Cruise Checklist

Here’s a checklist that may assist answering any queries you have.

Documentation
img10You will need to carry your cruise documents, passage contract, passports and policy details for medical/travel insurance. These have to accompany you in person, not in your packed luggage.

Passports
All passengers need a passport with validity at least six months from the date of the cruise return.

Visas
Are not required for Australian and New Zealand passengers (or most nationalities – but email us to check if in doubt).

Insurance
As they say, if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. Because you are travelling outside Australian or New Zealand waters you are not covered by those country’s health systems. Apart from health, travel insurance can cover cancellation, delays, valuables and personal effects. It is important to check if your policy covers you for extreme sports like diving, parasailing etc if you think those types of activities may interest. Email us if you would like a policy.

Tipping
Tipping is a very personal thing but it is expected on board. The cruise ships have a system where a nominal amount, currently AUD$5.50 per day (passengers over age 13) is added to the bill and then spread amongst the staff. You can ask the purser to direct this to specific staff or you can request to not have this service and tip as you see fit. Tipping is not part of Melanesian culture (nor is haggling) so don’t worry when you go ashore in Vanuatu.

img11Contact at Sea
Friends and relatives can contact you at sea via phone, fax or Internet (and vice-versa). Contact details will arrive with your documentation.

Dress Code
During the day lightweight summer casual wear is fine. Pack a jacket or cardigan for the evenings. Decks can get slippery so low-heeled shoes are recommended along with comfortable walking shoes for shore trips. Singlets, shorts and thongs are not permitted in the dining rooms or lounges after 5:30pm. Shoes must be worn in the restaurants. Swim wear is only permitted around the pool and open deck areas.

For smart casual evenings, Skirts/dresses, pants, and blouses for women and Long trousers and a polo or collared shirt for men. For formal nights, evening or cocktail dress for women and dinner jacket and tie, or suits for men. There may also be theme nights (you will get notification prior to the cruise so you can plan ahead).

Luggage
All luggage will be x-rayed prior to embarkation. Luggage items must conform to less than 140cm x 60sm x 40cm. Before going on board make sure you have your name, contact details and cabin number attached to all items. Try to pack sensibly as you want as much space in your cabin as possible.

What to Pack
img12Pretty much go by the above two notes – try to fit what you think you will need in one suitcase and one carry on bag. Remember to pack sun block, insect repellent and a small first aid kit (see Health below). The usual rule of travel works here – put on the bed what you think you will need and then halve it and do the reverse for spending money.

Valuables
There will be a safety deposit box in your cabin for valuables. When going ashore for the day, best leave valuables here (spare cash/credit cards/jewellery). While the destinations are safe, things happen wherever you go on the planet.

Prohibited Items
All luggage (hand and carry-on) is screened for drugs and alcohol and, of course, fireworks, weapons and flammable liquids are prohibited.

Alcohol
Passengers under 18 years of age are not permitted to purchase or consume alcohol on board. Passengers are no longer allowed to take any personal alcohol on board. Duty-free and personal alcohol purchased shore side, must be surrendered at embarkation or prior to boarding in any port (the Duty Free alcohol in Port Vila is very inexpensive by the way). Duty and tax-free alcohol is also available for purchase on board and will be held under bond with shore side purchases and returned at disembarkation in the final port of call. All luggage, both hand and check-in will be x-rayed at embarkation and disembarkation. You must declare to Customs all amounts of alcohol in excess of the local Custom limits. Strict action will be taken against any passenger engaging in ‘excessive behaviour’. Passengers engaging in excessive behaviour will be disembarked with no refund of their fare. Similarly, any passenger exhibiting excessive behaviour at embarkation will be denied boarding.

Health
If you are travelling with medication, take it in your hand luggage. Also take a basic first-aid kit for convenience – headache tablets, antiseptic powder or lotion, small bottle Hydrogen Peroxide in case of coral cuts (these should be washed in the peroxide, dabbed with antiseptic and covered). While the water in Noumea and Vanuatu is safe to drink, bottled water is the best way to go (keep the fluid up in a humid environment). Berocca may be handy for some.

Vaccinations
It is generally recommended that travellers have Hep A, Tetanus/Diphtheria injections although a Tetanus shot can be given after the event. An influenza injection may be handy. You won’t be visiting any areas where malaria is, even though Vanuatu is listed as a ‘malaria’ country. Best to take insect repellent for comfort though.

Pregnancy
The cut off period for cruising when pregnant is 24 weeks.

Sea Sickness
While cruise ships are stable, you can feel a tad wonky when you go ashore. If motion sickness is a concern, probably best buy some tablets from the chemist before travelling (they do sell sea sickness medication on board).

Smoking
Smoking can be a contentious issue these days. While smoking is permitted on deck and in designated areas of bars, it is not permitted in dining areas or show lounges.

Children
Children must be over 12 months of age at the date of sailing and there are organised activities for those aged 3 to 17 only. There’s a range of baby food (junior/strained/formula) available at no charge. Children under 13 aren’t allowed in public lounge areas after 9:30pm (there are activities for them) and must be accompanied by an adult in the show lounges. You have to be over 18 to gamble or buy/consume alcohol.

Special Diets
P&O cruises cater for vegetarian and special needs (gluten-free etc) but they must be notified well in advance of sailing.

Videotaping
While it can be fun to capture parts of your holiday in video format, be aware of other passengers who may not want to be recorded. Capturing live entertainment shows on board is prohibited.