Choosing a cruise line is a personal choice that will depend on your lifestyle, tastes and budget. Take time to understand your options. Browse our website and do some research; our comprehensive cruise line overview will help to point you in the right direction: http://www.cruise411.com/promotion/cruising-101.do
A cruise offers unmatched variety, convenience, and fun. Plus, it's more affordable than many land-based vacations. Cruises enable you to visit multiple locations for one low price, without the hassle of coordinating travel details. Your vacation begins the moment you step onboard. And now, many cruises are just a short drive or flight away.
|What's Included||What's Not Included|
|Stateroom or suite accommodations||Gratuities|
|Gourmet dining||Spa treatments|
|Supervised kids' programs||Alcoholic beverages & sodas|
|Entry to nightclubs, piano bars, and more||Shopping|
|Sports decks & activities||Organized tours & activities onshore|
|Gym, pool & hot tubs||Babysitting|
| ||Nominal fees at some restaurants|
- Alaska: The Alaskan cruise season begins in May and ends in September. Not surprisingly, the peak travel period occurs during the warmest part of the year - mid-June through mid-August. Many travelers, however, consider the fall and spring to be Alaska's most beautiful seasons - and these months generally offer more opportunities for big cruise savings.
May to October is European cruising's peak season, chiefly because these months offer the most sun and blue sky. And the days last longer - Scandinavia can stay sunny for nearly 20 hours a day! Mild weather makes it easy to pack and travel light, and the attractions are easily accessible - the royal gardens are abloom in London, the sidewalk cafes come alive in Paris, and beaches from the French Riviera to the islands of Spain and Greece sizzle with beauty. Outdoor festivals and art shows also make the summer popular with travelers. And in August, the crowds will be a little smaller - because many Europeans go on vacation abroad.
Early spring and late fall are also popular with travelers. American holidays (like St. Patrick's Day) and European holidays (like Germany's famed Oktoberfest) draw many visitors in Europe's cooler months. From Ireland's emerald countryside to the sun-washed vineyards of Italy, the colorful changing of the seasons can be a magical time. Some vacationers prefer this period because there are smaller crowds - imagine having Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper all to yourself! And, of course, there are plenty of great deals at this time of year.
- Caribbean: All year long
- Bermuda: Cruises only visit there between April and October, with the peak months being June-August
- Panama Canal: Cruises only visit there between September and April
Cruises are like any other product; prices depend on supply and demand. The more popular dates, ships and cabins are priced higher and sell out faster. The less flexible you are, the farther ahead you should book. If price is your main priority, then sail between September and December (excluding holiday weeks). Typically during school vacations when families travel, it's a bit more expensive.
The U.S. National Hurricane Service officially designates June 1 to November 30 as hurricane season. The greatest concentration of hurricanes and tropical storms generally tend to be between late August and mid-Octobe. Cruise ships have one great advantage over resorts and tropical islands - they can steer around the weather! A cruise is your best option if you're concerned about weather.
Many Spring Breakers typically opt for a land vacation rather than a cruise, however if you are looking for a more relaxing experience, be aware that in late winter through mid-spring there may be somewhat livelier crowd onboard.
Cruise lines attempt to follow published schedules as closely as possible, yet this is not always feasible. Cruise lines reserve the right to change a scheduled itinerary without prior notice - it's all part of putting safety first. Situations which may call for an itinerary change are weather, mechanical difficulties and political tensions, to name a few. Cruise lines are not legally liable for any loss to guests by cancellation, advancement, deviation, substitution, or postponement. If an itinerary change is necessary, cruise lines may substitute another ship or port of call, and they will always attempt to keep passengers informed of changes.
No, in some instances cruise ships must utilize a tender
to transport passengers ashore if the ship is unable to dock directly. While there is no charge for the tender service, mobility impaired customers may experience challenges when trying to take the tender ashore.
Many cruise lines now offer various packages and amenities (at an additional cost) to help you celebrate.
All passenger staterooms are located well above sea level.
The following information is from the US Department of State website, regarding travel requirements for US Citizens
|Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative Documentation Requirements|
|Type of Travel||Returning to U.S. From||Required Documentation|
|Air||Any international destination||U.S. Passport Book|
|Land||Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean Region||U.S. Passport Book or Card|
|Sea||Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean Region||U.S. Passport Book or Card|
|Air, Land or Sea||A U.S. Territory||Government-issued photo ID such as driver's license or military ID|
|Please note this important information|
|All passengers over the age of 16 are required to carry a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license or military ID.|
|We recommend all travelers confirm the entry requirements for all countries prior to departure. The following website may assist you in verifying the required documentation for travel: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_4965.html |
Please be advised that knowing, securing and bringing the required identification and other documents required for travel are solely the responsibilities of the passengers. You are responsible for acquiring and bringing all the documents required (by governments, cruise lines, air lines, etc.) to travel. We are unable to provide refunds for clients who do not possess the necessary documentation.
