TIGER CRUISE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
Q. Does anyone know what is going on with the Tiger Cruise?
A. The Tiger Cruise Committee have been hard at work preparing for the up coming Tiger Cruise. Some of you may have read in the power point that the registration and medical forms were due by April 11th, that deadline has been shifted to the right. Forms were due April 18th.
Q. What is a Tiger Cruise?
A. Tiger cruise is the chance for family and friends to see up close what the US Navy does on a day for day basis. In our case, guests will observe at sea operations during the transit from Hawaii to San Diego.
Q. What is a Tiger?
A. "Tiger" is any relative or friend (but not girlfriend/boyfriend, fiancée or spouse) of a crew member or embarked personnel joining us for the transit to San Diego. It was established for family and friends to experience all facets of the shipboard life of their sponsor onboard USS CARL VINSON.
Q. When is the Tiger Cruise?
A. Tiger Cruise is currently scheduled to start in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The dates have been given to the entire crew by the Commanding Officer. Your Sailors have been instructed to write a letter home with the exact dates. Since Operational Security (OPSEC) is always a concern for the US Navy, dates will only be provided by the sponsor via US mail or by attending the FRG meetings. The ombudsmen and FRG are NOT ALLOWED to provide these dates by phone, email, or FAX.
Q. Who can participate in Tiger Cruise?
A. Relatives and friends of crew members or embarked personal are eligible. By Navy regulations, spouses, significant others, fiancés, fiancées, girlfriends and/or boyfriends are not eligible. Immediate family members (parents, siblings, or children) will have priority over "other" relatives or friends if we run out of room.
Q. Is my stepmother or stepfather considered an "immediate family member?
A. Yes, stepparents are considered "immediate family" members and will receive priority over "other" family members or friends.
Q. I am the sister of a Sailor. Is it true I can not go unless I get a female co-sponsor?
A. YES, but your Sailor should not have any problem getting you a co-sponsor. CARL VINSON Sailors are Shipmates first and we are trained to help a Shipmate out first and foremost. That said, it is your Sailor’s responsibility to ensure that you have a co-sponsor. Co-sponsors are required to assist with berthing issues and casualty responses (man-over-board, emergencies and the like).
Q. I am the spouses / significant other / fiancé / fiancée / girlfriend / boyfriend of a Sailor. Will we be allowed to come?
A. NO. Navy regulations do not permit spouses, boyfriends or girlfriends from embarking for Tiger Cruise. However, the ship is planning a short 'Family Day' cruise for the late this fall where you would be allowed to join your Sailor and experience much of the same events as Tiger Cruise.
Q. May pregnant women participate in the Tiger Cruise?
A. NO. The Navy restricts shipboard embarkation for pregnant women to avoid undue risk to mother and baby. Pregnant Tigers are not allowed.
Q. Are there any age restrictions?
A. Tigers must be a minimum of 8 years old on the day of embarkation. No upper age limit applies if the Tiger meets 1) the medical restrictions AND 2) can negotiate ladders and participate fully in Tiger activities.
Q. What medical restrictions apply to Tigers?
A. Family members and friends with the following medical conditions are excluded from Tiger Cruise participation.
***ALL tigers must bring their own medications - the ship cannot provide subscription medications***
Note: Individuals with the following conditions - angina pectoris, insulin-dependent diabetes, HIV-positive, chronic lung disease, or any prosthetic surgery must have a written clearance from their doctor AND must be approved by the ship's Senior Medical Officer for participation. Please update any changes you have already submitted.
Q. How much will Tiger Cruise cost?
A. The cost for Tiger Cruise is: $82.00
The charge is used to defray the cost of food while onboard and for Welcome Aboard safety and uniform items.
Q. How do I get my Medical Screen and Registration forms to the ship?
A. Sponsors will email the forms to their Tigers. Prospective Tigers must fill out all three forms, sign, have them scanned and attach to an email. Please ensure all forms are filled out completely. Any missing information will slow the screening process. Please scan and email forms back to the sponsor and then your sponsor forward all paperwork to the Department Representatives and he will provide to the Tiger Coordinator so your Tiger request will be submitting for evaluation and registration.
