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Frequently Asked Questions!

What does my cruise fare include?

Included in your cruise fare: ship board accommodations in cabin category purchased; use of public facilities including pools, spas, saunas, gyms; ocean transportation to ports of call; meals onboard ship including breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks
(specialty dining not included).

Basic beverages including coffees, teas, milk and juices
(soft drinks and alcohol must be purchased from the bar)
; on-board entertainment including
shows, entertainers, bands, games and activities are complimentary
(casinos and bingo at your own risk).

NOT INCLUDED: Items of personal nature are available for purchase, such
as spa treatments, trapshooting, laundry, photographs, shore excursions
and phone service.

What is required to purchase a cruise?

You must be 21 years of age or older to travel. Under the age of 21
may sail when accompanied by a parent, guardian or spouse who is
over the age of 25. There are several exceptions to this rule, contact a BUYCRUISES cruise specialist is you are under age 21.

A reservation deposit is required to confirm your cruise vacation with final payment

Does the cruise line offer airfare?

Yes, the cruise lines do offer airfare from most major air cities within the U.S. and Canada for most cruises. When purchasing airfare as a package from the cruise line, you are confirming your transportation from your air city to the ship and return after the cruise. The cruise lines do not issue flight schedules until 60 days prior to your cruise. Air schedules are at the sole discretion of the cruise line (if you need an exact airline schedule, you must request an air deviation with your cruise specialist, additional fees between $50 to $75 will apply for air deviations, plus additional air cost, if any). The cruise lines do reserve the right to substitute charter air/common carrier service without prior notice.

What are the cancellation penalties?

If you should need to cancel your cruise, the cruise lines have penalties for cancellation on every ship, penalties will vary by cruise line, destination and length of cruise. You must verify with your cruise specialist the exact penalties for the cruise that you are purchasing, or as listed in the cruise line brochure under cancellations and refunds.

Should I have travel protection?

We highly recommend the purchase of travel protection for every cruise we offer. Coverage can include, but not limited to: trip cancellation due to medical emergency, illness or death. Coverage is for your immediate family or traveling companions; trip interruption; trip delay; baggage protection; medical expense coverage and emergency evacuation.

What should I pack?

Of coarse depending on your destination, you want to travel prepared for both daytime and evening, as well as on land or at sea.

Warm destinations: Resort wear, shorts, slacks, sundresses, jeans are all appropriate daytime attire. But be sure to take a sweater or jacket along for occasional cool evenings. Bring comfortable walking shoes and don't forget your sunglasses, a sun hat or visor, swimwear, sunscreen and of course rain gear. For formal evenings, cocktail dresses or gowns are recommended for the ladies, and the men wear a jacket and tie or tuxedo. On the informal evenings, just about anything but shorts is fine. If you forget to pack something, don't worry, the shops onboard ship sell everything from beaded gowns to sunscreen.

Cool destinations: These climates are a little tricky. The air temperature at sea is moderated by the cool or cold ocean temperature, something like standing in an open door of a refrigerator. Yet on land can be quite warm. You want to pack long pants, sweaters, mittens, warm hat and sunglasses for on deck sightseeing. Shorts and long pants, windbreakers, walking shoes, sun hats and sunglasses on land. Indoors on ship should include resort wear as well as formal attire such as cocktail dresses or gowns recommended for the ladies, jacket and tie or tuxedo for the men.

Are children's fare free?

No, normally children will travel at a reduced third or fourth passenger fare.

REASON: U.S. Coast Guard regulations dictate the maximum number of passengers allowed on each ship. Children are passengers too. When a child travels, it may mean that another passenger will not be allowed to travel, as these ships normally reach passenger capacity before the ships cabins are sold out.

How do i pay for onboard expenses?

An on-board room account will be set up for you at time of check-in. Virtually everything on-board ship may be charged to your room account, so that you do not have to carry cash. Your account will be settled last day on ship, and may be applied to most major credit cards, cash or travelers checks.

What about foreign currencies?

Travelers checks and currency exchange is available at prevailing rates at the purser's deck.

What are custom allowances?

U.S. Citizens are allowed $400 worth of merchandise when returning to the United States from abroad. Passengers over the age of 21 may also bring 1 quart of liquor or wine and 200 cigarettes. Non U.S. citizens should check with their local authorities for custom allowance information.

How many suitcases can i take?

Most cruise lines allow luggage up to 200 pounds per person. However, if you are traveling by air, your airline may have different restrictions. Please contact your airline for restrictions.

What time is dinner?