Although the US State Department advises of the above requirements for travel, please note that certain cruise lines have their own policies.
* Costa Cruises has advised that all U.S. Citizens must present valid passport with an expiration date that does not occur within 6 months of the scheduled return date, when sailing aboard ANY Costa Cruise. * Windstar has advised that all guests must carry their valid passports. In addition, certain countries may require entry visas. Passports and visas must be valid for the duration of travel. All passports must be valid for at least 6 months beyond intended stay. As with all vendors, the client is responsible for securing proper documentation for the countries visited on their cruise. Windstar has advised that all guests must carry their valid passports. In addition, certain countries may require entry visas. Passports and visas must be valid for the duration of travel. All passports must be valid for at least 6 months beyond intended stay. As with all vendors, the client is responsible for securing proper documentation for the countries visited on their cruise.
If you do not already have a passport, you must apply for one in person. If you have an expired passport, you may be able to renew it through the mail. Please see the following website for specific instructions and information on obtaining a passport: http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html
An international trip may require valid travel documents such as, but not limited to:
- Re-entry permit
- Health certificate
- Inoculation record
- A ticket for the return journey, or continuance of your trip
- Or ANY combination thereof
We are NOT responsible for your travel documents. You are responsible for acquiring the proper documentation. Concerns about the required travel documents may be resolved by contacting the appropriate consulate, embassy, or government agency - please also refer to this website for details: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_4965.html
Every country has its own laws regarding entrance by non-citizens. Please check the specific laws governing the country you are visiting. It is your sole responsibility to obtain all necessary documentation prior to your departure. Regardless of the ticket you purchase, applicable immigration laws apply.
Please note that there is a new United States regulation in effect that requires citizens from some countries to obtain a visa if their flight is stopping over in the US, even if the US is not the final destination.
In addition, citizens from waiver-countries visiting the US should be aware that per the US Department of State, travelers entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Program must have a machine-readable passport. Any traveler without a machine-readable passport will be required to obtain a visa before coming to the United States.
For more information on US visa regulations visit http://travel.state.gov/visa/visa_1750.html
Please check all appropriate laws for the country you are visiting.
If your middle name appears on your proof of citizenship, you must provide your middle name at time of booking to ensure that the name on your reservation matches your documentation.
Parents of minor children (under 18 years old) must carefully document legal custody prior to traveling.
- If a minor child is traveling with only one parent, the absent parent should provide a notarized letter of consent.
- If only one parent has legal custody, that parent should be prepared to provide such evidence to airlines and authorities (ie. A copy of the sole custody document, or death certificate of absent parent.)
- In cases in which a minor child is traveling alone or in someone else's company, both parents (and the sole, documented custodial parent) should provide a notarized letter of consent.
- If a child traveling has a different last name from the mother and/or father, the parents should be prepared to provide evidence to airlines and authorities, such as a birth certificate or adoption decree, to prove that they are indeed the parents.
Yes, and they differ for each cruise line. The age requirement policies are strictly enforced by the cruise lines, and passengers who do not meet the minimum requirement will not be permitted to board. For specific age requirements by cruise line, please click here
Online registration is a process by which you provide the cruise line with personal information (such as name, date of birth, passport #'s, etc.) for each passenger via the cruise line's secure website. The online registration process is not only a requirement of most cruise lines but also of the Department of Homeland Security. To complete your registration, visit the following link for your specific cruise line:
An Air/Sea package
is certainly an option, although depending upon the cruise line and your particular location, there are pros and cons to booking your flights separately versus booking your flights through the cruise line. In most cases, if you book your air arrangements through the cruise line, the airline will make every effort to get you to the ship in the event of a flight delay or cancellation. If you prefer to make your own air arrangements, we recommend that flights arrive a minimum of 4-6 hours prior to the ship's departure and depart no sooner than 4-6 hours after the ship's scheduled arrival back in port.
Sometimes, yes. Especially during holiday travel times or for flights that involve transfers
in one or more cities, you can save money by booking your flight and cruise in one package (this price will often include the cost of any transfers/transportation to the cruise port as well).
Most cruise lines offer pre-night packages that you can purchase at an additional cost. The space is limited for these, so it is best to book them early. Purchasing a pre-night package benefits you since it will provide you with extra time to make it to the ship if you experience flight delays or inclement weather. Should you not be able to book a pre-night package through the cruise line, you may also reserve a room on your own and customize your flight schedule with an Air Deviation
. There is a non-refundable fee to do this, in addition to any increased airfare cost.
We highly recommend that you contact the airline prior to departure to reconfirm your flights. If we receive notification of a schedule change, we will make every effort to contact you with that information. However, there are many instances in which we are not apprised of changes in flight schedules.
