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What’s included in the final price?
What’s not included in the price?
What is Non-Commissionable Fare?
What is NON-COMM Fare?
What are Port Charges?
What are Government Fees?
What are Miscellaneous Charges?
What are MISC Charges?
What are Additional Taxes?
What is a Modified Cruise Rate?
What is the Pre/Post Package?
Do I need Insurance?
What does Insurance cover?
What are Single, Double, 3rd/4th/5th rates?
Are there any senior discounts?
Are there past passenger discounts?
Do children sail free or at a discount?
Do I pay extra for online reservations?
What do I owe?
When is my final payment due?
How will my credit card be charged?
How will I know my order is confirmed?

What is included in the final price?
The final price for your cruise includes accommodations, meals and most snacks, most onboard activities and entertainment, port charges, and taxes. Airfare, airport transfers, and insurance are usually not included.

Back to top What is not included in the final price?
Your cruise price does not include organized shore excursions, alcoholic beverages or carbonated soft drinks, photographs, gratuities, spa and beauty treatments, medical services, casino expenditures or other miscellaneous items you may purchase on board. Airfare, airport transfers, and insurance are also usually not included.

Back to top What is the Non-Commissionable Fare?
Non-commissionable fare is cruise line terminology for port charges, which are fees and taxes assessed by government and other agencies, incident to the ship entering, leaving, docking, anchoring and/or remaining in port (e.g., waste removal, payroll for port employees).

Back to top What is the NON-COMM Fare?
NON-COMM or non-commissionable fare is cruise line terminology for port charges, which are fees and taxes assessed by government and other agencies, incident to the ship entering, leaving, docking, anchoring and/or remaining in port (e.g.,waste removal, payroll for port employees).

Back to top What are Port Charges?
Port charges are fees assessed by government and other agencies, incident to the ship entering, leaving, docking, anchoring and/or remaining in port (e.g., stevedoring, waste removal, payroll for port employees).

Back to top What are Government Fees?
Government fees, also known as miscellaneous charges and additional taxes, may include any and all fees, charges, and taxes imposed by U.S. and/or foreign governments or quasi-governmental authorities, including U.S. custom fees, head taxes, hotel taxes, air taxes incurred as part of a land tour, inspection fees, immigration and naturalization fees, and Internal Revenue Service fees.

Back to top What are Miscellaneous (MISC) Charges?
Miscellaneous charges, also known as government fees and additional taxes, may include any and all fees, charges, and taxes imposed by U.S. and/or foreign governments or quasi-governmental authorities, including U.S. custom fees, head taxes, hotel taxes, air taxes incurred as part of a land tour, inspection fees, immigration and naturalization fees, and Internal Revenue Service fees.

Back to top What are Additional Taxes?
Additional taxes, also known as government fees and miscellaneous charges, may include any and all fees, charges, and taxes imposed by U.S. and/or foreign governments or quasi-governmental authorities, including U.S. custom fees, head taxes, hotel taxes, air taxes incurred as part of a land tour, inspection fees, immigration and naturalization fees, and Internal Revenue Service fees.

Back to top What does Modified Cruise Rate mean?
Modified cruise rates are My Cruise Club’s specially negotiated rates, which reflect a substantial discount off the cruise lines’ published prices.

Back to top What is the Pre/Post Package?
Pre/post package is Princess Cruises’ term for airport-to-ship transfers. If you do not need transfers for a Princess cruise, please contact us at 866-964-5482 after you book your cruise and we will make the necessary price adjustments. If you do need transfers, however, we recommend taking Princess’ pre/post package--it’s usually much cheaper than privately arranged ground transportation. Other cruise lines use the term to mean adding extra days to your vacation with hotels, tour bus or train excursions.

Back to top Do I need Insurance?
We highly recommend purchasing trip insurance. Trip insurance offers protection if you have to cancel or interrupt your cruise due to injury, sickness, or death to you, a traveling companion, or immediate family member.

Back to top What does Insurance cover?
Trip insurance offers protection if you have to cancel or interrupt your cruise due to injury, sickness, or death to you, a traveling companion, or immediate family member. It does not cover unstable, pre-existing conditions. In addition, trip insurance provides emergency assistance while you are on vacation, baggage protection, and trip delay coverage. Insurance must be booked before or upon final payment of your cruise. For details on specific cruise line insurance programs, please see below. You may also purchase insurance directly through My Cruise Club’s preferred provider by going to our Travel Insurance page. Final payment dates below are subject to change so be sure to ask your cruise consultant to be sure.

