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We’re here to make your vacation a little bit easier. Below is a list of frequently asked questions we receive with some suggestions for each. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to give us a call or send us an email.
Q: What if my flight is delayed?
A: Bad weather affects hundreds of people. If you’ve purchased cruise line air, the cruise lines will make every effort to get you to your cruise; in some cases they will delay the cruise departure time when bad weather has delayed the arrival of passengers in the port city. Be sure to check with the airlines at least 48 hours before departure and arrive to the airport early in case of last minute changes.
Q: How much money should I take?
A: Though ships are cash-free, we suggest you bring spending money for tipping, sightseeing, shopping, and other activities while in port (credit cards are accepted from many businesses while in port). If you have not purchased transfers, you may also need money for taxi’s and other transportation. As for your shipboard expenses, please reference the information provided by the cruise line with your tickets for acceptable methods of payment. Our rule of thumb: better to be safe than sorry - bring more than you need and take home what’s left.
Suggested gratuities vary with each cruise line but they typically suggest $10 per person/ per day will cover all gratuities. You have two options with gratuities: a) tip as you see fit, or b) pre-pay at the rate the cruise line suggests (they will debit your on-board account accordingly).
Q: Which dining time will I have?
A: Now-a-days you have many options when it comes to dining and while you don’t have to eat in the main dining room, should you decide to do so, you will need to select a time. We work with you to determine this at time of booking and while we can only request your preferred time, it’s entirely up to the cruise lines. Having said that, we find that 98% of the time your request will be honored. If you have not received confirmation prior to sailing we recommend that once you board, find out when the head waiter will be available so that you can confirm your dining preference.
Q: What’s the dress code?
A: The dress code will vary with each cruise line; as always, check your documentation. Having said that, there are usually 2 nights on a typical 7 day cruise called ‘formal’ nights. We suggest a suit and tie or tuxedo (at the very least a sport coat and tie) for the men and for the ladies an outfit that you might wear out to a very nice restaurant, cocktail dress or gown. For the kids and teens we suggest a shirt and tie for gentlemen and a nice dress for the ladies.
On casual nights, we suggest the men wear khaki’s or slacks with a collared shirt (either polo style or button-down) and women wear a nice outfit or dress. Please note that shorts, jeans and t-shirts will not be allowed in the dining room for dinner. Should you decide to take advantage of alternative dining, please check with the front desk, concierge or maitre d for the appropriate dress.
Q: Are there any special nights I need to be aware of?
A: Check your cruise brochures as some cruises have theme nights and costume parties that you may want to bring a special outfit for, although it’s not necessary.
Q: How much luggage can I bring?
A: You may take as much as you want on the cruise ships but the airlines normally limit you to 2 checked bags and one carry on. REMEMBER to have identification on the outside of your luggage and if you are using cruise line air, you MUST also place the luggage tags you received with your cruise documents on your luggage before you check your bags (please remember to fill them out with your identification information).
Q: What should I pack?
A: What you pack is at your discretion. Be sure you pack for the appropriate conditions whatever your cruise destination. However, we do suggest that in your carry-on you pack all medications, documents, cameras, glasses and valuables. You may also want to include a change of clothes and your swimsuit to use while your luggage is being sorted and delivered to your cabin.
For those traveling with a day prior hotel included with your cruise and are on the cruise line’s air/ sea program: be sure to have an extra set of clothes and toiletries for the next day. Each cruise lines program varies and they keep changing. Be Prepared! Once you check your baggage you may not see it again until it arrives in your cabin.
Q: I’ve just landed at the airport – what now?
A: For those taking advantage of the air/ sea program or have purchased transfers, the cruise line will usually have a representative waiting for you in baggage claim. Follow and listen to them – they will tell you everything you need to know. Also, don’t hesitate to ask them any questions you might have!
Q: What do I do on the last night of my cruise?
A: You’ve had a great time on your cruise and now it’s time to head back to reality. You have two choices, beg the captain to let you stay on the ship or start packing your bags. Assuming the latter happens, your stateroom attendant will provided you with luggage tags and instruct you to place your luggage outside the door before midnight on the last night. Your luggage will be picked up by the ship’s staff and removed from the ship when it docks.
IMPORTANTLY keep your carry-on bag with you! You will need this bag for your toiletries and clothes the night before. Again, you will want to keep any medication and valuables with you as well.
Q: I’m heading for the sun… what should I bring?
A: If you are heading for a sunny destination, be sure to bring proper sunscreen lotions. If you wish to tan before your cruise, the experts tell us that 8-10 tanning sessions will be necessary for a good base tan. For cooler destinations and timings, back rain gear just in case. Also, whether hot or cold outside, the ship will have a constant temperature inside with air conditioning and heating systems – be sure to pack a sweater to keep yourself comfortable at all times.
Q: What do I need to know about medical and health services?
A: Unless you are going to a handful of exotic ports, no shots or health certificates will be required (we will always inform you if you will be visiting a port where these will be required). Fortunately, almost all modern ships are equipped with automatic stabilizers and motion sickness is a rare occurrence for most passengers. However, if you get motion sickness, Seabands are a great way to help set you straight. Seabands are a type of acupressure and can be work on your wrist without any side affects. You may purchase Seabands at your local drugstore, on board the ship when the shops are open or from us – we have some available in either white or blue for $7.50 a pair. Other forms of motion sickness prevention are over the counter drugs like Bonine or Dramamine.
Should you require medical assistance on the ship, qualified physicians are available at standard fees.
Q: Any tips on shore excursions and shopping?
A: Most cruise lines give talks on the ports, shore excursions and shopping (check the TV for re-runs if you miss them). If you are planning to get off the ship at port, the shore talks are very informative and we recommend at least one person from your party attend.
If you want to explore on your own, be sure to listen to the port lectures and ask the excursion desk for any tips. They will tell you if it is safe or not to go out on your own. They can also give you a good guideline as to how much a taxi should charge. To save money while exploring on your own, try and find another couple and split the cost of transportation.
Q: How does disembarkation (getting off the ship) work?
A: The cruise line will have a disembarkation talk and will go over everything you need to know about the procedure. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT AT LEAST ONE PERSON FROM YOUR PARTY ATTEND!
Q: What happens if there’s an emergency?
A: Please feel free to instruct your friends or family to call us in the event of an emergency. Our number is (425) 775-1314 or they can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
However, the quickest and easiest way for someone to contact you is for them to call the ship. This can be done any time the ship is at sea by calling the High Seas Operator at (800) SEA-Call (723-2255) and telling the operator the ship’s name, general location and your name. Calls can be expensive. Also, most ships have internet access so email is another option.
Most importantly, have a great time on your cruise vacation. You’ve earned it!