Travel Information
Christian Cruise Information
 
 
 
 
1. Will I need a visa?
US Citizens do not need a visa to travel to Greece or Italy. Visas are required for Turkey.  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.
*Passengers taking a pre or post tour that begins or ends in Turkey will have to purchase a Turkish visa upon arrival into Turkey or disembarkation from the ship.  They are $20 and must be paid in cash in US dollars.
 
2. How soon do I need to choose a pre- or post-tour?
Immediately. These tours can be added if spaces is available up to 90 days prior to departure. If you participate in a pre-tour without the rest of your group, you will met your group when you board the ship.

 
3. When are payments due?
$400 is due at the time of registration.  $1000 is due at the time of registration if the registration is received within 6 months of the departure.  A total of $1000 is required on your account by 6 months prior to departure. Final Payment for the trip, including optional insurance premium if applicable, is due 105 days prior to departure. Thereafter, a late payment fee of $100 will be assessed.
 
Please note: Insurance cannot be added after your final payment is made.  Once the insurance premium is paid, it is non-refundable.  
 
4. What airline will be used?
We have used many airlines, including Lufthansa, Swiss International, United, Alitalia, Air France, British Airways, Olympic, Iberia, etc.
 
5. What is the time difference in our time zones?
Greece, Turkey and Israel are seven hours and Italy is six hours ahead of Eastern time.
 
6. 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.
 
7. 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.
 
8. What are the rest rooms like in Greece, Turkey and Italy?
You will find mostly American-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.
 
9. How much money should I bring?
Most everything has been included in your tour cost with the exception of lunches (pre and post tours only), shopping, optional tours (where applicable). A love offering will be collected for guides(when guides are used) and drivers (see #13 below). Having plenty of small bills is advisable.
 
10. What type of currency is used? 
  • For Greece: the official currency is the Euro.
  • Israel: the official currency is the Shekel, though US dollars are widely accepted. 
  • Italy: the official currency is the Euro. 
  • Turkey: the official currency is the Turkish Lira, they will accept Euros and US dollars.   

For easy conversion from one currency to another, please visit this website:
http://www.xe.com/ucc/


11. Should I exchange some money before departure?
Before leaving the US, you may wish to exchange a small sum of Dollars into Euros if this will be the main currency used on your trip.
 
12. Will US currency be accepted for extra expenses?
In some cases US dollars will be accepted.
 
13. What can you tell me about the "love offering" for our guides and drivers?
Our suggested amount for the voluntary love offering is $3.00 per person/per day for your guide (if a guide is used) and $2.00 per person/per day for your driver (these amounts are per person and can be paid with US dollars or Euros). Your Bus Captain will pass an envelope daily as your guides and drivers can change daily at each port. Having plenty of small bills is advisable.
 
14. Are there any other "tips" I need to pay?
Rendering gracious, attentive service is an honor for the ship's crew. While tipping on board a ship is a long-standing tradition, it is also an individual way of saying "thank you" to the personnel who serve you. By paying your account in full, you have already paid the standard tip amounts for all those on board who will be serving you. However, should you receive service you believe is "above and beyond" the norm, or ask for extra services (such as room service), please feel free to tip personally anyone you feel necessary.
 
15. What will the weather be like?
Check www.weatherbase.com for information or we can offer the following averages:  
  • March - April:     Athens: 65/50   Israel: 83/50
  • November:          Athens: 64/52   Rome: 63/46

16. What type of clothes should I bring?

Layer clothing as the mornings and evenings may be cool. Bring a compact raincoat, a small umbrella, and a hat to protect you from both the rain and sun. For shore excursions, wear loose, comfortable cottons or other lightweight clothing that can be layered. Some of the tours involve long bus rides and/or considerable walking, so comfort is essential. Comfortable walking shoes are a must! On tours that include places of worship, shorts and bare shoulders are not permitted.
 
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.
 
17. I have limited mobility. What special facilities are available?
Due to the lack of handicapped accessible facilities in Greece, Turkey, Italy, and Israel, persons confined to a wheelchair or in need of ambulatory assistance will find travel on this program nearly impossible.  Most of the cabins on the ship are not wheelchair accessible. The ancient ruins of Greece, Turkey, Italy and Israel are covered with many loose, uneven stones and most are only accessible by foot. We require that anyone traveling with a cane, walker, or portable wheelchair for use on excurions, to have a capable companion who will accompany/assist them during their travels. They must also understand that much of the itinerary will be inaccessable to them. 
 
Please Note: Due to liability, JCBS staffmembers and ship's crew members are not allowed to assist passengers who are using mobility devices, including walkers or wheelchairs, or who need ambulatory assistance or any kind.
 
18. What cruise line/ship are we using?
The cruise line and ship will vary depending on your itinerary. We normally use ships from the following cruise lines:
Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian, and Costa.