Frequently Asked Questions
Resort/ cruise casual during the day, in the self-service restaurant and in most specialty restaurants. For women, it includes summer and casual dresses, skirts, regular or capri pants, shorts, jeans and tops. Khakis, jeans, shorts and casual shirts are fine for men. Traditional Arab & Asian style clothing is acceptable. Swimwear is acceptable at the buffet and outdoor restaurant, but a shirt or a cover-up and footwear are required. Cruise casual is also allowed during the day and night on embarkation day. Wear smart casual if you are eating dinner in the main dining room and in some formal restaurants. For women, this includes slacks or jeans, dresses, skirts and tops. For men, it’s jeans or slacks with a collared shirt and closed-toe shoes. Tank tops for men, flip flops, baseball caps, visors and jeans that are overly faded, with holes or tears are not permitted in main dining rooms or specialty restaurants. On many cruise lines there is one night where dressing up is required for the Captain’s cocktail party & in Specialty restaurants. Guests may need to pack a sweater or pashmina, as air conditioning can be chilly .
Honestly, it’s whenever you want to cruise ! Alaska cruising season runs from May until September; Med. cruises are year-round, Northern Europe ones between May and September; Bermuda is from April to October. Caribbean, Bahamas & Asia cruises run throughout the year & Panama Canal, between September and April. Norwegian cruise line operates Hawaiian cruise year-round.
An inside cabin has no windows, an outside cabin (or ocean view) has a window or porthole and a balcony (veranda cabin has glass doors leading out to a private or semi-private balcony usually equipped with a small table & two chairs. The price and the category of staterooms are based mainly on size and location.
To avoid delays, and to reduce jet lag or fatigue, it’s advisable to fly in early and stay in the port city/town. Your Cruise Consultants can help you plan your flights, as well as pre and post cruise hotels. On the day of embarkation many cruise lines offer transfers from the airport. If you're driving to the port, be sure to arrive with enough time to arrange your parking. Transfers are complimentary for most river & luxury cruise guests.
You may embark around 1 pm- this varies slightly according to the cruise line. You need to print & take along your documents after doing your online check-in on the cruise line's website. Upon check-in, you will be given your boarding card which is your ID for boarding the ship, your dinner seating, your cabin key, & your charge card for on board purchases. Your luggage will be delivered to your cabin about two hours after boarding. Do note that you should board the ship at least two hours prior to ship's scheduled sailing time failing which your booking may be cancelled and 100% cancellation penalty applied.
The ship usually arrives in the port between 7:00 & 8:00 am. Disembarkation starts after the ship has been cleared by customs- between 8:30 & 9:00 am. Disembarkation is announced at different times as per the colour of guest’s luggage tags. Early disembarkation must be requested at the time of booking reconfirmed on-board. Suite Guests or those who have purchased tours transfers from the cruise lines are given priority to disembark.
Minimum age for cruising on most cruise lines is six months. Exceptions are minor children sailing with the parents or guardians in adjacent staterooms & married couples under 21, who will need to show proof of marriage at the time of check-in. For guests cruising alone, it’s twenty-one years.
Most cruise lines require a medical certificate establishing the due date and fitness to travel. Please inform your cruise specialist so that they can advise you about any other conditions or restrictions, which may vary on individual cruise lines.
On most ships, there is a medical center on board with qualified doctors and nurses to handle emergencies. However, there is a charge for all medical services and adequate medical insurance is recommended. If you suffer from a medical condition, check with your travel agent before booking to make sure that the ship on which you wish to sail has facilities to handle your needs.
Most cruise lines offer accessible staterooms and special seating for guests who are physically challenged. Kindly advise our cruise specialists about special needs and requirements. Most ships have wheelchair accessible areas in the dining rooms and theatres. If you require the use of a wheelchair, please make your own arrangements & we highly recommend collapsiblewheelchairs as the width of stateroom doors varies from ship to ship.
Travel insurance is highly recommended to protect your vacation investment. It will cover you if you have to cancel due to injury, sickness, or death of a travel companion, or family member. It will also cover you should a medical emergency arise on your trip. If you cancel your vacation for a covered reason, or incur medical expenses while on your trip, you would need to pay these fees first and then make a claim for reimbursement. So, for your peace of mind, do buy cruise insurance.
Even if you or your child suffer from motion sickness during car rides and air flights, do note that cruise guests rarely become seasick. Due to the size of the ship and the stabilizers that all ships are equipped with, you will hardly notice any motion at all. Just in case the seas get rough, medications are available on board. On that topic, river cruises always promise you smooth peaceful sailing!
Very unlikely! More activities are offered on board cruise ships than at large resorts. You’ll have too many choices! Typical activities include: Aqua park & pool activities, sports court games, rock & ropes climbing, fitness centers, masquerade parties, live entertainment, casinos, bingo, dance lessons, culinary demonstrations, talent contests, karoake, wine tasting, movies and much more.
Cruise Lines offer open seating for breakfast and lunch, and there are two seating times for Dinner on most cruise lines –seating requests should be made when bookingwith your travel agent. Some cruise lines now offer meals in alternative locations. A room service menu is also available 24 hours a day.
Cruise lines are happy to meet your requests with vegetarian, low sodium, low fat, low sugar, gluten-free and kosher meals if they are notified at least 60 days before sailing.
Usually, ships arrive in a port early in the morning, giving you time to go ashore, shop and explore. You can pay to go on excursions which are organized by the ship's crew or local sightseeing companies. You can avoid long lines & the possible disappointment of finding your chosen excursions are sold out by pre-booking shore excursions online or with your travel agent.
Activities are organized all day long on a cruise. You can do the ones you want or none at all. Each ship has at least one pool, as well as several libraries and lounges where guests may relax with family and friends.
