|Isn't Cruising Very Expensive?
You might get "sticker-shock" if you ever look at the list prices that are shown in most cruise line brochures. Going through a Travel you can save
40% to 60% off the brochure rates on most popular cruises. And, if more than two guests stay in one cabin, the cost per person can be even lower.
It's an incredible value that can't be matched by any "land-locked" or "fly-away" vacation package. Actual rates will depend upon when you cruise,
the ship you choose, cabin category, how many cabins you book and how far in advance you make your reservation. In addition, if you consider
everything that is included in the cruise fare, you'll quickly realize that cruising is the best vacation value.
Is There a Charge For Entertainment?
On a cruise vacation, the entertainment is on the house. There's no cover, minimum or charge for an admission ticket.
The shows are live, films first-rate and all included in your cruise fare.
Don't Some People Get Sea-Sick?
Today's modern cruise ships are huge vessels with sophisticated on-board weather stations (to help them avoid storms) and elaborate stabilization
systems. So, under normal conditions, you may hardly even realize that you're moving. However, some people are hyper-sensitive to any movement
and may experience temporary motion discomfort on a cruise ship (or on an airplane or in a car). Fortunately there are several effective over-the-
counter preventative medications that you can take if you are concerned about this. There are also "Sea-Bands" which you wear on your wrist.
They're sold at pharmacies and most people who try them "swear by them." Of course, if you want something even more potent, modern cruise
ships have medical facilities with a licensed physician.
Is Cruising Really As Romantic As People Say?
In a 1996 survey titled "Sex at Sea" (conducted by Cosmopolitan magazine), 95% of the polled vacationers rated cruises as "extremely or very
romantic" compared to land-based vacations. Over 80% said they felt more amorous at sea, with most passengers (58%) unable to wait more than 10
hours after getting on-board before "dropping anchor in a sea of love."
What's There To Do At Night?
When the stars come out, a cruise ship really turns on! There's dancing, live entertainment, nightclubs and lounges, feature films, and parties with
all the new friends you make onboard. Most ships also have casinos. What's more, there are many special events like Captain's Cocktail Party,
Passenger Talent Night, Broadway-style shows and Las Vegas-type revues.
How About The Kids?
More and more cruise vacations are booked by families with children. As evidenced by the over 700,000 youngsters who cruised last year, most
cruise lines provide plenty of supervised activities for kids, especially during school holidays. If your children enjoy swimming, sports, games,
movies and the adventure of new places, they'll love a family cruise. You'll find that children adapt to shipboard life with ease, and you won't have
to wonder what they're up to every minute. The trained youth counselors will help keep them safe, busy and entertained. Ships even offer different
types of age-appropriate activities, suitable for toddlers or teens.
How About Child Care?
Will I Get Bored Or Feel Too Confined?
Being at sea gives you a feeling of total freedom that no land-based resort can offer. There's plenty of room. And it will probably take you two or
three days just to discover everything that's on board. Plus, you get the added adventure of exploring many exciting ports of call.
Cruise ships are floating resorts with all the choices fine resorts have to offer. You can lie back in a lounge chair, breathe in the sea air, soak up
the sun, read good books, or watch the ever changing seascape. If you're more active, join in exercise or dance classes, and sports contests.
Practice your golf swing or take in some fresh air on the jogging deck. Or you can swim, stretch out in the sauna or work out in the gym.
How Can I Stay In Touch With The Outside World?
Most cruise ships have a daily newsletter with news, headlines, selected stock quotes and sports scores. All cruise ship staterooms are equipped
with televisions and have satellite or cellular telephones. In addition, most ships have fax capabilities and a growing number have computer cafés
with Internet access for e-mail communication.
How Good Is Cruise Ship Dining?
Everything you've heard about cruise ship dining is true. At each meal, you'll find a varied selection of entrees (appetizers, salads, soups,
vegetables and desserts too), and each day the selection will be different. If you've ever wanted to experiment with a cuisine or try a dish, you can
feel free to order more than one entree or appetizer (or dessert!). Best of all, the one thing you'll never see on a cruise ship menu is a price.
Because your meals are all included!
What Type Of Cabin Should I Book?
'In the world of cruising, the word "category" refers to the numbers or letters that a cruise line uses to determine the rate (or "fare" or "tariff") for
different cabins on a ship. But the same category number or letter may mean something different on each ship. So, you should think of categories
only as a way of comparing the cost of different cabins on a particular cruise. Here are some basic "rules of thumb" to consider.
To begin with, an "outside" or "ocean-view" cabin (with a round porthole or larger rectangular window) will usually be in a much higher rate
category than an "inside" cabin (without a window or porthole). For example, on a typical 7-night cruise, the total cost of a standard outside cabin
may be $200 to $400 more than a comparable inside cabin. In addition, the total cost of a cabin on a higher deck (level) of the ship will usually be
around $30 to $60 per deck more than a comparable cabin on a lower deck (even though there tends to be less motion on the lower decks of a
ship). And, cabins on lower decks are usually every bit as nice (and large) as comparable cabins on higher decks.
Unlike the old steamships of yesterday, all passenger cabins on today's modern cruise ships are well above sea level. In fact, the first (lowest)
passenger deck that is shown on the ship's deck plan* is actually the third or fourth deck of the ship (because there are no passenger cabins on
the first two or three decks of most modern cruise ships). However, if you are cruising on an older ship and want to be absolutely sure you won't
be "sleeping with the fishes," check the ship's deck plan* to see if there are any outside cabins (with portholes or windows) on the lowest
passenger deck. If there are, then all of the ship's passenger cabins are above sea level (unless, of course, you are planning to cruise in a
*The deck plan is a diagram of each level ("deck") of the ship showing the location of every cabin as well as the ship's public areas, including its
lobby, hospitality center, dining areas, lounges, casino, showrooms, cinema, pools, health spa, medical facilities, stairways and elevators. Just
think of it as a "map" of the ship.
