Guide For First Time Cruisers
Lived Until You've Cruised!
Be Practical and fulfill
- There are cruises available for any budget.
- From 3 to 100 days, cruises fit every vacation schedule.
- At a hotel you check-in, on a cruise you check out.
- One thing you'll never see on a menu is the Price. It's included!
- Cruising allows quality time with your family.
- Visit as many as 6 destinations in just one week.
- Sailing in the Tropic of Capricorn beats sitting on the freeway.
- Get trim in state-of-the-art fitness centers
- No packing-unpacking-packing-unpacking-packing
- Travel to over 1800 ports around the world.
- The world is 2/3 water. Until you go on a cruise, you haven't
seen the World.
- Rejuvinate mind, body and spirit in the shipboard spa.
- For the health conscious, low-calorie low-sodium and heart-healthy
meals are available.
- A resort just sits there, but a cruise will move you
- Listen to enrichment lectures by world-renowned experts.
- Organized kids activities from toddlers to teens.
- You don t need to make nightly dinner reservations.
- Live entertainment. Casinos. Spas. All within a short stroll.
- No cover charge for entertainment, ever.
- Experience other cultures.
- Do everything, or nothing at all.
Every day, more and more people are discovering the all-inclusive
pleasures of a cruise vacation. More singles, families, couples,
honeymooners, second honeymooners and groups of friends are sailing
away on the vacation of their lives. Last year alone nearly six
and a half million people enjoyed a cruise vacation. When you
add it at[ up, it's easy to see why.
The price of your ticket includes all of your meals and in-between
snacks on-board; your stateroom, activities, parties and entertainment;
plus, an exciting voyage to some of the most provocative and
culturally- enriching places in the world.
You'll find that a cruise ship is a floating resort, with
all the things a fine resort has to offer and more! You'll meet
new friends who share the same tastes and interests as you. The
hassles of an ordinary vacation are completely eliminated. A
cruise is one convenient package. You don't have to worry about
making dinner or nightclub reservations, running to make flight
connections as you travel from one destination to another, or
packing and unpacking. You can lie back and be completely pampered.
or, go non-stop. Dine like never before. Enjoy one great show
after another. Let your cares float away!
It's no wonder that more people are taking cruise vacations
than ever before. And once they get a taste of cruising, they
come back for more, again and again.
FACT - Cruises have a higher
percentage of satisfied customers than any other vacation experience.
Is cruising affordable and a good
Cruising is the best vacation value! There are cruise vacations
to suit every budget. Your cruise fare includes all meals, your
stateroom, on-board activities and entertainment, plus transportation
from port to port. You'll know what your vacation will end up
costing you before you go (Typically, your only extra expenses
will be drinks, optional shore excursions, and personal services
such as massage or hairstyling.)
How long are cruises?
As long or short as you want. Cruise lines offer itineraries
from three days to three months.
Where can I go?
Wherever you want! Cruises visit over 1,800 ports
worldwide and practically every destination accessible by water
You can call us toll free at 1-888-604-8196, Monday - Friday
from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time or on Saturday from 10 a.m.
to 2 p.m. and Sunday 10 am to 5 pm.
How do I book a cruise?
You can book on this web site online or call 1-888-604-8196 and
one of our cruise specialist will book the cruise for you. Our
professionals will help you pick the cruise that fits your vacation
schedule, tastes and budget. We can make all the arrangements
to get you from your doorstep to your ship and back. Plus, our
cruise counselors can give you the facts and ship's activities
and amenities from personal knowledge and experience.
Are all ships fairly similar?
Far from it. Ships range from under 200 feet to over 1,000 feet
long, You can sail with fewer than 100 fellow guests or over
2,600. Enjoy atmospheres ranging from casual to formal, contemporary
to classic. You can even choose between traditional propeller-driven
vessels or sail-assisted ships. Enjoy the endless activities
offered on a contemporary resort-style cruise, or immerse yourself
in the culture of a destination via a niche or special interest
Are there different types of cruises?
There is an incredible diversity of cruise vacations available
-- all designed to suit different interests and personal preferences.
The variety of styles ranges from boutique, luxury cruises with
globe trotting itineraries to large, contemporary ships with
a fantastic array of recre- ational facilities; from classic
vessels evoking the time-honored traditions of cruising to special-
interest, niche lines specializing in unique destinations with
an accept on cultural enrichment. For the explorer, there are
cruise lines which feature soft adventure expeditions to such
unusual and rustic frontiers as Antarctica, the Amazon rain forest
or African Serengeti. Or discover historical legacies closer
to home with enlightening itineraries to New England, French
Canada and the Colonial America coast. For experienced travelers,
destination-focused cruises specialize in premium, culturally-rich
ports of call with itineraries dedicated to illuminating such
historic, world-class treasures as the antiquities of classical
Greece, the Polynesian paradise of Hawaii or the fabled splendor
of Norwegian fjords. For many, the perfect vacation includes
the non-stop fun and sun of a tropical resort-style cruise to
the Caribbean, where you can sample a variety of island cultures
and cuisines while working on a terrific sun tan. Plus, many
cruise lines feature special-interest themes on-board, with entertainment
ranging from jazz festivals and classical music concerts to golf
clinics and murder mysteries at sea!
