Cruising FAQs

Frequently Asked Cruising Questions

See the general travel FAQs

General Questions

  1. Is cruising affordable and a good vacation value?
  2. How long are cruises?
  3. Where can I go?
  4. How do I book a cruise?
  5. Are all ships and cruises fairly similar?
  6. What's an air/sea cruise?
  7. Can I book on short notice?
  8. Do I need a passport?
  9. Can I extend my cruise vacation?
  10. Is motion discomfort a problem?
  11. Can we stay in touch with the outside?
  12. Can I use my hair dryer or shaver on the ship?
  13. Can we celebrate a "special" day?
  14. Do cruise lines accept group bookings?

Life Onboard

  1. Are there different classes of service?
  2. Will I get bored? Feel confined?
  3. What's there to do in port?
  4. Do I have to participate in the activities?

Who Is Cruising Good For?

  1. Do cruise lines welcome families with kids?
  2. Can singles have fun on a cruise?
  3. Is cruising right for honeymooners?

Social Activities

  1. What's there to do at night?
  2. Is there a charge for entertainment?
  3. Is it easy to meet people?
  4. Will there be people like me?
  5. What should I pack?
  6. Will I need a tuxedo?

Dining

  1. What are different meal seatings?
  2. Is cruise ship dining as good as I've been told?
  3. Can I get a special diet?
  4. What if I don't like my tablemates?
  5. Are there non-smoking areas?
  6. What about tipping?

Services

  1. Are there medical services onboard?
  2. Are there laundry services aboard?
  3. Are there meeting rooms onboard?

General Questions

Is cruising affordable and a good vacation value?
Yes! There are cruise vacations to suit every budget, from the cost-conscious to the most luxurious. Even more important, a cruise offers the best travel value for your money. Your fare includes all meals, your cabin, onboard daytime activities, nighttime parties and entertainment. So for once, you'll know what your vacation will end up costing you before you go. (Your only extra expenses will be drinks, optional shore excursions, and personal services such as massage or hairstyling.) You'll be amazed at the value. Back to top
How long are cruises?
As long or as short as you want. Itineraries can range from as little as three days to as long as three months! Back to top
Where can I go?
Where do you want to go? Cruises visit practically any destination accessible by water. Back to top
How do I book a cruise?
Contact us! By letting us know your preferences, we can help you pick the cruise that fits your vacation schedule, tastes and budget; then we make all the arrangements to get you from your doorstep to your cabin and back! Back to top
Are all ships and cruises fairly similar?
Far from it. Cruise ships can range from under 200 feet to over 1,000 feet. You can sail with anywhere from fewer than 100 fellow passengers to over 2,600. Experience atmospheres ranging from casual to formal, classically simple to ultra-deluxe. You can even choose between traditional propeller-driven craft, sail-assisted cruise ships, or even a paddle-wheel river boat. Back to top
What's an air/sea cruise?
A fly/cruise or air/sea cruise vacation package includes either free or much reduced airfare along with your cruise ticket. These money-saving options are available from most major North American cities and include transfers between the airport and ship as well as baggage handling. Back to top
Can I book on short notice?
Even the most popular cruises sometimes have space available because of late cancellations. But, to get exactly the ship, cabin and sailing date you want, you should plan and book early. Most cruise lines also offer early booking discounts for customers who plan ahead. Then, just sit back and anticipate all the fun you're going to have! Back to top
Do I need a passport?
This depends on the type of cruise and your destination. You'll probably need at least some proof of citizenship. You'll receive complete information on required documents well in advance of your departure, so you'll have plenty of time of make arrangements. Back to top
Can I extend my cruise vacation?
We can arrange pre- or post-cruise land packages at the same time you book your cruise. And, in many cases, your airline ticket will include helpful options, such as free stopovers, that enable you to make your own special arrangements. Back to top
Is motion discomfort a problem?
Not really. 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. Back to top
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. Staterooms on many ships are even equipped with televisions. While most ships now have telephones in passenger cabins, you can also call someone on shore through the ship's radio operator while at sea. And, you can make phone calls from most ports. In addition, many ships have fax capabilities and newer ships offer Internet access and e-mail capabilities to passengers. Back to top
Can I use my hair dryer or shaver?
Most ships have 110-volt outlets in the staterooms. But do check with us to be sure. Many ships even feature hair dryers in your cabin. Back to top
Can we celebrate a "special" day?
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, canapes, wine or cheese. You can even arrange for a special private party. All you have to do is advise us in advance. Back to top
Do cruise lines accept group bookings?
Most lines will work with groups often at reduced rates depending on how many people are involved. Policies vary from company to company and sometimes during certain times of the year. Contact us for more details. Back to top

Life Onboard

Are there different classes of service?
Today's cruise ships are "one-class." Everyone onboard 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 onboard. Back to top
Will I get bored? Feel confined?
Hardly. Being at sea gives you a feeling of freedom few places can offer. There's plenty of room. And it'll probably take you two or three days just to discover what's onboard. Plus, you get the added adventure of exploring new and exciting ports of call.