Which is Best: "Category Guarantee" or "Cabin Assignment"?
There are advantages to each. If you book a "category guarantee", there is a possibility that you may get upgraded by the cruise line to a cabin in a
higher category (at no additional cost to you). Although you are guaranteed to get at least the category you paid for, a "category guarantee" does
not mean that you are guaranteed an upgrade (and any agency that tells you otherwise is misinforming you). The category that you get (and the
specific cabin within that category) is determined by the cruise line based on availability when your tickets are issued or, in some cases, just before
you board the ship. For many people, a "category guarantee" can be the preferred way to book a cruise because you may get a cabin in a higher
rate category than you paid for (but you will never get a lower category than the one you booked).
If you book a "cabin assignment", a specific cabin will be reserved for you when your deposit is made and that cabin number will be shown on the
reservation confirmation that you receive shortly afterwards. Although there is no possibility of an upgrade, a cabin assignment would be
preferable to a "category guarantee" in several instances, such as:
If a particular type of bed is important to you or if more than two people will be in a cabin, it will be necessary to reserve a specific cabin with
the appropriate accommodations.
If family or friends are going to be on the same cruise, then "cabin assignments" may be requested to get cabins that are close to each other
on the ship.
If a specially-equipped cabin (such as wheelchair accessible) is required or, if for any reason, it is important to be near (or away from) a
particular area on the ship, a "cabin assignment" would be essential.
What Type Of Deposit Is Required?
Depending on the specific cruise line and length of the cruise, a deposit of $50 to $300 per person is generally required to secure a cabin and lock-
in your quoted cruise rate.
Is There A Cancellation Penalty?
Most Travel Agents charges a $35 per person fee if a passenger cancels after their initial deposit has been made. In addition, the cruise line
charges their own cancellation fees based on how close you are to your sailing date. Depending on the specific cruise line and length of the cruise,
penalties will be imposed by the cruise line if the cruise is cancelled within 70 days of the sailing. Call your travel agency for complete details on
specific cruise line cancellation policies.
What Does Travel Insurance Provide?
The major benefit of travel insurance is that it protects you from being penalized if you need to cancel your cruise because of such reasons as an
illness, death in the family, natural disasters, etc. In addition, travel insurance can cover lost baggage, travel delays and medical expenses incurred
during your vacation.
What Type Of Identification Do I Need?
All cruise passengers are required to provide a valid form of identification in order to board a cruise vessel. Any passenger who does not have
proper documentation will be unable to cruise. IMPORTANT NOTE: It is critical that all guests names on identification are identical to cruise
1. ) For cruises sailing or returning before 12/31/07, passengers must provide a valid passport or original birth certificate with picture ID such as a
State Drivers License. If original birth certificate is not attainable, then a state-issued copy of a birth certificate with a raised seal is acceptable.
2.) For cruises sailing or returning after 12/31/07, passengers MUST provide a valid passport during ship check-in formalities. A valid passport will
be the only acceptable form of identification.
1. A Green Card or valid passport and Visa are required for all NON-US Citizens.
When Will I Receive My Cruise Tickets?
Your tickets are issued by the cruise line and mailed to your Travel Agent who in turn mail them to your home (first class) approximately 2 to 3
weeks before your departure date. IMPORTANT NOTE: Please be aware that your cruise tickets issued by the cruise line are typically located in a
"notebook" or "spiral notebook". Absolutely none of the documents should be ripped apart from the "notebook" or your cruise tickets will be
deemed void and not acceptable during the boarding process.
Where And When Do I Fill Out My Embarkation Forms?
Per-registration is required in order to board your cruise. The information requested is REQUIRED by immigration authorities in many of the ports
of call you will be visiting on your cruise.
What Is The Age Requirement In Order To Cruise?
No guest under the age of 21 will be booked in a stateroom unless accompanied by an adult 25 years or older. This age limit will be waived for minor
children sailing with their parents or guardians in adjacent staterooms.
What Time Can I Board The Ship?
Check your cruise ticket for the preferred time to arrive. You should plan to arrive at the pier at least three hours before the ship is scheduled to
depart. Boarding time varies by itinerary. It is your responsibility to arrive on time. In preparation for prompt departure, cruise check-in will close
30 minutes prior to sailing. Guests arriving after will not be permitted to board.
Can I Bring A Friend Or Family Member To See The Ship?
For security reasons, guests are not allowed to bring visitors onboard ships in any port.
What Clothes Should I Pack?
Days onboard are casual, and you'll be most comfortable in sport clothes and resort wear. Shoes should be low-heeled for deck activities. Bring a
few swimsuits so you'll always have a dry one. Towels are provided by the cruise line. For evening wear, count on three basic types of attire:
Casual: dresses or slacks and blouses for women; sport shirts and trousers for men
Smart casual: dresses or pantsuits for women; jackets for men
Formal: cocktail dresses for women; suits and ties, or tuxedos for men.
Can I Order Room Service?
Yes, you always can. Onboard complimentary room service is available any time of the day or night. From breakfast to a snack after midnight, just
order from the room service menu.
What About Tipping My Cabin Steward And Waiter?
Tipping is a matter of individual preference. A general rule of thumb is to plan for about $3.50 per person per day for your cabin steward and dining
room waiter, and about half that amount for your busboy.
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