Carnival

  • Trip cancellation and interruption
  • Trip delay
  • Accidental and sickness medical expenses
  • Emergency evacuation
  • Baggage protection (loss, theft, damage, delay)
  • 24-hour, toll-free, travel assistance hotline
  • Celebrity

  • Trip cancellation and interruption
  • Trip delay
  • Accidental and sickness medical expenses
  • Emergency evacuation
  • Baggage protection (loss, theft, damage, delay)
  • 24-hour, toll-free, travel assistance hotline
  • Crystal

  • Trip cancellation and interruption
  • Trip delay
  • Accidental and sickness medical expenses
  • Emergency evacuation
  • Baggage protection (loss, theft, damage, delay)
  • 24-hour, toll-free, travel assistance hotline
  • Disney

  • Trip cancellation and interruption
  • Trip delay
  • Accidental and sickness medical expenses
  • Emergency evacuation
  • Baggage protection (loss, theft, damage, delay)
  • 24-hour, toll-free, travel assistance hotline
  • Holland America (Platinum Plan)

  • Trip cancellation and interruption
  • Trip delay
  • Accidental and sickness medical expenses
  • Emergency evacuation
  • Baggage protection (loss, theft, damage, delay)
  • 24-hour, toll-free, travel assistance hotline
  • Norwegian

  • Trip cancellation and interruption
  • Trip delay
  • Accidental and sickness medical expenses
  • Emergency evacuation
  • Baggage protection (loss, theft, damage, delay)
  • 24-hour, toll-free, travel assistance hotline
  • Princess

  • Trip cancellation and interruption
  • Trip delay
  • Accidental and sickness medical expenses
  • Emergency evacuation
  • Baggage protection (loss, theft, damage, delay)
  • 24-hour, toll-free, travel assistance hotline
  • Royal Caribbean

  • Trip cancellation and interruption
  • Trip delay
  • Accidental and sickness medical expenses
  • Emergency evacuation
  • Baggage protection (loss, theft, damage, delay)
  • 24-hour, toll-free, travel assistance hotline
  • Windstar (Platinum Plan)

  • Trip cancellation and interruption
  • Trip delay
  • Accidental and sickness medical expenses
  • Emergency evacuation
  • Baggage protection (loss, theft, damage, delay)
  • 24-hour, toll-free, travel assistance hotline
  • Back to top What are Single, Double, and 3rd/4th/5th rates?
    The double rate is the standard per-person price for a cabin occupied by two passengers. The single rate is usually twice the double rate, although some lines will occasionally offer reduced single rates for selected sailings. The 3rd, 4th, and 5th passenger rates apply only to cabins that can accommodate more than two guests, and are usually less expensive than the double rate.

    Back to top Are there any senior discounts?
    Generally, our prices are lower than the senior discounts offered by the cruise lines. However, we recommend contacting us after you’ve booked your cruise in order to determine if any further discounts might apply to your booking.

    Back to top Are there any past passenger discounts?
    Generally, our prices are lower than the past passenger discounts offered by the cruise lines. However, we recommend contacting us after you’ve booked your cruise in order to determine if any further discounts/amenities might apply to your booking.

    Back to top Do children sail free or at a discount?
    Most cruise lines do not offer discounts for children. The major exception is Disney Cruise Line. On Disney ships (with 2 full-fare adults sailing), children under the age of 3 are charged only port fees and taxes; children ages 3-12 sail at a discounted children’s rate plus port charges and taxes; children over the age of 12 sail at 3rd/4th passenger rate plus port charges and taxes.

    Norwegian Cruise Line also lets children under 2 sail for port charges and taxes only; Holland America Line charges $250 plus port charges and taxes for children under 18 years old for a majority of their sailings.

    Back to top Am I charged extra for an online reservation?
    No. We do not charge any processing/ticketing fees. In fact, if you book directly online with us, you will get more than a 5% discount. Two weeks prior to sail, you will get a 10% cash refund or shipboard credit instead! You must call us 2 weeks prior to sail to receive this bonus.

    Back to top How much do I owe and when is final payment due?
    A deposit will be charged to your credit card upon booking. Final payment is due 70-90 days prior to sailing. See below for specific cruise line policies. Cancellation charges begin once the final payment date has been reached. Carnival
    Deposits
    $100 per person: 3-day cruises
    $150 per person: 4-day cruises
    $200 per person: 5-day cruises
    $250 per person: 7- and 8-day cruises (except Alaska) $300 per person: 7-day Alaska cruises and Cruise Tours

    Final Payment
    60 days prior to sailing: 3-, 4-, and 5-day cruises
    70 days prior to sailing: 7- and 8-day cruises
    75 days prior to sailing: 7-day Alaska cruises, Cruise Tours, and 10-day or longer cruises

    Celebrity
    Deposits
    $250 per person: 7-day cruises
    $450 per person: 8-day cruises and European cruises

    Final Payment
    70 days prior to sailing: all cruises

    Crystal
    Deposits
    10% of final price

    Final Payment
    75 days prior to sailing: all cruises

    Disney
    Deposits
    $200 per person: all cruises

    Final Payment
    60 days prior to sailing: all cruises

    Holland America
    Deposits
    Deposits are based on itinerary and length of cruise. For example, a 7-day Alaska cruise requires a deposit of $350 per person.

