Rum Cruise Fequently Asked Questionsuseful information for your big rum adventure
Is this a big rum party on the ocean?
No, the Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise is an opportunity for rum enthusiasts and collectors to experience VIP tours of distilleries with rum experts. There simply is no way for the average traveler to get these inside tours with special access. Rum Cruisers visit some of the most interesting places where rum is produced. It’s a unique opportunity to collect rums that are not easily found in the American market and a chance to immerse in the culture of the Eastern Caribbean and better understand its long tradition of making sugar cane spirits. Along the way, the ship provides comfortable accommodations and allows passengers to collect much more rum than if we traveled via small flights between islands. We’ll be tasting plenty of outstanding rum along the way, but if you’re really looking for an opportunity to drink your way through the Eastern Caribbean, you might be disappointed. Our focus is on visiting distilleries and rum shops to acquire interesting bottles of rum for our collections in the most efficient and expeditious manner.
What’s covered in the $350 charge for land tours?
The tour charge covers the cost of your transportation on each island as well as the VIP-level tours of the rum producing facilities. This is a big difference from what other passengers will pay for simple pedestrian tours offered by the cruise ship. This $350 land tour fee does not include food, gifts, bottles of rum or tips for services on land. Each person on the Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise pays the $350 fee regardless of whether they take the tours offered on each island each day. There are no refunds for unused portions of the land tours. The price of the tours is separate from the cost of your cabin, port taxes, gratuities onboard the ship and other fees associated with the cruise ship.
How large is our group of rum enthusiasts?
We limit the number of people invited on the rum cruise land tours to about two dozen, in order to ensure the best experience. Distillery tours with larger groups are not efficient, not desirable and not easily accommodated. On board the ship, our group usually dines together at two or three large tables each evening, offering plenty of opportunity for friendship and camaraderie. It’s an option to meet for breakfast before departing the ship at the first opportunity each morning to optimize our travel plans and our well-planned schedule on each island.
Do we go through customs at each port?
No. The beauty of cruise ship travel is that the ship clears everyone through customs automatically. You leave the ship and return to the ship at will, without ever going through customs and immigration at each port. This freedom of entry and exit means we’re not wasting time at airports going through customs, being searched, experiencing limits on what we can put in our luggage. Upon our return to Puerto Rico, we pass through American Customs and Immigration along with many thousands of other passengers, easily, quickly and without delay before going back to the airport.
How much rum can we bring back to the ship?
At each port along the way, we’re collecting rum from distilleries, tasting rooms and rum shops. Upon arrival back at the ship late each day, we hand over our rum to the ship’s staff for secure storage. All rum is delivered back to you the evening before departure so you can pack it in your luggage. Unlike air travel, there is effectively no limit on how many bottles you can purchase on each island and bring back to the ship. The only real limit is how much rum you can fit in your luggage.
Which distillery tours are available in Puerto Rico?
You can enjoy an excellent tour of Casa Bacardi, which is ranked #1 of 45 museums in the San Juan area. Arrive a day early or stay on island a day or two later to enjoy this immersive experience. Get a hotel room on the beach or in Old San Juan to enjoy the local culture. We recommend visiting the production facilities of Barrilito, a Puerto Rican rum that was first produced in 1804 by Fernando Fernandez in Buyamón, just outside of San Juan. Don Fernando Fernandez, a grandson of the original producer, along with his brother, still operates the facility. On the south shore of the island, near the city of Ponce, the Destileria Serralles produces Don Q and many other rum products for various brands around the world. These tours are not part of the scheduled itinerary of the Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise, but many passengers enjoy making their own arrangements for these adventures aside from the one week itinerary aboard the ship.
Do you offer group discounts on airfare or hotel rooms in Puerto Rico?
Arranging airfare is up to each passenger. Discount flights on Jet Blue are common from various East Coast airports to Puerto Rico. American, Delta, United and many other carriers offer frequent flights into San Juan as well. We recommend arriving a day early or staying in Puerto Rico a day or two after the cruise to enjoy the best of local culture, as well as additional distillery tours. Hotel El Convento in Old San Juan is a very special place in the heart of the old city. El San Juan Hotel on the beach enjoys very good reviews and is convenient to the airport. The Caribe Hilton San Juan is known as the birthplace of the modern piña colada cocktail. Among the chains with local hotels are InterContinental, Best Western, Sheraton, Marriott, Wyndham, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Doubletree, Waldorf Astoria and Ritz-Carlton and more.
What do I need for proof of citizenship?
A valid passport is preferred, but American Citizens can also choose to bring a certified copy of their birth certificate and a valid driver’s license.
How much are gratuities and port charges?
Port charges are included in the price you pay to the cruise ship company. Gratuities are $13.50 per person per day, paid at final payment in advance, or at the end of your cruise.
The $500 deposit secures my space on the ship, but when is the final balance due?
Final payment is due on or before August 6th.
If someone in our group can’t make it, can we bring a substitute?
You can change the name of a guest up until the week before sailing.
Visit the cruise ship web site for more details.
If you have questions related to issues aboard the ship, contact travel agent Deb Fogerty, or visit the cruise ship web site to get more details.