Cruise FAQs


Where can I go?

Are all ships and cruises fairly similar?

What’s there to do in port?

Do I have to participate in the activities?

Do cruise lines welcome families with kids?

What should I pack?

Can I get a special diet?

Can we celebrate a “special” day?

Can we stay in touch with the rest of the world?

What about tipping?

Are there laundry services aboard?

Is motion discomfort a problem?

Can I bring visitors onboard the ship?

 

 

Where can I go?

Wherever you want!  Cruises visit over 1,800 ports worldwide and practically every destination accessible by water.  And, you can embark on your cruise vacation from a wide variety of North American ports or exciting and exotic locations around the globe.  Just look at all of the ports that are available to you when you do a cruise search from members.outsideagents.com or members.reservationsite.net.


Are all ships and cruises fairly similar?

Far from it.  Ships from yacht-like ships under 200 feet to mega-ships stretching over 1,000 feet long.  You can sail with anywhere from fewer than 100 fellow passengers to over 3,000.  Enjoy atmospheres ranging from casual to formal, contemporary to classic, or simple to ultra-deluxe.  You can even choose between traditional propeller driven crafts, sail assisted cruise ships, or even a paddle-wheel river boat.  The choices are yours.


What’s there to do in port?

There’s so much to do in port that 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 waterskiing 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 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, how you want.  You can do everything or do absolutely nothing.  It’s your vacation…enjoy it any way you want!


Do cruise lines welcome families with kids?

More and more cruise vacations are booked by families with children.  Most cruise lines make a special point of providing supervised activities for kids, 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 well trained youth counselors will help keep them safe, busy, entertained, and having the time of their lives.  Ships even offer different types of age appropriate activities, suitable for toddlers to teens.  Best of all, children often travel at reduced rates which makes cruising an even better vacation value for families with children.


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.  On ship and 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 a cocktail dress; perhaps even a dinner jacket or gown.


Can I get a special diet?

Most ships can accommodate salt-free, vegetarian, low-carbohydrate, low-cholesterol, Kosher, or other diet preferences.  However, this request must be made with the cruise line in advance so be sure to take care of this at the time of booking.


Can we celebrate a “special” day?

Absolutely!  Most cruise lines will accommodate your clients a tasty treat and chorus of “Happy Whatever” to honor the occasion.  For an additional fee, you birthday or anniversary can be made even more festive with champagne, flowers, or canapes.  You can even arrange for a special private party.  All you have to do is advise the cruise line at the time of booking.


Can we stay in touch with the rest of the world?

No problem.  Today’s ships have a daily newsletter with news, headlines, selected stock quotes, and sports scores.  Most ships have high speed internet cafes.  Almost all staterooms are equipped with televisions and have satellite or cellular telephones.  You can even call someone on shore through the ship’s radio officer while at sea.


What about tipping?

Tipping is a matter of individual preference.  A general rule of thumb is to plan for about $2.50 to $3.00 per day per person for your room steward and waiter combined plus about half that for your bus boy.  Plan on upwards of $10.00 per person per day for all tipping.  Other shipboard personnel can be tipped for special services at your discretion.  Most cruise lines now allow you to automatically deduct your tips from your onboard account.


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.


Is motion discomfort a problem?

Almost never.  The most popular cruise areas boast some of the calmest waters in the world.  In addition, stabilizers on modern ships, advance availability of accurate weather information, and development of effective preventative medications have, for the most part, eliminated the incidence of motion discomfort.


Can I bring visitors onboard the ship?

Due to heightened security, visitors are not allowed on board cruise ships unless they are members of a wedding party and prior arrangements have been made with the cruise line.