    Final Payment
    75 days prior to sailing: all cruises

    Norwegian
    Deposits
    $100 per person: 1- to 5-day cruises
    $250 per person: 6- to 7-day cruises
    $400 per person: 8-day or longer cruises

    Final Payment
    45 days prior to sailing: 3- and 4-day cruises
    60 days prior to sailing: 5-day or longer cruises
    90 days prior to sailing: Europe, Repositioning, and South America cruises

    Princess
    Deposits
    $250-$350 per person: 7-day or less cruises
    $450-$600 per person: 8-day or longer cruises

    Final Payment
    60-75 days prior to sailing: all cruises (90 days for World cruises)

    Royal Caribbean
    Deposits
    $100 per person: 3-, 4-, and 5-day cruises
    $250 per person: 6- and 7-day cruises
    $450 per person: 8-day and longer cruises

    Final Payment
    60 days prior to sailing: 3-, 4- and 5-day cruises
    70 days prior to sailing: 7-day and longer cruises
    90 days prior to sailing: Holiday cruises

    Windstar
    Deposits
    $500 per person: 5- to 8-day cruises
    $1000 per person: 9-day or longer cruises

    Final Payment
    75 days prior to sailing: all cruises

    Back to top How will my credit card be charged?
    A deposit will be charged to your credit card upon booking (Holland America waits 24 hours). Please be sure that your credit card information (name, address, card #, etc.) is accurate. Any incorrect information could cause your booking to be cancelled by the cruise line. We NEVER charge your card. Your card is always and ONLY charged directly by the cruise line.

    Back to top

    How will I know that my reservation is confirmed?
    Once you have successfully completed the reservation process, you will immediately receive an e-mail confirmation from us. After you deposit your booking you will receive a plastic embossed lifetime membership card for My Cruise Club!

    Back to top

    Documentation/Ticketing

    When will I get my tickets?
    What documentation do I need?
    Documents for non-US citizens?

    When will I get my tickets?
    Generally, you will receive your tickets approximately 2 weeks proior to your sail date. For last-minute bookings (within 30 days of sail date), tickets may be issued as pier-pickup (you pick up the tickets at the pier on the day of your sailing).

    Back to top What types of documentation do I need?
    Apart from your tickets, U.S. and Canadian citizens must present proof of citizenship in two of the following forms: passport; federal or state government-issued photo I.D. card (e.g., driver’s license); birth certificate (original or certified copy).

    For example, you’re covered if you have the following combinations of identity:

      1. passport and driver’s license
      2. passport and birth certificate
      3. driver’s license and birth certificate

    If you are married, have taken your spouse’s surname, and plan to use your birth certificate as a form of identification, you will need a marriage certificate or a valid photo I.D. card to support the name change.

    Children under the age of 16 need proof of citizenship (e.g., passport, birth certificate) and should present photo identification as well; children ages 16-18 need photo identification.

    Back to top What do I need if I’m not American or Canadian?
    Citizens of countries other than the United States and Canada (aliens) are required to present both a valid passport and an unexpired U.S. multiple re-entry visa (B-2 Visitor’s Visa) or a visa waiver. Resident aliens need both a passport and an alien resident card. Aliens and resident aliens should contact the appropriate consulate, U.S embassy, or U.S. immigration office to inquire about necessary travel documentation.

    Back to top

    Flights, Transfers & Departure Times

    How do I get to my departure port?
    What’s latest flight I can take?
    What if my flight gets delayed?
    What if my flight gets cancelled?
    Can I customize my air?
    Should I book air thru the line?
    How much are airport transfers?
    How do I arrange transfers?
    What time do I board the ship?
    When does the ship depart?

    Back to top What is the latest flight I can take?
    You should plan to arrive at the airport nearest your port of departure at least three hours before embarkation begins. If you’re late, the ship will sail without you. For your return flight, assume 5 hours for you to get off the ship, clear customes and check in at the airport.

    Back to top What happens if my flight is delayed or cancelled?
    If you have purchased travel insurance or arranged air through the cruise line, you are eligible for up to $500 in reimbursement costs incurred while catching up with your ship at its next port of call. This applies only to carrier-caused delays or other covered reasons.

