Frequently Asked Questions

The Cruise Duo have answered your most-asked cruising questions.

Is cruising expensive?

Cruise prices range from extremely cheap sale fares (sometimes as low as $50 per person, per night, before taxes) to super-pricey rates for fancy suites on luxury lines. Remember that your cruise fare includes your accommodations, meals in main dining venues, activities (including children's programs) and nighttime entertainment -- not to mention transportation from port to port. When you factor in all of the costs you'd incur on a land vacation, as well as the great deals you can find on cruise travel, you'll discover that you can often save money by booking a cruise, as opposed to a land-based vacation. To add a new question go to app settings and press "Manage Questions" button.

Are cruises all-inclusive?

No. Your cruise fare includes a lot (see above), but you'll pay extra for a whole host of amenities. Among them? Alternative restaurants, some coffee and ice cream bars, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, shore excursions, spa treatments and gratuities. The luxury lines include more, but even they are never completely all-inclusive. (Drinks and gratuities may be included in fares, but spa treatments won't be).

Are all cruise ships alike?

Cruise ships come in a variety of sizes and personalities. You'll find a myriad of variations: big ships, small ships, explorer-oriented ships, absolutely decadent luxury ships, river ships, family ships, sailing ships ... and on and on. To help you choose the ship that will best suit your travel style, follow our advice how to pick a cruise ship.

Is there internet access onboard?

Yes, most cruise lines provide internet facilities such as an internet cafe and Wi-Fi zone. These options are at an additional charge and although some can be expensive (Carnival has the cheapest and most exciting packages), please remember that connectivity can be limited depending on how far out of range the ship is so it is best to log-in when in port.

What currency is charged onboard?

This will depend on the cruise line’s origin, but many of the ocean cruises will be in US dollars. There are exceptions to these rules but we can assist and will give you a heads up.

Will I need a passport?

This will depend on the cruise line’s origin, but many of the ocean cruises will be in US dollars. There are exceptions to these rules but we can assist and will give you a heads up.

6. Will I need a passport?

Most cruise lines recommend that all guests travel with a passport valid for at least six months beyond completion of travel (unless otherwise noted). This will enhance the debarkation experience as delays may be expected upon return to the United States for those without one. Additionally, this will enable guests to fly from the United States to meet their ship at a foreign port should they miss their scheduled port of embarkation and allow guests who must disembark the ship before their cruise ends due to an emergency to fly back to the United States without significant delays and complications.

For cruises that begin and/or end in a U.S port, the following WHTI-Compliant Documents are acceptable for cruise travel. These standard forms of documentation will enable the Department of Homeland Security to quickly and reliably identify a traveler. If a picture I.D. is not affixed to the WHTI-compliant document, a picture I.D. is required (a valid, unexpired government-issued photo I.D. for all guests 16 years of age or older). If the cruise includes air travel to or from Canada, a valid, unexpired U.S. passport is required.

Also acceptable for cruise travel (for cruises that begin and end in a U.S port), U.S. citizens can show proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate issued by a government agency and accompanied by a government-issued photo I.D.

What’s included in my cruise cost?

Your accommodation, transport, entertainment and all main meals are included in the cost, as well as access to most of the ship’s facilities and tipping (on Australian bound cruises). Cruise lines offer a number of optional extras for a small cost including dining at speciality restaurants, spa treatments and shore excursions.

How do I pay for things on the ship?

Cruises operate on a cashless system. Instead of paying for items as you go, they are charged to your unique room card (a Sail n’ Sign Card) that is linked to your credit or debit card. An itemized account is presented to passengers before disembarkation to be settled prior to check out, or automatically debited if there are no discrepancies.

How do I arrange shore excursions?

If you are in a group, we, The Cruise Duo can organize all your shore excursions that can accommodate all your desired attractions in each port. Ask us for more info!

Can I get off the ship on my own, or do I need to do a shore tour?

You can get off the ship at each port to explore on your own and this can be a good way to control expenditure on your holiday. We have the most extensive choice of tours at much cheaper, smaller groups and more inclusive than the cruise-lines.

Will I get bored during days at sea?

The ship is a destination in itself, sometimes like a floating city! There are plenty of activities onboard - both complimentary and some with a small additional charge - to suit all interest groups and fitness levels. And again, you can do as much or as little as you like, it's your choice. A recommended sea day itinerary on an ocean cruise could include breakfast with a view followed by a relaxing spa treatment (or two) before a poolside lunch, and then catch a movie to take you into late afternoon when group activities like bingo, trivia competitions, wine tastings and cooking demonstrations start, followed by cocktail with new friends, dinner and a show.

Will I get seasick?

Everyone feels different affects of motion sickness, but there are decisions regarding your cabin location that you can factor in that may help slightly. Take a mid-ship cabin on a lower deck as these are generally the most stable and best for travelers prone to seasickness. Other passengers find an ocean-view cabin with a window and natural light better so they can see the horizon, while a balcony cabin lets you step outside and let fresh air in.

What’s an inside cabin like?

These are the most inexpensive cabins and are perfect for travelers looking to keep the costs down. As there is no window, these cabins are better suited to passengers who just need a base for the night and prefer to use the ship’s facilities and lounges during the day. Keep in mind that there is no natural light in these cabins so it can interfere with your body clock as you will need to have the light on when not sleeping.

I’m a light sleeper, what cabin should I go for?

Light sleepers should steer clear of cabins near noise sources such as dining rooms, stairwells, elevators, beneath pool decks or near nightclubs and crew service areas. As a rule of thumb, select a cabin in a deck that is above and below another passenger deck for the quietest location.

Will I need travel insurance?

Travel insurance is a must for cruising – no matter where the ship goes. While ships provide a high standard of medical care, medical clinics on board are privately run and are not covered by you own health care institution. Plus, you may be a long way from land if anything goes wrong, requiring expensive emergency evacuation. We can assist you in your choice of insurances available for the duration of your cruise.

Are there drinks packages?

A lot of cruise lines offer drinks packages, either alcoholic or soft drink packages. These are often per person per day and are available with a variety of different inclusions allowing you to choose which package will add the most value to your cruise.

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