Congratulations on your upcoming cruise vacation!
We hope your cruise experience will be an exciting one. If you’ve never cruised before, you’ll be surprised how fun and easy it is to travel this way. To help you prepare for the trip and to anticipate any special needs, we’ve compiled the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.
- What does the price include?
The price of your cruise includes ship accommodations, ocean transportation, meals, some beverages (usually coffee, tea, milk, juices and sometimes lemonade,) and most entertainment aboard the vessel. All prices are per person. The price may or may not include air transportation and transfers to the ship depending on your individual booking.
The cruise price does not include items of a personal nature, such as shore excursions, some beverages (alcoholic beverages and soft drinks,) photographs, gratuities, medical services, etc. Your total fare does include separately listed airport facility charges, departure taxes and other taxes/fees that are implemented by various governments and quasi-governmental agencies. Such fees are subject to change without notice at any time whether or not you have a confirmed booking.
- How do I make dining room and special diet requests?
Dining requests should be made at time of booking or before final payment. Dining time and table size may be requested based on availability, and will be assigned by the matre’d’ on board. Changes or questions may be directed to the matre’d at boarding.
- What should I pack?
Shipboard attire is mainly casual or semi-formal and occasionally formal. Casual is appropriate for daytime aboard ship or ashore and consists of standard sports outfits as worn at resorts. Shoes should be low-heeled for deck activities. For Alaska cruises sweaters, lightweight jackets and raincoats are suggested. Evening attire on the cruise falls in 3 categories: casual, semiformal and formal. On casual evenings, open neck shirts, slacks and sports outfits are appropriate. Shorts are appropriate for breakfast and lunch, but not dinner. On semiformal evenings, women usually wear dresses or pantsuits; men wear coats and ties. On formal evenings, women usually wear evening gowns or cocktail dresses. Men wear dinner jackets or dark suits. Most 3 or 4-day cruises have one formal/semiformal night and most 7 day or longer cruises have one semiformal and one formal night.
- What about blow-dryers, electric razors, adaptors and laundry?
Bring your blow-dryer and electric razor (you won’t need an adaptor.) For a small fee, your laundry and dry cleaning can be arranged with your cabin steward.
- We would like to celebrate a special occasion aboard the ship.
If you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary, honeymoon or other special occasion during your cruise, the cruise line would like to help you celebrate the event in the dining room. Please advise your travel consultant of such occasions at least three weeks prior to your departure.
- What about shore tours?
As a convenience to passengers, shore tours or excursions for varying interests and duration are available in each of the ports-of-call. Tickets may be reserved or purchased aboard ship on a first-come, first-served basis. Some cruise lines allow you to pre-purchase shore excursions, please ask your travel consultant for details. You will find descriptions of these tours in your cruise documents package. Your daily news will remind you of these activities each evening aboard the ship.
- What does ship’s Purser do?
The Purser’s Desk (open 24 hours a day on most ships,) will act as your bank, post office, information booth, lost and found department, authority on customs and immigration, and safe-deposit box trustee.
- When can I board the ship?
Most cruise lines begin boarding 3-4 hours prior to the scheduled sailing time.
- Will I get seasick?
Probably not. All modern ships are equipped with stabilizing “fins” that counteract more than 80 percent of the roll of a ship, so motion sickness, which used to be a problem on the high seas, is now relatively uncommon.
- Will my cabin be under water?
Most modern ships do not have passenger accommodations below water level. Even the lowest passenger cabin level of the ship will always be above water.
- What if I need to call home?
If you need to contact friends, relatives or business associates during the cruise, you may easily do so by using our satellite communication telephones. Similarly, others may contact you in the same way. Your documentation packet will contain detailed information, including the phone number for your ship at each specific location.
- Is smoking restricted?
To satisfy the majority, there are designated smoking areas in the dining rooms for cigarette smoking only. Cigar and pipe smoking is allowed only in specific areas. Some ships offer non-smoking cabins, check with your travel consultant concerning this request.
- Are visitors allowed on board prior to sailing?
For security reasons, guests are not allowed to bring visitors on board vessels in any port.
- Who should I tip, and how much?
A 15% gratuity is automatically included on all beverage (bar) tabs for your convenience on most ships. You may also wish to reward your stateroom steward and your dining room waiting staff with a cash tip. Our guidance to those passengers who wish to tip is that generally, waiters and stateroom stewards receive $3 per passenger per day, while assistant waiters and busboys receive $2 per passenger per day. You may also wish to reward your Wine Steward, HeadWaiter and/or Maitre’d as well if they have performed some special service. If you have any specific questions concerning tipping, the cruise director will be happy to answer your specific concerns.
- What travel documents and identification do I need?
Passports are recommended for all travel outside the United States. However, in the Caribbean, Bahamas, Mexico and Canada, passports are not required for US citizens. All guests are, however, required to submit acceptable proof of identity. Documents that will be accepted are: a passport or an original or certified copy (with raised seal) of your birth certificate along with one of the following photo ID cards: state driver’s license; US company employee ID card; or an ID card issued by a private identification card service. A voter’s registration card is not acceptable. Women with last names different than what is indicated on their birth certificate should carry a copy of their marriage license for clarification of the name change. Non-US citizens are requested to check with the immigration department to determine any additional documentary requirements.
For any additional information or questions, please contact us.