    If you have arranged air privately and have not purchased travel insurance, you are responsible for all costs incurred while catching up with your ship at its next port of call.

    Back to top Can I customize my air through the cruise line?
    Yes. You can customize your flight by selecting the dates, times, airlines, departure cities, and other flight-related options of your choice. The cruise lines charge $35-$50 per person for this service, in addition to any airline charges.

    Back to top Should I book air through the cruise line?
    Booking air through the cruise line protects you if your flight is delayed and you either miss your cruise or are running late. If you are running late for your cruise, cruise line representatives will make every effort to get you to the ship before departure. If you miss your cruise altogether, the cruise line will reimburse you up to $500 in costs incurred while catching up with your ship at its next port of call.

    However, air rates offered by the cruise lines are often more expensive than those available to the general public--except on holidays and during high seasons. The trade off is that the cruise line makes sure that departure times and dates are such that you will reach your departure port on time, barring any prolonged delays.

    Back to top

    How much are transfers from airport to ship?
    Transfer costs depend entirely on the cruise line, your airport of arrival, and the distance from the airport of arrival to the departure port. Ask us when you book. We will need all your flight information to provide the cruise line with the pre-arrange the transfers. You would then look for the cruise line rep at the baggage claim area at the airport.

    Back to top How do I arrange transfers?
    You can reserve transfers by contacting us once you’ve booked your cruise. You must make reservations at least 14 days prior to your sailing date.

    Back to top What time do I board the ship?
    Ship embarkation usually begins approximately 3 hours prior to departure. You should check your ticket package for an exact time.

    Back to top When does the ship depart?
    Your ticket package will include a detailed cruise itinerary. Most ships depart in the late afternoon (around 4 or 5 pm), but be sure to check your detailed itinerary for an exact departure time.

    Back to top

    Dining

    What are First & Second seatings?
    What is Personal Choice dining?
    What is Freestyle dining?
    Can I get special-need meals?
    What is proper dining attire?
    What does Waitlist mean?
    Is cruise ship dining as good as I've been told?
    What if I don't like my tablemates?
    Are there non-smoking areas?


    What are First and Second seatings for dining?
    First seating is the earliest evening dining time available, usually around 6:00 pm or 6:30 pm. Elderly passengers and families with children tend to select this seating. Second seating is the later dining time, usually around 8:00 pm or 8:30 pm.

    Back to top What are Freestyle and Personal Choice dining?
    Freestyle dining is Norwegian’s term for its open-dining policy. Basically, you can eat whenever (you must be seated by 10:00 pm), with whomever, and wherever you want. That is, all onboard restaurants, cafés, buffets, and dining rooms are available whenever you feel like dining. At certain restaurants there may be a nominal per-person fee for reservations.

    Personal Choice dining is Princess’ term for its open-dining policy. Essentially, one dining area is reserved for passengers who enjoy the flexibility of dining whenever they want, and one dining area is set aside for traditional first and second seatings.

    Back to top Can I get special-need meals?
    Special-need meals (e.g., kosher, diabetic) are available upon request, but must be arranged in advance.

    Back to top What is proper dining attire?
    Most cruise ships have one or two formal nights per cruise, when men are encouraged to wear tuxedoes or nice suits, and women cocktail dresses or evening gowns. Other nights are casual or semi-formal, when men can get by with khakis/dress pants, collared shirt and sports jacket (semi-formal), and women skirts, dresses, or pantsuits.

    Lunch and breakfast are casual, and if you don’t relish the idea of formal night, alternative dining options are always available.

    Back to top What does Waitlist mean?
    A waitlisted cabin rate or dining seating designates a rate or seating that is currently sold out. By putting your name on the waitlist, you may be able to get the option of your choice when someone else cancels or changes a booking.

    Back to top Is cruise ship dining as good as I've been told?
    Everything you've heard about cruise ship dining is true. You'll find a varied selection of entrees (appetizers, salads, soups, vegetables, and desserts, too) every time you sit down. And there's virtually no limit on what or how much you can order. Just because your cruise ship offers plenty of delicious food doesn't mean you'll come home out of shape. You can choose low-cal, spa, or fitness menu selections that are just as tempting as the regular menu. You can also jog, do aerobics, work out in the gym, swim, golf, play tennis, and much more. Burning calories was never so much fun! Best of all, the one thing you'll never see on a cruise ship menu is a price!

    Back to top What if I don't like my tablemates?
    This is rarely a problem. However, if you wish to move to another table, speak with the maitre d'. He'll make every effort to seat you with more compatible dining companions...discretely and politely.

