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Before the cruise - Useful Information

Our mission at MSC Cruises is to do everything we can to make your cruise vacation as relaxing as possible from the moment you book it to the moment you disembark your cruise ship.

Embarkation on cruise ship

EMBARKATION

Embarkation begins at the time indicated on your cruise ticket.
Check-in closes 90 minutes before the ship is due to depart. For some destinations, it is possible to check-in on-line on the web site here.

Online check-in 
Online Check in has been created to help ensure you get off to a flying start, speeding you through the embarkation process. Thanks to an online check-in procedure you can follow at your convenience before you leave home. All passengers in the same booking will need to register in advance, filling in their personal details and printing the form that is provided at the end of the registration process. The online check-in has to be completed 24 hours before your departure date, otherwise the system will not print the online boarding form needed to complete the embarkation procedure. Please remember that if you do not have this form with you when you embark, you will have to follow the normal check-in procedures.

All guests of the MSC Yacht Club (on board MSC Preziosa, MSC Divina, MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia) will find an exclusive check-in desk and will be assisted with their luggage by the butler team at the terminal, who will escort them to the dedicated line for priority check-in.
On request, the butler will also unpack guests’ suitcases.

On embarkation, passengers should do as follows (in the order specified):
a) Deliver luggage to the designated staff, who will then have it sent directly to the passenger’s cabin. All bags should be labeled beforehand with the passenger’s name and surname, the name of the ship, the cabin number and the date and port of departure.
b) Go to the check-in desk with cruise ticket and passport.
c) After the document check, passengers will receive a Cruise Card. This is a magnetic card used for onboard payment of excursions, bar bills, laundry, in-cabin service, hairdresser, beauty centre, duty-free shops*, photographer and service charge. To activate purchasing with the Cruise Card, passengers must either register their credit card or leave a cash sum. Personal cheques are not accepted. The following credit cards can be registered onboard: Visa, Visa Electron, Mastercard, Diners, JCB and American Express. This CASHLESS SYSTEM is valid on all ships. (with the exception of the casino). .Please note that on Caribbean, eastbound MSC Grand Voyage, South America and South Africa cruises onboard prices are in US dollar.  On all other sailings, onboard prices are in Euro.

As a safety precaution, security staff may search a passenger and/or his/her luggage and confiscate any articles that the Company considers could risk the safety of the passengers, crew or ship (such as arms, knives, boilers, irons etc). On board, staff reserve the right to remove any beverages present in passenger baggage. These will be returned the evening before disembarkation.  Passengers are not permitted to bring unpackaged food on board.

 

*Depending on the itineraries and subject to applicable legislation.
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Fly and Cruise embarkation

FLY & CRUISE EMBARKATION

For cruises including flight connections, passengers should check in at the airline check-in desk at least two hours before the flight. On arrival at the international destination airport, passengers will find cruise assistance and transfers to the port.

International airline baggage regulations subject luggage to size and weight limitations; the relevant allowance should be confirmed at the time of booking. Airlines reserve the right to charge a supplement for excess luggage. MSC Cruises accepts no responsibility for issues arising during airport departure or arrival. 
  
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Travel documents and visas

TRAVEL DOCUMENTS AND VISAS

Caribbean Cruises

Cruises departing from Miami : For both security and immigration purposes, each guest is responsible for identifying, securing, and presenting all required travel documents. The necessary valid travel documents, such as passports, visas, legal family documents, etc., must be presented prior to boarding the ship and available when re-entering the United States or entering any other country.

United States and Canadian Citizens must have either a valid passport or valid documents as defined by the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). Visit www.getyouhome.gov for additional information on WHTI compliant documents.

United States citizens on a roundtrip cruise departing from one United States port, sailing within the Western Hemisphere and ending in the same United States port can use a government issued picture ID along with proof of citizenship in the form of an original or notarized government issued birth certificate or original Naturalization certificate in lieu of a passport.

**Please note that Government of Puerto Rico has determined that all Birth Certificates issued by Puerto Rico prior to July 1, 2010 are no longer valid; therefore another WHTI complaint document is required.

Southern Caribbean Cruises
Reference is made to cruises with Martinique/Guadeloupe and with Santo Domingo/La Romana origin/destination and transiting to other ports . All passports and/or ID Card must be valid at least 6 months on arrival.

Concerning embarkation/disembarkation in Martinique :
Passengers arriving by direct flights from France or any other Schengen area airport , will follow same regulations as per French territory . A valid passport or any other allowed replacing document has to be shown at local Immigration upon arrival together with a Schengen Visa for those to whom it is requested; for some nationalities it is required to have the specification of visiting the Overseas French territories . Non-European passengers with French or any other Schengen country “Residence Permit” are allowed to enter Martinique with passport only.
Local Visas might be required for the other countries called during the cruise.

