Thank you for booking your cruise. We truly appreciate and value your business. Please take a few minutes to read this very important guide. It will answer many of your questions regarding your upcoming cruise vacation.
|What is the United States Border Security Act? How do I need to prepare?|
On March 1, 2003, all cruise lines must electronically report a manifest of all passengers on each cruise prior to their arriving at the port on embarkation day. This manifest includes personal information about each passenger including name, gender, birthday, residence, citizenship, and passport data (if applicable). Any passengers who have not submitted all the needed information before they get to their ship can expect very long delays at the pier. If a passenger does not supply any piece of required data, he may be denied boarding without a refund.The Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) will be standard for all airlines and cruise reservations. Your cruise line will include additional information about APIS with your cruise documents. You'll be asked to send or fax this information prior to your cruise. Or you can learn more about APIS and your cruise line's online and offline embarkation requirements, by clicking here
|Should I buy travel protection?|
Travel Protection Terms and Conditions
|I booked my cabin as a Guarantee. When will I get my cabin assignment?|
Cabin assignments on Category Guarantees are often made the week of sailing or even the day of sailing. When you receive your cruise documents, your cabin number will be listed as "TBA" (To be Assigned) or "GTY" (guarantee). When you check in at the cruise terminal they will give you your cabin number. It can be anywhere on the ship, but not in a category lower than you paid for. You may even get a free upgrade.
This practice is very similar to booking a hotel room. Hotels promise standard or ocean view rooms, but they do not give you the actual room number until you check-in.Don't worry about the baggage tags the cruise line gives you. The ship's staff and porters receive a passenger manifest on your departure date and will know your cabin number to deliver your bags to the cabin in a timely manner.
|When will I receive my Cruise Documents?|
Cruise lines that provide paper tickets will forward directly to our office. We will review for accuracy and forward to you immediately. If your cruise includes an airline ticket provided by the cruise line (an Air/Sea package), these documents are sent to you via Federal Express. Cruise Only documents that are received by us more than three weeks prior to sailing will be shipped via the US Postal Service.If you are traveling at the last minute and booked your cruise just a few days prior to your scheduled departure, you may be required to do a "Pier Pickup," which means your documents will be waiting for you at the cruise terminal. You must show proper proof of citizenship and identification before boarding.
|Should I purchase the Cruise Line's Air/Sea Package?|
For answers to more questions about booking airfare for your cruise, please visit our FAQ's About Airline Arrangements for Your Cruise page.
|When will I get my Air Schedule? Can I pick my own flights?|
You can actually choose a specific airline and routing, as well as non-stop flights by requesting an Air Deviation. An air deviation allows you to pick your airline and flights prior to making your final payment. There is usually non-refundable fee (per passenger) for this service. Please contact our Passenger Support Desk if you would like to request an air deviation.
You must make your air deviation request in writing at least 70 days before your cruise. Deviations give you a lot of flexibility. You can arrive early, stay extra days at the end of a cruise, or maybe build in a stop-over. You can also fly business class or first class. And you can get your seat assignments when you get the air deviations - assuming the airline assigns seats at that time. This alone is worth it at times, especially on long flights.Air Deviations are on a request basis only. We cannot guarantee that the cruise line will carry out all requests. You can also choose to make your flight arrangements separately.
|Will I have Airline Seat Assignments in advance?|
If you are particular about your seat assignments, you might want to consider an air deviation just to secure decent seats on your plane.For answers to more questions about booking airfare for your cruise, please visit our FAQ's About Airline Arrangements for Your Cruise page
|Can I make my own flight arrangements?|
If you are making your own flight reservations, please contact our Passenger Support Desk prior to booking your flights. There are required arrival and departure times to ensure that you do not miss the ship's departure or your flight home.If you wish to purchase airport ship transfers from the cruise line, they will require your flight schedule. Please understand, the cruise lines neither control nor are they responsible for late flight arrivals. You are responsible for arriving at the respective ports on time for embarkation and for joining the ship at its next port of call if, for any reason, you miss a scheduled sailing. The cruise lines are not responsible for any financial loss to passengers who are delayed and miss the sailing.
|How much does it cost to park at the Pier?|
Rates vary by Cruise Terminal. For a complete listing of North America's most active Cruise Terminals with contact information and approximate daily parking rates, please visit our Parking Rates at the Pier page in our Cruise Resources Section.
|Are there porters available at the airport and the pier?|
When you board the ship, a staff member will escort you to your cabin and carry any carry on bags you have with you. Your other luggage will arrive in your cabin later. You may also want to extend a small gratuity for this service.
|Do I need a Passport?|
United States and Canadian Citizens:
- Beginning January 23, 2007, ALL persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling by air between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda will be required to present a valid passport, Air NEXUS card, or U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document, or an Alien Registration Card, Form I-551, if applicable.
