This helpful resource is your guide for all things Dream Destination Conference 2017 – Cruise to Alaska. Check back here often as more questions and answers will be added. It’s our goal to make sure you are cruise-ready when it comes time to set sail.
General Dream Destination Conference 2017 Information
Q. I received an email from FFS that says I’ve qualified for the Dream Destination Conference 2017 cruise. What do I do next?
A. Congratulations. There are a few things that you need to do immediately:
- Click on the link in the email you received. It will take you to the DDC17 Official Registration site, where you can fill out required information for you and your guest.
- Next, you need to make sure all of your and your guest’s travel documents are in order. Regent Seven Seas requires all passengers to carry a valid passport. Passports must be valid through Dec. 31, 2017. Depending on your personal situation, you may need other types of travel documents. Check out the Passports & Visas section of these FAQs for more information.
It’s important to remember that FFS associates who satisfy the contest qualifications are eligible for an invitation to attend. Qualifiers must be in good standing, which includes satisfying FFS standards for policy placement and persistency, as stated in the FFS Field Manual. Persistency will continue to be monitored after the contest period and prior to the trip.
Participation is by invitation only and acceptance of same is strictly voluntary. Qualifiers who receive an invitation and who, for any reason, are unable to attend are not entitled to any other compensation, nor may they offer their invitation to any other person. All qualifiers must accompany their guest for Dream Destination Conference 2017.
Q. Do I need to make my own flight arrangements?
A. No. Our travel company, Williamsburg Travel will contact you directly to arrange flights for you and your guest. Whether you’re qualified for the Elite or the Main leg of the trip, everyone will fly into Ted Stevens Anchorage International Alaska Airport. Elite qualifiers will fly in on Mon., May 29.
Main trip qualifiers will fly in on Tues., May 30. FFS will pick up the cost for your one-night’s hotel stay at the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel, including room, tax and transportation for you and your guest to Seward, AK, where we’ll board the Regent Seven Seas Mariner. You will be responsible for any transportation costs getting from the airport to the Sheraton.
Q. When will I receive my tickets?
A. The FFS Event team will send tickets for you and your guest approximately 45 days prior to departure. You will also receive cruise-specific luggage tags.
It cannot be stressed enough: You must bring your cruise tickets with you. Do not leave them at home. Put them with your travel documents, so you’ll not forget them.
Q. When can we board the ship?
A. We can start to embark at 1 p.m. and everyone must be on the ship by 4 p.m. the day the cruise departs. Since we’ll be traveling together to Seward, we will embark together. You will receive the keys to your cabin when you check in. As you board the ship, you’ll be greeted by a Regent Staff member who will let you know when your room will be ready and suggest a place on ship where you can wait and get something to eat. An announcement will be made over the ship’s intercom system when your room is ready. Your luggage will be delivered to your cabin.
The amount of wait time to get in your room varies. It’s a good idea to have a small bag with you for all of your travel documents that you’ll need to board the ship, as well as any valuables, medication or other necessary items.
General Information about Alaska
Q. Is Alaska on Pacific Standard Time (PST)?
A. No. The 49th state is on Alaska Standard Time (AKST) and is one hour behind PST. When you arrive in Anchorage, you should adjust your watch accordingly.
Q. What is the weather like in Alaska in June?
A. Since we’ll be sailing in late May/early June, expect temperatures in the mid-50s to upper-60s during the day, dropping down to the high-30s to mid-40s at night. The average precipitation varies, depending on where we are traveling. Anchorage is between 0.8 and 1.2 in., while Seward is higher (2.4-3.4 in.). Vancouver’s precipitation range is 2.1 to 2.6 in. We suggest you monitor online temperatures, as we get closer to trip time. A good site to check is http://www.weatherbase.com/search/search.php3?query=alaska.
What to Wear; What to Bring
Q. How much luggage am I allowed?
A. While Regent Seven Seas Cruises doesn’t limit the number of bags you can bring with you; the airlines certainly do. Once your flights have been arranged, check with your air carrier’s web site for specific information about the number of checked bags allowed and cost, as well as carry-on items. You will be responsible for the cost of all checked bags, as well as any other charges associated with your luggage – carry-on or checked (e.g. charges for bags over the weight limit, extra bags, etc.).
