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* ALL cruise lines reserve the right to impose a fuel supplement of up to $10USD per guest per day, even if the fare has been paid in full. See each individual cruise line's policy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cruise Planning


arrow Why should I book with your company?

There are a number of reasons to book with Cruise Capers Travel. Among them: fast, courteous service with the best rates in the country.

arrow Why should I purchase the cruise line's Air/Sea Package?

A cruise line's air/sea package works well for most passengers. Booking airfare with your cruise package provides two important advantages:

1. In the event of a flight delay or cancellation, the airline is responsible for your transportation to the next port of call.

2. Your airfare cost includes roundtrip transfers from the airport to/from the ship (except for all Princess cruises and select Holland America cruises).

arrow Why should I buy Travel Insurance?

We recommend the purchase of travel insurance, as some things cannot be anticipated. Travel protection will cover you if you have to cancel due to injury, sickness, or death to you, a traveling companion, or family member.

It does not cover unstable, preexisting medical conditions. It will cover you should a medical emergency occur on your trip. If you cancel your vacation for a covered reason, or incur medical expenses while on your trip, you would need to pay these fees in advance and then file a claim for reimbursement. If you have specific questions about the travel protection policy and its coverage, please contact us.

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arrow Why is it so expensive for one person to go alone?

Cruise Lines and resorts base their rates on double occupancy. Therefore, when traveling alone, you will be charged a supplemental fee. Please note that this fee only applies to the room rate. Taxes and airfare costs do not increase for this reason.

arrow Why does it cost less to depart from certain locations?

For many cruises, we can obtain special rates for residents of particular states. Providing your 5-digit zip code allows us to apply these additional savings to your cruise price.

Any traveler who qualifies for a special resident rate will be required to show a government-issued form of identification (passport, or birth certificate and driver's license) at the pier to validate state of residency prior to boarding the cruise ship. If you do not have a U.S. zip code, please call one of our cruise specialists.


arrow When's the best time to take a cruise?

Anytime is the best time to take a cruise, but it also depends on where you'd like to go. The Caribbean is fantastic year round; however, some of the more exotic destinations are seasonal. For example, you can only cruise to Alaska between May and September; to Europe between April and November; to Bermuda, between April and October; the Panama Canal, between September and April. So you see, no matter what time of year it is, it's a perfect time to cruise.

arrow When is the most affordable time to take a cruise?

If you are looking for the very least expensive time to take a cruise, then consider sailing between the end of August and before Christmas, but not over Christmas or Thanksgiving. Most families have children who are back in school, folks begin saving vacation time for holiday travel, and everyone's saving money for the holiday season.

If you're looking for a senior citizen rate, a regional promotion, a past passenger promotion, or a last minute deal, you'll likely find it during this period (not Winter, Spring, or Summer).

arrow When is Hurricane Season?

Officially, the U.S. National Hurricane Service states that hurricane season starts on June 1 and ends November 30th. That's 6 months of the year. However, history has shown us the greatest concentration of hurricane and tropical storm activity tends to be between late August and mid-October.

arrow When will I receive my cruise documents?

Once final payment is made and pre-registration is complete, you can print your eDocs.


arrow What discount rate is available for Senior Citizens?

For many cruises, we can obtain special rates for passengers 55 years of age or older. If any traveler in your stateroom is 55 years of age or older by the date the cruise departs, these special rates and additional savings may apply for all travelers in your party.

Any traveler who qualifies for this special rate will be required to show a government-issued form of identification (passport, or birth certificate and driver's license) at the pier to validate his/her age prior to boarding the cruise ship.

arrow What if I have to cancel?

Cancellation policies vary between cruise lines. When you book your cruise, you will be advised of the cancellation policy applicable to your cruise. Our Customer Service Department is always available to answer any questions regarding these policies. It is the sole responsibility of the passenger to be familiar with the penalties assessed for cancellation. In addition to any fees assessed by the cruise line, we will apply a $75.00 administrative fee for all cancellations.

To protect yourself from penalties for canceling due to medical reasons, we highly advise that you purchase Travel Insurance, as described above.

arrow What are the taxes/port charges?

The port charges include taxes and fees assessed by governmental and other agencies, costs incident to entering and leaving ports such as pilotage, costs incurred while in port such as stevedoring, waste removal, and payroll for port-related functions. Taxes associated with flights, if you have purchased any, would also be included.

arrow What does a category guarantee mean?

This guarantees you to have at least the category that you have purchased, with the possibility of an upgrade. If you have chosen this option, you will not receive an exact stateroom number at the time of booking. Typically, the stateroom assignment is made at the pier. However, you may occasionally find out a couple of weeks in advance.

arrow What are the deposit and final payment requirements?