Q. How will Tigers fly from the San Diego, CA area to Honolulu, HI?
A. Please coordinate your travel arrangements through a travel agent of your choice. Sponsors have been provided with some travel information. The use of refundable plane tickets is advised or accept the possibility of paying a change fee if the dates change. There are many websites that provide reduced air fares so shop around but know exactly what the rules for cancellation or change are before buying your ticket. The United Service Organizations (USO) is home based at the Honolulu airport!
Q. How many Tigers will be allowed to participate?
A. We anticipate approximately 1,000 Tigers during the cruise from Honolulu, HI to San Diego, CA. Currently there are no restrictions on the total number; however, for each Tiger past the first Tiger your sponsor Sailor has to have a shipmate available to be your shipboard “buddy”. This is for safety reasons as we cannot have Tigers un-chaperoned while onboard the ship. Restrictions will be based on space availability.
Q. How many Tigers can I bring on the Tiger Cruise?
A. Crewmembers will be able to request as many Tigers as they want. Due to space limitations priority will be given in the following manner:
Q. What activities or entertainment will be available for the Tigers?
A. Tigers can expect a variety of entertainment during the Tiger cruise. Your Tiger Cruise Committee is hard at work aligning schedules and ensuring that we are able to provide you with an experience of a life time. We are planning on showing our Tigers as many operational events as possible such as:
Q. What transportation is available from the airport to the ship?
A. Transportation between the airport and the ship will be provided by a bus or van. The Tiger Cruise team and volunteers from the USO will be available to provide assistance, information and instructions as necessary. Taxis are very plentiful at the airport; however, FOR THOSE DRIVING TO BASE THEMSELVES, YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED ON BASE WITHOUT A MILITARY ESCORT OR MILITARY ID.
Q. Will Tigers be allowed on the Flight Deck?
A. Tigers will be allowed on the flight deck at various times such as Foreign Object Damage (FOD) Walkdowns. Also, some Tiger events will be held on the flight deck. TIGERS ARE PROHIBITED FROM BEING ON THE FLIGHT DECK (including CATWALKS AND FANTAIL) DURING FLIGHT OPERATIONS.
Q. Will Sailors still have normal working days during the Tiger Cruise?
A. Yes. Sailors will have normal working hours and are expected to perform assigned watches throughout the cruise. Sponsors are responsible for arranging proper supervision of Tigers under the age of 18.
Q. Is there a dress code for Tigers?
A. Yes. Recommend Tigers dress in layers to withstand wind, fog or other open ocean weather. Long pants or blue jeans are highly encouraged to protect legs. Long sleeved shirts are encouraged also. Shoes should be sturdy with flat soles – sneakers are preferred. Open toed shoes are prohibited due to the hazards associated with ladders, knee knockers, etc. A jacket or sweater is strongly encouraged. A good rule of thumb is to remember that there are occupational hazards associated with life and work at sea and by being dressed appropriately for a work environment will help to mitigate these hazards.
Q. Will Tigers be permitted to "man the rail" on arrival into San Diego?
A. Yes. Tigers will be allowed and encouraged to man the rail when pulling into San Diego.
Q. What items can Tigers purchase at the ship's store?
A. Additional memorabilia (T-shirts, hats, patches, watches, lighters, etc.) and items typically found in small convenience stores will be available for purchase in the two ship's stores and via the squadron stores. Tiger’s will be required to work with their sponsor to have money placed on the sponsor’s Navy Cash card for all store purchases and vending machines purchases.
Q. Should Tigers bring extra spending money?
A. Yes. Tigers may use their cash and place it on the sponsor’s Navy Cash card for all purchases and Morale Welfare & Recreation (MWR) activities.
Q. Can Tigers use Sailor Phones and/or e-mail?
A. Sailor Phones will be available to Tigers; however, they cost about $1 a minute. Phone cards may be purchased near the ship's store. Email, if required, may be coordinated with the Sponsor using the Sponsor’s government email account. Sponsors will be held responsible for monitoring content within current restrictions (no classified or inappropriate material). Operational Security (OPSEC) is a primary concern for Sponsors and Tigers alike. Always remember to never talk about location, dates or operations.