If you purchased airfare through the cruise line, both the cruise line and airline will work to assist in getting you to the ship. In the event of minor scheduling delays or flight cancellations, speak to the airline first, to find out when you will be able to depart. Then, contact our Customer Service Department, who will alert the cruise line to your situation. If your delay is only minor, we may be able to have the transfer shuttle meet you as planned. For major delays and flight cancellations, the resolutions are determined on a case-by-case basis. In some instances, the airline will fly you to the next port of call. In other instances, the airline may provide hotel accommodations or other options. If you purchased airfare independently of the cruise line, you will need to work directly with the airline. In either case, we recommend advising the airline that you are on your way to meet a cruise ship. The airline may then prioritize you above other passengers. Please consider the purchase of travel insurance, as there may be times when the airline and cruise line cannot help you, but the insurance can.
If you are driving to the port, there is often parking available for a daily fee, at the port. If you are flying to the port, you can either take a cab to the pier, or purchase transfers
from the cruise line.
Sometimes the transfers are included if you book your flights with your cruise reservation; see options with the cruise line
Yes. Most ports offer parking near the pier, for a daily fee. We've outlined the typical parking fees as well as directions here
, but please keep in mind the rates are always subject to change.
This will vary but usually around 1pm. Please look for the embarkation time on your documents provided by the cruise line for boarding.
Purchase your vacation using whichever name is reflected on your Proof of Citizenship. If you are carrying several types of identification that reflect your married and maiden name, you are strongly encouraged to carry a copy of your marriage certificate to document your name change.
All reservations must be made in U.S. dollars. You may pay using either a credit card or debit card. Please keep in mind that debit cards often have daily spending limits. We recommend checking with your bank prior to making a payment with your debit card. If you'd like to use an international credit card, please call us to make your reservation - funds must be converted into U.S. dollars for payment; some restrictions may apply.
For select cruise lines, some reservation restrictions apply for customers with primary residential addresses outside of America's 50 states; ask for complete details.
Currently, it is not possible for the initial payment. If your initial payment is not a payment in full, you may use more than one card to pay the remaining balance.
Immediately after your reservation has been purchased, you will receive an email confirmation which outlines your reservation details. Please look it over and become familiar with the information provided. Additionally, you can access your reservation online and request an updated invoice/confirmation at any time.
For select cruise lines, there are no reservation restrictions for customers with a non-U.S. address apart from paying in U.S. dollars and needing to call us in order to book (our website's reservation system is only set up for U.S. zip codes).
For other cruise lines, some reservation restrictions apply for customers with primary residential addresses outside of America's 50 states; ask for complete details.
If you'd like to use an international credit card, please call us to make your reservation - funds must still be converted into U.S. dollars for payment; other restrictions may apply.
No. All reservations must be made in U.S. dollars. If you'd like to use an international credit card, please call us to make your reservation – funds must still be converted into U.S. dollars for payment; other restrictions may apply.
By purchasing a guarantee cabin, at minimum you will receive a stateroom in the category you have booked, with the possibility of receiving an upgrade. Stateroom categories don't always correspond to the decks on a ship, so in some cases receiving a stateroom or category upgrade will mean your stateroom is on a lower deck. Guarantee cabins are often a more financially attractive option than securing a specific stateroom, however as guarantee cabins are assigned by the cruise line, you will not know the location, view or bedding of your cabin until it has been assigned. In addition, if you have booked more than one cabin, the cabins may not necessarily be near each other. If these are important considerations for you, you may wish to consider purchasing a cabin assignment rather than a guarantee.
It is NOT possible to book numerous rooms at one time. If you are interested in reserving more than one room in close proximity to one another, it is recommended that you call our toll-free number and speak to a Vacation Consultant. The only way to purchase more than one room on our web site is to make multiple reservations.
If you would like to book two adjoining staterooms, it is recommended that you call our toll-free number and speak to a Vacation Consultant, as the only way to purchase more than one room on our web site is to make multiple reservations. You cannot book adjoining staterooms under the same reservation.
Typically, reservations of 8 or more staterooms are considered a group. Again, you cannot book multiple rooms online, so you must call to make your group cruise reservation. If available, you can book adjacent and adjoining staterooms, so you are encouraged to book as far in advance as possible to ensure the largest selection. Often, group cruises are eligible to special discounts and offers.
All rates are based on the present occupancy and availability. It may be possible to add an extra person, providing the room permits this. Keep in mind:
- Your present rate will not be protected and could possibly change
- The person you are adding could pay a different rate as well
- There may be change fees involved.
- In some cases, changes will not be permitted particularly in the case of cruises where they sometimes reach their maximum passenger capacity.
Currently, it is not possible to purchase these items online. Please call our toll-free number and speak to a Customer Service representative to assist you in researching the possibilities available to you.