Passengers arriving by flights other than French or Schengen area (e.g.: USA , Dominican Republic etc) , can enter Martinique with passport only plus a Schengen Visa for those to whom it is requested.

Minors can travel with own passport only and are not accepted if present on their parents’ passport.

Concerning embarkation/disembarkation in Guadeloupe :

Passengers arriving by direct flights from France or any other Schengen area airport , will follow same regulations as per French territory . A valid passport or any other allowed replacing document has to be shown at local Immigration upon arrival together with a Schengen Visa for those to whom it is requested; for some nationalities it is required to have the specification of visiting the Overseas French territories . Non-European passengers with French or any other Schengen country “Residence Permit” are allowed to enter Guadeloupe with passport only.
Local Visas might be required for the other countries called during the cruise.

Passengers arriving by flights other than French or Schengen area (e.g.: USA , Dominican Republic etc) , can enter Guadeloupe with passport only plus a Schengen Visa for those to whom it is requested.

Minors can travel with own passport only and are not accepted if present on their parents’ passport.

Transiting in Martinique and Guadeloupe information :

European Community passengers, embarking in other ports than Martinique/Guadeloupe, can transit with passport only.

Non-European Community passengers and subject to Schengen Visa , embarking in other ports than Martinique/Guadeloupe , may transit with passport + Schengen Visa. Alternatively a special two day Visa can also be requested upon arrival at Martinique and is valid for both ports (not valid for Dominican Republic residents who must be provided of Schengen Visa or USA Visa in advance and prior to embarkation) . Payment of such Visa will be performed directly by the passengers on the spot. MSC will not be responsible in case of non-granting of such a Special Visa.

Concerning embarkation/disembarkation in the Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo / La Romana) :

Passport needed for all nationalities in order to embark . Dominican passport holders have to be provided of Schengen or USA Visa, prior to cruise embarkation, for the transit in Martinique/Guadeloupe and other ports where required . Same applying for all other nationalities whom required to.
Minors can travel with own passport only and are not accepted if present on their parents’ passport.

Transiting in the Dominican Republic information (Santo Domingo / La Romana) :

All transiting passengers may visit the country with cruise card only.

Transiting in Philipsburg (St Maarten) information :

All transiting passengers are allowed to disembark without restrictions . For those to whom Visa is requested , possible interview from local Immigration may occur. MSC will not be responsible in case of non granting of authorization to go ashore.

Transiting in St John’s (Antigua) information :

Transit passengers are allowed to disembark without restrictions.

Transiting in Road Town (Tortola) information :

All transit passengers without any special requirements for Visa, are allowed to disembark without restrictions.

(Note for nationals of Dominican Republic and Haiti and other nationalities with same applying rules) :
Visa prior to embarkation required to go ashore to the British Virgin Islands; please apply to any British Embassy/Consulate.
Passport holders are kindly requested to acknowledge this information.


Europe, South America, South Africa and Transatlantic Cruises:
For both security and immigration purposes, each guest is responsible for identifying, securing, and presenting all required travel documents for boarding the ship in the country in which they will embark including a VALID passport and any visas required for the cruise itinerary. Please note that each guest is responsible for securing any necessary visas and immunizations. Passports for U.S. Citizens flying to the following countries to embark on their cruise must be valid for three months beyond the last day of their stay: Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain.

MSC Cruises also strongly encourages United States citizens to visit the United States Department of State website (www.travel.state.gov) and the Department of Homeland Security website (www.dhs.gov) and Canadian citizens to visit the Foreign Affairs & International Trade Canada website (www.voyage.gc.ca) for the most up-to-date traveler information including passport and visa requirements as well as travel advisories and safety recommendations.

Please Note: MSC is not responsible for advising guests of required travel documents or of travel advisories. Guests who fail to have the required documents for vessel security and immigration will be denied boarding and such guests shall not be entitled to any refund nor shall MSC Cruises have any further liability to such guests.

The United Arab Emirates

Reference is made to cruises with the UAE origin/destination and transiting to Oman. All passports must be valid at least 3 months on arrival for stays up to three months.