Are there any special educational
To complement the spirit of discovery that travel evokes, many
cruise lines feature an extensive program of on-board enrichment
seminars hosted by distinguished guest experts. In addition to
lectures highlighting the history and sights of ports you will
be visiting, there may also be special in-depth presentations
ranging from Renaissance works of art and strategic financial
planning to epicurean secrets of classic French cuisine
What's an air/sea cruise?
On many fly/cruise or an air/sea vacation package includes, along
with your cruise ticket, reduced airfare to and from the ships
port of embarkation. These convenient money-saving options are
available from most major North American cities and include ground
transfers between the airport and ship as well as baggage handling.
Do I need a passport?
This depends on the type of cruise and your destination, You
will need some proof of citizenship and identification. You'll
receive complete information on required documents well in advance
of your departure from our cruise counselors.
Are there different classes of service?
Today's cruise ships are "one-class " Everyone can
use all of the ship's facilities The price of a cabin is based
primarily on its size and location. Regardless of the category
you book, you'll enjoy the same courteous service, menus, activities,
and entertainment as everyone else on board.
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 two or three days just to discover everything
that's on board. Plus, you get the added adventure of exploring
many exciting Ports of call. Cruise ships are floating resorts
with all the choices fine resorts have to offer, You can lie
back in a lounge chair, breathe in the sea air, soak up the sun,
read good books, or watch the ever-changing seascape. If you're
more active, join in exercise or dance classes and sports contests.
Practice your tennis stroke or golf swing, or take some fresh
air on the jogging deck. Swim, stretch out in the sauna or work
out in the gym. You can also see a feature film, attend an enrichment
lecture by experts, play backgammon or bridge. And that's just
when you're on board!
What can I do in port?
So much you'll have a hard time choosing! You can explore on
your own or take a guided tour (referred to as shore excursions).
Search ancient ruins or hunt for shopping bargains. Ride a raft
over river rapids, or a horse across miles of hills and beaches.
Climb a waterfall or pyramid. Follow the footsteps of history
or the wake of a water-skiing boat if there's still time, play
golf or tennis. Learn how to windsurf, Sun and swim at some of
the world's best beaches. Catch a record marlin. Sail, snorkel,
or scuba dive. Take a cable car to the top of a mountain Explore
dark catacombs. In short, cruising is the perfect way to sample
a number of new destinations and try all the things you've ever
dreamed of doing, while never having to pack and unpack!
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!
Do cruise lines welcome Families
More and more cruise vacations are booked by families with children.
Most cruise lines provide plenty of supervised activities 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. You'll find that children
adapt to shipboard life with ease, and you won't have to wonder
what they're up to every minute. The youth counselors will help
keep them busy and entertained. Ships even offer youth camps
that cater to all ages, from toddlers to teens Best of all, children
generally travel at a reduced rate
What's there to do at night?
At night, life aboard a cruise ship really turns on. There s
dancing, live entertainment, nightclubs and lounges, feature
films, and parties with all your new friends. Most ships also
have casinos. What's more, there are many special events like
the Captain's Cocktail Party, Passenger Talent Night, and the
Is there a charge for entertainment?
Never! On a cruise vacation the entertainment is on the house.
There's no cover, minimum, or charge for an admission ticket.
The shows are live, films first-rate and all included in your
Will there be people like me?
No matter what you've heard to the contrary, there's no such
thing as a typical cruise passenger! All kinds of people take
cruises now. all ages... from all walks of life ... singles,
couples and families. just ask one of our professional cruise
counselors for advice on the best ship for you, based on your
tastes and lifestyle.
What should I pack?
Pack like you would for any resort. Cruise vacations
are casual by day, whether you're on the ship or ashore. In the
evening, ships vary as to dress. As on shore, attire is dictated
by occasion. At the Captain's Gala, for example, you'll probably
want to wear something more formal, such as a dark suit, or cocktail
dress; perhaps even a dinner jacket or gown.
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.
Can singles have fun on a cruise?