Our website lists a wide variety of shore excursions
, depending upon your cruise destination and time of year. Please be aware that these excursions are operated by local independent tour operators and are subject to their rules, regulations and pricing. We encourage you to read all information very clearly before and after booking all shore excursions.
Yes! Shore excursions, particularly popular ones, tend to fill up quickly. Get to know the planned activities each port of call has to offer prior to your departure. Pre-reserving your excursions will ensure that you are able to take part in the activities you have your heart set on, and it'll also relieve you of having to fuss with reservations for tours during your cruise.
We want to help you be prepared for unexpected travel problems you may encounter on the way so you can make the most of your trip. All too often, flight delays or cancellations, lost or damaged luggage, or an unexpected illness or injury give travelers more vacation memories than they bargained for. When it comes to common travel problems before, during and after your trip, travel insurance can help. It can provide coverage for the unexpected travel problems that can stop your vacation before it starts and can provide coverage while you're traveling, including 24-hour assistance services! This is only a brief description of the coverage(s) available. The Policy will contain reductions, limitations, exclusions and termination provisions. Insurance is underwritten by National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., with its principal place of business in New York, NY. Coverage may not be available in all states.
Please contact our Customer Service department who will be able to assist you in verifying whether or not your reservation was successfully completed.
Unfortunately, you cannot make payments during hours when our office is closed.
When calling, selecting/pressing "Option #2" is the very best way to make a payment when we are available. This will get to you to our highly skilled group support team and anyone in our support department can assist you.
You will receive your cruise line reservation and cabin numbers once your booking has been fully deposited (your deposit will vary depending on the cruise line). You will receive easy-to-read invoices after each payment has been made. You may also view your reservation online at any time by visiting your cruise line's website. Your boarding documents will typically be available thirty (30) days prior to departure.
No. While we do everything we can to secure the best rates and payment options for all of our group cruisers, payment extensions are simply not possible. All reservations must be paid current by the deadline set to ensure that your rates and cabins remain secured.
We will be more than happy to contact the cruise line regarding the lower rate. If we are able to verify that the lower rate is applicable towards your group, you will receive the adjustment. On occasion, some rates are available with restrictions; your Group Account Executive will be able to provide you with any applicable details.
Yes. Private event space is available aboard all cruise ships, but requests for space must be received as early as possible - these rooms are in high demand and they are strictly available on a first-come, first-served basis.
A menu of options, designed to enhance your special event, may also be available. Please ask your Group Account Executive for details.
Group travel is a very popular choice among families, friends, and colleagues. As a result, group space is extremely limited. We recommend securing your space as early as possible to ensure the best pricing and availability. We can reserve space for you as early as fourteen (14) months in advance of departure aboard most cruise lines.
Everything! Being a Group Leader is very rewarding, and there are many incentives for both you and your group. Amenities will vary, and your potential is unlimited, but you'll always receive a Group Leader Rebate as long as you set sail with at least eight (8) cabins. It's a vacation with loved ones/colleagues and an opportunity all in one neat package! Please contact a Group Account Executive for more information.
In most cases, you'll need to book a minimum of eight (8) cabins, with double occupancy, in order to qualify as a group. Remember - the more cabins you reserve, the higher your rebate. There is, of course, no limit to the amount of fun you'll have!
The advantages are many and they will vary dependent on cruise line promotions and restrictions. Your cruise line may offer reduced deposits, special group pricing, and/or special amenities (complimentary cocktail parties, free onboard spending, and photo coupons are among the most popular options). Please contact a Group Account Executive for more information about the advantages that are available from cruise line to cruise line.
The experts at Cruise411.com are committed to providing you with a REMARKABLE group cruise experience. Your group will receive personalized service from one of our dedicated Group Account Executives, and you'll also enjoy direct access to our highly skilled service team. Together, they'll ensure that every detail of your reservation is handled properly. You'll only need to worry about what to pack!
Upon reserving your group space, you'll receive a professionally produced, full-color flyer and reservation forms via email. All documents (including invoices) are provided to you in language that's clear/easy to understand, and all of your reservation details are updated automatically.
Yes. We always do our very best to see that your cabins are grouped together. Please book early (and with full deposit) to help ensure cabin assignments.
Although many cruise lines do provide cell phone service while at sea, please keep in mind that such services require additional fees, often at rates much more expensive than your normal roaming charges.
Many cruise lines now feature Internet Cafes onboard, where you can surf the Web and send and receive emails. There is a charge for this service, and the per-minute rates vary by cruise line.
Virtually every cruise ship (except for some smaller vessels operating in coastal waters) has a fully equipped medical facility and staff to handle medical emergencies.
Many cruise lines offer one or both of these services, sometimes for an additional fee. Click here
for a highlight of programs offered.
Both laundry and dry cleaning services are offered by most major cruise lines. Specific instructions and information about fees can be found in your cabin.
Typically, yes. However, most charge considerably high fees for use (in addition to any bank charges).
