Cruise 101

Are you new to cruising? Here are answers to some of the most common questions.  Be sure to let us know if we've missed anything so we can add it to our list!

 

Unfortunately we are unable to adjust cruise lines' rates.  However, Yankee Trails can offer any discounted rates, sales, or special offers that the cruise line is offering when you book.

Also, when booking your cruise with Yankee Trails, you are eligible for a discounted rate on our Cruise Express shuttle transportation to/from select piers.  Depending on the cruise line and/or sail date, we may be able to offer you some extra amenities as well, when booking with our agency.

Yes, we can offer you everything the cruise line offers. We can book any of the special rates, upgrades, or promotions available at the time of booking. AND, when booking your cruise with Yankee Trails, you’ll receive the discounted Cruise Express shuttle.

Yes! If you booked your cruise through the cruise line or with another travel agency, you may still book your transportation to/from the pier on our Cruise Express shuttle. You would be charged the full price of $90 per person, round trip. If you choose to book your cruise with Yankee Trails, the cost of our Cruise Express would be only $65 per person, round trip, depending on your stateroom category. Sometimes, during special promotions we run throughout the year, we offer our Cruise Express shuttle service for FREE!

Yankee Trails offers experience and convenience when it comes to cruising. Our full-scale travel agency has been in operation since 1999, and our knowledgeable agents are just a phone call away if you have questions. Whether you’re planning a cruise for two people or fifty, we can help!

Additionally, we offer the convenience of our very own CRUISE EXPRESS shuttle transportation to and from the pier (on NY, NJ, and select Boston departures), including *FREE PARKING! With this unique service, you don’t have to worry about parking, which can be very costly at the piers, or navigating your way to the pier and back – just sit back and relax on one of our luxury motorcoaches as we whisk you away to paradise!

*Free parking available at all Cruise Express shuttle departure locations. Subject to change without notice.

Cruising is the best vacation value! There are cruise vacations to suit every budget. Your cruise fare includes your accommodations, on board activities and entertainment, most meals, plus transportation from port to port. You’ll know what your vacation will cost you before you go. (Typically, your only extra expenses will be drinks, specialty restaurants, optional shore excursions and personal services such as massages or hairstyling.)

As long or short as you want. Cruise lines offer itineraries from one night to three months.

Wherever you want! Cruises visit over 500 ports worldwide and practically every destination accessible by water. You can embark on your cruise vacation from a wide variety of over 30 North American ports close to home or exciting and exotic locations around the globe.

Far from it. Ships range from intimate and yacht-like to vessels stretching longer than three football fields. You can sail with fewer than 100 fellow guests or with more than 5,000.

Enjoy atmospheres ranging from casual to formal, contemporary to classic. Enjoy the endless activities offered on a contemporary resort-style cruise, or immerse yourself in the culture of a destination on a special interest cruise.

There are cruises designed to suit virtually every interest and personal preference.

The choices include: boutique, luxury cruises with globetrotting itineraries; large, contemporary ships with a fantastic array of recreational facilities; classic vessels evoking the time-honored traditions of cruising; special interest or exploration cruises specializing in unique destinations with an accent on cultural enrichment; river voyages into the heart of a destination.

There are cruise lines that feature soft adventure expeditions to such unique frontiers as Antarctica, the Amazon Rain Forest or the African Serengeti. Or, discover historical legacies closer to home with enlightening itineraries to New England, French Canada, Colonial America, and America’s Rivers.

For experienced travelers, destination-focused cruises specialize in culturally-rich ports of call with itineraries dedicated to illuminating such historic, world-class treasures as the antiquities of classical Greece, the Polynesian paradise of Hawaii, the fabled splendor of Norwegian fjords or the castles and museums of Europe’s rivers.

For many, the perfect vacation includes the non-stop fun and sun of a tropical resort-style cruise to the Caribbean, where you can sample a variety of island cultures and cuisines while relaxing your cares away. Plus, many cruise lines create special “themes” on board, with entertainment ranging from jazz festivals and classical music concerts to golf clinics and murder mysteries at sea!

We recommend a passport on all cruises. While the U.S. Government may not require a Passport for Sea travel on certain “closed loop cruises” originating in the U.S. and for travel only within the Western Hemisphere, other specified documentation is required. For specific U.S. governmental Passport and Visa regulations visit: http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html.

Be sure to ask your travel agent what passport requirements apply to your cruise vacation. We strongly recommends that all travelers apply for or renew their passports as soon as possible. Government regulations are continually being modified and it is best to be prepared. Besides, a passport grants you unlimited cruise vacation options around the world!

Contact Stephanie at "Special Needs Group"
1-800-513-4514

Cruise Ports Serviced:
Miami  |  Fort Lauderdale  |  Port Canaveral

Standard Rate: $185.00 for seven (7) days.
Call for rates for longer cruises.