- As early as January 1, 2008, ALL persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda by land or sea (including ferries), may be required to present a valid passport or other documents as determined by the Department of Homeland Security. While recent legislative changes permit a later deadline, the Departments of State and Homeland Security are working to meet all requirements as soon as possible. Ample advance notice will be provided to enable the public to obtain passports or passport cards for land/sea entries.
The passport requirement does NOT apply to U.S. citizens traveling to or returning directly from a U.S. territory. U.S. citizens returning directly from a U.S. territory are not considered to have left the United States and do not need to present a passport. U.S. territories include the following: Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Swains Island, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Travel Documents for U.S. Citizens Under WHTI
Under the proposed implementation plan, the following documents will be acceptable to fulfill document requirements:
U.S. Passport: U.S. citizens may present a valid U.S. passport when traveling via air between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda, and may also use a U.S. passport when traveling via sea and land borders (including ferry crossings).
The Passport Card (also referred to as the PASS Card): This limited-use passport in card format is currently under development and will be available for use for travel only via land or sea (including ferries) between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. Similar in size to a credit card, it will fit easily into a wallet.
DOS and DHS also anticipate that the following documents will continue to be acceptable for their current travel uses under WHTI: SENTRI, NEXUS, FAST, and the U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document. As proposed, members of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty traveling on orders will continue to be exempt from the passport requirement.
For travel in any other part of the world, including Fanning Island via Hawaii, a valid passport is required.
In some countries like Russia, Turkey and Brazil, a visa may be required. A Cruise Specialist will notify you of this prior to your cruise.
Resident Aliens who are permanent residents of the U.S. must have their passport and Alien Registration card (Form-1551.) In some instances resident aliens may be required to have sailing permits and or visas to enter some countries.
Foreign passengers must be in possession of a valid passport and multiple entry visa for the United States (B-2 Visitor.s Visa.)
|How much luggage can I bring?|
For more information about Packing for Your Cruise, please visit our Cruise Resource Section.
|Are my meals onboard included? Can I make special dining requests?|
For answers to more questions about dining, please visit our Dining FAQ's section in our Cruise Resources section.
|Is it better to have Early Seating or Late Seating?|
You may want Early Dining if:
- You are traveling with small children who need to stick to a set meal and bedtime schedule.
- You generally go to bed between 10 pm and Midnight.
- You are taking a very "At Sea" intensive itinerary.
- You are an early riser.
You may want Late Dining if:
- You are a night owl and catch a "second wind" later in the evening.
- You don't want to feel rushed for dinner after a day in port.
- It takes you or your spouse a long time to get ready for dinner.
- You don't mind finishing your meal around 10:15 or 10:30 pm.
We will be happy to notify the cruise line of your dining request and normally they are able to comply. However, it is not guaranteed. If for any reason you are not pleased with either the time or the table assignment, please see the maitre.d once you are on-board the ship and request a change. On certain cruise lines you will be required to verify dining arrangements on the day you board the ship.For answers to more questions about dining, please visit our Dining FAQ's in our Cruise Resources Section.
|How much should I budget for Tipping?|
Some cruise lines conveniently include the customary gratuities on your shipboard account during your cruise. However, you are free to adjust the amount of the gratuities according to the level of service you received. Others maintain the traditional process of presenting tips to your servers on the last night of the cruise.