    Back to top Are there non-smoking areas?
    Today, virtually all ships have smoking and non-smoking tables or non-smoking sections in the dining rooms and lounges. In fact, many cruise ship dining rooms are now totally smoke-free, and at least one ship is a completely smoke-free cruise ship, reflecting passenger requests. If you want your dining table in a non-smoking area, or prefer a smoke-free ship, just tell us! Onboard, in "open-seating situations," you can advise your waiter or the maitre d'.

    Back to top

    Cabins & Services

    What are outside & inside cabins?
    What’s a Cabin Guarantee (GTY, GUAR)?
    What are W, X, Y and Z cabins?
    What amenities will my cabin have?
    Are there medical services onboard?
    Are there laundry services aboard?
    Are there meeting rooms onboard?
    How does someone call/e-mail me?

     

    What are outside and inside cabins?
    Outside (oceanview) cabins have a porthole/window, while inside (interior) cabins do not.

    Back to top What is a Cabin Guarantee (GTY or GUAR)?
    A cabin guarantee means that you have reserved a specific cabin category, but you have not yet been assigned a specific cabin. For instance, if you reserved a guaranteed outside cabin on the upper deck, that cabin could be anywhere on the upper deck, and it’s possible that you could receive an upgrade. You will be assigned a specific cabin during embarkation; occasionally you will be notified of your cabin number in advance.

    Back to top What are W, X, Y and Z cabins?
    On Celebrity's and Royal Caribbean’s ships, X, Y, and Z cabins are guaranteed cabin designations for outside with balcony, outside, and inside cabins, respectively. On Holland America’s ships, W and X designate guaranteed outside cabins and Y and Z designate inside cabins.

    Back to top What amenities will my cabin have?
    Cabin amenities vary depending on cruise line, ship, and category, but most ships include the following: shampoo and soap, safe, TV, closet, private bathroom, hairdryer, and refrigerator. Please note the following exceptions:

    Hairdryers:
    • Carnival: only on the Conquest, Destiny, Legend, Pride, Spirit, Triumph, and Victory
    • Holland America: all ships except the Noordam
    • Norwegian: all ships except the S.S. Norway

    Refrigerators:
    • Carnival: only on the Conquest, Destiny, Legend, Pride, Spirit, Triumph, and Victory; some suites on older ships
    • Disney: coolers only; refrigerators can be rented for duration of cruise and are supplied free of cost for medical reasons
    • Norwegian: depends on category; some outside cabins and most suites on older ships
    • Royal Caribbean: Adventure, Explorer, Navigator, and Voyager only; some outside cabins and most suites on older ships

    Due to safety reasons, irons are not provided in cabins, but you are allowed to bring one aboard.

    Back to top Are there medical services onboard?
    Virtually every cruise ship (except for some smaller vessels operating in coastal waters) has a fully-equipped medical facility and staff to handle almost any emergency.

    Back to top Are there laundry services aboard?
    Almost all cruise ships have laundry facilities and a great many provide dry-cleaning services. There is, however, an additional charge for professional laundry and dry-cleaning services. Most ships also have self-service launderettes.

    Back to top Are there meeting rooms onboard?
    Just about every full size ship has public rooms to offer as meeting space for groups. If you'd like to make such arrangements, ask us to contact the cruise line's group sales department to coordinate schedules and arrange for any catering needs. Your ship may also be able to offer audio-visual equipment.

    Back to top How does someone call/e-mail me onboard?
    All major cruise ship now offer computer terminals with Internet access, which can be rented by the minute or hour. In addition, ships can be reached via direct-dial satellite or fax. You can also telephone, telex, radiogram or fax to anywhere in the world and be billed at applicable ship-to-shore rates. The number for all Royal Caribbean ships is 888-724-7447. The number for all Carnival ships is 877-225-7447. Cost is $9.50 per minute.

    Back to top

    Life Onboard

    Are there different classes of service?
    Will I get bored? Feel confined?
    What's there to do at night?
    Is there a charge for entertainment?
    Do I have to participate in the activities?
    Is it easy to meet people?
    Will there be people like me?
    What should I pack?
    Where is smoking permitted/prohibited?

    Are there different classes of service?
    Today's cruise ships are "one-class." Everyone onboard can use all of the ship's facilities. The price of a cabin is based primarily on its size and location. Regardless of the category you book, you'll enjoy the same courteous service, menus, activities, and entertainment as everyone else onboard.

    Back to top Will I get bored? Feel confined?
    Hardly. Being at sea gives you a feeling of freedom few places can offer. There's plenty of room. And it'll probably take you two or three days just to discover what's onboard. Plus, you get the added adventure of exploring new and exciting ports of call.