Cruise ships are like floating resorts with all the choices fine resorts have to offer. You can be by yourself and lie back in a lounge chair, breathe in the sea air, soak up the sun, read good books, or watch the ever-changing view. Or, you can join in exercise classes, dance classes, sports contests and other organized deck activities. Perhaps you can practice your tennis stroke or golf swing, or shoot some baskets. You can go for a swim, stretch out in the sauna or work out in the gym. You can see a feature movie, attend a lecture by renowned experts, play backgammon or bridge. And that's just when you're onboard! Back to top
What's there to do in port?
So much you'll have a hard time choosing! You can go off on your own. Or take a guided tour. You can search ancient ruins or hunt for shopping bargains. Ride a raft over river rapids, a bicycle ride down the side of a 10,000 foot volcano, or ride a horse across miles of hills and beaches. Climb a waterfall or pyramid. See the birthplace of civilization or listen to steel drum bands. Follow the footsteps of history or the wake of a waterskiing boat. If there's still time, play golf or tennis. Eat native foods. Learn how to windsurf. Sun and swim at some of the world's best beaches. Catch a record marlin. Sail, snorkel or go scuba diving. Go to a nightclub or glittering casino. Take a cable car to the top of a mountain. Explore dark catacombs. In short, a cruise is the easiest way to see new places and do all the things you dream of. Cruising is the perfect way to sample a number of destinations that you may want to return to for another vacation...and you never have to pack and unpack - the destinations come to you! Back to top
Do I have to participate in the activities?
On a cruise, you do what you want to. You can do everything. Or lie back and do absolutely nothing. It's your vacation. Back to top

Who Is Crusing Good For?

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 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 the kids adapt to shipboard life with ease, and you won't have to wonder what they're up to every minute. The cruise staff will help keep them busy and entertained. Best of all, children generally travel at a substantially reduced rate. Back to top.
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 just for singles early on, so you can start to be involved right away. Most ships also have single cabins as well as single rates for double staterooms. In many cases, a cruise line will even find you a roommate to share a double if you ask them. Back to top.
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) and so much more to remember forever. Most lines provide special services from Sunday or Monday departures to welcome champagne and breakfast in bed. (And, speaking of beds, most ships have them in double, queen, or king sizes!) Also, some ships offer special programs for performing a marriage ceremony or renewing your marriage vows in port. Back to top.

Social Activities

What's there to do at night?
At night, life aboard a cruise ship really turns on. There's dancing; live entertainment in nightclubs, discos and lounges; feature films; and parties with all your new friends. Most ships even have casinos. There are also many special events like the Captain's Cocktail Party, Passenger Talent Night, the Masquerade Parade, the Late Night Buffet (just for one last bite to tide you over 'til breakfast). And the night can go on as long as you want. Even until the spectacle of sunrise at sea. Back to top.
Is there a charge for entertainment?
Never. On a cruise vacation, the entertainment is on the house. There's no cover. No minimum. No charge for an admission ticket. The shows are live. The movies are first-rate. The variety is limitless. Back to top.
Is it easy to meet people?
A cruise ship is a great place to make new friends, because everyone's so friendly. The atmosphere is cordial, relaxed. And you'll have all kinds of things in common to talk about. At dinner. At cocktails. Around the pool. Or along the promenade rail. And don't be surprised if you find yourself making arrangements to meet them aboard ship again next year. Back to top.
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... of all ages... from all walks of life... singles, couples and families. Passengers can vary from ship to ship and cruise to cruise. Just ask us for advice on the best ship for you, based on your tastes and lifestyle. Back to top.
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. For 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. Back to top.
Will I need a tuxedo?
On some cruises, formal dinners or parties are part of the fun. But don't buy a tuxedo just for the trip. If you do want to dress to the nines, many ships offer tuxedo rental services. Even on the most formal of ships, a dark suit and tie are fine for the dressiest occasions. Back to top.

Dining

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. To choose, just decide whether you prefer to dine early or late then request your preference when you book. Which ever seating you choose, remember that one of the best ways to make new friends is to ask for a large table. In addition, some ships offer alternative dining options. For example, theme restaurants such as Italian, Chinese, Japanese or Southwestern restaurants separate from the main dining room may be available. Back to top.
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.

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, or fitness menu selections that are just as tempting as the regular menu. You can also jog, do aerobics, work out in the gym, swim, golf, play tennis, and much more.

Burning calories was never so much fun! Best of all, the one thing you'll never see on a cruise ship menu is a price! Back to top.
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 us of this requirement when you book your cruise. Back to top.
What if I don't like my tablemates?
This is rarely a problem. However, if you wish to move to another table, speak with the maitre d'. He'll make every effort to seat you with more compatible dining companions...discretely and politely. Back to top.
Are there non-smoking areas?
Today, virtually all ships have smoking and non-smoking tables or non-smoking sections in the dining rooms and lounges. In fact, many cruise ship dining rooms are now totally smoke-free, and at least one ship is a completely smoke-free cruise ship, reflecting passenger requests. If you want your dining table in a non-smoking area, or prefer a smoke-free ship, just tell us! Onboard, in "open-seating situations," you can advise your waiter or the maitre d'. Back to top.
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 person per day for your room 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. Back to top.

Services

Are there medical services onboard?
Virtually every cruise ship (except for some smaller vessels operating in coastal waters) has a fully-equipped medical facility and staff to handle almost any emergency. Back to top.
Are there laundry services aboard?
Almost all cruise ships have laundry facilities and a great many provide dry-cleaning services. There is, however, an additional charge for professional laundry and dry-cleaning services. Most ships also have self-service launderettes. Back to top.
Are there meeting rooms onboard?
Just about every full size ship has public rooms to offer as meeting space for groups. If you'd like to make such arrangements, ask us to contact the cruise line's group sales department to coordinate schedules and arrange for any catering needs. Your ship may also be able to offer audio-visual equipment. Back to top.

If you need any additional help, please call, fax or email us!

Linda Young, owner of Young Travel and Cruises
Phone: 1-864-232-8880
Fax: 1-864-271-5550