Cruise Information
 
 

Cruise Information

Welcome to our first-time cruiser section. Here you will find information and advice for your first cruise. A cruise vacation is a wonderful trip and we have found that most first-time cruisers become repeat cruisers. A cruise offers many advantages over other types of vacations.

First of all, most cruising is done close to home. This advantage means that clients do not have to purchase expensive air-tickets or fly half-way around the world in order to enjoy and exotic and fantastic vacation. Cruises also offer a great value. On this website you will find many discounted cruises that are sure to fit any vacation budget.

A cruise also offers exciting stops at exotic ports where cruisers can enjoy fun-filled days of exploration and culture, or you can relax all-day at the near-by beach. Cruise ships also offer many fun activities on board. Shows, Casinos, dancing and first-class dinning are among the many activities to be found on board. Below you will find more information about what first-time cruisers can expect.

Staterooms refers to the type of cabin that you will receive. An "Outside" stateroom will have a window or porthole to the outside. An "inside" stateroom will not have a window. There is only one class of service on today's ships meaning that all passengers will have access to the same common areas.

A room can also be in a "category guarantee" class. This means that you have purchased a stateroom in a category that has no been assigned yet. Normally, these cabins are assigned at embarkation time. Sometimes these staterooms will be issued in advance and you may be notified. Your stateroom will fall in the category that you have purchased. Sometimes, free upgrades are assigned in this category.

Another category of cabin is "Run of Ship" Run of ship means that you may be issued any category within the ship. This guarantees a stateroom, but it does not guarantee any particular category. The assigned stateroom could be anywhere from the least desirable to the most desirable category.

If you have purchased air through the cruise-line, then a cruise line representative will meet you at the airport baggage claim to escort you to a shuttle that will take you to the ship. If you have made your own air arrangements, it may be possible to purchase this type of transportation directly from the cruise line. In all other cases, a taxi or shuttle may be hired from the airport to the dock.

If you are booking your own flights there are several rules of thumb to follow. Please plan to arrive at port at least 2 hours before scheduled departure time. You need to allot additional time to retrieve your luggage and to transport from the airport to the cruise port. Please book flights that are early enough in case of a delay. Please note that ships will leave when scheduled.

It is much better to arrive early and have to wait than to miss your cruise departure due to poor planning or delays. On departure day please schedule flights about 7 hours after scheduled arrival time. Please make sure you leave enough time after scheduled arrival time since passengers must clear customs, disembark and transport to the airport.

Dinning
Each cruise line varies in its dinning options, please ask our cruise consultants for specific options available to you. Generally, two options are offered: Main Seating and Late Seating. These dinning preferences may be indicated at the time of booking, but cannot be guaranteed. Seating and table assignments will be confirmed at the time of embarkation.

Electric Appliances
Hairdryers, electric razors, and other small appliances may be brought onboard. Most staterooms are equipped with electrical outlets that operate at 110 Volts AC current and can handle typical appliances. Some appliances may require special adapters.

Tipping
Tipping is customary. Please use your discretion and recognize outstanding service. The recommended amounts are: waiters and staterooms attendants $3.00 per passenger per day, assistant waiters $1.50 per passenger per day and head waiters $2.00 per passenger per day.

Trip Insurance
We strongly recommend that you purchase trip insurance. Trip insurance often offers protection if you have to cancel your cruise due to illness or a death in the family. Insurance usually does not cover pre-existing conditions. Trip insurance usually offers re-imbursement for medical coverage while on vacation. Please note that insurance policies typically vary from cruise line to cruise line. Please ask our cruise consultants for details on complete coverage terms and conditions.

Port Charge and Taxes
Port-charges are levied by state and city agencies to cover the costs related to operating and maintaining the port facilities. The charges include such services as pilotage, waste removal and port personnel. Taxes typically cover airport taxes and related fees.

Packing
In cold weather destinations we recommend layering of clothes. In warm weather shorts and t-shirts are fine. Please note that many ships require a collared shirt and slacks in their dining rooms. Jeans and t-shirts are often not permitted in the dinning rooms. Many ships also offer a formal night where a jacket and tie may be required

 
 

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