For UAE only :
Passengers holding passports of following countries do not need Visa prior to the arrival to Dubai/Abu Dhabi or to the UAE :
Europe : France, Italy, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Finland, Spain, Monaco, Vatican City, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, United Kingdom.
North America : USA, Canada.
Pacific Rim : Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brunei, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea

Kindly note that passengers holding passports of other nationalities than the above mentioned ones, need pre-issued Visa for the UAE. By considering that there are different itineraries, please note as follows:

Visa procedures related to 8 days / 7 nights cruises embarking/disembarking in Dubai/Abu Dhabi or any other port UAE :
Two Single entry Visas required :

1st Visa
All passengers arriving by flight into Dubai/Abu Dhabi or any other airport in UAE to embark the ship or participate in a pre-cruise hotel program prior to joining the ship should produce a valid visa while checking-in at their home countries. Airlines will deny boarding passengers who are not in possession of a valid UAE visa. The validity of the visa is 60 days from the date of issue so passengers should bear this in mind while requesting for visas.

2nd Visa
Required to disembark the ship in Dubai/Abu Dhabi before flying back to home country.

Both visas will be applied at the same time, passengers should utilize the first visa while entering the country first time through Airport. This visa will expire once the ship sails from the last port in UAE.

Second Visa should be utilized when the ship returns to Dubai from Oman. This visa will also expire when passenger finally flies back to their home country.

Both visas will entitle passengers to stay in the UAE up to a maximum of 30 days only each time .

Processing could take up to 7 working days and can increase depending on Nationality.

Black List Countries: following countries are not allowed to obtain the Tourist Visa (Israel - no visa. Somalia, Iraq, Yemen, Palestine –subject to special approval and security clearance). No discrimination raised in case of Israeli Visa or stamp evident on any nationality passport for previous visits.

No refund is granted once visas are applied even if rejected by the Authorities.

Visa procedures related to positioning cruises from originating country towards Dubai/Abu Dhabi/UAE or viceversa :

For UAE only :
Following mentioned countries do not need Visa prior to the arrival to Dubai/ Abu Dhabi or to the UAE:
Europe : France, Italy, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Finland, Spain, Monaco, Vatican City, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, United Kingdom.
North America : USA , Canada.
Pacific Rim : Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brunei, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea.

Kindly note that passengers holding passports of other nationalities than the above mentioned ones, need pre-issued Visa for the UAE.

One Visa required both in case of immediate transfer to airport for return to origin country or in case of post cruise hotel stay in the UAE. Maximum validity is 30 days after entering UAE. Maximum validity of visa is 60 days from date of issue of the visa.

In case of another cruise (local canvas (8days/7nights, UAE/Oman/UAE) connected with the positioning cruise from Europe, a second Visa is required; in this case same procedure of application to follow as per previous specification.

Black List countries: following countries are not allowed to obtain the Tourist Visa (Israel - no visa. Somalia, Iraq, Yemen, Palestine –are subject to special request/approval and security clearance; related costs vary according to the nationality)

Transit ports of Egypt during positioning cruise from Europe towards the UAE : all passengers will receive a Quick Trip Visa for the calls of Port Said and Safaga (free of charge).

Information concerning Oman :

Positioning Cruises transiting Salalah and Muscat and cruises UAE/Oman/UAE:

All passengers can get Visa upon arrival if stay is less than 24 hrs. For special cases, same procedures to follow as per the UAE and same agent as per the UAE Visas.

Kindly note that Israel and Bangladesh passport holders are not allowed to enter or to stay aboard vessel during the Oman call.

No discrimination raised in case of Israeli Visa or stamp evident on any nationality passport for previous visits . For your guidance please note official Oman website
http://www.rop.gov.om/english/dg_passport_countrylist1.asp

 

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Travelling with cash

TRAVELLING WITH CASH

Europe: EC Regulation 1889/2005 states that: “Any natural person entering or leaving the Community and carrying cash of a value of Euro 10,000 or more shall declare that sum to the competent authorities of the Member state through which he is entering or leaving the Community in accordance with this Regulation”.

Dubai and UAE: Cash exceeding AED 40,000 or its equivalent in foreign currency must be declared to airport customs control on arrival and departure.

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Luggage

LUGGAGE

Guests are encouraged to limit their checked luggage to two suitcases per person (not exceeding 90x75x43 cm in size and 23 kg in weight per bag), and two pieces of hand luggage per person (not exceeding 56x45x25 cm in size and 23 kg in weight per bag). Prams and wheelchairs are always allowed.
 
On all Grand Voyages (positioning cruises) to/from North America, Caribbean, South America, South Africa and Middle East, the above mentioned guidelines represent the maximum limit allowed per person, provided that, in any case, the maximum amount of luggage in each cabin does not exceed 100 kg and/or 8 pieces among all passengers in the same cabin. Any piece of luggage exceeding the allowance will not be accepted at the check-in. Guests intending to exceed these limits are invited to contact directly or via their travel agents MSC Cruises at the time of booking for any information on how to ship the luggage in excess of the free bag allowance separately via freight or cargo at additional charge.
 
