1. Is cruising affordable and a good vacation value?
Cruising is the best vacation value! There are cruise vacations to suit every budget. Your cruise fare includes all meals, your stateroom, onboard activities and entertainment, plus transportation from port to port. You’ll know what your vacation will end up costing before you go (typically, your only extra expenses will be drinks, optional shore excursions, and personal services.
2. Where can I go?
Wherever you want! Cruises visit over 1,800 ports worldwide and practically every destination accessible by water.
3. Is cruising the safest way to travel?
The United States Coast Guard has declared cruise ships to be one of the safest forms of transportation. A cruise ship is comparable to a secure building with a 24-hour security guard. Passengers and crew embark and disembark only after passing through a security check. This check provides metal detectors and a credit card-type of scanning that reveals your photo on a screen.
4. How do I book a cruise?
Visit or call a CLIA-affiliated travel agency. These professionals will help you pick the cruise that fits your vacation schedule, taste, and budget. They can make all of the arrangements to get you from your doorstep to your ship and back.
5. Are there any special educational programs onboard?
To complement the spirit of discovery that travel evokes, many cruise lines feature an extensive program of onboard enrichment seminars hosted by distinguished guest experts.
6. Do I need a passport?
This depends on the type of cruise and the destination. You will need some proof of citizenship and identification; your agent will inform you of required documents well in advance of your departure.
7. Are there different classes of service?
Today’s cruise ships are “one-class.” Everyone can use the ship’s facilities. The price of a cabin is based primarily on its size and location. Regardless of the category that you book, you’ll enjoy the same courteous service, menus, activities, and entertainment as everyone else onboard.
8. Will I get bored? Feel confined?
Hardly! Being at sea gives you a feeling of total freedom that no land-based resort can offer. There’s plenty of room, and it will probably take you 2 to 3 days just to discover everything that is onboard. Plus, you get the added adventure of exploring many ports of call.
9. Do I have to participate in the activities?
On a cruise, you do what you want, when you want. (You can do everything or do absolutely nothing – it’s your vacation).
10. Do cruise lines welcome families with children?
Families book more and more cruise vacations with children. Most cruise lines provide plenty of supervised activities (some educational) for youngsters, especially during school holidays. If your children enjoy swimming, sports, games, movies, and the adventure of new places, they’ll love a family cruise.
11. What’s there to do at night?
When the stars come out, a cruise ship really turns on. There is dancing, live entertainment, nightclubs and lounges, feature films, and parties with all of your new friends. Most ships also have casinos.
12. What should I pack?
Pack like you would for any resort. Cruise vacations are casual by day, whether you are on the ship or ashore. In the evening, ships vary as to dress.
13. Will I need a tuxedo?
Many cruise lines now feature a more relaxed and casual approach to dress throughout the cruise – while on others, formal dinners or parties are part of the fun. But don’t buy a tuxedo just for the trip – even on the most formal of ships, a dark suit and tie are fine for the dressiest occasions. Plus, many ships offer tuxedo rental services.
14. Can singles have fun on a cruise?
Cruising is ideal for people traveling alone, because it is so easy to meet other people. In fact, most ships have parties for singles – early on, so you can get to know other guests right away. Many ships even offer gentleman hosts, who can be dance partners, dinner companions, or a fourth at cards.
15. What about mealtimes?
Again, there are many, many choices. During the day, there are many different dining options – in the formal dining room, on deck is a casual setting, in a pizzeria, at an espresso bar, to name just a few. At night, most ships offer several venues. Some ships’ dining rooms can accommodate all guests at one time called “a seating.” Many ships offer you a choice of several seating times, and others encourage you to come to dinner whenever you like. More traditional ships have two seatings in their formal dining rooms, which differ only by time: typically 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
16. Can I get a special diet?
Most ships can accommodate salt-free, low-carbohydrate, Kosher, or other diet preferences. However, this request must be made in advance.
17. Are there nonsmoking areas?
Virtually all ships have smoking and nonsmoking areas in the public rooms. In fact, many dining rooms, and even some entire ships, are now totally smoke-free, reflecting passenger request.
18. Can we celebrate a special occasion?
Absolutely! Most cruise lines will even treat you to a complimentary cake and a chorus of “Happy Whatever” to honor the occasion.
19. Is cruising right for honeymooners?
Without a doubt, cruising offers an atmosphere that’s just right for romance…cozy dinners for two, strolling on deck at sunset, dancing the night away (even under the stars).
20. What about tipping?
Tipping is a matter of individual preference. A general rule of thumb is to plan for about $3.75 per person per day for your cabin steward and dining room waiter, and about ½ that amount for your busboy – a few cruise lines include tipping in the price and will so inform you.
21. Are there medical services onboard?
Virtually every cruise ship has a medical facility and healthcare professionals on staff to handle almost any emergency.
22. Are there laundry services onboard the ship?
Almost all cruise ships have laundry facilities and many provide dry cleaning services.
23. Do cruise lines accept group bookings?
Most lines welcome groups – often at special rates, depending on how many people are involved.
24. Is motion discomfort a problem?
Rarely. Popular cruise itineraries sail some of the calmest waters in the world. In addition, stabilizers on modern ships, availability of advanced weather information, and development of effective preventive medicines have, for the most part, eliminated the incidence of motion discomfort.
25. Are there meeting rooms onboard?
Just about every full-sized ship has public rooms or a conference center to offer as meeting space for private or corporate groups. Reservation of these rooms must be done well in advance.