    Cruise ships are like floating resorts with all the choices fine resorts have to offer. You can be by yourself and lie back in a lounge chair, breathe in the sea air, soak up the sun, read good books, or watch the ever-changing view. Or, you can join in exercise classes, dance classes, sports contests and other organized deck activities. Perhaps you can practice your tennis stroke or golf swing, or shoot some baskets. You can go for a swim, stretch out in the sauna or work out in the gym. You can see a feature movie, attend a lecture by renowned experts, play backgammon or bridge. And that's just when you're onboard!

    Back to top What's there to do at night?
    At night, life aboard a cruise ship really turns on. There's dancing; live entertainment in nightclubs, discos and lounges; feature films; and parties with all your new friends. Most ships even have casinos. There are also many special events like the Captain's Cocktail Party, Passenger Talent Night, the Masquerade Parade, the Late Night Buffet (just for one last bite to tide you over 'til breakfast). And the night can go on as long as you want. Even until the spectacle of sunrise at sea.

    Back to top Is there a charge for entertainment?
    Never. On a cruise vacation, the entertainment is on the house. There's no cover. No minimum. No charge for an admission ticket. The shows are live. The movies are first-rate. The variety is limitless.

    Back to top Do I have to participate in the activities?
    On a cruise, you do what you want to. You can do everything. Or lie back and do absolutely nothing. It's your vacation.

    Back to top Is it easy to meet people?
    A cruise ship is a great place to make new friends, because everyone's so friendly. The atmosphere is cordial, relaxed. And you'll have all kinds of things in common to talk about. At dinner. At cocktails. Around the pool. Or along the promenade rail. And don't be surprised if you find yourself making arrangements to meet them aboard ship again next year.

    Back to top Will there be people like me?
    No matter what you've heard to the contrary, there's no such thing as a typical cruise passenger! All kinds of people take cruises... of all ages... from all walks of life... singles, couples and families. Passengers can vary from ship to ship and cruise to cruise. Just ask us for advice on the best ship for you, based on your tastes and lifestyle.

    Back to top What should I pack?
    Pack like you would for any resort. Cruise vacations are casual by day, whether you're on the ship or ashore. In the evening, ships vary as to dress. As on shore, attire is dictated by occasion. On a formal dining night or at the Captain’s Gala, for example, you'll probably want to wear something more dressy, such as a dark suit, or cocktail dress; perhaps even a tuxedo or gown. (If you don't own a tuxedo--most people don't--you can usually rent one onboard.)

    Back to top Where is smoking prohibited/permitted?
    Except for the Carnival Paradise, which strictly prohibits smoking onboard, smoking is prohibited only in dining rooms/restaurants, hallways, and most show lounges.

    Back to top

    General Questions

    What do I do about money?
    How much should I tip?
    How much is an unlimited-soda card?
    Can a pregnant woman travel? Is motion discomfort a problem?
    Is cruising affordable and a good vacation value?
    How long are cruises?
    Where can I go?
    Are all ships and cruises fairly similar?
    Can I book on short notice?
    Can I extend my cruise vacation?
    Do cruise lines accept group bookings?
    Can we celebrate a "special" day?
    Do cruise lines welcome families with kids?
    Can singles have fun on a cruise?
    Is cruising right for honeymooners?

    What do I do about money?
    Most cruise lines will allow you to establish an onboard credit account which permits you to charge onboard purchases to your stateroom. In most destinations, American currency may be accepted or easily exchanged. It is best to bring cash in small denominations since it is easier to get change for these bills. It is also advisable to carry a limited amount of cash since it is irreplaceable if lost. Traveler's checks are recommended and you may also want to carry a credit card. Conversion rates fluctuate on a daily basis.
    How much should I tip?
    Most cruise lines suggest $9-$10 per day, per guest. This amount covers tips for your cabin steward, waiter, and busboy. A 15% gratuity is usually included in all bar tabs. Other shipboard personnel can be tipped for special services at your discretion. In general, you pay tips in cash at the end of the cruise. Norwegian and Princess automatically add tips to your onboard account, but the amount can be adjusted upon request.

    Back to top How much is an unlimited-soda card?
    The cost of an unlimited-soda card depends on the age of the cardholder and the length of the cruise. For example, on a 7-day cruise, a card for a child under 18 would be approximately $20, while passengers over 18 would be charged around $35. Cards apply exclusively to fountain soda (no cans) and may only be purchased onboard.

