Everything you need to know about Advanced Passenger Information
Due to increased security in a wide range of countries, it is now necessary for you to provide information (Advanced Passenger Information) as soon as possible once you have made your reservation. As soon as your booking is confirmed you will receive a booking confirmation and letters containing instructions of how to complete your Advanced Passenger Information for the airlines and cruise lines you are travelling with. Advanced Passenger Information is mandatory and must be completed as soon as possible once you have made a reservation, failure to do so may result in your tickets not being released.
The lowdown on Visas and Passport Information
All passengers will require a valid passport to travel with at least 6 months validity remaining upon the date of your return.
Visas are required by British citizens for a number of destinations and ports of call. A charge may be applicable - for up-to-date information check with the relevant embassy. Please ensure that you check visa requirements for each port of call on your itinerary as well as for the country/countries where you will start and end your cruise. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documentation. All other passport holders should check with the relevant embassy or consulate.
All passengers visiting the United States will be required to complete the Electronic Visa Waiver Program (ESTA) a minimum of 72 hours prior to your departure. This Visa should cost approximately $14.00 per person and will remain for 2 years. We strongly recommend that you apply for your ESTA in plenty of time to avoid any complications. You can apply for your Visa at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov.
Everything you need to know about your tickets
You should receive your tickets at least 14 days before you are due to depart on your holiday, although this is dependent on you having completed your Advanced Passenger Information. If you have not received your cruise tickets, and you are due to depart in less than 14 days, please contact our Customer Service team and we'll get your tickets to you as soon as we can.
Most airlines and cruise lines have now moved to an electronic ticketing system. This means that we will not be sending you physical paper tickets in the mail, but sending you e-tickets to the e-mail address that was given to us at the time of booking. You'll then need to print these documents out, and take them with you on your holiday. If you do not have access to a computer, or a printer, please let us know and we can arrange to have your e-tickets printed, and sent to you in the post.
Information relating to your cruise holiday
Cruise ship cabins come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but are generally categorised as inside, outside and balcony. These can be described as:
Inside Cabins - Inside cabins are situated on the inner part of the ship and will not include any window or natural daylight.
Outside Cabins - Outside cabins are situated on the outer part of the ship and will include a window or porthole allowing you to see where you ship currently is situated.
Balcony Cabins - Balcony cabins are situated on the outer part of the ship and will include your own private balcony/veranda.
With most cruise lines, gratuities are automatically added to your on board account and are charged at a daily rate (which varies between cruise lines). With some cruise lines, gratuities are optional, and you can request that they are not added to your account at the customer services desk on board your ship. Costa Cruises charge mandatory gratuities and these cannot be removed from your account and will need to be paid at the end of your cruise.
Great news! We're now able to book our own shore excursions at all major ports of call. They also come with the same money-saving ethos as our cruise holidays, and you can make big savings when comparing prices with the cruise lines own excursion packages. To see our full range of shore excursions, please visit Cruise Nation Shore Excursions.
Most cruise lines will offer you 2 dining sittings at which you may dine. The first sitting typically begins at approximately 6:00-6:30pm, with the second sitting starting at approximately 8:30pm. Many cruise lines now also offer 'Anytime Dining', allowing guests to eat at any time during the evening. Please inform your reservation agent of your preferred dining time when you book. If you do not do this, please let our Customer Services team know as soon as you can. Please note that dining time requests are on a requests basis only, and are not guaranteed. If you are not allocated to the sitting you would like, speak to the Maitre'd on board, and they will do everything they can to allocate you to your preferred dining time.
Balances and payments
The balance of your holiday is due to be paid 16 weeks before departure. If you book within 16 weeks of departure, full payment is required at the time of booking.
You can pay the balance of your holiday by calling our Customer Services team on 0844 493 8629. Please have the reference number shown in the top right-hand corner of your Booking Confirmation to hand as this will help us locate your booking. Your payment will then be processed by our secure payment system, and you will receive a confirmation invoice showing a zero balance to your e-mail address. A debit card or personal credit card payment carries no additional fees. However, a business credit card transaction does carry a 2.25% fee which is imposed by the credit card providers. Please note that we cannot accept American Express or Diners' Club card payments.
You are able to pay the balance of your holiday by bank transfer. Please ensure you quote your reference number in your bank's reference field so we can allocate your payment against your booking and send you a confirmation invoice showing a zero balance.
Bank Tranfers details can be found below:
If your Cruise Nation reference number starts with 'HTR', the following bank transfer details apply:
If your Cruise Nation reference number starts with 'HAY', the following bank transfer details apply:
For bookings made directly on our website full payment will be required at the time of booking.
What you can pack for your holiday
Baggage allowances and the guidelines for unusual or over-sized luggage varies from airline to airline so it's important to check your allowance beforehand with the relevant airline - if you exceed it, it will cost you considerably more, plus it's important to make sure you've got a bit of spare room to bring back some bargains!
As a general rule most scheduled airlines allow you to check in 1 piece of luggage per person into the hold not exceeding 23kg. For charter flights or low cost airlines originating from or to the UK, you are able to check in 1 piece of luggage per person into the hold not exceeding 20kg.
If you are flying on a US domestic or internal flight then baggage allowances cannot be pre-booked by Cruise Nation. Most US carriers now charge, on average, $25 per item of checked in baggage on flights between US cities including Hawaii, Canada and the Caribbean.
Hand luggage varies depending on the airline; some airlines follow a weight allowance policy whilst others follow a size policy. To get the most up to date information on hand luggage allowance, please visit the website of your airline.
Please remember to pack any valuables including money, credit cards, jewellery, keys and camera equipment in your hand luggage and not in your suitcase.
Medical Information relating to your cruise holiday
Full travel insurance is required on all holidays, and we would strongly recommend you to get your in place as soon as possible once you have made a reservation. This will ensure you are covered for any unforeseen circumstances that might arise before you depart on your holiday.
On rare occasion and depending on your cruise itinerary, certain vaccinations will be required. The cruise line will not allow boarding of any passengers who have not adhered to the vaccination requirements unless they have a valid, signed letter from a doctor to state that they can travel without the vaccination due to medical reasons. Please note that some vaccinations may need to be administered at intervals a number of weeks before departure, so make sure you book in with your GP nice and early!
If you need to take medication with you on your holiday you will also need to take a copy of your prescription or a letter from you GP confirming the dosage. Please also advise us at the time of booking, or contact our Customer Services team as soon as you can so we can make any necessary arrangements for you.
Most cruise lines will accept pregnant passengers travelling before the 24th week of pregnant. Please advise our Customer Services team if any member of your party is at any stage of pregnancy.
If you require any additional assistance whilst on holiday, please advise your reservation agent at the time of booking. If you have not done this, please contact our Customer Service team as soon as possible so we can make the necessary arrangements for you. If you need to travel with a wheelchair, we will need to know whether the battery is a dry or wet cell, whether its collapsible or not, the weight, and the dimensions.