The cruise lines require all guests with special medical needs to submit a "special needs" form to them prior to travel. This is to ensure that they have the necessary information to give you the proper care in the event of an emergency. Passengers who carry syringes for medical use must also carry a letter from their physicians indicating this. Please call and speak with our Customer Service Team to obtain the correct forms for submission to the cruise line.
Pregnancy is regarded as a medical condition, and some cruise lines require a medical certificate establishing the passenger's due date and fitness to travel. Additionally, each cruise line has specific policies with regard to how far along in a pregnancy a passenger can be at time of embarkation. Click here
for further details.
Accessibility varies from ship to ship, however the newer, larger cruise ships are often a better bet for wheelchair-bound travelers than are older ships. Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has put together an excellent reference guide
regarding wheelchair accessibility by ship.
Virtually every cruise ship (except for some smaller vessels operating in coastal waters) has a fully equipped medical facility and staff to handle medical emergencies.
Yes. Today, virtually all ships have non-smoking and smoking designated areas. Dining rooms on many of the major cruise lines today are totally smoke-free.
Although seasickness is rare on larger cruise ships because they are equipped with stabilizers, if you are prone to motion sickness, you may want to consult your physician prior to travel. If you should feel queasy onboard ship, medicine is available from your stateroom steward or the ship's doctor.
Many types of medication may not be readily available either aboard ship or in ports of call. Commonly used medication may be purchased at the office of the ship's doctor.
Please carry any medication in its original bottle. It is recommended that medication be carried on your person or in your carry-on bag so that it will be available when needed, as checked luggage may not be accessible at all times. If you take any prescription drugs, vitamins or other medication on a regular basis, you should bring an adequate supply with you.
Yes. To ensure the safety of all cruise ship passengers, pre-cruise security measures have been strengthened in recent years. Passengers can expect to encounter screening measures similar to those used in airports, including metal detectors and examination of photo IDs. In addition, their luggage and carry-on bags may be inspected.
These are commonly referred to as lifeboat drills (or "muster"). Everyone on board the ship is required to be in attendance for a safety drill before departure, to comply with Coast Guard and international safety regulations.
For safety and security reasons, no visitors are allowed onboard.
Consider your ship's itinerary when deciding what to pack.
For a typical Caribbean cruise, you'll want to take shorts, skirts or sundresses, pants, blouses, t-shirts, knit tops or polo shirts, and a bathing suit. For cooler days or evenings, pack a sweater or lightweight windbreaker.
For Alaska cruises, sweaters, raincoats, and fleece are also suggested. Bring a pair of sneakers or rubber-soled shoes for deck sports and a swimsuit cover-up for cool areas on the ship.
Keep in mind that when visiting some countries or participating in shore excursions to shrines or religious sites, a more conservative dress code may be in order.
Most cruises will have at least one formal night for dinner. Women generally wear cocktail dresses or gowns, while men can wear a dark suit and tie. Many ships also offer tuxedo rentals.
For casual or semi-formal nights, sport shirts and slacks or button-down shirts and sport coats work for men, while women can wear a dress, pantsuit, or slacks and top.
Generally speaking, there are three types of evening attire: Casual, Smart-Casual or Business-Casual, and Formal.
Casual attire would be dresses or slacks and blouses for women, sport shirts and trousers for men
Smart- or Business-Casual would be dresses or pantsuits for women, jackets for men; and Formal would be long or short cocktail dresses, dark suits or tuxedos for men. That being said, some cruise lines have loosened their dress codes and sometimes allow much more casual dress in the main dining rooms.
On most cruises, a tuxedo is not required, although gentleman should plan on bringing a dark suit in order to attend the formal night(s). If you prefer to dress to the nines, many cruise lines offer tuxedo rentals.
In port and on the ship, you will have many opportunities to enjoy duty free shopping. Depending on your itinerary, there may be a limit to the amount of duty-free merchandise allowed per guest. Major credit cards are accepted almost everywhere, so you will not have to bring much cash (except for some shore side purchases). In fact, it is strongly recommended that you bring a credit card, since it will make your onboard registration very quick and easy. For non-credit card purchases, we encourage you to bring traveler's checks.
Electric razors and hair dryers can be brought with you. Staterooms for most cruise lines are equipped with 110 volts AC and are capable of handling all normal appliances. Some appliances may require the use of an adapter. Keep in mind, cruise lines do not provide irons in your stateroom and they prefer that you do not bring one along, due to the fire hazard. There is often laundry service on board should you need a special outfit ironed.
Policies vary greatly between cruise lines; click here for details
Non-bottled water, coffee, tea, and juice are generally included in your cruise fare. Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages are not included in the cruise fare, and in most cases, a 15% gratuity will be added to your bill when ordering these beverages.
