Frequently Asked Questions: December 2012Click here to book now!

Preparing For Your Voyage

Are there passport or visa requirements for this trip?

All U.S. and Canadian participants will need to have a passport that is valid for at least six months past January 2, 2013 (July 2, 2013). No visas are required for the voyage at this time. Guests who hold passports from other countries will need to verify specific passport/visa requirements as required by the countries on the itinerary.

Will I need vaccinations for this trip?

No inoculations are required for this voyage. This could change at any time. Please visit www.cdc.gov for further information and updates. ISE follows U.S. Center for Disease Control guidelines regarding inoculation requirements.

May I arrive in Nassau on December 7, 2012?

ISE has secured a room block at the British Colonial Hilton Nassau Hotel for guests who would like to arrive to Nassau on December 7. Please Note: Winter weather is unpredictable, and even in areas where conditions are mild, flights may be delayed or canceled due to severe weather elsewhere. ISE recommends planning to arrive in Nassau on December 7 to avoid the stress of canceled or delayed flights on the day of embarkation. Please see the Pre-Departure Stay page for booking information.

Do you provide ground transportation to the Nassau cruise terminal?

No, we do not provide ground transportation to the Nassau cruise terminal. Please arrange your own ground transportation. Upon your arrival in Nassau, metered taxis will be available at the airport.

Do you provide ground transportation from the Port of San Diego to the airport?

No, we do not provide ground transportation from the Port of San Diego to the airport. Please arrange your own ground transportation. Upon your arrival in San Diego, metered taxis will be available at the port.

What will the weather be like, and what clothing should I bring?

Average temperatures in the ports on your itinerary range from highs around 85 degrees Fahrenheit to lows around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightweight cotton clothes are the most practical for this type of climate. However, keep in mind that the ship is air-conditioned and evenings may be cooler. You should bring a sweater, sweatshirt, or lightweight jacket as well. Please visit these weather prediction sites for further information:

Is there a suggested packing list?

Yes, some of the items we suggest you bring include:

  • Camera/video camera
  • Battery powered alarm clock
  • Reusable water bottle and travel coffee mug
  • Light jacket for rain
  • Sun protection (hat and sunscreen)
  • Medical items (seasickness medication, non-aerosol insect repellent with DEET, and any prescription medication)
  • Personal hygiene items (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, etc.) 
  • Sweatshirt to wear on the ship or on air-conditioned buses
  • Active wear for exercising onboard the ship or adventurous excursions in port
  • Semi-formal wear for special dinners
  • Credit card (to use for your shipboard and field accounts)
  • Cash (most countries readily accept US dollars. We recommend you bring small denominations of cash to avoid receiving local currency as change.)

Please click here for a list of prohibited items not allowed aboard the ship. What To Bring>>

Is there a store onboard?

Yes, the onboard store has clothing items and sundries, including some over-the-counter medications, available for purchase. All charges are billed to your shipboard account.

Can we bring alcohol on board?

New Policy Participants are permitted to bring up to two (2) sealed alcoholic beverages onboard per port. Bottles brought onboard must be checked by security at the gangway upon arrival and may not be brought to cabins for consumption or storage. Alcoholic beverages are available for purchase at several locations throughout the ship.

What is the Cancellation Policy?

Notice of cancellation must be received in writing in our office at least 91 days prior to sailing and deposit is non-refundable. Cancellations received fewer than 90 days prior to sailing date will be handled as follows:

  • If cancelled within 61 to 90 days prior, 25% of fare is non-refundable
  • If cancelled within 31 to 60 days prior, 50% of fare is non-refundable
  • If cancelled fewer than 30 days prior (or non-appearance), 100% of the fare is non-refundable

Accounts & Finances

How do I make purchases onboard the ship?

We operate on a cashless system. All shipboard purchases are charged to the guest’s shipboard account, which is secured by a major credit card (Master Card, Visa, American Express, Discover). Charges are posted to the guest’s credit card at the conclusion of the voyage.

How do I make purchases in port?

Most of the ports take the smaller denominations of US dollars ($1, $5, $10, & $20 bills). ATMs are available in port to withdraw local currency. Many venues will accept VISA and MasterCard. Travelers checks are not recommended.

What are the gratuity guidelines onboard the ship?

We encourage you to use your own discretion when it comes to tipping. As a guideline, we suggest $8 USD a day per guest. This amount covers housekeeping and dining room personnel. At the conclusion of the voyage, a gratuity form will be delivered to your cabin. For your convenience, gratuities may be charged to your shipboard account.

Onboard Accommodations

Where will my luggage be stored?

There will not be a luggage storage area prior to embarkation time. All luggage will be loaded onto the MV Explorer during check-in. Once luggage is onboard, it should remain in your cabin. Storage space is limited; therefore, collapsible, soft-sided luggage is recommended.

What type of atmosphere will I encounter aboard the ship?

The atmosphere onboard the ship is casual. There will be two evening events that call for semi-formal wear. There are no formal, black tie events.

Is laundry service available?

Valet laundry service is available at a small fee. The vessel is not equipped to accommodate dry-cleaning needs.

What types of outlets are available in the cabins?

There are five 110-volt outlets in each cabin and a hair dryer is provided. 220-volt outlets are also available in cabins and throughout the ship.

Will there be a doctor on board?

A medical clinic is available on the ship. The medical staff consists of a physician and physician’s assistant and/or nurse. Medical services will be available for all passengers and will be billed on a per visit basis.

How can I communicate with family, friends, and colleagues onboard the ship?

Telephone, email, and fax services are available on the ship. Cabins are equipped with phones that enable ship-to-shore calling 24 hours per day. To place a call from the ship, a phone card, available for purchase on board, is required. Family members and friends can call the ship 24 hours a day by dialing a toll-free number: 877.266.0986. The telephone number for use outside of the U.S.: 872.335.3265. The caller will be asked to provide a credit card that will be charged approximately $3.95 per minute. The number to send a fax to the ship is 954.538.6163. There is a $5.00/per page charge to send and receive a fax on board.

Limited Internet service on the ship is available in the Computer Lab and from your own laptop if it is equipped with wireless technology. Participants can use the Internet service to access web-based email accounts such as yahoo.com and gmail.com. More information regarding Internet packages will be including in the Field Program packet.