Welcome to our first-time cruiser section. Here you will find
information and advice for your first cruise. A cruise vacation
is a wonderful trip and we have found that most first-time
cruisers become repeat cruisers. A cruise offers many advantages
over other types of vacations.
First of all, most cruising is done close to home. This
advantage means that clients do not have to purchase expensive
air-tickets or fly half-way around the world in order to enjoy
and exotic and fantastic vacation. Cruises also offer a great
value. On this website you will find many discounted cruises
that are sure to fit any vacation budget.
A cruise also offers exciting stops at exotic ports where
cruisers can enjoy fun-filled days of exploration and culture,
or you can relax all-day at the near-by beach. Cruise ships also
offer many fun activities on board. Shows, Casinos, dancing and
first-class dinning are among the many activities to be found on
board. Below you will find more information about what
first-time cruisers can expect.
Staterooms refers to the type of cabin that you will receive. An
"Outside" stateroom will have a window or porthole to the
outside. An "inside" stateroom will not have a window. There is
only one class of service on today's ships meaning that all
passengers will have access to the same common areas.
A room can also be in a "category guarantee" class. This
means that you have purchased a stateroom in a category that has
no been assigned yet. Normally, these cabins are assigned at
embarkation time. Sometimes these staterooms will be issued in
advance and you may be notified. Your stateroom will fall in the
category that you have purchased. Sometimes, free upgrades are
assigned in this category.
Another category of cabin is "Run of Ship" Run of ship means
that you may be issued any category within the ship. This
guarantees a stateroom, but it does not guarantee any particular
category. The assigned stateroom could be anywhere from the
least desirable to the most desirable category.
If you have purchased air through the cruise-line, then a
cruise line representative will meet you at the airport baggage
claim to escort you to a shuttle that will take you to the ship.
If you have made your own air arrangements, it may be possible
to purchase this type of transportation directly from the cruise
line. In all other cases, a taxi or shuttle may be hired from
the airport to the dock.
If you are booking your own flights there are several rules
of thumb to follow. Please plan to arrive at port at least 2
hours before scheduled departure time. You need to allot
additional time to retrieve your luggage and to transport from
the airport to the cruise port. Please book flights that are
early enough in case of a delay. Please note that ships will
leave when scheduled.
It is much better to arrive early and have to wait than to
miss your cruise departure due to poor planning or delays. On
departure day please schedule flights about 7 hours after
scheduled arrival time. Please make sure you leave enough time
after scheduled arrival time since passengers must clear
customs, disembark and transport to the airport.
Each cruise line varies in its dinning options, please ask our
cruise consultants for specific options available to you.
Generally, two options are offered: Main Seating and Late
Seating. These dinning preferences may be indicated at the time
of booking, but cannot be guaranteed. Seating and table
assignments will be confirmed at the time of embarkation.
Hairdryers, electric razors, and other small appliances may be
brought onboard. Most staterooms are equipped with electrical
outlets that operate at 110 Volts AC current and can handle
typical appliances. Some appliances may require special
Tipping is customary. Please use your discretion and recognize
outstanding service. The recommended amounts are: waiters and
staterooms attendants $3.00 per passenger per day, assistant
waiters $1.50 per passenger per day and head waiters $2.00 per
passenger per day.
We strongly recommend that you purchase trip insurance. Trip
insurance often offers protection if you have to cancel your
cruise due to illness or a death in the family. Insurance
usually does not cover pre-existing conditions. Trip insurance
usually offers re-imbursement for medical coverage while on
vacation. Please note that insurance policies typically vary
from cruise line to cruise line. Please ask our cruise
consultants for details on complete coverage terms and
Port Charge and Taxes
Port-charges are levied by state and city agencies to cover the
costs related to operating and maintaining the port facilities.
The charges include such services as pilotage, waste removal and
port personnel. Taxes typically cover airport taxes and related
In cold weather destinations we recommend layering of clothes.
In warm weather shorts and t-shirts are fine. Please note that
many ships require a collared shirt and slacks in their dining
rooms. Jeans and t-shirts are often not permitted in the dinning
rooms. Many ships also offer a formal night where a jacket and
tie may be required