You could spend from $250 for a three-night cruise in the Caribbean to $36,000 or more for a suite on a long cruise.
The price includes almost everything: your stateroom, 24 hour cabin service, meals in the dining room plus buffets, on-board activities and most entertainment: from bingo to amazing Broadway shows aboard the vessel, Gym, Sports & other activities, Children's programs & applicable taxes. On river cruises even shore excursions, transfers and certain drinks are included.
Most cruise lines charge separately for organized shore excursions, specialty restaurant meals, alcoholic beverages or carbonated soft drinks (drink packages may be purchased), photographs, gratuities, spa and beauty treatments, medical services, casino expenditures or other items you may buy on board.
Changing your itinerary after paying can result in administrative fees of up to $50 per person plus charges levied by the cruise line. Change charges are not assessed for stateroom upgrades or for the addition of services.
Although a few cruise lines have a no tipping policy, an average is a total of $13.50 per day. This should be for your waiter, assistant waiter and cabin steward. If you don't feel the service is up to your standards, you can visit the Guest relations Desk to adjust the gratuities.
Almost all ships offer ship to shore phone service. Some ships have phones in your stateroom, though the rates are extremely high. When in port or close by, cell phones will get a signal.
Most ships have a business center or an internet center for guests to send and receive e-mail, as well as WiFi. You must have your own web based email account to use this service.
Staterooms usually have twin beds which can be converted into one queen-size bed, private bathroom, vanity area, television, radio and phone. Hair Dryers are available in all cabins on all ships.Safes are available in most ships staterooms and Safety deposit boxes are available at the Purser's Desk. Voltage: All vessels are equipped with 110V & 220V outlets. Some high-voltage hair dryers, electric rollers and electric razors may require a converter.
This can be used for any purchase you make on board including food and beverages, shore excursions, daily service charges, photos, ship's stores and duty-free shops,spa treatments & casino credit. It has no cash value, therefore you should use it before the end of your cruise.
The last-minute traveler often finds that cruises cost more than expected or that cabins which can accommodate parents and children in the same room are sold out. Try to book at least 6-8 months in advance for good prices & choice of cabins.
Contact 24x7cruise.com to purchase the photos taken by the ship’s photographers; this website currently only partners with Disney and Royal Caribbean.
Free Onboard Spend can be used for a variety of activities and services, including duty-free shopping, specialty restaurant dining, alcoholic beverages and spa services, or even bar and spa gratuities. It can also be applied toward shore excursions, when these are booked on board.
Aft: the back section of the ship
Midship: the center part of the ship
Berth: refers to a bed or the place where the ship is docked in a port
Bow: the front section of the ship
Bridge: location from where the captain controls the ship
Buoy: a marker in the sea that serves as a landmark, normally when entering a port
Cabin: this is also called a stateroom, & means a room for passengers on board the ship
Cruise Director: the person in charge of the entertainment at sea
Disembark: to leave the ship or get off and go ashore
Deck: the floors on the ship
Dock: to reach a port and tie up alongside
Embark: to board a ship
First seating: a dinner seating in the main dining room, which is usually at around 6 pm & is also called Main seating
Fleet: the total number of ships in the company
Forward: the front section of the ship
Galley: a ship's kitchen
Gangway: a ramp that is used to get from the shore to the ship, and vice versa while it is alongside
Guarantee cabin: when you reserve a guarantee cabin, you will get the cabin category you have paid for at a lower price, but you will not be assigned the cabin number or the deck at that time. The details of deck and cabin will be given any time before the sail date, and you cannot request any particular cabin or deck
Hand: a crew member
Inside cabin: also called an Interior cabin, it does not have a window, porthole or balcony
Knot: a measurement of a ship's speed. One nautical mile per hour is equal to one knot.
Maiden voyage: the first sailing of a ship
Master: the captain of a ship
Muster Drill: an exercise conducted onboard the ship during which the passengers are given safety instructions regarding life jackets and life boats & advised where they should assemble, , in case of an emergency at sea. This is a mandatory drill that is conducted on the day of boarding.
Muster station: is the location for passengers to assemble in case of emergency
Ocean view cabin: an outside cabin that has a window
Porthole: a round window that is fixed in the cabin Picture Window: A large rectangular window, found on Norwegian cruise ships
Purser: an officer on board the ship who answers guests’ queries and services their needs
Quad: a cabin that can accommodate four persons, it will have 4 beds
Roll: the ship's side to side movement when at sea
Second seating: is the later dinner seating on board a ship
Shore excursion: is a guided tour of the destination/activity a guest can go on when the ship is docked at a port
Starboard: the right side of a ship
Stateroom: is another term for a cabin on a ship
Stern: is the back or rear portion of the ship
Suite: refers to the highest category of cabin on the ship and normally includes living and sleeping areas. It also includes extra services and facilities such as Butler service, exclusive restaurant/lounge & Spa areas
Tender: a small ship/boat that transports passengers to the shore if the ship is anchored at sea and not docked along the pier. This is common practice when the harbor is not deep enough for the ship
Triple cabin: is a cabin that can accommodate three guests, it will have 3 beds
Veranda: is a private balcony attached to a cabin
Guests need to obtain the visas for their cruises, as required for their nationality. Our 24x7 team can give them advice regarding this, but clients are fully responsible for confirming the requirements with the respective embassies. Guests who do not hold the necessary visas will not be allowed to board, and will not receive any refund of their cruise fares.
Some countries such as the Bahamas & Caribbean countries have ‘Transit without Visa’ facility for cruise guests. Therefore, guests travelling to these countries need to secure only a multiple-entry USA visa. On most cruises to Russia, guests who purchase shore excursions from the cruise line can go ashore on the excursions & are covered by a group visa. However, they cannot go ashore on their own unless they have valid visas, if required for their nationality.