While you're here, check out some online photo albums:
Paul's Cruise '98 Photos
"Beta Cruise" Photos
This is a draft of the "C2K Guide" -- based on our experiences on the Test
Cruise. For info on C2K itself, check out the final
version of the C2K Guide.
What to Pack
Stuff you might not expect...
-  Enough  light-colored,  non-wrinkle clothes.  Laundry
on the ship is expensive. (Century didn't have self-serve laundry, and
even if they did I have no idea when I would have taken the time...)
 It gets HOT near the equator.  They don't want you using irons in
- LOTS of T-shirts. I packed 10 and bought 1, and that wasn't quite
- Quick-dry bathing suits. Outside hot and sunny. Inside
air-conditioned. Nuff said.
- A variety of shoes. I brought 4 pairs: dress shoes, dockers,
sneakers, and "aqua socks" (in hindsight I think I would have preferred
sandals instead as my 4th pair). Arik said he felt like Imelda Marcos.
- Varying degrees of sunblock. YOU WILL BURN if you don't use any.
Most of us burned (in varying degrees) the first day anyway. I recommend
high-strength stuff (SPF 30+) initially, then adjust down (or up!) as the
week progresses. Don't forget lip sunblock too. If you burn
easily, use aloe and other moisturizers frequently. I would also
suggest a comfortable hat -- I think the top of my head burned
- Motion sickness stuff. The motion of a cruise ship is very
different from that of a yacht or sailboat. Even in calm seas there's a
slow, subtle motion that you'll most likely notice. Even if smaller boats
don't bother you, it's a good idea to be prepared. Apparently, dramamine
works wonders, and so do those accupressure wrist bands.
- Eyewear. If you have good vision, at least bring a pair of
sunglasses. If you wear glasses, bring a spare pair, plus either
prescription sunglasses or clip-ons for your normal glasses. (Broken
glasses are very tough to repair/replace on the islands.) If you wear
contact lenses, bring sunglasses and regular glasses. (Your eyes will
dry out more quickly than you might expect.)
- Cash or Travelers Checks. Most of your expenses can be placed
on credit cards, but it's good to have cash for tips, taxis/tours/food
on shore, souvenirs, and the casino.
- Proof of citizenship and Photo ID. Not only do you go through
US Customs in Florida, but you also need photo ID and your room key to
re-board the ship after a shore excursion. A passport will cover all the
bases, otherwise you'll need a birth certificate and driver's license.
- Small backpack or tote bag. Very useful for shore excursions!
You might want to have dry clothes, towels, bottled water, cameras, etc.
with you on shore. This can also serve as your "overnight bag," which
you need for your last morning on the ship, and your carry-on bag for
- Extra space in your luggage. Souvenirs can be big.
- Underwater cameras and extra film. Those single-use underwater
cameras are cool for some excursions and expensive on the islands. And
in general, I recommend high speed film (400+), particularly since you'll
probably have a mix of indoor and outdoor shots on most rolls. Also, if
you don't have a scanner or digital camera, I highly recommend "Pictures
On Disk" services.
- Dressy stuff for evenings. Here's what Celebrity recommends
(with my translations in italics):
Overall, you should avoid jeans, shorts, and sneakers at dinner time.
|Formal (2 nights)
"Black Tie Optional"
|Tux or dress suit.
|Informal (1 night)
|Jacket, shirt, tie.
||Suit or dress.
|Casual (4 nights)
|Sport shirt, slacks.
||Pants suit, skirt and blouse,
or casual dress.
|Minimum you can get
away with for the trip
|One dark suit, several shirts|
and ties, plus 3-4 "casual" outfits.
|I have no clue.
What NOT to Pack
Stuff you won't use that just adds weight to already-heavy luggage...
- Towels. Celebrity actually recommended packing beach towels, but
they allowed you to sign out their towels as you left the ship. Just be
sure to return them when you re-board.
- Sporting equipment... unless you're a major enthusiast. Even then,
only pack it if you know you'll use it a lot. One example is snorkeling
gear, which is provided on every tour that involves snorkeling. Rentals
for snorkeling on your own won't be cheap, but they won't be prohibitive
What Else You'll Pay For
- Tips on-board. Celebrity's recommended amounts totalled about $72
per person, spread among the waiter, busboy, Maitre d', cabin steward,
and chief housekeeper. We got exceptional service in the restaurant,
so we gave extra to the waiter and busboy.
- Drinks. Yes, you have to pay for soda! Celebrity offered fruit
punch, lemonade, iced tea, hot tea, and coffee for free. They also gave
us a variety of juices free at breakfast. Also keep in mind that when
you order a drink at a bar, they automatically add a 15% tip.
- Shore excursions. Keep in mind that the ship overcharges for many
of the tours they offer. Once you're off the boat, you can often purchase
the same tour for 30%-50% less. Most tour guides also expect tips.
(Do you see a trend here?)
- Souvenirs. Jewelry and alcohol are relatively cheap on the
islands. Many places will haggle, and a lot of the salespeople are
aggressive. But it's actually a very good time to buy stuff, particularly
if you've been meaning to treat yourself or get someone an expensive gift.
- Other shore expenses. Food, drinks, transportation, etc., is all
extra, unless it's part of an excursion or tour.
- Photos. I think the ship photographer is overpriced, but they do
a very good job, and you might be tempted.
- Gambling. Many people are tempted to dump a few quarters into the
slot machines. A few are tempted to spend a bit more. The casino is very
similar to Atlantic City or Vegas, but I think the dealers are a little
more friendly and laid back. Celebrity allowed you to borrow up to $500
per day "commission-free" using your room key, but none of us dared. :-)
My entire vacation was about $1700:
* $950 for my half of the cabin (including taxes and port charges)
* $200 airfare from DC
* $150 casino and drinks
* $150 shore excursions
* $100 tips (on and off the ship)
* $100 souvenirs, gifts
* $50 miscellaneous
Your mileage may vary.