Your Cruise Director will explain tipping procedures during the disembarkation talk. Envelopes for gratuities will be left in your cabin on the last night of the cruise.
|How do I pay for purchases on board? Do they take cash on board?|
If you do not have a credit card, you may leave a cash deposit with the purser's desk to cover your incidental, onboard purchases. If your balance is getting low, the purser's desk will notify you and ask that you replenish your balance. If you have a balance remaining at the end of your cruise, it will be refunded.
|Are the restaurants open when the ship is in port?|
|How do I learn about daily shipboard activities?|
|Are there activities onboard for my kids?|
|Do they have babysitting onboard?|
Most contemporary cruise lines offer baby sitting in a group-style format in the children's room. These are conducted by the Children's' Program Counselors. Toddlers and older children often have playtime before retiring to individual, sheet-covered mats while watching videos with the other kids. Infants are rocked and placed in individual cribs. Some cruise lines offer this for free while others may charge a small fee. Babysitting services are offered during certain evening hours when the children.s program is not in operation, but generally not on the first or the last night of the cruise. Babysitting during daytime hours is usually offered only while at sea, but a few may have more flexible hours.
Due to liability reasons, few cruise lines still offer "In-Room" babysitting services. Those that do require that you make reservations with the purser's desk at least 24 - 48 hours in advance. This "In-Room" service is usually done by female cabin stewards on their own free time. The fees are set with the cruise line and typically handled with a cash transaction directly with the In-Room Baby Sitter.For specific information about your cruise line's baby sitting program and pricing, please see the Youth Counselor on your ship.
|What do I Wear On-Board?|
Formal: Depending on the cruise line, gentlemen may be required to wear a tuxedo. A dark suit is acceptable on some cruise lines. Please refer to your brochure for this information. For the ladies, a long or short cocktail dress or a cocktail pants outfit is appropriate.
Informal: Gentlemen may be required to wear a jacket on these evenings. Ladies may wear a dress or pants outfit.
Casual: Gentlemen may wear an open shirt and slacks. No shorts are allowed in the dining room for dinner.For more information on What to Pack for Your Cruise, please visit our Cruise Resource Section.
|Can I be contacted while I'm on board?|
The cost of this service can be from $9.50 to $15.00 per minute, so you will want to instruct your family to contact you accordingly.Additionally, most modern cruise ships Internet Cafes. These services are much more affordable than using the High Seas Operator.
|Can I bring my laptop computer and check my email?|
If you must check your email while you're on your cruise, you will find an Internet Cafe on most modern cruise ships. The cost to use the Internet on board is approximately 50 - 75 cents per minute, or higher depending on the cruise line . . . much cheaper than a direct dial phone call from your cabin.
If your ship does not have an Internet Cafe, you can often find one in many of the ports you'll visit while you're on your cruise.By the way, why would you bring a computer on a cruise? It's a vacation!
|Can I take my cell phone on the cruise?|
When in the Bahamas, Caribbean, and Bermuda, your ability to make and receive calls from your mobile phone depends on the cellular plan you have with your carrier. To ensure that your phone works in these areas, check with your carrier two weeks prior to your cruise to make sure you have access.
When making calls from foreign countries to the USA, you may need to use their long distance calling procedures to make an international call back to the states. Check with your cellular carrier about these codes and procedures.If you are traveling outside of North America to Europe or Asia, you may need a special telephone that can operate on a foreign signal. Again, please check with your cellular carrier.
|How much does it cost to make a phone call from the ship?|
Most new ships today have internet access, so you could send an email for a fraction of the cost. Or wait until you're in port and use your cell phone or a calling card to make that call home.
|What time will I be off the ship at the end of my cruise?|
A cruise ship usually arrives at its disembarkation port by 7:00 am on the last day of the cruise. Local Customs Officials then come aboard to inspect the ship and process immigration information for US and foreign passengers. If all goes smoothly, the ship is usually cleared for disembarkation between 8:30 am and 9:30 am. There can be delays; therefore, if you are making your own flight arrangements, you should not book return flights home before noon if you are flying from Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Los Angeles or New York. For other cruise ports, please ask your Passenger Support Agent.
|Will they be serving breakfast on the last day?|
|What if I have to cancel?|
To cover yourself against penalties for canceling due to medical reasons to yourself or family members, we highly advise that you purchase Travel Protection. You can read more about Travel Protection on our Cruise Resources page.Overview of Protection plans offered through LeisureCare
|Can I pre-book my Shore Excursions Online?|
To learn more about these Excursions, please click Shore Excursions under the Before You Go section on our website.
|What is your Satisfaction Guarantee?|
To qualify for Refund, client must call the satisfaction guarantee desk within 24 hours of sailing and MUST disembark the ship at the first non U.S. port. This program is not available on all sailings.For more details about our Satisfaction Guarantee, click here.