:

Federal Rulemaking Portal: redirect. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this rulemaking. All comments received will be posted without change to redirect, including any personal information provided.

Mail: Written comments may be submitted to: US-VISIT, Attn: Air Exit NPRM, Department of Homeland Security, 1616 N. Fort Myer Drive, 18th Floor, Arlington, VA 22209.

Submissions must include the agency name and docket number DHS-2008-0039. The text of the proposed rule is available at Department of Homeland Security | Preserving our Freedoms, Protecting America. Following the 60‑day public comment period and review, a final rule will be published outlining the new requirements and their effective date.

# # #

DHS: DHS Proposes Biometric Airport and Seaport Exit Procedures


This section is to enable those who have completed cruises to review the cabin they booked or were assigned ONLY, please.

The information here is for reference purposes and should be used in the same way as any cruise review is, the opinions of people of their cabin(s) is purely their own personal thoughts and are posted as guidance to those who have not cruised before or those who are going on a specific ship the first time and who would like a general idea of what to expect once aboard a specific ship or class of ship, and in a specific cabin grade or number.

When starting a thread please use 'Ship/Grade/Number/Itinerary' as the thread title. Once completed, these cabin review threads will be locked by a staff member.

Cabin numbers should ONLY be given for cruises already undertaken, not for those about to be taken. If you are enquiring about a specific cabin for a future cruise, please use the grade of cabin rather than the number. This is for security reasons and any references to cabin numbers for cabins on future cruises will be removed without notice. Thank you for your co-operation in this.


Don't forget that if you are travelling to or from the USA and are from a visa waiver country YOU MUST complete the ESTA and be authorised before you leave for the ship or airport!!!

The ESTA system is mandatory as of January 12th, 2009!