Every year more and more people discover why cruises are the ideal vacation. A cruise ship is basically your giant buffet of wonderful experiences, with a wide selection of cuisines and cultures, activities in the sun and spas to pamper your every indulgence, destinations to exotic locales and a million ways to relax. To book the perfect cruise for you and your family,
simply follow these helpful guidelines compiled by the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA):
Chart Your Course! Pick the Cruise That’s Right for You
Your first choice is the most enjoyable, for it allows your mind to wander around the globe and back again, revisiting every destination your dreams have ever taken you to. Where in the world do you want to go and for how long?
The length of your trip largely depends on how much you can afford. Cruises offer everything from one or two-night excursions out to sea and back to journeys that take you around the world in 100 days. Three-day weekend, four-day midweek, week and two-week cruises are the most popular.
With 70 percent of the planet covered in water, the next question should not be where to go to but where to go to first. Cruise ships visit more than 1,800 ports around the world, providing you with rare glimpses into many cultures all in one eye-popping vacation.
Many first-time cruisers choose the Caribbean or Mexican Riviera, where you pleasantly float from one island paradise to the next. Soak up the sun, learn a water sport or discover a new flavor of margarita-the tropics never disappoint.
To insure passenger safety, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has imposed strict security procedures
at our nation’s airport. Here are some tips to help you comply with the new regulations.
• Arrive at the airport at least two hours before flight time. You may encounter long lines at check-in counters and airport screening stations.
• Curbside baggage check is being reinstated on an airline-by-airline and airport-by-airport basis. Check with the airport to see if your airline has been approved for curbside checks. Otherwise, proceed directly to the check-in counters.
• If you are traveling with a tour group or cruise group, you will no longer be allowed to check in for flights at hotels or at the cruise terminals. You must check in at the airport.
• If someone is dropping you off at the airport, they must stay with the vehicle at all times. They should not leave it unattended, even for a moment.
• You must have a picture I.D. such as a driver’s license, passport, or government-issued identification. Insure that you make your reservation in the exact name that appears on the identification you plan on presenting at the airport. If your name has recently changed and the name on your ticket and your I.D. are different, bring documentation of the change (e.g., a marriage certificate or court order). If traveling with an e-ticket, you must produce a copy of your e-ticket receipt when you check-in.
• The FAA also requires all non-U.S. citizens boarding international flights in the United States to show evidence of admission into the United States. Evidence of admission can consist of visas, I-94, parole letter, admission stamp, alien resident card, etc.
GETTING TO THE GATE: To enter the secured area beyond the security screening checkpoint, you must show a valid picture I.D. and one of the following boarding documents indicating a flight departure for the current date:
1) A receipt for an electronic ticket;
2) An itinerary generated by an airline or travel agency confirming an electronic ticket;
3) A boarding pass; or
4) A paper ticket.
The FAA says receipts and itineraries MUST have ticket numbers on them.
If you do not have a boarding pass, ticket, e-ticket receipt or printed confirmation, an airline-issued boarding document must be obtained at the ticket counter prior to clearing security.
E-ticketed passengers with no receipt, agency or airline-issued itinerary must first go to the airport ticket counter to obtain a boarding pass.
Passengers who do not have baggage to check and already have an approved boarding document, as outlined above, may proceed through the security checkpoint directly to the departure gate. Although no curbside or skycap check-in is permitted, wheelchair assistance from curbside will continue to be provided.
Provisions will be made for parents who need to meet unaccompanied minors, for disabled persons and persons with special needs who need to be accompanied by healthcare assistants or guardians and for medical personnel who need to respond to a medial emergency beyond the check point.
All passengers should check with their airline or airport, or visit the airline or airport web site for additional information.
Keep your identification handy, as you may be asked after entering the gate area to produce it for airport or airline personnel.
TSA’s (TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION) 3-1-1 TIPS
• TSA’s 3-1-1 for carry-ons means: Liquids, aerosols and gels must be in containers three ounces or less; Items must be put in a one quart, clear plastic zip-top bag;Only one zip-top bag per passenger
• Consolidate bottles into one bag and X-ray separately to speed screening.
• Be prepared. Each time TSA searches a carry-on it slows down the line. Practicing 3-1-1 will ensure a faster and easier checkpoint experience.
• 3-1-1 is for short trips. If in doubt, put your liquids in checked luggage.
• Declare larger liquids. Medications, baby formula and food, breast milk, and juice are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding three ounces and are not required to be in the zip-top bag. Declare these items for inspection at the checkpoint.
• Come early and be patient. Heavy travel volumes and the enhanced security process may mean longer lines at security checkpoints.
TSA works with airlines and airports to anticipate peak traffic and be ready for the traveling public.
• Keep your luggage and carry-on bags with you at all times prior to arriving at the airport and while in the terminal. Unattended bags will likely be confiscated – and even destroyed – by airport security.
• The FAA has recommended that passengers be allowed one carry-on bag and either a purse or briefcase. Airlines have the option of following the FAA’s recommendation. Check with your travel agent or airline for information on carry-on luggage restrictions. Since you will likely encounter longer waits and more thorough inspections at screening stations, ASTA recommends that you minimize your carry-on items so you can be processed more quickly.
• Do not accept any packages or materials from strangers.
• Do not carry any sharp instruments (i.e., letter openers, knives, box cutters, scissors, etc,) in carry on luggage. They will be confiscated at airport screening stations.
• If you see any suspicious activity or see unattended bags, contact airline or airport personnel immediately.
• Carry medications in your carry-on bags.
Tips for Preventing Jet Lag
After crossing several time zones, many travelers suffer from “jet lag.” Although there is no way to completely avoid jet lag, there are a number of ways to help your body adjust to a new time zone.
• Try to go to bed a little earlier a few days before you leave and get as much sleep as you can during your flight.
• Many side-effects of jet lag are the result of dehydration, so avoid alcohol, coffee, tea and other caffeinated beverages and drink plenty of water during your flight.
• Eat lightly on your flight and forego rich or exotic foods on the first few days of your trip so that you can use your energy to adjust to your new surroundings rather than to digest your food.
• Exercising on a long flight will help alleviate such common discomforts as backaches, swollen legs and feet and general fatigue. Stretch at regular intervals and walk up and down the aisles of the plane from time to time to prevent dangerous blood clots from forming.
• Finally, take it easy on the day you arrive so that you can take advantage of your trip at a leisurely pace and establish a routine in sync with the local time.
Petersen Carefree Travel
Call Florie at 651-787-0413 for cruises and family vacations including DISNEY!