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(D) Cruise Ship

NOTE: This section relates entirely to the “Footsteps of Paul” tour and the “Three Continents Cruise.”

What is the procedure for boarding the ship?

Upon arrival at the cruise terminal, you will check in with the cruise line.  At that time you will surrender your passport for the duration of the cruise. You will then be issued a boarding card that will be swiped by ship's security each time you embark and disembark the ship.

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Why must I surrender my passport?

Passports are held at the Purser's Office throughout the cruise to expedite immigration processing when the ship arrives in foreign ports. You will pick up your passport on the final day of the cruise.

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How does my luggage get to my cabin?

If your itinerary includes a hotel stay prior to boarding the ship:
Your luggage will be transferred to the ship via a luggage truck.  It will be sent through security and delivered to your cabin.

If your itinerary takes you directly to the ship upon arrival in Athens:
Your luggage will be transferred to the ship with you via bus from the airport.   Once you have personally put it through security at the passenger terminal, it will be taken by the ship's staff and delivered to your cabin. 

As always, you will be responsible for your carry-on bag.

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How long is the typical sightseeing day?

On some days, you will depart the hotel or ship between 7:00-9:00AM and return in the late afternoon around 5:00-6:00PM. While on land, your guide will announce the sightseeing schedule. Other days will be shorter with later departures and/or earlier afternoon returns to the ship.

NOTE: On the ship, a daily program outlining the details of the following day will be placed in your cabin during the early evening.

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How is money handled on board ship?

A shipboard account will be set up for you upon registration of a credit card or with a cash deposit onboard.  Your boarding card will be used for all onboard purchases which are in Euros.  If you register a credit card, your account will automatically be settled at the end of the cruise.  With a cash deposit, your account can be settled with either Euros or US dollars. You may use Visa, MasterCard or American Express. The ship is unable to accept personal checks.

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Should I exchange some money before departure?

Before starting the tour, you may wish to exchange a small sum of Dollars into Euros as this will be the main currency used on your trip.

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Will US currency be accepted for extra expenses?

In some cases US dollars will be accepted, but the Euro is always accepted.

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Will I need a Visa?

US Citizens do not need a visa to travel to Greece or Italy. These will be handled by the cruise line, and there is nothing you need to do in advance.  It is the responsibility of non-US citizens (including green card holders) to ensure they have the proper paper work to enter these countries.

As for port calls in Turkey, these are considered stopovers and do not require Turkish visa. The cruise line is responsible for your entry and exit at these ports.

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What meals are included in my journey?

Breakfast and dinner are provided during all hotel stays, whether they are a part of your basic tour or a pre or post-tour option.  Three meals daily will be served during the cruise (with an occasional exception in specific locations that will be listed on your brochure.  

If, due to the shore excursion schedule you will be off the ship during lunch, your lunch may be provided in a local restaurant or by means of a boxed lunch prepared by the ship.   Dining room menus offer several selections for each course. You may choose to eat on your own when the ship is in port, if time permits.

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Should I make a dining room reservation?

Reservations for dinner are not necessary.  Your assigned dining time will alternate between early and main dining.  Since the vast majority of passengers prefer first dining, this gives everyone an equal opportunity.

Upon embarkation, you will find a dining card in your cabin with your table number and dining time for the first evening.  Your table number will remain the same throughout the cruise. The alternating dining schedule will be listed in the daily program. 

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May I request a special diet?

The ship is fully prepared to satisfy requests for special diets if furnished in writing at least 60 days prior to the cruise. 

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What are the rest rooms like in Greece, Turkey and Italy?

You will find mostly Western-style restrooms. Occasionally in Greece and Turkey, men and women will find porcelain-rimmed holes in the floor. You should travel each day with tissues and/or wipes. You may also be required to pay a small fee to use the rest room in some areas.

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Clothing on board:

A: Day--Casual clothing is the most practical. For ladies, slacks, skirts, jeans and loose attire are comfortable for daytime. Men will find jeans, slacks and sport shirts popular daytime attire. The dining room dress code for breakfast and lunch is casual.

B: Evening dress--There will be two gala dinners during your cruise for which men may want a jacket (tie is optional) and for the ladies a church dress or nice pant suit would be appropriate.

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What else can you tell me about the ship?

Air Conditioning: The ship is fully air-conditioned.

Full Service Beauty Salon and Spa: We recommend passengers book their appointment as soon as possible after embarkation.  Special discounts will be offered for various treatments during the cruise.

Cabin Service:  Room service is available 24 hours a day for a fee.  You will find the menu/price list in your cabin.

Deck Chairs: Deck chairs are complimentary and available without reservation.

Electric Current: The mv Cristal is equipped with 220 volt outlets.  Adapters are needed.  Adapters can be borrowed from reception for your stay onboard.

Hairdryers: Hairdryers are provided in all cabins regardless of category.

Laundy and Pressing: The ship offers pressing and laundry services for a fee. There are no self-service washers or dryers onboard.

Medical Services: A qualified physician will be aboard the ship. Office hours are posted in the daily program, but emergencies are attended to immediately at all times. A customary fee is charged for most services and medications.

Smoking: Smoking is not permitted inside the ship at any time. Smoking is only allowed on the outside decks.

Valuables: Our best advice is to leave valuables at home. For your convenience, each cabin contains a mini-safe.

Internet Services: Internet services are available on the ship at a rate of 10 euros per hour.  There is no wireless service available onboard.  There are also no connections for a laptop.  

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Can my family contact me on the ship?

The satellite phone number for the ship will be provided in your final itinerary package. The rate for this service is much higher than radio communication and regular long distance calling from shore. Tariff information may be obtained from your local telephone company.

Since communication with the ship operates via satellite, you cannot be reached while in port. Contact should be made during the evening hours while you are sailing.  In the event of an emergency, the best way for someone to reach you is to contact our office.  

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