If you are booking your cruise early (outside of four months prior to travel) the cruise line typically requires a deposit ranging from $100 - $250 per person for a 3- or 4-night cruise, $200 - $500 per person for a 7-night cruise, and $500 or more for longer cruises. Your cruise must be paid in full on the designated final payment date, which is provided at confirmation of the reservation. Your Travel Consultant will discuss payment terms for your particular cruise.

You will receive a final payment reminder to keep you on top of your payments. If you would like to make periodic payments on your trip, you may do so provided all payments are completed prior to the final balance due date.

arrow What if another person wants to come along later, can I add them on after making payment?

All rates are based on the present occupancy and availability. While in most cases, it is possible to add an extra person, providing the room permits this, your present rate will not be protected and could possibly change. The person you are adding could pay a different rate as well, and there may be change fees involved. In addition, in some cases, changes will not be permitted.

arrow What method do I use to get from the airport to the ship if I don't purchase airfare through the cruise line?

Even if you book your own flights, Transfers can be purchased through the cruise line, or you can arrange your own through private sources (taxi, limo) for one way or round trip.

arrow What method do I use to get to the ship from the airport if I don't purchase airfare through the cruise line?

Without an air deviation, we are unable to guarantee specific flight times, schedules, or nonstop flights. In addition, if people from two or more staterooms are traveling together, we are unable to guarantee that they will all share the same flight schedule unless an air deviation is requested. Also, without an air deviation, you will not know your flight schedule until approximately 21-30 days prior to your departure.

arrow What is the United States Border Security Act? How do I need to prepare?

The United States Border Security Act is legislation, signed by President George Bush in May 2002, that requires all airlines and cruise lines to collect immigration information from each passenger prior to their cruise to or from the United States.

As of March 1, 2003, all cruise lines must electronically report a manifest of all passengers on each cruise prior to their arriving at the port on embarkation day. This manifest includes personal information about each passenger including name, gender, birthday, residence, citizenship, and passport data (if applicable).

Any passengers who have not submitted all the required information before they get to their ship can expect very long delays at the pier. If a passenger does not supply any piece of required data, he may be denied boarding without a refund.

The Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) will be standard for all airline and cruise reservations. Your cruise line will include additional information about APIS with your cruise documents. You'll be asked to send or fax this information prior to your cruise.

Getting Ready for Cruise

arrow How can I get last minute help?

If you're on your way to your cruise and run into the unexpected, just call the Cruise Line 24-Hour hotline. Each cruise line has their own 24-hour help number that should be referenced in your documents.

arrow What happens if my flight is delayed for the cruise?

Both the cruise line and airline will work to assist you in getting to your cruise. In the event of minor scheduling delays or flight cancellations, speak to the airline first to find out when you will be able to depart. Then, contact our Customer Service Department; we will alert the cruise line to your situation. If your delay is only minor, we may be able to have the transfer shuttle meet you as planned.

For major delays and flight cancellations, the resolutions are determined on a case-by-case basis. In some instances, the airline will fly you to the next port of call. In other instances, the airline may provide hotel accommodations or other options.

If you purchased airfare independently of the cruise line, you will need to work directly with the airline. In either case, we recommend advising the airline that you are on your way to meet a cruise ship. The airline may then prioritize you above other passengers. Please consider the purchase of travel insurance, as there may be times when the airline and cruise line cannot help you, but the insurance can.

arrow Do I need cash money?

Most cruise lines establish an onboard credit account that permit you to charge purchases to your stateroom. On board, it is a "cashless society". You will need to present a credit card, cash or travelers checks to open this account. This can be done at the designated sign-up area onboard the ship, or during the check-in process. But, you will need cash for the casino, off ship expenses, taxis, and souvenirs.

In most ports, U.S. currency may be accepted or easily exchanged. It is best to bring cash in small denominations, since it is easier to get change for these bills. It is also advisable to carry a limited amount of cash, since it is irreplaceable if lost. Travelers checks and/or credit cards are also recommended. If you use a credit card, you may need to present a photo ID such as your driver's license to use it. Exact conversions rates fluctuate on a daily basis.


arrow What should I wear?

Day wear includes shorts, pants, blouses, t-shirts, knit tops or polo shirts. Your attire will depend on that day's activities. For cooler days or evenings, pack a sweater or lightweight windbreaker. For Alaska cruises, sweaters and raincoats are also suggested. Bring a pair of sneakers or rubber-soled shoes for deck sports and a swimsuit cover-up for cool areas on the ship.

arrow What is formal night?

On some cruises, formal dinners or parties are part of the fun. However, 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 even the dressiest occasions.


arrow Do I need a passport?