All luggage is to be kept in the cabin, keeping all exits free of any obstacles.
 
Guests are invited to bring the luggage tags necessary for embarkation in their hand luggage and attach them at the arrival at the embarkation port.
 
Valuable luggage travels at the passenger’s own risk. Passengers are advised to carry any medicines, documents and other similar personal belongings in their hand luggage.
Insurance can be taken out through MSC Cruises according to the conditions set out on page XXX. (OPTIONAL- If insurance is included in your brochure, pls insert the page number)
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Health and Medical requirements

HEALTH AND MEDICAL REQUIREMENTS

The Passenger warrants that he is fit to travel by sea and that his conduct or condition will not impair the safety of the Cruise Ship or inconvenience the other Passengers. Any passenger with a condition that may affect his fitness to travel is strongly encouraged to check with their personal physician regarding their ability to travel and to obtain a written physician's certificate of Passenger's fitness for an international sea voyage. If it appears to the Company, the Master or the Cruise Ship's Doctor in their sole discretion that a Passenger is for any reason unfit to travel, likely to endanger health or safety, or likely to be refused permission to land at any port, or likely to render the Company liable for Passenger maintenance, support or repatriation, then the Company or the Master shall have the right to take any of the following courses and the Company shall have no further liability to Passenger: (i) Refuse to embark the Passenger at any port; (ii) Disembark the Passenger at any port; (iii) Transfer the Passenger to another berth or cabin; (iv) If the Cruise Ship doctor considers it advisable, to place and confine the Passenger in the Cruise Ship's Infirmary, to Passenger's cabin or any other cabin, or to transfer the Passenger to a health facility at any port, all at the Passenger's expense. Passenger acknowledges that travel by sea involves certain risks and hazards including motion of the vessel by sea conditions and the delay and/or impossibility of immediate evacuation from the vessel in the event of a medical emergency depending on the vessel's location and prevailing sea and weather conditions. The Company shall have no liability and shall owe no full or partial refund in the event the Passenger is refused passage, disembarked, confined to the infirmary or their cabin, or transferred to another berth or cabin pursuant to this section.

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Health and Medical requirements

VACCINATIONS

In all cases, it is recommended that passengers discuss their plans with their doctor or health care professional prior to departure to ensure they are fit to travel.  Inoculations are often recommended but in certain conditions they are required.  The World Health Organization (WHO) (http://www.who.int/vaccines-diseases) provides guidelines about which vaccinations are necessary for each country.

Guests cruising to Brazil may require an entry visa and/or vaccination against yellow fever. Please note that the following information is subject to change by the Brazilian Authorities without prior notice. Therefore we suggest passengers contact the Brazilian embassy or consulate in their own countries to check the latest information.

Guests enjoying transatlantic cruises to/from South Africa, must have a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate.  Yellow fever vaccination is also compulsory for passengers originating from the following countries: Angola, Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Camarões, Dominican Republic, Congo, Gabão, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Ecuador, French New Guinea, Peru, Venezuela., Gambia, Colombia.

From September 2009 South African and Namibian Health Authorities require that all guests arriving from previous African ports are compelled to show proof of Yellow Fever vaccination. Therefore, guests vacationing onboard MSC Sinfonia October 24, 2009 sailing and all the other South African cruises, any failure to provide proof of vaccination will result in guests being denied boarding.

With reference to the vaccinations requirement, please note that pregnant women and any person with medical issues must have a doctor's note exempting them from the vaccine.

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Health and Medical requirements

MEDICAL SERVICE

All of our ships have a well-equipped Medical Center, supervised by a doctor and medical personnel. The Medical Center is open at the times advertised in the ship’s Daily Program. Emergency services are available around the clock by calling the Medical Emergency number. Although, many injuries are capable of being treated on board, the shipboard medical infirmary has limited medical equipment and not all injuries or conditions can be adequately treated aboard the vessels. In some circumstances, the medical personnel may arrange for a visit to a shoreside medical facility at a port- of-call. Depending on the itinerary, available shoreside medical facilities may also have limited treatment capabilities. Due to the nature of sea travel urgent medical evacuation at sea is not always feasible due to reasons beyond MSC's control. Guests should confer with their family physician to ensure they are fit for travel by sea. Although the ship's doctor and medical personnel may wear uniforms or badges with an MSC insignia, the doctor and medical personnel are independent contractors. MSC does not control the medical treatment rendered to guests by the medical personnel aboard its vessels.While the range of medications held on board is comprehensive, they may not satisfy your precise personal needs, and for this reason, we always suggest that Guests carry a supply of their own prescribed medicines.  Charges will be made on board for medical services. These charges are displayed in the Medical Center and will be debited automatically to your Cruise Card.

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