Q. Will meal hours be extended to accommodate crew & Tigers?
A. Sailors and embarked Tigers can expect extended meal hours. Exact times will be published in the Plan Of the Day (POD).
Q. Where will Tigers sleep?
A. Since the purpose of TIGER cruise is for family members to experience all facets of the shipboard life of their sponsor, all Tigers will berth in the same male/female departmental berthing spaces as their sponsor. Berthing is assigned based on the rank of the sponsor and not on the Active Duty/Retired status of the Tiger. Male berthing and female berthing will remain segregated. The intent is to provide each Tiger with a rack, but if unavailable, cots will be provided. If a crewmember wishes to bring a Tiger of the opposite gender, a co-sponsor (of the same gender as the Tiger) must agree to be responsible for the Tiger in berthing areas (i.e. ensure that the Tiger knows what ‘rack’ or bed they are assigned, how to get to the nearest ‘head’ or bathroom and what to do in case of a fire or man overboard situation).
Q. Can Tigers tour the reactor spaces OR other "industrial areas"?
A. NO. Reactor spaces and other sensitive or hazardous areas will remain off-limits to Tigers and guests. The safety of our Tigers is the primary consideration.
Q. When can Tigers check-in on the ship?
A. You can check in any time we are in port Hawaii and you may spend the night onboard the ship the night before the ship gets underway so that you do not ‘miss ship’s movement’ and so you can observe all the requirements necessary to get an aircraft carrier underway. Your Sponsor can provide you the dates we are in port Hawaii. It will not be posted online or transmitted over open social networks; again our concern is for the Operational Security of all Tigers and USS Carl Vinson and Team Quick Sand members.
Q. Can Sponsors or Tigers use checks to pay for the Tiger fee or in the ship's stores?
A. NO. Personal checks will not be accepted. Tigers and sponsors may use traveler's checks or money orders (payable to the "DISBURSING OFFICER, USS CARL VINSON") to pay the Tiger fee. Cash or Traveler's checks may be used to purchase items onboard the ship. Early payment by the SPONSOR with the Navy Cash card is encouraged!
Q. Are there any arrangements for unaccompanied minors to travel to Hawaii?
A. NO. We strongly recommend parents coordinate supervision of minors with parents who are accompanying minors on the flight. Otherwise, you can work out escorted minors though you airline carrier. Please ensure review of all requirements with your individual airline carriers. The ship cannot accept any responsibility for minors prior to their arrival to the ship.
Q. What if the Tiger doesn't have a primary care physician?
A. Unfortunately, we need every Tiger to have their Medical Screening form reviewed by a general practitioner, primary care physician or family doctor. Although the screening form gives us a lot of information, it is far from comprehensive. Having patients follow-up with their primary care provider for clearance prior to embarking allows for an evaluation from a provider who KNOWS or can OBSERVE the Tiger and can offer a medical opinion based not just on a form but on an actual evaluation. Tiger Cruise is strenuous and Tigers should be able to climb many flights of stairs, walk without aid and be able to stand for one hour (sometimes the lines for food are long).
Q. If the TAD Sailors want to have a guest, will it be possible to have a Sailor that will not be having a guest relieve the other Sailor from their duties for the time of the Tiger Cruise?
A. The requirement for TAD personnel remains the same; therefore, any duty swaps must be approved by the Chain of Command.
Q. Suggested Articles for Tigers to Bring on the Tiger Cruise.
A. Space onboard the ship is extremely limited. You will have to store all of your personal belongings under your "rack", the approximate measurements are 7' x 4' x 8" (that is 8 inches). Large roller type bags are extremely hard to store, it is highly recommended that you bring a bag that can collapse and fit into your storage area. The ship is not responsible for any lost/stolen items so please store your items correctly. For specific question please contact your sponsor.
Q. Suggested items for the Tigers not to bring on the Tiger Cruise.
Q. We have been told not to buy plane tickets until the Tiger has been approved. Yet the registration form asks for flight information which is due prior to approval. May this portion be left blank?