Q. What should I wear? What type of clothing will I need?
A. Average temperatures along the Alaskan Gulf coast vary, so you’ll need to be prepared with clothing that offers warmth and keeps you dry. One way to do this is dress in layers that you can shed as the temps rise or add as the rain falls. Regent Seven Seas also recommends that you pack:
- Rain Gear
- Hat and gloves
- A pair of good walking shoes
Since this is one of the more-upscale cruise lines, Regent Seven Seas does offer recommended attire guidelines. For example, Regent strongly suggests that “after 6 p.m., all guests must be dressed in elegant casual or country club casual clothing.” The cruise line spells out its dress code in the FAQ section on its website. Click here and go to “What is the Dress Code?” for details.
Q. What are the most common items that passengers fail to pack?
A. While they haven’t done a formal survey, Regent said that people tend to forget things, such as sunscreen and sunglasses, needed to protect from the sun’s rays bouncing off the glaciers and blinding you; mosquito repellant for hikes or water-related excursions; and a small bag to carry personal items on shore excursions.
Dining and Entertainment
Q. I’ve heard there are great restaurants on the ship? Can I eat at any of them? How do I make Reservations?
A. Regent Seven Seas has an open-seating restaurant policy. This means you can “dine whenever, wherever and with whomever you choose.” Once you’ve decided where you want to eat, contact that restaurant’s maître d’, who, if space is available, will seat you and your guests.
Some of the more popular onboard restaurants require reservations. These can be made online or once you get on the boat. FFS does have at least one dinner planned during the cruise. You may want to wait until you’re on board to make dinner plans. Once you’ve consulted the DDC17 Agenda-at-a-Glance for specifics and have your excursions scheduled, you can make decisions – and reservations, if necessary – where you want to take meals.
Here’s a quick overview of the Seven Seas Mariner’s dining options, type of cuisine, meals served, location on ship, and if reservations are required.
|Coffee Connection||Traditional||B, L||06|
|Compass Rose||Continental||B, L, D||05|
|La Veranda||Traditional Favorites||B, L||11|
|Sette Mari at Veranda||Italian||D||11|
|The Pool Grill||Burgers & More||B, L, D||11|
Q. Will we need tickets or reservations for any of the ship’s entertainment and venues?
A. You won’t need tickets or reservations to see any of Regent’s on-board shows. The cruise line offers a variety of entertainment, from Cirque-style productions to musical reviews. Simply arrive at the Constellation Theater, located on Decks 05 and 06, at the appropriate time and take a seat. There’s a variety of lounges and nightclubs on the Seven Seas Mariner, where you can relax, star-gaze, dance, or sing karaoke.
Excursions & Activities On Board
Q. I’m excited about the excursions offered by the ship. Can I book them in advance of departure or once on board?
A. Once you have your tickets and a booking number, you can begin booking excursions online through Regent Seven Seas, but you may want to wait until you’ve had an opportunity to review the FFS DDC17 Agenda-at-a-Glance. This way you can make sure you don’t book an excursion at the same time as a reception or meeting.
Regent offers both free and paid excursions. They are setting aside some free excursions for our group. You may want to wait and book your adventures on the first day on board.
Q. If I decide to stay on board, rather than taking an excursion, will I get bored?
A. No. There’s lots to do on board the Regent Seven Seas Mariner. In addition to the large heated pool with its teak deck dotted with lounge chairs, you can enjoy:
- Work out at the fitness center
- Book beauty treatments at the Canyon Ranch SpaClub
- Jog around the full-circle track on Deck 12
- Check out the golfing cages, shuffleboard, and paddle tennis also on Deck 12
- Visit the comfy library and find a great book to read.
- Participate in daily games that everyone can play
- Take-in a lecture through the Enrichment Series
- Catch a mid-day movie
Some cruises also offer wine tastings and a variety of other fun things to do.
Q. I’ve heard the Seven Seas Mariner has an incredible spa. How do I make a reservation for a facial?
The Seven Seas Mariner’s Canyon Ranch spa offers a wide variety of treatments. Be sure to book time the first day on board to make sure you get the times and treatments you want. The ship has a great fitness center. It does not require reservations; it’s first come, first served. The cruise line’s website states that “spa guests under 16 are not permitted in the spa or fitness center unless accompanied by an adult.”
Q. What happens if I’m late getting back to the ship from an excursion or shopping trip?
A. Cruise ships run on a tight schedule. Due the volume of ship traffic, especially in the Gulf of Alaska, cruise ships must dock and leave port at specific times. If you fail to return before the “all-aboard” call is sounded, you will be left behind. It will be your responsibility – and at your expense – to get to the next port of call and rejoin the ship. To avoid this costly mistake and disrupting your trip, here are a few things you can do:
- Before you disembark in any port, make a note of the time you must be back on the ship.