Cruising is ideal for people traveling alone, because
it s so easy to meet other people. In fact, most ships have parties
for singles early on, so you can get to know people right away
Many ships even offer gentlemen hosts who can be dance partners,
dinner companions or a fourth at cards. Most ships also have
single cabins as well as single rates for double staterooms If
you ask them, many cruise lines will even find you a room-mate
to share a cabin so you can obtain the per person/double occupancy
rate, saving you even more on a great vacation.
Can I use my hair dryer or shaver?
Most ships have 110-volt outlets in the staterooms. Most ships
even feature hair dryers in your cabin.
What are different meal seatings?
Some ships' dining rooms can accommodate all passengers in one
"seating." But most ships have two seatings, which
differ only by time: typically 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m). To choose,
just decide whether you prefer to dine early or late-then have our
cruise counselor request your preference when you book your cruise.
Whichever seating you choose, remember that one of the best ways to
make new friends is to ask for a large table, where you'll be seated
with other guests. In addition, some ships offer alternative dining
rooms, such as Italian, Chinese, Japanese or Southwestern theme
restaurants, separate from the main dining room.
Is cruise ship dining as good as
I've been told?
Everything you've heard about cruise ship dining is
true. You'll find a varied selection of entrees (appetizers,
salads, soups, vegetables, and desserts, too) every time you
sit down. And there's virtually no limit on what or how much
you can order. But, just because your cruise ship offers plenty
of delicious food, doesn't mean you'll come home out of shape.
You can choose low-cal, spa, vegetarian or fitness menu selections
that are just as tempting as the regular menu. Best of all, the
one thing you'll never see on a cruise ship menu is a price.
Because all your meals are included!
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, so be sure to advise our cruise counselor
when you book your cruise.
What if I don't like my table mates?
Rarely is this a problem. However, if you wish to
change tables, speak with the maitre d'. He'll make every effort
to seat you with more compatible dining companions...discretely
Are there non-smoking areas?
Virtually all ships have smoking and nonsmoking sections in the
public rooms. In fact, many dining rooms, and even some entire
ships, are now totally smoke-free, reflecting passenger requests
If you want your dining table in a non-smoking area, just tell
our cruise counselor. On board, you can advise the maitre d'.
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. Your birthday or anniversary can be more festive with
champagne, flowers, or canapes. You can even arrange for a special
private party. All you have to do is advise our cruise counselors
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). Most lines provide
special services-from Sunday or Monday departures to champagne
and breakfast in bed. Also, some ships offer special programs
for performing a marriage ceremony or renewing your marriage
Can we stay in touch with the outside
Quite easily. Most ships have a daily newsletter with news, headlines,
selected stock quotes and sports scores. Almost all ships have
staterooms that are equipped with televisions and have satellite
telephones. You can also call someone on shore through the ship's
radio officer while at sea. And, you can make phone calls from
most ports. In addition, most ships have fax capabilities and
many are adding computer cafes with Internet access for e-mail
What about tipping?
Tipping is a matter of individual preference A general rule of
thumb is to plan for about $3.00 per person per day for your
cabin steward and dining room waiter, and about half that amount
for your busboy. (A few cruise lines include tipping in the price
and will so inform you ) Other shipboard personnel can be tipped
for special services at your discretion.
Are there medical services on-board?
Virtually every cruise ship (except for some smaller vessels
operating in coastal waters) has a medical facility and health
care professional on staff to handle almost any emergency.
Are there laundry services aboard
Almost all cruise ships have laundry facilities and many provide
dry-cleaning services. There is, however, an additional charge
for professional laundry and dry-cleaning services Many ships
also have self-service launderettes.
Do cruise lines accept group bookings?
Yes-often at special rates, depending on how many people are
involved. Policies vary from company to company and sometimes
during certain times of the year.
Are there meeting rooms on board?
Just about every full-size ship has public rooms or a conference
center to offer as meeting space for private or Corporate groups.
If you'd like to make meeting or incentive travel arrangements,
ask our cruise counselors to contact the cruise line's group
sales department to coordinate schedules and arrange for any
special needs. Your ship may also be able to offer audio-visual
equipment, communications, meeting coordinators, secretarial
and printing services and more,
Can I extend my cruise vacation?
Cruise lines feature special pre-or post-hotel packages that
allow you to extend your vacation in either your port of embarkation
or debarkation. Just ask our cruise counselors for details.
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 advance weather information, and development of effective
preventative medications have, for the most part, eliminated
the incidence of motion discomfort,
Sounds too good to be true! Is it?
You haven't lived until you've
The one complaint we hear time and again is that cruises end
far too soon! Beyond that, it's hard to find any negatives. All
you have to do is relax and enjoy your vacation. Most importantly,
every crew and staff member on board is dedicated to making your
cruise the best vacation of your life (until you top it with
your next cruise!)