A. YES. This can be filled in at a later time after they have been approved and have purchased their plane tickets. We will only use this information to have an idea of who is to be expected when. Remember again, we recommended that all members buy refundable tickets or be prepared to pay the change fee and any additional ticket cost. Schedules are always subject to change and we want to ensure that our Tigers are insured.
Q. The Tigers who are prior military will they be lodged in the appropriate berthing to their rank? "I have a TAD individual who is being told her father, a retired O-6, will be in the sponsors berthing with junior Enlisted.”
A. Since the purpose of TIGER cruise is for family members to experience all facets of the shipboard life of their sponsor, all TIGERS will berth in the same male/female departmental berthing spaces as their sponsor. Berthing is assigned based on the rank/rate of the sponsor and not on the Active Duty/Retired status of the TIGER.
Q. Is it mandatory to list a co-sponsor on the registration form?A.
Q. Can the sponsor sign the form once it is filled out? Some Tigers may not have the ability to print and scan.
A. NO. All forms must be signed by the member participating in the Tiger Cruise. This validates that they have read the package and covers use. Those who do not have the ability to print and scan at home may visit their local library, Kinko's, UPS store and in some case the local Post Office and they will be able to meet this requirement.
Q. If the Tigers get here on the embarkation day are they allowed to stay on the ship or are they required to get a hotel?
A. When your Tigers show up on the day of embarkation, they will be allowed to stay on the ship. We will pull anchor and set sail the morning following embarkation for the voyage of a lifetime.
Q. Are Tigers going to get updates via Facebook?
A. YES. We will download your questions daily and the Tiger Cruise committee will provide answers back to the question for posting on FACEBOOK. Remember again that your Sailor Sponsor is your primary point-of-contact and Operational Security (OPSEC) is an all hands evolution. So with that being said we will not place dates, times or mission orientated items on any open lines of communications. All Sailors have been instructed to send their prospective Tigers the dates via the US Postal service as it is the only way to preserve Operational Security.
Q. My Sailor sent me an e-mail address that was supposed to give out information on the Tiger Cruise. We are unable to get the website to work. Does anyone happen to know the correct email address?
A. Unfortunately, your Sailor sent you an email to the ships intranet and not an internet account. Our intranet is only for use aboard the USS Carl Vinson. We are working with your Sailors to provide them with the information and tools to make this a successful adventure. Please work with your Sailor Sponsor. As was mentioned in an earlier post, “Your Sailor is your primary point of contact”. Please remember that ship’s movement, location and dates can not be discussed publicly, so please refrain from asking or answering questions via Facebook or any other open line of communication”
Q. My Sailor e-mailed me a document today that I cannot open. I think it may be about the Tiger Cruise. The message reads “Invalid Policy”.
A. This could be a problem due to a later version of Adobe. You can update your Adobe online at http://www.adobe.com/downloads/ . We have also sent versions of the forms in word as well. Your sponsors should be sending you’re the following documents.
1. Tiger Cruise Rules of Embarkation (Dates Removed)
2. Registration Form
3. Waiver of Claim and Consent to treatment
4. Medical screening form
5. Safety First Document
Q. The medial screening form must be filled out by his doctor BEFORE I email them back correct? What do I do if I cannot get an appointment until the end of May?
A. Unfortunately, we need every Tiger to have their Medical Screening form reviewed by a general practitioner, primary care physician or family doctor. Although the screening form gives us a lot of information, it is far from comprehensive. Having patients follow-up with their primary care provider for clearance prior to embarking allows for an evaluation from a provider who KNOWS or can OBSERVE the Tiger and can offer a medical opinion based not just on a form but on an actual evaluation. Tiger Cruise is strenuous and Tigers should be able to climb stairs, walk without aid and be able to stand for one hour.
Q. How long does it take to get from Hawaii to San Diego?
A. Normally it takes between 5 and 7 days.
Q. if we get to Hawaii the day before embarking, are we allowed to go on the ship or would we have to get a hotel room for the night?