    Back to top Can a pregnant woman travel?
    Pregnancy is regarded as a medical condition. The cruise line may require a medical certificate establishing the passenger's due date and fitness to travel. In no case will the cruise line permit passengers who are 24 weeks or more into pregnancy to travel.

    Back to top Is motion discomfort a problem?
    Not really. The most popular cruise areas boast some of the calmest waters in the world. In addition, stabilizers on modern ships, advance availability of accurate weather information, and development of effective preventative medications have, for the most part, eliminated the incidence of motion discomfort.

    Back to top Is cruising affordable and a good vacation value?
    Yes! There are cruise vacations to suit every budget, from the cost-conscious to the most luxurious. Even more important, a cruise offers the best travel value for your money. Your fare includes all meals, your cabin, onboard daytime activities, nighttime parties and entertainment. So for once, you'll know what your vacation will end up costing you before you go. (Your only extra expenses will be drinks, optional shore excursions, and personal services such as massage or hairstyling.) You'll be amazed at the value.

    Back to top How long are cruises?
    As long or as short as you want. Itineraries can range from as little as three days to as long as three months!

    Back to top Where can I go?
    Where do you want to go? Cruises visit practically any destination accessible by water.

    Back to top Are all ships and cruises fairly similar?
    Far from it. Cruise ships can range from under 200 feet to over 1,000 feet. You can sail with anywhere from fewer than 100 fellow passengers to over 2,600. Experience atmospheres ranging from casual to formal, classically simple to ultra-deluxe. You can even choose between traditional propeller-driven craft, sail-assisted cruise ships, or even a paddle-wheel river boat.

    Back to top Can I book on short notice?
    Even the most popular cruises sometimes have space available because of late cancellations. But, to get exactly the ship, cabin and sailing date you want, you should plan and book early. Most cruise lines also offer early booking discounts for customers who plan ahead. Then, just sit back and anticipate all the fun you're going to have!

    Back to top Can I extend my cruise vacation?
    We can arrange pre- or post-cruise land packages at the same time you book your cruise. And, in many cases, your airline ticket will include helpful options, such as free stopovers, that enable you to make your own special arrangements.

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    Do cruise lines accept group bookings?
    Most lines will work with groups, depending on how many people are involved. Policies vary from company to company and sometimes during certain times of the year.

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    Can we celebrate a "special" day?
    Absolutely! Most cruise lines will even treat you to a complimentary cake and a chorus of Happy Whatever to honor the occasion. Your birthday or anniversary can be more festive with champagne, flowers, canapes, wine or cheese. You can even arrange for a special private party. All you have to do is advise us in advance.

    Back to top Do cruise lines welcome families with kids?
    More and more cruise vacations are booked by families with children. Most cruise lines make a special point of providing supervised activities for youngsters, 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 the kids adapt to shipboard life with ease, and you won't have to wonder what they're up to every minute. The cruise staff will help keep them busy and entertained. Best of all, children generally travel at a substantially reduced rate. For more information, please see our Family Cruises page.

    Back to top Can singles have fun on a cruise?
    Cruising is ideal for people traveling alone, because it's so easy to meet other people. In fact, most ships have parties just for singles early on, so you can start to be involved right away. Most ships also have single cabins as well as single rates for double staterooms. In many cases, a cruise line will even find you a roommate to share a double if you ask them.

    Back to top Is cruising right for honeymooners?
    Without a doubt. Cruising offers an atmosphere that's just right for romance...cozy dinners for two, strolling on deck at sunset, dancing the night away (even under the stars) and so much more to remember forever. Most lines provide special services from Sunday or Monday departures to welcome champagne and breakfast in bed. (And, speaking of beds, most ships have them in double, queen, or king sizes!) Also, some ships offer special programs for performing a marriage ceremony or renewing your marriage vows in port.

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    Shore Excursions

    What's there to do in port?
    How physically challenging are the Shore Excursions?
    What do Shore Excursions include?
    How do I book shore excursions?
    When and where do Shore Excursions depart?
    Is it possible to "Miss the Boat?"
    What type of transportation is used for Shore Excursions?
    Will transportation be available from the ship to city centers?
    How should I tip our Guide/Driver?
    How can I find out more about the ports we'll be visiting?
    Will I miss meals when I go ashore?
    What should I wear?
    Will I have time to shop?

