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First Time Cruisers
All you need to know before you go

Congratulations! Not only have you realized the importance of setting aside some much-deserved getaway time for YOU, but you've chosen the best vacation option around to do it!

Embarking upon a new vacation endeavor can be somewhat daunting, but your Vacation Specialists are here to help! We were all first time cruisers at one time, so we know you have questions and our expert Vacation Specialists are here to give you the answers.

Why more than ever?

Cruising has it all and then some. You can expect an all-inclusive experience on a cruise vacation. This means that almost everything is included at a fixed price that you are aware of in advance. Below is a list of amenities that are typically included in the cost of your cruise:

  1. Full meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Special children's menus are also available.
  2. Full buffet meals per day (breakfast, lunch and midnight)
  3. 24-hour room service on many ships.
  4. Access to all shipboard facilities, including casino, pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, gym, on-board lectures, card rooms, and an extensive array of interactive games, contests and more...
  5. Supervised children's activities offered on a daily basis.
  6. Spectacular entertainment including Broadway and Las Vegas-style shows, lounges, nightclubs, movies, dancing and so much more...
  7. Up close and personal visits to some of the world's most amazing destinations

On most cruise lines, gratuities (a suggested amount is $13.50 - $15.50 per day per person, or $94.50 -$108.50 per passenger per week for a 7-day cruise, paid at the end of the cruise) are not included. Additionally, port charges and government fees and shore excursions on a few ships require an additional cost.

How will I be informed about all the activities that are going on onboard? I don't want to miss a thing!

Once you arrive onboard, we suggest you explore...explore...explore. Get familiar with the location of the dining room, pool, lounges etc. from your stateroom. You can expect a daily program of activities placed on your door or in your stateroom every night for the next day activities. There will be a plethora of things to do. Generally, you will find a main show lounge hosting Las Vegas-style reviews or Broadway shows. In addition, almost all ships have a club or two and a dance band lounge. Throughout the ship you will find smaller lounge areas where people can meet and greet each other. The wide variety of activities organized by the Cruise Director and ship's personnel will surely keep you busy from sunup to sundown if you choose. On some ships, you will find rock-climbing, ice-skating, surfing simulators, game show events, aerobics, yoga, and a chock full of contests. You won't be bored for one second. Consider getting more out of your vacation with a shore excursion once you arrive at port. Your CruiseOne Independent Vacation Specialist can help you choose the best excursion for your personality and your pockets that can be booked in advance!

Is cruising safe?

Absolutely! The safety of guests and crew members is the top priority of any cruise-line operation. A fun and friendly environment may be the foundation upon which the industry was built, but the overall safety of each passenger is taken very seriously. It's no surprise that cruising boasts the travel industry's strongest safety record. Click here to review our All About Safety at Sea.

Will I get seasick?

Modern ships have hydraulic stabilizers, which regulate the movement of the ship at sea to create more balance and less motion. In the rare event of seasickness, most ships are equipped with modem medical facilities and a ship's physician if necessary. Remember to pack along any prescription medication you are taking.

Are all cruise ships the same?

No. There are ships that are as intimate as a yacht-like vessel that accommodate up to 100 passengers while there are ships that can hold up to 3,000 people. You'll have the time of your life on either one you prefer. Your Vacation Specialist can help you pick the best ship for you!

What should I bring with me?

Most cruise ships are casual by day with resort-wear suggested by night. Seven-day cruises usually have two formal nights where tuxedos or dark suits for men and cocktail dress or gowns for women are suggested. Click here for more information on what to pack.

Will I absolutely love my first cruise experience?

We guarantee it! Millions of people will cruise in the next year, and to this day cruising continues to earn the highest ratings in customer satisfaction among all vacation options. After your first cruise, you'll be enlightened to do it all over again!


Additional Discounts
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Resident Rates
Take advantage of discounted rates by state! Plus, just one guest needs to qualify for everyone in your stateroom to be eligible for state savings. At pier check-in, show proof of residency, a driver's license, for example. Applicable states and rates change often, so be sure to ask our cruise experts for the latest deals offered to residents of your state.
Senior Rates
Passengers 55 and older by their departure date can qualify for special rates. You must confirm your age with a government-issued ID (we recommend a passport or driver's license) at the pier before boarding the ship. Most cruise lines qualify seniors as 55 and older. Exceptions to this are: Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises. These lines qualify seniors as 60 and older.
Past Guest Rates
Most top cruise lines offer special bonuses and rates to past guests; these may include free stateroom upgrades and onboard spending credits. If you've sailed before, provide your agent with your past guest number and we'll find the best past guest offers available for even greater savings in addition to our already low prices. Cruised before but don't recall your past guest number? Just give us a call at 800-288-6006 and we'll be happy to assist you.