Most cruise lines have hundreds of reservations agents. To them, you are just another passenger. To us, you are a valued customer we truly care. In addition, if you book through a travel agent, in most cases you will enjoy agency-specific promotions that could get you extra perks and most importantly, you pay less while you get to enjoy good and personalized service for booking your cruise.
Most of your food and snacks served in the main dining room or from the buffet will be included in the cruise fare, where you enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Some beverages are also included such as water, iced tea, still lemonade and tea & coffee. Also included are the production shows, live music, comedians and use of the gym and pool.
Gratuities are not normally included in the cruise fare although you can pay at the time of booking. Also not included are things like use of the spa and hairdressers, laundry and dry-cleaning, the internet and wi-fi, souvenir photographs, alcohol and soft drinks, speciality dining.
Cruise lines open for booking a year or two from the sailing date, you should book at least 10 months in advance. Booking as early as you can give you the pick of the best stateroom categories, which is especially important if you are travelling in a group and need staterooms next to each other.
Today’s cruise ships are one-class service. Everyone on board 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 will enjoy the same courteous service, menus, activities and entertainment as everyone else onboard.
An inside stateroom has no view to the water. An outside stateroom may have a port hole or may have an obstructed view, but you can see the ocean or river. A full oceanview stateroom should have completely unobstructed water views. Balcony staterooms will have an opening door to your own private lanai. Suites can come in various sizes usually comes with some extra benefits.
There is nothing like having a balcony on a cruise. The view on a cruise is always changing and you have an almost constant view of some of the most beautiful destinations. Private balcony is also a great way to escape the crowds and noises. With a balcony, it is almost as though you have floor to ceiling window to the most magnificent views in the world.
While cruise lines open itineraries for booking a year or two before the actual sailing date, many unforeseen circumstances can arise that force to alter the itinerary. When you book a cruise you are agreeing to the terms and conditions set out by that cruise line wherein which it will state that the cruise line has the right to alter your itinerary, or even miss a port of call and unless the cruise is cancelled, no compensation will be paid.
Cruise travel is suitable for guests of all ages. However, pregnant women are allowed to sail only if pregnant for 24 weeks or less on the date of cruise disembarkation. Infants sailing on a cruise must be at least 6 months old (some are 12 months or older) as of the first day of the cruise.
Every cruise lines’ rules vary with respect to their policy and how they handle minors booked into a separate room from the parents or guardians. Many families have been able to manage the restrictions by booking one parent and one child into a stateroom. Once on board you can swap and change as necessary.
Several cruise lines offer extraordinary programs for children and teens. The Children’s Programs are organized by age groups, so your child will feel right at home with similarly aged children. These group programs are supervised by certified cruise personnel and are included in your cruise fare.
Having small children should not prevent you from enjoying all the activities available to you on your cruise vacation. Some cruise lines do offer their kids programs while you are in port, giving you the opportunity to enjoy shore excursions, independent sight-seeing tours, or shopping off the ship.
Most ships have a daily newsletter, and staterooms on today’s modern cruise ships are equipped with satellite televisions and in some cases in-cabin WiFi. While most ships now have telephones in passenger cabins, you can also call someone on shore through the ship’s radio operator while at sea.
General boarding begins approximately four hours prior to departure. Keep in mind that you must be on the ship at least one hour before departure, and the gangway will be pulled thirty minutes before sailing.
Upon completion of check-in, you will receive a guest identification card. This card will serve as your identification on board and will be used as your payment method for all onboard charges. In addition, it will also serve as your identification for security procedures when embarking and disembarking the ship and when making purchases on board.
A “Guaranteed Cabin” means that you will receive your cabin number and deck assignment when you check in for your cruise. You will receive a cabin in the category that you booked and no lower than that category. If your booked category is not available when you check in, then you will receive a complimentary upgrade to a higher category.
All financial transactions on a cruise ship are done through an onboard account you set up when you board the ship. You will provide a credit card or a cash deposit and then all purchases will be applied to your stateroom. You can conveniently charge all of your onboard to your cabin. On the last night of the cruise, a statement of all of your charges will be delivered to you and charged to your credit card or cash deposit.
Every evening during your cruise, a daily bulletin will be delivered to your cabin with a complete agenda of all activities, events, movie schedules and special programs. This agenda will list the offered activities, hours of restaurants and shops as well as casino hours.
It is unlikely that you will get sick as most modern ships have retractable stabilisers, which resemble large underwater fins that act to counteract the rolling motion.
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, make day dreams, do self- thoughts or watch the ever-changing view. Plus, you get the added adventure of exploring new and exciting ports of call.
At night, life aboard a cruise ship really turns on. There is dancing, live entertainment in nightclubs, disco, bars and lounges, feature films and fun parties with all your loved one and new friends. Most ships even have casinos. The night can go on as long as you want, even until the spectacle of sunrise at sea.
Cruise lines have started forbidding guests from bringing drinks like soft drinks and bottled water onboard. If you are caught bringing alcohol you purchased whilst in port, security will confiscate and return it when you disembark the ship. However, there were some instances that MSC Cruises returned it to their guests on the final night of cruising.
Cruising is ideal for people traveling alone, because it is so easy to meet other people. In fact, most ships have parties just for singles early on in the cruise, so you can start to be involved right away. Most ships also have single cabins as well as single rates for double staterooms.
Yes, generally everyone is in a holiday mood, feeling excited, comfortable and relaxed on board the ship while cruising on high sea. We think that cruises are great places to strike up friendships with people of shared interests.
Smoking restrictions onboard cruise ships have become tougher over the last several years. With one or two exceptions, smoking is no longer allowed in your stateroom or on your balcony. All other indoor public spaces are also deemed to be smoke free with the exception of the casino and the cigar lounge. Whilst it varies from cruise line to cruise and ship, smoking is typically permitted in designated outdoor areas at specific side of the ship or location.
Most modern cruise ships have well-equipped medical facilities and staff to handle every emergency. These facilities are set up to handle small issues as well as emergencies, and have 24-hour nurses and doctors available.
Wheelchairs are only available to help passengers on and off the cruise ship during embarkation and disembarkation. Generally, they are not available for use throughout your cruise. If you or a family member requires a wheelchair during your entire cruise, you should bring your own.
Yes, all cruise lines will allow a stroller. Some cruise lines have stroller rentals on selected ships. If you need a stroller during your cruise, you should plan to bring your own.
A tender is a small boat deployed to take passengers to shore when a ship is unable to dock because of either a lack of docking facilities or because the harbour is too shallow to take the ship. When the ship is properly docked guests are able to walk down a gangway and straight onto the pier. Cruise lines will often mark on their itineraries which ports are tendered and which are docked to allow you to decide if the cruise is right for you.
Yes it can although many attempts will be made to try and locate you first. If you can’t be located, the ship’s security will likely collect belongings from your stateroom including items from your safe and they will be left with the port’s agent. If you are on an excursion provided by the cruise line and it is late, then it is more likely that the ship will wait but not always.
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.
Today’s modern cruise ships create their own fresh water through a desalination process onboard. Due to the corrosive nature of salt water, it is necessary to use fresh water in the toilets to protect the plumbing system from rust and corrosion. Many ships today still fill their swimming pools with seawater.