You may request early or late seating for you meals. Most cruise lines offer a main seating (normally 6 - 6:30 pm) or a second seating (normally 8 - 8:30 pm) for dinner. Lunch is normally open seating in the dining room. Breakfast is normally an open seating from 7 am to 9 am. Alternate buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner available open seating on most ships.

Will i need an electrical converter?

Most ships have 110 volts AC. However some high-voltage hair dryers, electric rollers and electric razors may require a converter

Are there children's programs?

Most cruise lines have children's programs available on board ship. These programs vary by cruise line, and are normally available to children ages 3 - 17. Programs include co-ordinate and supervised parties, dances, games and activities through out the cruise, most cruise lines will offer activities or babysitting for the evenings. For additional information on the children's program, please refer to your cruise line brochure or your cruise specialist.

What about special needs?

Wherever possible, the cruise lines try to accommodate passengers with special medical, physical conditions or special requirements. Most ships have staterooms designed for people with special needs or requirements. Any medical or physical condition that may require special attention must be reported in writing at the time of cruise reservation to BUYCRUISES.COM. Cruise lines may require special needs passenger to submit additional related information prior to cruise departure. Passengers traveling with wheelchairs, please be advised that cabin doors are normally 22" wide, bathroom doors are 20" wide, and there is a 3" lip to the shower. Elevator service may not be available to all decks of the ship.

Is there a doctor onboard?

Yes, physician and nurse are on board each ship. Customary charges will be made for all medical care and services.

Pregnancy?

All cruise lines will restrict pregnant woman from traveling normally after 24th weeks. If you are under 24 weeks at the time of sailing, the cruise line will require a medical certificate establishing your due date and fitness to travel, the cruise lines will make every effort to accommodate you. Please inform your cruise specialist of your condition so that they may make you aware of any other conditions or restrictions that may apply by each individual cruise line.

Shore Excursions?

Shore excursions can be purchased at the shore excursion desk on board ship. If you prefer to go on your own, information about ports of call will be available at the shore excursion desk.

Special Celebrations?

To help you celebrate your special occasion, you may purchase wine, fruit baskets, champagne, birthday cakes, canapés, flowers or other gifts for your cabin. Most cruise lines offer a gift catalog online at their website.

What if I need to call home?

Most ships now offer cell phone at sea service, where you may use your own cell phone via the ships satellite system, the charges will appear on your own cell phone bill. Check with your cruise specialist to see if your ship offers cell phone at sea. You must contact your own cell phone provider to find out how much you will be charged for this service. Secondly, the cruise lines do offer phones in your cabin that may be used to call anywhere in the world via international marine satellite. A word of caution, use of these phones are very expensive, normally $10 per minute from the moment you dial, and including through satellite connection (not from when the phone rings). Even the shortest call is normally $30.

Tipping?

When on ship, you will enjoy the services of a wonderful waiter, busboy and cabin steward. You will have the same waiter, busboy and cabin steward throughout your entire cruise. You will not tip until your last day on-board ship, at which time 3 tip envelopes will be left in your cabin for you.
Recommended tipping guidelines:
Waiter: $ 3.50 per day per person
Busboy: $ 2.00 per day per person
Cabin Steward: $ 3.50 per day per person
Maitre d: at your discretion
Any on board purchases made such as alcohol, beauty salon and spa service already include a 15% gratuity. Other staff may be tipped as services are rendered.

Do I need a passport?

Proof of Citizenship – It is each passenger’s responsibility to provide proper proof of citizenship and required travel documents for each country being visited. Failure to provide required documents can result in denial of passenger boarding without refund. If uncertain as to the exact document requirements, use of a Visa service is recommended. BUYCRUISES recommends Zierer Visa Service (866) 788-1100 or www.zvs.com

All passengers must present a valid passport that does not expire for at least 6 months past the return date of your vacation. Additionally, you must contact your consulate of citizenship concerning additional travel documentation or travel requirements for each of the countries being visited.

Do I need vaccinations?

Typically vaccinations are not required, however you may inquire with your local Department of Health at least one month prior to cruise departure.

Where can I keep my valuables?

Many cruise lines now offer in-cabin safes for your valuables and cash, additionally most cruise lines offer security envelopes and/or safe deposit boxes at the pursers desk at no charge. The cruise lines and BUYCRUISES.COM are not responsible for valuables left in cabins or elsewhere on board ship.

Are Visitors allowed?

No, sorry. Cruise lines will not allow visitors due to security reasons. Only ticketed traveling passengers will be allowed on ship. On-board weddings in ports of call are allowed an advance guest list, and will be allowed boarding per cruise line regulations.

Pets?

With the exception of seeing eye dogs or dogs for the disabled. No pets will be allowed on-board ship.