Oceania Marina in Rangiroa, French Polynesia
What's included in a cruise?
What's usually not included in
Alcohol - Most luxury lines
include alcohol, though Crystal does
not. Viking Ocean Cruises
includes wine or beer with lunch and
dinner. Popular cruise lines have aloholic beverage
plans for purchase.
Soft drinks - Only covered by
higher end cruise lines, including Oceania, Regent Seven Seas,
Uniworld, Yachts of
Seabourn, Silversea and Viking Ocean
Gratuities - Most cruise lines
charge a stardard rate per person
per day, payable at the end of the
cruise. AMAWaterways, Azamara,
Regent Seven Seas, Silversea, Yachts
of Seabourn and the Celebrity
Xpedition (Galapagos) include tips
in their pricing. Oceania does not automatically
charge a gratuity.
Shore Excursions - Luxury cruises
such as Crystal, Uniworld and also the Celebrity
Xpedition include these.
Viking Ocean Cruises was founded in
2013 and includes a complimentary
shore excursion in each port of
Taxes and port charges.
What about motion sickness?
most major cruise ships have stabilizers to reduce
cabins near the center of the ship experience less motion
most major cruise lines can provide patches or medications to reduce sea
motion sickness is more common in smaller boats that move in
multiple directions, such as a small skiff at anchor for the night or
a zodiac used as a base for snorkeling.
Ways that may reduce or prevent
Prior to onset
Acupressure - apply pressure to
the wrists with the thumb and 3
fingers. Alternately try Sea-Band motion-sickness
Non prescription antihistamines,
such as Dramamine and Benadryl
Non precription Gravol
Non precription Meclizine or
The patch - Transderm Scop,
containing the drug scopolamine,
is effective over a period of
several days. Non
prescription. Don't combine
this medication with
Focus on a fixed point, reduce
body temperature by removing
clothing or going on deck and eat
Avoid strong smells, such as
For more severe cases, lie down
and close your eyes.
Do I need to know other languages than English in foreign ports?
Do I Need to Arrange for Visas?
No, cruise lines handle your visas for ports of call, even for
places like Egypt and Turkey. They will warn you of unusual
cases where you must obtain a visa yourself, such as for Russia.
How Much Cash Will I Need On Board?
Cruise Ship Branding
Azamara - You'll Love Where We Take You
Carnival - Fun for All, All for Fun
Celebrity - Designed for You - sophistication, anchored in
Cunard - Intimate Luxury on a Grand Scale
Holland America - A Signature of Excellence - traditional
Norwegian - Free Style Cruising - no set dining or disembarkation
Oceania - Your World. Your Way
Princess - Escape Completely - relaxation
Royal Caribbean International - Nation of Why Not - adventure
Uniworld - Boutique River Cruising- small, interesting and diverse
What Destinations are Best for First Time Cruisers?
Most 1st Time Cruisers start with a 7 day cruise in the Caribbean
(November - April) or
Alaska inside passage (May - September). Alaska cruises start from Vancouver or Seattle.
cruises start from Miami or Fort Lauderdale. The Caribbean is broken
down into Western, Eastern and Southern for itineraries.
Do I Need Insurance?
We highly recommend travel insurance for
Trip Cancellation can save you the cost of your entire vacation if
you get sick, a family member becomes ill and you can't travel or something like a volcanic eruption prevents you from reaching your
Trip Interruption can save you the expense of flight delays, illness
during travel or returning from your
vacation early due to an emergency.
Extended Medical benefits cover the additional costs of medical
treatment and hospitalization. Physician costs can be extremely costly
in foreign countries and aren't typically covered by regular medical
Cruise Lines provide their own insurance but this is restricted to trip
cancellation and interruption.
Some cruise lines offer Cancel For Any Reason
insurance which is more flexible than commercial policies. Under
CFAR you could cancel simply because you don't feel like going any more.
What's Special About Suites?
Most cruise lines provide
additional amenities to guests in suites, such as
services of a butler and concierge
first-tender priority in tender ports
private breakfast in à la carte restaurants
priority embarkation and disembarkation
Be careful of the definition of
"suite" as some cruise lines
use this to refer to the presence of a
Which cruise lines are owned by other cruise lines?
Carnival - owns Princess, Holland America, Costa, Cunard and
Seabourn. Carnival owns over 50% of the world cruise market
Royal Caribbean International - owns Celebrity Cruises and Azamara
Apollo Management owns Prestige Cruise Holdings, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas
Cruises and 50% of NCL.
Do cruise lines offer discounts to past passengers?
Are there different classes of service?
Facilities, buffets and entertainment are generally open to all guests
regardless of the type of room booked. On some luxury lines
dining and seating areas may be restricted. Cunard lines
promotes 3 passenger classes with separate dining for each. Celebrity Aqua Class
and NCL Suite & Villa accommodation have separate dining for these
What else can a cruise consultant
arrange for your cruise?
Airfare, charter flights, package vacations
Accommodation pre and post departure. It's a good idea to
arrive a day early for your cruise. You can see the departure
city and also ensure an airline delay doesn't also delay your cruise.
Tours of the departure port
Transfers to and from the airport
Private shore excursions during the cruise
Travel and Medical Insurance - Cruise lines offer insurance, but only
cover portions of the vacation arranged by them. If you travel
before or after the cruise, on a non cruise itinerary, additional
coverage is recommended.
Advice on passports and visas
Reasons to Book With A Cruise Consultant
Most cruises can be booked and held by travel agents for at least a day, sometimes weeks, until payment and ticketing
are required. You can arrange and check other details while an option on
the cruise is held for you.
Major agencies, like Expedia, can get group discounts and free amenities
with the cruise line.
If there's a problem with the itinerary, you have an additional familiar
contact to assist you.
An agent's familiarity with destinations and the industry can be
invaluable. You don't pay anything extra for this service. Why
not take advantage of it?
Cruise ship passengers may be surprised by the importance of the
Merchant Marine Act of 1920 on their North American cruising. The
legislation is more commonly known as the Jones Act, after the Senator
from Washington who sponsored the bill. It states that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried in U.S.-flag ships, constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens. The purpose of the law is to support the U.S. Maritime
industry. Since 99% of cruise ships do not meet these conditions,
their travel between US ports of embarkation and debarkation is
impacted. For example:
Cruises from Seattle to Alaska must stop at a Canadian port en
route. The boom in cruise ship visits to Victoria is a direct
result of US legislation intended to help their country. Cruises
starting from Vancouver are not impacted by the legislation, which has
increased their traffic as well.
Cruise ships repositioning from Seattle to California must stop at a
foreign port en route, so they stop in Vancouver on the way.
Cruises starting in Hawaii must also visit a foreign port. Most cruise ships therefore visit Mexico or Vancouver on their
Hawaiian Island itineraries. The Norwegian Cruise Lines Pride of
America has met the conditions of the Jones Act and is the only major
cruise line to start and end its cruises in Hawaii.