A. Because our schedule is always subject to change, we recommend that you arrive in Hawaii at least 2 days before the ship is currently scheduled to depart. Since our schedule is flexible, we will allow Tigers who cannot get a hotel room to spend the night onboard the ship; however, it will cost an extra $10 for the 3 meals we are required to charge you.
Q. Is it true that once in Hawaii, some Sailors that choose to take leave & fly back to San Diego are permitted to do so?
A. YES, we have 3 Post Deployment Leave periods and the first one starts upon arrival in Hawaii. A small group of Sailors will be allowed to start their leave there and fly home from Hawaii at their own cost.
Q. Back during my time in the Navy, only sons and fathers allowed on Tiger Cruise. Has that changed?
A. YES, daughters are allowed AND encouraged to participate in Tiger Cruise.
Q. Does the family day cruise have a date yet? Is the Family day cruise only limited to spouses and children or can extended family attend who are not able to go on Tiger cruise due to no sponsor available.
A. The date for Family Day Cruise has not been determined. We will put out information on Family Day Cruise AFTER we return to San Diego. On Dependent's Day Cruise spouses, families and friends are welcome.
Q. What airport should we fly into?
A. You’ll need to fly into Honolulu International Airport on the island of Oahu. The airport code is HNL. It's a short van ride to the ship and transportation from the airport will be provided.
Q. Can I bring and use a cell phone?
A. Cell phones are not allowed to be used - and will not function - while we're at sea. You may bring it, but only for use while in Hawaii or San Diego.
Q. Can I bring and use electronics such as a laptop computer, iPad, or iPod?
A. Electronics must be electrically safety checked by the ship's electricians to make sure they're safe and compatible with the ship's electrical system. This service will be provided upon embarkation. Items with GPS or cell phone capability are not allowed to be used while at sea. You may bring these, but only for use while in Hawaii or San Diego.
Q. If my Sailor is allowed to depart the ship in Hawaii, will they need to remove their belongings from their rack?
A. No. However, they will be required to empty their stand-up locker to provide a secure space for the Tiger that will be occupying their rack. They will be able to secure their belongings in their rack/coffin locker.
Q. Can one person be a sponsor and a co-sponsor for Tiger Cruise?
A. Yes. The intention of the co-Sponsor is to be available as an alternate Sponsor in case the original Sponsor is occupied by shipboard duties. The co-Sponsor will be responsible for and will answer for BOTH Tigers in such cases as a Man-overboard drill or other mustering situation. That being said, the co-Sponsor should be someone from the same Department or Division.
Q. How does a tiger lock up valuables while on ship? Does the tiger need to bring a lock for a lock-box or anything like that? The notes say to travel light, but also mentions to bring a sleeping bag. Is a sleeping bag necessary, or is the ship warm enough / have enough provisions ?
A. A lock is on the recommended items list. They will have lockers for their valuables in berthing. Do not bring any unnecessary valuables on Tiger Cruise. A sleeping bag is convenient, but not necessary unless the Tiger is particular about what they choose to sleep in. Linen and blankets will also be provided. The ship's temperature, expecially in sleeping areas, is cool but comfortable.
Q. When should we purchase our airline tickets?
A. Plane tickets should only be bought once the Tiger receives an approval letter via email from the Sponsor. The approval letter will only be sent if the Tiger is qualified medically and we determine there is sufficient space to accommodate each Tiger. We highly recommend refundable tickets in case operational commitments change our schedule.
Q. When may we plan to hear if applicant was accepted as a Tiger and will that come through our Sailors or via snail mail from the fleet?
A. In order to save time and allow the Tigers the opportunity to purchase airline tickets earlier, expect an approval letter and invitation via email on or about the 28th of April. The letter will come as an attachment to an email and should come from the Sponsor.
Q. I understand that we can stop at the USO desk at the airport. Will they be able to take us to the Navy Lodge or do we need a hotel until our Sailor arrives?
A. Buses and shuttles will be available to Tigers for transportation from the airport to the ship upon check-in at the Tiger Cruise desk at the USO. They will only be available on the day prior to our departure. If you are arriving earlier than that, you will have to provide your own transportation to your lodging. Embarking on the ship will only be available to Tigers the day prior to our departure.