On most cruise ships, the basic necessities such as accommodations, entertainment, and standard meals are included in the standard fare. While many cruises are notorious for charging guests for alcohol and specialty dining options, Crystal practices a generally all-inclusive fare structure covering all drinks (including premium spirits and wines), one specialty dining reservation per passenger (including at chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s Umi Uma and Sushi Bar, his first restaurant at sea), 24-hour room service, and a Wi-Fi package.
The British line P& Cruises is the oldest in the world, established in 1837 to ferry mail and passengers between the United Kingdom and the Iberian Peninsula, but it began to offer leisure operations—the very first cruises as we know them—as early as 1844.
For travelers who don’t want to deal with passports or passport cards, there is the “trusted traveler” card issued by the federal government to prescreened travelers (But those won’t get you over an international border the way a passport will.) Also, a number of border states are working on enhanced drivers licenses containing the RFID chip and other security features that are acceptable for entry at land and sea points.
As the veranda suites were particularly lucrative for cruise lines, something which was lacking in older ocean liners, recent cruise ships have been designed to maximize such amenities and have been described as “balcony-laden floating condominiums”.
Cunard Line ships maintain the class tradition of ocean liners and have separate dining rooms for different types of suites, while Celebrity Cruises and Princess Cruises have a standard dining room and “upgrade” specialty restaurants that require pre-booking and cover charges.