Every cruise line requires some proof of citizenship before they allow boarding. While a passport is not required for U.S. citizens for the Bahamas, Bermuda, Caribbean, Mexico, or Canada, a notarized copy of a birth certificate with a raised seal and government-issued picture identification is. No, you may not use military ids, voter registration cards, or a library card. You must have a notarized photocopy of your birth certificate with a raised seal if you do not already have a passport. If you are traveling only within the U.S., a government-issued picture identification only is required.

If you are a U.S. citizen traveling to anywhere other than these destinations, a passport is required. This includes Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, Australia, the Orient, India, etc. Some ports even require a visa but the cruise line will inform you of proper documentation in plenty of time prior to travel or final payment.

Non-U.S. citizens who are residents of the U.S. must show proof of temporary or permanent residency. This includes a valid green card, passport from their country with multiple reentry visas, picture identification, and in some cases, visas from the countries they are visiting.

Non-U.S. citizens should contact the consulates or embassies of the countries to be visited regarding the proper documentation necessary for travel prior to making your final payments. If you have any doubt, call us with questions.

We recommend all travelers confirm the entry requirements for all countries prior to departure. The following website may assist you in verifying the required documentation for travel:

Please be advised that knowing, securing, and bringing the required identification is solely the responsibility of the passengers. We are unable to provide refunds for clients who do not possess the necessary documentation.

arrow How do I get a passport or birth certificate?

You may apply for a passport at your local post office. Many cities also have local passport offices. To acquire a copy of your birth certificate, you would need to contact the city hall from your place of birth. Please keep in mind that your birth certificate should be an original with a raised seal. There are costs associated with acquiring either of these documents. For further information, we have found the following website to be helpful:

arrow My passport has my middle name printed on it. Do I need to have my middle name on my tickets?

Your tickets will be printed to reflect your first and last name only. Middle names and suffixes are not necessary.

arrow I'm a married U.S. citizen. My birth certificate lists my maiden name, but my license reflects my married name. What should I do?

You may either obtain a passport to reflect your married name or you may carry a copy of your marriage certificate in addition to your original birth certificate with raised seal and government-issued photo ID. Please be advised that Proof of Citizenship requirements vary by destination, and in some cases, an original birth certificate and ID are not sufficient.

arrow I am planning my honeymoon. Since I'll be newly married at the time of travel, should I use my married name or my maiden name when making a reservation?

Depending on whether or not you can obtain a copy of your marriage certificate prior to departure, you may do one of two things: You may reserve your vacation in your maiden name and carry Proof of Citizenship that reflects your maiden name.


You may reserve your vacation in your married name and carry Proof of Citizenship that reflects your married name. Please note that if you carry several types of identification reflecting your married and maiden names, it is suggested that you also carry a copy of your marriage certificate to document your name change.

On the Ship

arrow How much are gratuities (tips) on a cruise?

Many cruise lines now automatically add the recommended gratuities of $10.00 per adult per day, $5.00 per child (3-12 years old) and $0.00 for children under 3 years old to your onboard account. This covers gratuities for Stateroom Attendants, Head Waiter, and Assistant Waiters. If you prefer to offer gratuities to each staff member personally, you may remove the gratuities from your onboard account by visiting the pursers desk.

Gratuities for the Maitre'D and other service personnel are at your discretion. For your convenience onboard the ship, a 15% gratuity is automatically included on all beverage tabs.

Room service is FREE, but tipping is allowed at your discression.

Check your cruise line for specific guidelines.

arrow Will there be baggage assistance at the pier?

Curbside porters are available at the pier during embarkation to take luggage to the vessel for delivery to your stateroom. Please be sure each piece of luggage is locked and has a tag listing your name, ship and stateroom number. Customary tip is $.50 per bag.

Curbside porters are not employees of the cruise lines; therefore, any problems are the responsibility of the guest. Claims for luggage loss or damage must be made in writing to the debarkation personnel prior to leaving the pier area.

arrow Is there a limit to the amount of luggage I can bring?

Generally, the baggage limit is governed by the airline if the passenger is traveling by air. It is the responsibility of the guest to check with the airline directly. Most cruise lines don't have a limit, within reason.

We highly recommend that all guests purchase a vacation protection policy covering baggage and contents and accidents.

arrow Can I make and receive telephone calls?

Yes, cell phone service is available on most ships. While your ship is at sea, the cellular system is activated and you can make and receive calls, send and receive text messages, as well as view emails and browse the Internet with over 300 carriers worldwide. International roaming rates apply and are set and billed by your home carrier. Charges will appear on your regular cell phone bill. Please contact your carrier before your cruise to check rates for each service and ensure your plan allows you to roam.

arrow What are the cruise line alcohol and consumption policies?

Guests are prohibited from bringing alcoholic beverages on board the ship in the port of embarkation (with the exception of wine and/or champagne). If the wine and/or champagne are brought to the Dining Room for consumption, a $10.00 corkage fee will be charged to the guest. Otherwise, the guest may drink the wine and/or champagne in the privacy of their cabin only. It may not be brought into any public lounge or room.