Although most ships travel in International waters, the rule of thumb is that the drinking age aboard ship is contingent upon the drinking age at the Port of Departure. Always check with your Vacation Consultant or Customer Service before sailing if you have any concerns regarding the drinking age.
Yes, many cruise lines offer beverage packages to offset the expense. Click here
for further details.
Policies vary greatly between cruise lines; click here for details
Most cruise lines offer two seatings for the main dining room(s): Main Seating and Late Seating. Dining preferences may be requested at the time of the booking, however no requests are guaranteed. In addition to the traditional seatings, some cruise lines now offer "freestyle" dining. This provides guests with the flexibility to dine when and with whom they wish. Your seating and table assignment will be confirmed at embarkation. For additional details regarding dining options for the various cruise lines, click here
Yes. For your convenience, in addition to breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night buffets in the main dining room(s), many ships also offer complimentary room service and several additional restaurants. If you choose to dine in one of the specialty restaurants onboard, be prepared to pay an extra charge for the meal.
Low-fat and vegetarian entrees are often offered at lunch and dinner. Low-sodium meals, kosher meals, and certain other diet-restricted meals can be made available. Dietary requests should be made at the time of booking to ensure that you are appropriately accommodated.
Suggested gratuities vary between cruise lines as well as stateroom type, and generally range from $10 to $15 per person, per day. Many cruise lines now automatically add gratuities to your shipboard account. With most cruise lines, you will have the option to remove the automatically added gratuities if you are dissatisfied with the level of service provided, or in the event that you wish to tip the staff personally. This is done by visiting the Purser's desk prior to debarkation.
In cases where the gratuities are not automatically added to the shipboard account, the following guidelines are generally suggested by the cruise lines:
Stateroom attendant - $3.50 per person, per day
Head Waiter - $3.50 per person, per day
Assistant waiters - $1.75 per person, per day.
Gratuities for the Headwaiter/Maitre'D and other service personnel are at your discretion.
For your convenience aboard the ship, a 15% gratuity is automatically included on all beverage tabs.
For additional details regarding onboard gratuities specific to your cruise, click here
Cruising is so much more than just shuffleboard and all-you-can-eat buffets. Today's ships offer activities and entertainment for vacationers of all ages, from toddlers to seniors. Family-friendly ships may feature everything from kids' clubs to teen coffeehouses. Want to unwind? Activities are as diverse as spa treatments, basketball, and casino gambling. At night, you might catch a comedy show, relax in a piano bar, or feast on five-star cuisine. From luxury to adventure, there's a ship to suit your vacation needs.
Unique ship features may include:
- Rock-climbing wall
- All-oceanview or all-suite accommodations
- Martini & champagne bars
- Teen discos
- Thalassotherapy pool
- Spiral waterslide
- Boutiques by Harrods & Bvlgari
- Butler service
- Miniature golf & golf simulators
- Bungee trampolines
- Poolside movies under the stars
- Ice-skating rink
Cruise lines publish a daily newsletter that lists all of the activities being offered aboard the ship each day. In some cases your cabin steward will leave a copy in your stateroom the night before, and a copy of the bulletin is also always available at the Purser's desk.
Yes. Most cruise lines offer a variety of organized activities for children, as part of the cruise package. These programs are directed and supervised by specially trained staff, and different activities are offered depending upon age group. Age requirements vary between cruise lines, but a child must be toilet trained in order to participate, particularly in pool-related activities. Many cruise lines also offer babysitting services, at an additional cost. For additional details, please click here
Most cruise lines offer a variety of evening activities, from Las Vegas-style shows to gambling at the casino. You can also choose to dance the night away at the disco, or spend a more quiet evening enjoying a drink and sharing the day's experiences at one of the many lounges on board. These activities will be listed on your onboard newsletter.
Most cruise lines allow you to establish an onboard credit account that permits you to charge purchases to your stateroom. You will need to present a credit card, cash, or traveler's checks to open this account. This can be done at the designated sign-up area onboard the ship, or during the check-in process.
Each cruise ship has its own guidelines regarding hours of operation of the casino and on-board shops. The basic rule of thumb is that shops and the casino are open while you are at sea, however they will be closed while the ship is in port.
When booking a hotel or vacation online, it is very important that you enter the correct information for your trip. This includes city of departure, destination, dates of travel, number of travelers (and if traveling with children, the ages of the children) and correct and complete names (as printed on your Proof of Citizenship) of all travelers.
Yes, some hotels may have minimum age restrictions or requirements when reserving a room. For example, some hotels with casinos may require you to be 21 years of age to check into a room. Please inquire with a Customer Care Agent or with the hotel directly.
We accept all major credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, and in most cases, American Express and Discover.
This varies from facility to facility. The card types accepted for guarantee/deposit will be listed in the Info section of the hotel description.
Yes. We take this matter very seriously. To ensure your security, we use a secure commerce server, which encrypts the credit card number and encodes it into a non-usable form.
