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The Global Entry Program: My Lucky Day

The Global Entry Program: My Lucky Day

Preparing For Your Cruise
One of the minor hassles when you're coming back from a cruise is the process of going through passport control and customs upon your return to the United States. In my case last summer, however, the Global Entry Program made a huge difference and saved our day! The Global Entry Program: How It Works Global Entry is an extra process you can go through to register your passport and personal identification with the US government, and in return you get to take advantage of express processing when you come back into the United States after traveling abroad. For example, when I fly back into Philadelphia after a business trip overseas, I walk right up to an electronic kiosk, and in just a few seconds I can present a receipt to…
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What Happens On Cruise Day

What Happens On Cruise Day

Enjoying Your Cruise
Are you ready to go on your first cruise? Not knowing what happens on Cruise Day may cause some anxiety for first-time cruisers, but with a little planning everything should go smoothly. The whole boarding process can seem complicated, but as long as you arrive at your cruise terminal on time and understand the steps involved, you will sail on through like a seasoned traveler! What Happens On Cruise Day Typically cruises will allow passengers to board starting around noon, through the mid-afternoon (specific times will vary based on your cruise's schedule, and you will receive that information well ahead of time). When you check in online for your cruise (a few weeks before Cruise Day) you will pick a time slot for when you expect to be at the…
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How To Pick A Cruise: The Big Questions

How To Pick A Cruise: The Big Questions

Picking A Cruise
Is this your first time planning a family cruise? Figuring out how to pick a cruise can seem overwhelming at first glance, but let's break it all down and help get you focused on the fun! Who Is Going? Let's start with the most obvious question... who is going on your cruise? The number of people might determine whether you get one cabin or more, what size cabin you need, whether you might consider a suite, etc. For your reference we've done fine with a family of 5 in a single cabin, even with young teenagers. Yes, it can get a bit cramped, but you will not spend a lot of time in your cabin (at least if you're doing things right!). If you can afford a suite, however, there…
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Do You Need A Passport To Go On A Cruise? Here’s The Honest Answer

Do You Need A Passport To Go On A Cruise? Here’s The Honest Answer

Preparing For Your Cruise
One of the most frequently-asked questions for newbies is, "Do you need a passport to go on a cruise?" There's one answer that you'll get from your cruise line, but as an experienced cruiser I'm here to give you the whole picture, so let's walk through this together, shall we? What The Cruise Lines Say Technically, if you are on what is called a "Closed Loop" cruise (beginning and ending in the same US port, with stops in Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas or Bermuda), you can re-enter the US at the end of your cruise with your birth certificate or select other forms of government-issued ID. For more details, check for information from the US Customs and Border Protection website. Many people will stop right there, think that they can…
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Things To Bring On A Cruise: The Must-Have Items For Your Family!

Things To Bring On A Cruise: The Must-Have Items For Your Family!

Preparing For Your Cruise
Planning for a family cruise can be a challenge if you have never done this before. How do you know which things to bring on a cruise? Let us help you with these suggestions for critical items to order ahead of time. All of the links below refer to Amazon, which has a wide selection of products and usually excellent prices. These links are affiliate links, so if you click through and purchase something from Amazon, we receive a small commission from them (at no additional cost to you). I just wanted to be up-front with you about that, and also emphasize that we don't recommend anything here we don't strongly believe in. So with that out of the way, let's get to the good stuff! Cabin Storage Cruise ship…
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Movie Night – An Easy Way to Unwind

Movie Night – An Easy Way to Unwind

Enjoying Your Cruise
After a day of fun in the sun, sometimes the best way to wind down is with a family-friendly movie night under the stars. At least once on each cruise I've been on, we've grabbed a few deck chairs and enjoyed a movie on the big screen near the rear of the ship, perhaps with a drink or three and a box of popcorn (which is irresistible once you smell the fresh stuff popping along merrily). It's funny how this all works, because the movie doesn't even have to be that good. In fact, one of the best times we've had on our family cruises has been laughing at the absurdity of Kong: Skull Island, for example. All you Kong: Skull Island fans have my sincere apologies. Movie nights can…
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