Alcohol purchased in a port-of-call: Alcoholic beverages purchased in any port-of-call will be appropriated at the gangway and stored onboard until the last night of the cruise, upon which it will be delivered to the guest's cabin.

Alcohol purchased in ship gift shops: Alcoholic beverages of any kind purchased in the ship's gift shop will also be stored onboard and delivered to the guest's cabin on the last night of the cruise.

Consumption of alcohol on board: The minimum age for the purchase and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages while on board is 21 years of age. In the event that Bar/Restaurant/Gift Shop Staff are in question that the guest is under 21, they shall request picture identification prior to serving said guest.

arrow What is policy for the Smoke-Free Cruising?

Aboard the ship the non-smoking policy is taken very seriously. To honor the sensitivities of many non-smoking guests, vacations in a completely smoke-free environment are sometimes offerred.

Many cruise lines with Spa stateroom have designated them and/or other suite accommodations, inclusive of the balcony, as an entirely smoke free environment. Guests booked in a Spa cabin agree to strictly comply with this non-smoking policy and refrain from smoking or allowing any other Guests from smoking in the Spa cabin. To preserve Spa standards and ensure staterooms and suites are free of smoke residue, the cruise line will asses a reconditioning fee per spa stateroom or suite for guests who do not comply with the non-smoking policy. This charge will be applied to the guest's account.

arrow What is my duty-free allowance (foreign purchases)?

The following guidelines pertain to U.S. residents only. Non-U.S. residents must comply with customs laws in their country. Check with Customs for guidelines on current requirements.

Duty-free allowance on ships that call at any of the U.S. Virgin Islands - $1,200 (retail) of duty-free purchases per adult, including 5 liters of liquor per adult, of which at least one must be a product of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Of the $1,200, no more than $600, including 1 liter of liquor, 1 carton of cigarettes and 100 cigars (non-Cuban) may be purchased in other ports or on board.

Duty-free allowance on ships sailing EXCLUSIVELY to Mexico, Alaska and/or U.S. Ports - $400 (retail) of duty-free purchases per adult, including 1 liter of liquor, 1 carton of cigarettes and 100 cigars (non-Cuban) per adult.

Duty-free allowance on all other ships - $600 (retail), including 2 liters of liquor per adult, depending on the port of purchase.

ATF regulations - According to the ATF, cigarettes and other tobacco products made in the U.S. for "Export Only" may not be returned to the U.S. under any circumstances. Cigarettes that note "Tax Exempt - for use outside U.S." or "U.S. tax exempt - for use outside U.S." will be seized and a potential $1,000.00 penalty may be imposed. This includes cigarettes and tobacco products purchased in the U.S. Virgin Islands and San Juan. This new federal regulation went into effect January 1, 2000 by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Foreign-made cigarettes and tobacco products may be BRought into the U.S. in personal use quantities (Example: 1 carton per person).

arrow Are there medical services onboard?

Advise your travel representative of any special diet requirements at the time of booking (at least two weeks prior to sailing). We will do our best to meet your requirements. However, there may be limitations in our ability to do so. Please reconfirm this request with your waiter at your first meal.

arrow What should I do if I have special diet requirements?

Advise your travel representative of any special diet requirements at the time of booking (at least two weeks prior to sailing). We will do our best to meet your requirements. However, there may be limitations in our ability to do so. Please reconfirm this request with your waiter at your first meal.

arrow What if I have special needs?

Most large cruise lines seek, to the extent feasible, to accommodate guests with special needs so they are able to enjoy the ships and other facilities. For example, service animals are permitted on board ships if prior arrangements have been made at time of booking.

In situations where a guest with special needs, such as a guest in a wheelchair, would be unable to be comfortably accommodated due to vessel safety barriers and other criteria, we may find it necessary to ask the guest to bring along a companion to assist or make alternative arrangements.

Guests who are 24 weeks or more into their pregnancy on the date of disembarkation will not be allowed to sail. Pregnant women less than 24 weeks must submit, prior to departure, Carnival's Pregnancy Certification Form, which must be completed and signed by the guest's physician. On the Pregnancy Certificate Form, the attending physician will be required to certify the gestational period and that the expecting mother is fit to sail.

Guests who have any type of medical, physical or other special needs should contact their cruise line customer service to discuss the details of their specific special needs.

arrow Do they have babysitting on board?

Most contemporary cruise lines cater to families with children and almost always offer babysitting services; however, availability can depend on the destination and time of year. Cruise lines with limited facilities for children may not provide a children's program or babysitting services unless a certain number of children are onboard. Cruise lines that do not cater to children may not offer any babysitting services. Ask your Travel Consultant to check with the cruise line about the policy in place for the specific cruise you are considering.

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