Tickets for children under the age of 15 who are traveling alone are not bookable on this site. In general, minors under the age of 18 who are traveling alone may be subject to unaccompanied minor fees as determined by the selected airline. Please contact the airline directly to determine what requirements and fees are involved.
Certainly, requests can be placed with the hotel; however, keep in mind whether or not the hotel can accommodate your request for particular bedding configurations, location or view is entirely at their discretion.
Yes, we strongly recommend protecting your vacation investment by purchasing travel insurance. Travel protection provides coverage if you have to cancel due to injury, sickness, or death to you, a traveling companion or immediate family member. It will also cover you if you have a medical emergency during your trip, or if your baggage is lost or damaged, among other things. However, it does not cover pre-existing conditions.
It is possible to add an extra person. However, all rates are based on the present occupancy and availability. Provided the room permits this, your present rate could be subject to change. The person you are adding could pay a different rate as well, and there may be change fees involved. In addition, in some cases, changes may not be permitted, particularly in the case of cruises where they sometimes reach their maximum capacity.
To help protect your credit card from fraudulent activity, we take extra time to verify your information. Therefore, reservations must be made at least 48 hours prior to departure (Central Daylight Time). If the airline you have selected requires paper tickets you will be notified of delivery options. Naturally, if you require paper tickets, time must be allowed for delivery of the tickets from our US location.
Cancellation policies vary greatly depending upon the hotel, airline, or package you have selected, as well as the proximity to your travel date. In all cases, you will be made aware of the specific cancellation policies for your trip prior to completing the reservation process.
Because we take extra time to verify passenger information to help protect your credit card from fraudulent activity, we require that all reservations must be made at least 48 hours prior to departure (Central Daylight Time).
You may pay using either a credit card or debit card. Please keep in mind that debit cards often have daily spending limits. We recommend checking with your bank prior to making a payment with your debit card.
An e-ticket, or electronic ticket, represents your reservation for a flight, but is not in a paper format. You will be supplied a confirmation number as your proof of purchase. You will not receive a paper ticket. With an e-ticket, your name and flight details will be in the airline's computer. An e-ticket is NOT a boarding pass. You will still have to check in to receive your boarding pass. Please remember that you must present a printed receipt of your e-ticket purchase in order to receive a boarding pass. Please be certain to print your confirmation details page or your confirmation email and bring it with you to the airport. Failure to do so will result in your inability to board your flight.
Airlines charge fees for paper tickets issued when electronic ticketing is available. Therefore, we issue all tickets electronically unless a paper ticket is required by the airline. When required, paper tickets do not have additional fees other than shipping charges.
Yes. If you have reserved a seat assignment, you must still check in and receive your boarding pass. Reserved seats are subject to cancellation if not claimed at least 30 minutes prior to scheduled departure time (45 minutes for non-US and overseas flights).
Luggage requirements can vary by airline and may change due to security or other regulations. Airlines reserve the right to assess an additional charge for checked luggage and/or for non-standard (over-sized/overweight) luggage. We encourage you to contact your scheduled airline directly for their current luggage fee schedule.
Standby availability is at the discretion of the airline. Additionally, some airlines may charge fees for flying standby on the same day as your departure.
Unfortunately, tickets are NOT refundable or transferable.
Some major airline carriers have changed their exchange policies for non-refundable tickets. Changes to tickets prior to departure date may result in large change fees, plus additional applicable charges. On your departure date, the airline may charge additional fees for stand-by passengers. After departure, your ticket may have no residual value.
If you have purchased a ticket on a US airline that ceases operations, you may be able to stand-by for a flight on another US airline. Section 145 of the US Aviation and Transportation Security Act "requires, at a minimum, that passengers holding valid confirmed tickets, whether paper or electronic, of the insolvent or bankrupt carrier must be transported by other carriers who operate on the route for which the passenger is ticketed on a space-available basis on the date of travel shown on the ticket or other documentation demonstrating e-ticketing, without significant additional charges." The amount of additional charges are at the discretion of the accommodating airline. This provision applies only on US airlines if you make "alternative arrangement within 60 days after the date on which that passenger's air transportation was suspended, interrupted, or discontinued (without regard to the originally scheduled travel date on the ticket)." Non-US airlines are not required to comply with the above.
Depending on when you purchase your package in relation to the date of departure, you may receive a tentative schedule at the time of booking or you may have to wait until several weeks prior to departure. Keep in mind that, as with any flight itinerary, charter flight schedules are always subject to change.
If we have received notification of the schedule change, we will make every effort to contact you with that information. However, there are many instances in which we are not apprised of changes in flight schedules. As a result, we highly recommend that you contact the airline prior to departure to reconfirm your flights.
Your total rental rate is calculated based on the information provided at time of reservation. The rate you are quoted will include any additional options or services you select while reserving your car.