- Take your travel documents (or copies of them) with you anytime you leave the ship.
- Carry important phone numbers of those who can help you if you’re stranded:
- Mobile numbers for the FFS Events team on ship
- The Seven Seas Mariner ship
- The port agent (most cruise lines have agents stationed in the port area)*
- Don’t overbook excursions. Plan carefully and pay special attention to the amount of time each excursion takes and when it will have you back to the dock.
- Keep an eye on the clock. Know what time it is.
- Return to the ship one to two hours before the all aboard call.
FFS plans to set up a texting system that will allow us to text all qualifiers one hour before the ship departs the port of call. But, that requires accountability on your part. If you would like to receive these alerts be sure you take your mobile phone with you when leaving the ship, it’s fully charged, and it’s on.
* Source: Ashley Kosciolek. “What to Do If Your Cruise Ship Leaves You Behind … and How to Prepare so it Doesn’t Happen to You.” Cruise Critic >> Home >> Features >> Cruise Tips and Advice. http://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=2026
Q. I may require a wheelchair while on the trip. What should I do?
A. Again, you will want to let the FFS Events team know about your needs as soon as possible. Regent Seven Seas Cruises has a rental program available that can address any special needs.
Q. I understand that once the ship has left port, we’ll receive one WIFI login per cabin, which can only be used with one device at a time. Is there a way to purchase additional logins?
A. Yes. Regent Sevens Seas offers WIFI packages for multiple logins. Here’s what’s available and the cost.
- A LA CARTE – This is the package for someone who wants to send email or occasionally use the internet while on board. This one is available at a per minute rate of $0.99, plus a one-time activation fee of $3.95.
- 200 MINUTES – This package offers 200 anytime minutes (or equivalent data amount) for a total cost of $160 ($0.80 per minute), plus a one-time activation fee of $3.95
- UNLIMITED – This is for the passenger who expects to spend a large amount of time on the Internet. This is offered at the daily rate of $29.99. with no activation fee.
Keep in mind the ship does have a business center, where for a nominal fee, you can send or receive email via on-board computers. We suggest you wait until you are on the ship to decide if or how much WIFI usage you’ll need for the cruise.
Passports & Visas
Q. Does Regent Seven Seas require U.S. citizens to have passports?
A. Yes. Regent Seven Seas Cruises requires passports for ALL travelers for ALL voyages, regardless of guest’s nationality and ports of call and countries visited. You will need to bring a valid passport to board the Regent Seven Seas Mariner. Passport Cards or a copy of a passport are not accepted.
Passports must be valid for six months beyond the conclusion of the Dream Destination Conference 2017 cruise (December 2017). It’s important for you obtain or renew your passport early to ensure you have the correct paperwork to join us on this trip.
Q. How do I obtain or renew a passport?
A. Go to the U.S. State Department website’s Passports page for information, instructions and downloadable forms needed to obtain or renew a passport. Plan on a minimum of six weeks to have your application processed and a passport returned to you.
Q. What do I need to do if I’m here on a visa?
A. That depends on the type and length of your current visa. The U.S. State Department has an excellent Frequently Asked Question page with information about visas on its website.
Effective Jan. 1, 2016, U.S. passport holders cannot add additional visa pages to passports. If you need to add pages, you’ll need to renew your passport prior to cruise.
Q. What documents are required when visiting Canada?
A. U.S. citizens are not required to get a Canadian visa. You can verify if your nationality requires a visa by visiting the Canadian Immigration website. There you’ll find information about requirements and how to apply for a visa.
The Canadian government has a couple of strict policies that you need to be aware of:
- While this is more of an issue for ships departing from Vancouver and heading north along the Alaskan coast, Canadian officials will not allow non-U.S. or non-Canadian citizens to board without presenting the proper documentation. To learn more, go to the Canadian Immigration website.
- The Canadian government has cracked down on admitting people who have been convicted of a crime into the country. If you have a past criminal record and/or convictions, you may be refused entry in Canada. Nearly all convictions, including petty crimes and misdemeanors, may make a person “inadmissible” to Canada. To avoid these problems, apply for the necessary documents well in advance of your trip. Go here for more details.
Q. Will we need to go through customs?
A. Yes. We will disembark in Vancouver, B.C. and will be subject to inspection by local customs officials there. Once we return to the states our baggage will be inspected by U.S. customs agents. U. S. residents are allowed a duty-free exemption of $800 per person.