Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions by future
Are there activities for children on a
Most cruise lines offer
programs for children. Many offer special teen and pre-teen
scheduled activities. The larger ships almost always include a video
arcade, kids disco or other designated "kids area".
Cruises are a great way for families to travel and
see a variety of countries and ports.
Some ships also offer babysitting services
and daycare centers.
Will I get seasick?
It is unlikely that you will notice any motion
on a large cruise ship, even if you are sensitive to motion in
automobiles or airplanes. All ships today have stabilizers to
smooth the ride. Some cruises sail calmer waters than others.
Caribbean and Alaska cruises enjoy smoother sailings than say
Bermuda. If seas do get rough, there are many preventative
medications available on board.
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I have to participate in scheduled activities or can I just
There are dozens of activities going on all over the ship every day. One the best ones
can be "doing nothing at all". Relaxation is what attracts
many people to cruise travel. Every ship has one or more pools that
you can lay around with a good book, most have a library and several
lounges where you can sit and relax by yourself or with friends.
Do I have to tip? If so, how much?
Tipping is up to you. Generally speaking, $9.00 to $11.00 per day/per person
should take care of your waiter, bus boy and cabin steward. Other ship personnel
can be tipped at your discretion. There are a few cruise lines that have a "no
Will I need a
All U.S. and Canadian
citizens must travel with proof of citizenship, which is a valid
passport, or birth certificate (complete with raised seal, not a
photocopy) with a picture identification, or a certified
naturalization certificate with picture identification. Any state
government issued drivers license or other form of picture
identification should be acceptable.
Non-U.S. citizens who are residing in the
United States are required to travel with their Alien Registration
Card (Green Card) and valid passports. All others must have valid
passports and necessary visas at embarkation. You should consult
with your travel agent for more information if necessary.
Can I call home from the ship?
Many of the newer or recently refurbished ships
provide Ship to Shore telephone service. On some ships you can call
from your stateroom. Ship to Shore rates apply so you may want to
limit your conversations.
Are medical services
Virtually every major
cruise ship will have a staffed medical facility to handle
emergencies. If you suffer from a medical condition, check with your
travel agent before booking to make sure the ship on which you are cruising
can handle your needs.
Will I get bored?
That is very unlikely! However, if you are concerned about having enough to
do, choose one of the larger ships (70,000 tons and above), they will typically
have more activities due to the sheer numbers of people on board. Ships are
like floating resorts. Almost everything is inclusive.
Most ships have dozens of planned and
spontaneous activities going from sunrise to way past midnight. Pool
activities, sports, bingo, casino, wine tastings, dance lessons,
dancing, karoake, live entertainment, movies, television, fitness
centers, shore excursions, talent contests, masquerade parties,
Captain's party, country western night, just to name a few!
What should I pack?
Generally speaking, cruise travel is very casual
during the day and casual to formal in the evenings. This can vary
depending on the itinerary. Caribbean, Hawaiian, Alaskan cruises are
more informal while Transatlantic, Mediterranean and European
cruises tend to be a little more formal. This can also vary from
cruise line to cruise line and ship to ship.
Princess Cruise Line would probably lean
toward formal whereas Carnival will tend to be more informal and
casual. There is no real hard and fast rule, however, here's a
Men should always pack one dark suit which
will usually suffice even on "formal night." You can take
a tuxedo, but we recommend that you rent one on board the ship (most
ships offer this service) unless you own one and just want the extra
baggage. Tuxedos are generally not "required".
Ladies can take cocktail dresses or a full
There are usually 1 to 2 formal nights on a 7
night cruise, only 1 on 3 & 4 night cruises. The rest of the
time is typically very casual. Even on "non-formal"
nights, men should wear a collared shirt to dinner and slacks or
skirts for the ladies.
How much will it
One of the most attractive
features of a cruise vacation is the price. Even more expensive
cruises are a good value for the money. You can spend anywhere from
$400 for a 3-night Bahamas cruise to $30,000 for a suite on a 30-day
cruise to Africa!
No matter how much you spend, you pay one
price that covers virtually everything: meals, accommodations,
taxes, on-board entertainment and in some cases, airfare! The only
extras are shore excursions, liquor, tips and incidentals (photos,
Undoubtedly, a cruise is the most affordable
way to travel. Compare a 7-night cruise to the Caribbean at around
$1300 pp (including airfare) with a 7-night trip to Hawaii. In
Hawaii, a hotel comparable to your cabin on the ship will be at
least $150 per night (that's $1,000 right there!), your airfare from
most cities will be at least $600, and meals in Hawaii to rival that
of the cruise ship will easily be $100 per day per person (another
$700!). That is $2,300 per person compared to $1,300 and we haven't
even talked about entertainment!
What is included in
the price of the cruise?
everything! All your meals are included (and there are usually about
7 or 8 per day from which to choose), all accommodations, all
shipboard entertainment, all taxes and in some cases your airfare
and ground transportation to and from the port is included.
You must pay for extras such as liquor, shore
excursions, gratuities, photos, incidentals, gambling, etc.
sightseeing when in port?
will typically arrive in port early in the morning at which time you
are free to go ashore. In most cases, you will be back on board the
ship by 5:00pm to 7:00pm. This gives you more than enough time to
enjoy one of the cruise lines' shore excursions, or, go off on your
own to do some shopping, sightseeing, swimming, scuba diving,
We highly recommend the cruise ship sponsored
tours and excursions. In some ports, when you debark from the ship,
local sightseeing companies (in some cases a local with a van) will
be waiting to temp you with their own tour. Take our word for it,
while these tours may be safe and in some cases quite good, it is
always a safe bet to stick with your cruise ship's recommendation.
Can I get/send
e-mail while onboard the ship?
the newer ships do have a business center complete with computers
connected to the Internet. Some charge as little at $16 an hour for
computer time and you can get your e-mail using Microsoft HotMail or
Yahoo Mail. Check with your cruise line for availability of these
If you have a laptop onboard, you can make a
ship-to-shore call to dial into your Internet provider, but at $8 to
$10 per minute it can get very expensive.
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