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Helpful Hints Before You Go

Tailor your vacation to suit your style. These links will provide you with more information to help you plan and prepare for the perfect cruise vacation.

 

What to pack?
With temperatures ranging from 25°F in Antarctica, to 80°F in South America, it can be difficult deciding on what to pack, so we've prepared a few guidelines for you. For the Mediterranean, Scandinavia and Europe, pack as you would for any resort. Cruise wear should be lightweight and easy to care for. By day, the mood aboard ship is casual - sportswear is appropriate for both men and women. Be sure to bring comfortable walking shoes for shore excursions and getting in and out of the ship's tenders. A sweater or light jacket may be necessary in the evenings. And don't forget a bathing suit, beach-wrap and sunglasses; the weather is almost always appropriate for you to wear your poolside attire.
Because weather conditions in Antarctica are changeable, we recommend loose-fitting casual clothes that can be worn in layers. Wool, silk and some newer synthetic fibers are better than cotton at retaining heat. For comfort and safety you should avoid getting wet and be sure to bring wind and waterproof outer layers. A warm, red expedition parka with hood will be provided for you on board. Please make sure you choose a size large enough to wear over a sweater and other inner clothing. A complete list of other special clothing will be sent to you well in advance of your departure.
For sightseeing in South America you should remember to bring light-weight clothing and comfortable walking shoes.
The evening's attire will be designated in the ship's daily program as casual, semi-formal or formal. Resort wear or "smart casual" clothing is appropriate on casual nights. Semi-formal means a suit or blazer/ jacket - with or without a tie - for men; and a cocktail dress, skirt or pant/trouser suit for women. Formal nights take place on Ocean Voyages, South America and Antarctica cruises and are a gala affair: men opt to don a tuxedo, dinner jacket or dark suit and tie, while women wear festive apparel, from a cocktail dress to an evening gown. For cruises of more than two weeks, there will be three formal nights; shorter cruises usually have two. The attire in our alternative restaurant is casual during the day but adopts the same dress code as the main dining room in the evening.

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Are passports & visas required?
At the time of printing, the following information is applicable to U.S. citizens: a passport is required for traveling on all cruises, and must be valid for at least 6 months beyond your return date. Individual tourist visas are required for certain countries, including Brazil. Details will be sent to you approximately 90 days prior to sailing.
Each passenger is responsible for satisfying all necessary entry requirements. Passport and visa requirements for non-U.S. citizens vary and should be checked with the embassy or consulate of each nation to be visited. Your travel agent can assist in obtaining the necessary forms.
Orient Lines requires the following information from each passenger at least 60 days prior to sailing: full name (as it appears on passport) and address; nationality; date and place of birth; and passport number, expiration date, and place and date of issue. If this information is not provided in time, passengers cannot be included on group visas.

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What medical services exist on board?
Marco Polo features a well equipped medical center staffed by a trained physician and licensed nurse. The center, for a customary charge, provides medical services and dispenses American pharmaceuticals. It participates in a London-based medical network that enables the ship's physician to communicate with specialists 24 hours a day. Additionally, the ship is equipped with a helipad in the event emergency hospitalization is required.

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What about passengers with special needs?
Orient Lines welcomes guests with special needs. Of course, we require advance notice in order to accommodate them, so they must advise Orient Lines' Reservations Manager of their needs at time of booking. Please see Passengers with special needs on page 111 for additional information. Regrettably, because of the lack of proper facilities for disabled guests in many exotic destinations, persons who are physically disabled or who need any form of assistance may not be able to participate on selected cruise itineraries, land programs and sightseeing excursions. Those confined to wheelchairs may also find certain areas of the ship inaccessible. For further information, please check with your travel agent or Orient Lines.

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Can I reserve dinner seating in advance?
Seating preferences for dinner in the main dining room may be indicated in advance on the Required Passenger Information form which will be sent to you prior to departure. You may request main or second sitting, seating with a specific party, and table size. Although we will make every effort to honor your requests, they cannot be guaranteed. Seating assignments will be confirmed by the restaurant manager only on the day of sailing. Special dietary requirements must be received by Orient Lines in writing at least 60 days prior to sailing. Please note: the dining room is a designated non-smoking area.
Reservations for our alternative specialty restaurant must be made on board and on selected nights there is an additional cover charge which will be added to your shipboard account.

Breakfast open seating 7.00am onwards
Lunch open seating Noon to 2.00pm
Dinner main sitting 6.30pm Second Sitting 8.30pm

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Can I bring my own alcoholic drinks aboard for consumption on Marco Polo?
We do not allow guests to bring their own alcohol aboard the Marco Polo. If you wish to purchase alcohol ashore to take home with you, this should be given to Marco Polo's crew on your return to the Marco Polo. It will then be returned to you at the end the cruise.

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What about drinking and gambling aboard ship?
Guests must be 21 or older to purchase or drink alcohol or to gamble aboard ship.

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How do I pay aboard ship?
A personalized cruise card will be issued to you for embarking or disembarking the ship. Once you have registered a credit card with the Purser's Office, your cruise card may also be used for charging shipboard purchases including wine, drinks, optional shore excursions, photo orders, gift shop items and services at the Mandara Spa. At the end of your cruise, an itemized statement will be delivered to your stateroom. Your account may be settled by American Express®, Diners Club®, Discover/Novus®, MasterCard® and VISA® including both credit or debit cards with a VISA logo. You may also settle your account with traveler's checks or, of course, cash. We regret that personal checks cannot be accepted.
For your convenience, the ship has an onboard ATM machine that dispenses US currency. Bank debit cards on the PLUS® and CIRRUS® networks and the following credit cards are accepted: American Express, Discover/Novus, MasterCard and VISA. Please note that there are transaction fees and you must know your PIN number(s).

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What about electric current?
Staterooms and suites feature 110v and 220v current. Hair dryers, electric rollers, curling irons, electric shavers, and other small appliances can be used on board. However, for safety reasons, travel irons are not allowed.

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What's the tipping policy?
Orient Lines' Filipino crew come from a culture where rendering gracious, attentive service is an honor. While tipping on board ship is a long-standing tradition, it is also an individual way of saying "thank you" to the personnel who serve you. The amount given is left totally up to you and, naturally, should reflect the quality of the services rendered. Most cruise passengers tip at the end of the voyage in either cash or traveler's checks. As a guide, we suggest approximately $9 per passenger per day to be divided between your cabin steward, dining room waiter and bus boy. Additional tips are at your discretion. For your convenience, a service charge of 15% will be added to all bar and wine orders and beauty salon and spa services.

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How can people contact me on board ship?
With a sophisticated telecommunications system on board, you're never out of touch from family and business associates back home. All staterooms feature international direct-dial telephones. Telefax services are available from the Purser's Desk. Marco Polo has the facility for you to send and receive e-mails and surf the Internet.

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