Rental car companies do most of their business during the Monday-Friday workweek through business travel. This means that non-business travelers might get better deals and higher availability on weekends when the demand for some car types decreases. Demand increases during holiday seasons, so make sure you reserve early.
Typically, rentals picked up beginning Noon on Thursday through Noon Sunday qualify for the weekend rate, provided the rental is kept over a Saturday night. There are, however, some exceptions to the Saturday night keep rule and extra day charges do apply for any rental not returned by end of day Monday.
Age requirements vary by car rental company, but renters over the age of 25 are typically able to rent without car class restriction and/or an additional charge, while drivers from ages 21-24 will often encounter an "underage" surcharge and a more limited selection of vehicles. If you are a government employee, however, you may be able to rent at age 18 or age 21 without any charges or restrictions.
You will need a valid driver's license and a valid form of payment (typically a credit card, though cash may be accepted). On occasion, a traffic citation or summons is accepted in lieu of a driver's license, provided that you have another form of personal identification with your signature on it.
Depending on the rental company, a traffic citation or summons may be able to be accepted in lieu of a driver's license, provided that you have another form of personal identification with your signature on it.
Not always. Your deposit type, amount and method of payment will vary by company and location.
Not always. This will vary by company and location.
You may pay using either a credit/debit card or at most car rental companies, cash. Please keep in mind that debit cards often have daily spending limits. We recommend checking with your bank prior to making a payment with your debit card.
Yes, usually. Your deposit type, amount and method of payment will vary by company and location.
Please check with your chosen car rental company for specific card requirements. However, most accept all major credit card types, including American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.
No. At the time of rental, the renter is required to present a valid driver's license and credit card with his/her name imprinted on it. The name/address on the credit/debit card MUST match the name/address on the driver's license.
Yes. There are different requirements for each car rental company, but any additional driver must have a valid driver's license and must typically be age 25 or older. In some cases, drivers ages 21-24 can rent with a limited car selection and an underage surcharge. There also may be a required form for the additional driver to fill out, with some exceptions (coworker, spouse, employer).
Sometimes. The typical charge is $11 per day per additional driver (with a maximum of $55 per rental per driver). This can vary by state, though: in New York, the additional driver fee is $3 per day per driver; in Nevada it is $5 per day per driver; in California, there is no additional driver fee. In some cases, there may be no charge if the additional driver is a coworker, spouse, or employer.
Larger cars are subject to availability at the counter. Additional charges may apply and will be quoted in the currency of the renting country and may be at a higher rate than those previously quoted.
Almost every rental company provides a full range of vehicles and/or equipment free of charge to drivers with disabilities, including transfer boards, hand controls, swivel seats, and panoramic mirrors.
Yes. Almost every rental company offers the ability to reserve a specific make/model online, guaranteed.
Yes, you may rent a child, infant, or toddler car seat, though there will likely be an extra charge that varies by car rental company.
Not usually. However, you may incur charges if upon return, the rental car shows signs of pet damage or shedding.
This depends on the rental company as well as the particular rate and vehicle type. There is usually not a penalty fee if the rental has not been paid for; however, you may incur a fee when cancelling a prepaid rental reservation less than 48 hours in advance.
Taking a car across a state border is generally not a problem. However, it's always best to inquire about any restrictions or fees that may apply if dropping the car at a different location. Inquire either at the location or simply contact us.
In the unlikely event of an accident, contact the police immediately, then call your rental car company's emergency assistance line: Alamo: 1-800-803-4444
An accident involving bodily injury must be reported to police department in the community in which it occurred. The driver is required to complete and file an accident report with the rental company, as well as any accident reports required by local or state authorities.
You are responsible for any and all loss of or damage to the car resulting from any cause including and not limited to collision, rollover, theft, vandalism, seizure, fire, flood, hail or other acts of Nature. Please call your rental car company's emergency assistance line: Alamo: 1-800-803-4444
That depends on your chosen rental company. Some companies, like Budget, maintain a completely smoke-free fleet, while others, like Hertz, provide both "smoking" and "nonsmoking" cars. However, these cars are often subject to availability and not guaranteed.
No. Rental vehicles may be operated only on paved roads. Off-roading is prohibited.
In most cases, yes, though the fees and penalties vary by rental company. Typically, returns of less than 30 minutes late will not be charged extra hours. Returns 30 minutes late or later will be charged extra. A late return of 1 hour 30 minutes or more will usually result in charge of another day. After 7 hours late, if you didn't call to extend your rental, an additional $10/day late fee will usually apply.
Yes, though your rental rate will likely be impacted. Please contact your chosen rental company if you wish to extend the length of your rental.
Please contact the renting location and then mail the keys to the location where you dropped off your rental car.
If you plan to return your car prior to or after business hours, please make specific arrangements by calling the location where are you are to pick up or drop off your car.