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The page will be updated with information and questions/answers in the lead up to the cruise
BEFORE THE CRUISE
- Visas (reminder) – you should have received information from your travel agent about entry requiremensts to the US. If you are an eligible passport holder from a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) country (Australia, New Zealand and the UK are), you will be able to enter/exit the US without a visa provided you are in possession of a biometric passport AND pre-register online for the VWP through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). ESTA applications may be made online at: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/ and must completed at least 72 hours before entr to the US.
- Boarding time – 10.30am to 2.30pm
THE FIRST DAY – WHAT TO EXPECT
- When you board – find you cabin. Your check-in baggage may not arrive until later. At your convenience visit our cruise registration desk in the conference centre on deck 2. You will receive a printed cruise program and guide, a name tag, lanyard (Australians and New Zealanders will have received theirs with their posted tickets) and some information from cruise sponsors
- Cruise safety drill – this is compulsory for everyone on board. The time will be advised after you board, but it is likely to be 30-60 minutes before the cruise departure. We should know the time at the registration desk
- Meet & greet – 7.30pm on Day 1 in the conference centre on deck 2
ON THE CRUISE
- The currency on board the Explorer of the Seas will be US dollars
- Internet – see Guide to Royal Caribbean Voom WiFi Internet prices and tips
- Power – Explorer of the Seas has North American standard, 110 volts AC and standard European 220/230 volts AC outlets. If your device does not have one of these plugs you will need to buy or bring an adaptor.
- Dining – 5.3opm is the dining time allocated for our group. This applies only to those booked with our group with our own cruise travel agents – and only for evening dining in the main restaurant. There are other dining options – specialty restaurants you will need to book for and casual dining in the Windjammer buffet (flexible times – no booking needed)
- Formal nights – two formal nights are expected – days to be advise on board
- Shore tours – book these with cruise line – either before the cruise – or on board (if not booked out)
- Conference rooms – this is on deck 2. We have the entire conference centre throughout – configured as three separate rooms
- Research Help Zone – 1 on 1 or small groups with an expert. Experts available will be announced early each day
- DNA one-on-one help – simila to Research Help Zone, but additional time slots are scheduled for these
- What level will the talks be? – a range of levels. With three parallel streams in two or more theatres there will be a choice of topic and level to suit most people
- Questions at talks must be within the time allowed for each. Or held to ask in a Research Help session or privately
- No audio or video recording of any session is allowed without permission of the presenter
- Can I book with another travel agent – other than Unlock the Past listed agents? – yes, but the conference fee will be at higher rate. This gives you full conference participation, plus most of the bonuses and rewards. You may not be able join our evening dining group (main dining room only). Royal Caribbean allocate tables and our group is separate from others. We will try to bring in those outside our group nearer the time, but can’t be sure that is possible. You should at least request 6pm dining, as our group has – if you want to attend any of our after dinner sessions. You will need to book the conference fee directly with us (securely online or send payment some other way). This is not necessary when booking with our partner travel agents
- Can I share a cabin with more than just one other person to help with cost? – Yes – check with your travel agent about avaialability and cost.
- My spouse/partner/friend sharing a cabin with me is not into genealogy. Does he/she need to pay the conference fee?
A1 – yes if booking a cabin from our group and are interested in attending a few general interest sessions and get most of the cruise benefits and loyalty rewards, plus the cruise prize draw. But it can be at a lower non-genealogy partner rate for the non-genealogy partmer
A2 – no if booking a cabin outside our group allocation and they want no participation in any sessions or any cruise benefits and loyalty rewards – and the prize draw (it is not uncommon for a non-genealogy partner to win one of the cruise prizes – for their genealogy partner of course). The conference fee the genealogy partner will be higher if the non-genealogy partner opts out of all conference participation and benefits