Why Cruising

Why should you consider a cruise for your next vacation? Or why should you consider combining a cruise with your next land vacation? We provide answers to these questions and also dispel some myths about cruising.

 

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, gratuities, optional shore excursions, and personal services such as massage or hairstyling.) You'll be amazed at the value.

 
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!





 

How do I book a cruise?


Planning a cruise vacation can be complicated - more so than booking an airline ticket, hotel, or rental car. A cruise vacation can truly be vacation of a lifetime. It can be a significant investment of both time and money. Therefore, we highly recommend you enlist the services of a professional Cruise Specialist to help you choose the right cruise for you. There are literally thousands of different cruise options to choose from and the best vacation for you depends on how you answer these questions:
 
  • When do you want to go? For how long?

  • What do you want to see? Which is more important? Beaches? Shopping? High Adventure? Relaxation? History? Folklore? High Adventure? Sports?

  • What's your cruise experience? What's your other vacation experience? Which cruise line is best for you? What type of accommodations?

  • How are you getting to the ship? Do you need transfers? Using frequent flier miles?

  • Are you taking kids? How old are they? How many cabins do you need? Do you need cabins near one another? Do you want to sit together at dinner? Are you celebrating a big anniversary? Does everyone need the same type of cabin? Do you qualify for a group rate?

  • Do you have special needs? Crib? Wheelchair? Special diet?

  • What kind of rate do you qualify for? Are you AARP? A Platinum Card Holder? Retired from a Fortune 500 company or part of a Credit Union? Work for an airline? Military? Teacher? Resident of a certain city? AAA or Union Member? Are you a past passenger of the cruise line? What's your past passenger number? Do you have any coupons or upgrade certificates?

 
Your best bet for booking your cruise vacation is: 1) find a company like iCruise.com who specializes in discount cruise vacations, 2) spend a lot of time on the website and do your research, and 3) book online or call and speak to a live iCruise.com Cruise Specialist to help you find the best cruise vacation for you.

As an FYI, many online websites like Travelocity and Expedia may let you book a cruise online, but you could be paying more than if you just picked up the phone and called a Cruise Specialist who will take the time to manually research all the rate programs for which you qualify.
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 4,000. 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.



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!

 

Do I need a passport?


Passports are required for all U.S. citizens to take a cruise aboard a foreign-flagged ship. Some countries on your itinerary may also require a visa for entry. U.S. citizens can contact Visa Central. Non-U.S. citizens must contact the consulate or embassy representing the country that issued your passport.


U.S. Citizens traveling aboard U.S.-flagged vessels in Hawaii and Alaska can board the ship without a passport, however, valid proof if identity is still required. Flight itineraries to and from the ship that cross international borders or connect in foreign countries may still require a passport. Check with the airline when making your reservations.
 

Can I extend my cruise vacation?


A Fly/Cruise or Air/Sea Cruise Vacation Package includes airfare from most North American gateways for an additional charge. Some cruise lines offer promotional airfare at highly reduced rates on select voyages. In addition to airfare, some cruise lines will also include transfers between the airport and pier, as well as baggage handling. Please ask about the Air/Sea rates and inclusions for your specific voyage.

 

Is motion discomfort a problem?


Today's modern cruise ships are quite large and contain hi-tech stabilizing devices and advance weather notification processes. In the unlikely event you experience motion discomfort, there are a number of over-the-counter solutions to ease your concerns. These include Bonine, Mecklizine, Dramamine, Transderm Scope Patches, and Seabands. Please consult with your physician or pharmacist before taking any medication.

 

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 all of today's modern cruise ships are equipped with satellite televisions and in some cases in-cabin WiFi. 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.

 

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. Most ships even feature hair dryers in your cabin.

 

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.
 

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.

 
 

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