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First-Time Cruisers


Can I afford a family cruise?

If you can afford to take a hotel-based vacation, you can afford to take a cruise vacation. There are family cruises available at multiple price ranges, and all represent perhaps the best value for your vacation dollar.

What do I get for my money?

Your family cruise price includes your cabin, all meals, entertainment, parties and, of course, all transportation between all the ports on your itinerary. On most family cruise ships, alcoholic beverages and shore excursions are not included in the basic price.

Will I feel bored or confined on board?

Never! Think of a family cruise ship as a floating resort. On-board activities begin at dawn and go into the wee hours of the night. The scenery is constantly changing, and every port is filled with new and exciting opportunities for exploration.

What can I do on a ship?

That depends on the ship, but generally the larger ships will have the most activities. You may wish to lounge on deck by the pool with a good book, sign up for exercise or cooking classes, swim, play bingo or bridge, gamble in the casino, take in a Broadway-style floor show, enter a talent show or a putting contest, take a dance class, get a massage or attend a lecture.

How long do cruises last?

Family cruises can vary greatly in length, but the minimum is three nights.

Is airfare included in my family cruise price?

Cruise lines usually offer both a cruise-only price and an AIR/SEA price that includes connecting airfare, transfers between the airport and ship and baggage handling. In some instances, only the cruise-only fare is available. The prices shown on our site are typically cruise-only, but our cruise counselors will gladly provide an air-inclusive price if requested.

What's a shore excursion?

That's a term that refers to anything you do off the ship, in port. At every stop, you'll have the option of exploring the area on your own or as part of a group with a planned itinerary. You might hike a tropical rain forest in Jamaica, tour Mayan ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico or take a snorkeling excursion in crystal clear Caribbean waters.

Will I need a passport?

All family cruises now require proof of citizenship for U.S. citizens. On some itineraries, a certified copy of your birth certificate and a driver's license or government-issued photo I.D. are sufficient, on others a passport is required. Visas may also be required on the more exotic itineraries. Your cruise counselor will advise you on documents you will need depending on your itinerary. Requirements may differ for citizens of other countries, depending on the destinations visited.

Are cruises really that popular?

You better believe it! More than ten million people will cruise in the next year, and cruising routinely earns the highest ratings in customer satisfaction among all vacation categories. Once you try it, you'll be hooked.

What is a Day at Sea?

A Day at Sea is a full day spent sailing between two ports. Most cruises include one or more Days at Sea.