- Am i expected to pay gratuities?
Gratuities to the Cruise Director, crew onboard and local guides and drivers are included in the cruise price. There are a few exceptions; In the Yangtze, Mekong, Irrawaddy, Amazon & Galapagos, gratuities to the Tour director can be pre-paid. In the Amazon & Galapagos, gratuities to the crew and naturalists cannot be pre-paid and should be paid while onboard. In the Mekong & Irrawaddy, drivers and local hosts on extensions are not included and should be paid directly. Tipping is a way to show your satisfaction for good service and is always appreciated but not expected. If you are tipping, it is recommended that tips be paid in cash.
- Are medical services available?
- Due to the proximity to land, medical services can be called from shore rapidly. In the Galápagos, there is a physician on board.
- Are rooms air conditioned?
- All rooms on ship are air conditioned and heated. For your own comfort, staterooms include individual climate control.
Electricity on board our Avalon Waterways ships is 220v which requires a European Adaptor. You will need an adaptor or converter to use in your stateroom. To assist you we have provided you with a picture of the adaptor:
- How do I make purchases on the cruise?
- A cashless system operates on the ships so all purchases and shipboard services are credited to your account. At the end of the cruise you will receive your account which can be paid with cash, credit cards or paid in traveller’s cheques (there is a processing fee).Traveller’s cheques are not accepted on the Nile, on Lake Nasser nor in Southeast Asia. Personal cheques are not accepted. On the Mekong only cash, Visa and Mastercard are accepted for payment.
- What beverages are included?
- Wine and beer are included with all onboard dinners. Non-alcoholic alternatives are also available. Soft drinks are included with lunch and in Europe complimentary regional wine and beer are also available. At other times, alcoholic beverages are available for an additional charge. In Europe and the Mekong and Irrawaddy, regular coffee, tea and iced tea are available free of charge throughout the day from the self service coffee stations. On the Mekong, Irrawaddy and Amazon cruises, local beer, spirits and soft drinks are included. On the Yangtze and Galapagos coffee, tea and soft drinks are included at lunch and dinner.
- What meals should I expect?
All meals on board are prepared by accomplished chefs and consist of local food adjusted to suit the tastes of international passengers. There is a full buffet breakfast, and in Europe a buffet lunch including choice of soups and main courses with appetizer, salad or sandwich, and dessert. On the Yangtze, Mekong and Irrawaddy, a mix of Western and local dishes are offered; in the Galápagos, you'll be able to taste some Ecuadorian specialties and in the Amazon taste a mix of Peruvian and Western favourites.
- Are laundry facilities available?
- Laundry service is available on board for a modest fee. Price lists will be available in your stateroom. Please note that clothes cannot be dry cleaned on board. For safety reasons, we ask that you do not iron clothing in your cabin. For a small fee, the onboard laundry service is available to iron clothing.
NOTE: Laundry facilities are not available on the Galapagos cruise.
- How can I contact friends and family?
Most ships offer complimentary Wi-Fi acess, as well as an Internet corner.
Each stateroom has it's own telephone. This may be used to call room to room or to any of the ship's offices. In Europe calls can be made from ship-to-shore. In Asia, ship-to-shore calls must be made from reception. Any charges are placed on your shipboard account. In the Galapagos, there are two satellite-linked phones available for use in the reception lounge.
A cell phone is often the easiest way to contact friends and family, however it can be costly. You should check international calling and text rates with your cell phone provider and disable data roaming. Alternatively, an international cell phone and purchasing a prepaid SIM card can help control yours costs.
- Is smoking allowed on the ship?
In Europe and in the Galapagos, all ships have non-smoking interiors. Smoking is only permitted on the Sky Deck. On the Avalon Siem Reap, Avalon Myanmar, Century Legend and the Amazon Discovery, smoking is permitted in designated areas only.
- Is there a safe in my room?
- Although it is recommended that you leave valuables at home, all staterooms are equipped with a safe. Any items that exceed the size of the safe can be checked into the ship's reception desk.
- Is there a dress code?
Dress aboard and on shore is casual. Please bring comfortable walking shoes for sightseeing. Dinner attire is casual—open-neck shirts, pants, dresses. Coats and ties may be worn. The Captain's Welcome and Farewell Dinners are dressy, but not formal. On the Mekong and Irrawaddy coats and ties are not recommended due to the warm humid climate.
- Must I know native languages of the countries I am visiting?
It is not essential to speak languages other than English. Generally, Cruise Directors and Local Guides are multilingual and will be able to communicate with the locals on your behalf.