    What's there to do in port?
    So much you'll have a hard time choosing! You can go off on your own. Or take a guided tour. You can search ancient ruins or hunt for shopping bargains. Ride a raft over river rapids, a bicycle ride down the side of a 10,000 foot volcano, or ride a horse across miles of hills and beaches. Climb a waterfall or pyramid. See the birthplace of civilization or listen to steel drum bands. Follow the footsteps of history or the wake of a waterskiing boat. If there's still time, play golf or tennis. Eat native foods. Learn how to windsurf. Sun and swim at some of the world's best beaches. Catch a record marlin. Sail, snorkel or go scuba diving. Go to a nightclub or glittering casino. Take a cable car to the top of a mountain. Explore dark catacombs. In short, a cruise is the easiest way to see new places and do all the things you dream of. Cruising is the perfect way to sample a number of destinations that you may want to return to for another vacation...and you never have to pack and unpack - the destinations come to you!

    Back to top How physically challenging are the shore excursions?
    It really depends on the tour. For example in some of the European cities you'll be visiting are ancient. Their quaint, narrow, cobblestone streets have been in existence long before motorized transportation. To preserve their beauty, some cities and old towns are pedestrian only. Most tours require some degree of walking; however, some excursions require extensive walking. Likewise, grand entryways and sprawling gardens of certain castles and cathedrals make walking and stair-climbing a necessity.

    Most cruise lines indicate which tours are more physical than others in their brochures and at the Shore Excursion Desk. Whatever your fitness level, we highly recommend comfortable, low-heeled walking shoes.

    Back to top What do shore excursions Include?
    Shore excursions include transportation according to the itinerary, and meals, refreshments, guides, and entrance fees as indicated in the tour description book. Fares for shore excursions are subject to change without notice.

    Back to top How do I book shore excursions?
    When you receive your tickets, your package should include a shore excursion guide. Once you’ve selected the excursions you wish to take, you can make reservations by booking on the cruise line’s website, calling the cruise line directly, or booking once you’re onboard the ship. Many popular excursions sell out quickly, so we recommend reserving as far in advance as possible. On Royal Caribbean, You can pre-reserve selected excursions on their website by clicking here . Another company also sells excursions you can pre-book here.

    Back to top When and where do shore excursions depart?
    Prepaid tickets will indicate the departure location and time. If you are reserving an excursion in advance, you will be notified as to the times and locations along with other important details.

    Back to top Is it possible to "miss the boat?"
    All guests are required to be back aboard their ship no later than 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time, which is listed in the daily bulletin and at the gangway as you leave the ship. The scheduling of all shore excursions conform with this requirement. However, if you leave a tour en route, it will be your responsibility to secure transportation and return to the pier on time. If you don't make it, they'll see you at the next port at your expense.

    Back to top What type of transportation is used for Shore Excursions?
    Standards of transport vary considerably from country to country; however, excursions utilize the best quality transportation possible in each port. Air-conditioned vehicles are not always available. Guest wishing to travel together with friends should leave the ship together, as this will help the tour staff allocate space in the same vehicle.

    Back to top Will transportation be available to the city centers?
    There are many ports in Europe that are not located in the city center. For the convenience of their guests, some cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, shuttle bus service is arranged in those ports that are located a 1/2 mile or more away from the closest city center and do not have adequate local transportation available. (Believe us, finding local transportation is not a problem in the Caribbean. They will find you.) Schedules and days of operation are usually posted in the ship's bulletin.

    Back to top How should I tip our Guide/Driver?
    Extending a gratuity to your guide or driver is strictly optional; however, in some countries, these personnel may anticipate that if you were pleased with their services, you will reward them in a monetary way. A commonly accepted guideline is $1 per person for a half day and $2 per person for a full day.

    Back to top How can I find out more about the ports we'll be visiting?
    On most cruise ships, a qualified lecturer will hold informative talks on each port of call you visit. If you still have questions, the Port Lecturer will be glad to answer them. You should also do a little research before you go. Your local library should have all kinds of books pertaining to your destination. Formers and Fudo's also have wonderfully informative books identifying local points of interest, culture, and history.

    Back to top Will I miss meals when I go ashore?
    Most tour departure times complement the ship's meal service hours, so you can enjoy your meal aboard then go ashore. However, on some full day tours, or if you take more than one tour in a day, your return on board may not coincide with meal hours. A buffet, snack, or room service is usually available all the time.

    Back to top What should I wear?
    Other countries may have more conservative ideas about dress than you're accustomed. Attention is drawn to this matter so as not to offend. Cruise lines suggest when visiting places of worship (cathedrals), you dress conservatively, avoiding shorts or sundresses. Attend the port lectures for guidance.

    Guests should wear comfortable walking shoes at all times. When visiting ruins or walking on cobblestone streets, wear rubber-soled shoes. It's also smart to wear a sun hat.

    Back to top Will I have time to shop?
    Whenever possible, shopping time is allocated within the framework of the excursions. However, tours are not designed primarily for shopping.

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