Required Data:
1. Height and Weight
2. Port, Sailing, and Return Date
3. Cabin Number and Reservation Number

Scooter is delivered directly to your stateroom onboard the ship.

Hardly! Being at sea gives you a feeling of total freedom that no land-based resort can offer. There’s plenty of room and it will probably take you two or three days just to discover everything that’s on board. Plus, you get the added adventure of exploring many exciting ports of call, often a new one every day of the trip!

Cruise ships are floating resorts with all the choices fine resorts have to offer. You can lie back in a lounge chair, breathe in the sea air, soak up the sun, read good books, or watch the ever-changing seascape. Smaller ships focus on the treasures and delights of myriad destinations.

If you’re more active, join in exercise or dance classes, or sports contests. Practice your tennis stroke or golf swing, or take in some fresh air on the jogging deck. Or you can swim, stretch out in the sauna or work out in the gym. You can also watch a feature film, attend an enrichment lecture by experts, or play backgammon and bridge. And that’s just when you’re on board!

So much that you’ll have a hard time choosing! You can explore on your own or take a guided tour (referred to as shore excursions). Search ancient ruins or hunt for shopping bargains. Ride a raft over river rapids or a horse across miles of hills and beaches. Climb a waterfall or pyramid. Follow the footsteps of history or the wake of a waterskiing boat. If there’s still time, play golf or tennis. Learn how to windsurf. Sun and swim at some of the world’s best beaches. Catch a record marlin. Sail, snorkel or Scuba dive. Take a cable car to the top of a mountain. Explore dark catacombs.

In short, cruising is the perfect way to sample a number of new destinations and try all the things you’ve ever dreamed of doing, while never having to pack and unpack!

More and more cruise vacations are booked by families with children. Twenty-five percent of cruisers sail with children and a majority of cruise lines provide plenty of supervised activities for kids, especially during school holidays. If your children enjoy swimming, sports, games, movies and the adventure of new places, they’ll love a family cruise. You’ll find that children adapt to shipboard life with ease, and you won’t have to wonder what they’re up to every minute. Trained youth counselors will help keep them safe, busy and entertained. Ships even offer different types of age-appropriate activities, suitable for toddlers to teens.

When the stars come out, a cruise ship turns on. There’s dancing, live entertainment, nightclubs and lounges, feature films, and parties with all your new friends. Most ships also have casinos. What’s more, there are many special events like the Captain’s Cocktail Party, Passenger Talent Night, Broadway-style shows and Las Vegas-type revues.

On a cruise vacation, the entertainment is on the house. There’s no cover, minimum or charge for an admission ticket. The shows are live, films first-rate and all included in your cruise fare.

Pack like you would for any resort. Cruise vacations are casual by day, whether you're on the ship or ashore. In the evening, ships vary as to dress. As on shore, attire is dictated by occasion. At the Captain's Gala, for example, you'll probably want to wear something more formal, such as a dark suit, or cocktail dress; perhaps even a dinner jacket or gown.

Choices, choices and more choices. During the day, there are many different dining options – in the formal dining room, on deck, in a pizzeria and at an espresso bar, to name just a few. At night, most ships offer several venues. Some ships’ dining rooms can accommodate all guests at one time, called a “seating.” Many ships offer you a choice of several seating times, and others offer multiple restaurants for “anytime” dining. More traditional ships have two seatings in their formal dining rooms, which differ only by time: typically 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

To choose, just decide whether you prefer to dine early or late – then have your travel agent request your preference when you book your cruise. Frequently, you can choose to enjoy dinner someplace other than the formal dining room, such as in an intimate restaurant that features Italian or Asian cuisine. More and more cruise lines are opening up their informal lido areas to evening dining, where the dress and dishes always are casual, and sometimes, you can even eat out under the stars. And a large number of ships offer romantic in-cabin dinners. The choice is yours!

Most ships can accommodate salt-free, low-carbohydrate, low cholesterol, diabetic, or other diet preferences. This request should be made in advance, so be sure to advise your travel agent when you book your cruise.

Virtually all dining rooms are smoke free as are designated areas in other public rooms onboard the ship. Check with your travel agent regarding the individual cruise line’s policies.

Without a doubt. Cruising offers an atmosphere that’s just right for romance...cozy dinners for two, strolling on deck at sunset, dancing the night away (even under the stars). Most lines provide special services – from Sunday or Monday departures to champagne and breakfast in bed.

Also, some ships offer special packages for performing a marriage ceremony or renewing marriage vows.

Tipping is a matter of individual preference. A general rule of thumb is $3.50 - $5.00 per person per day for your cabin steward and dining room waiter and about half that for the dining room assistant. Other shipboard personnel can be tipped for special services or at your discretion. Some lines include an automatic gratuity in the price of your cruise and will advise you of that as well as the amount while other lines maintain a no tipping policy. Check with your travel agent regarding the individual cruise line’s policies.

While cruise ships are not comprehensive medical facilities, cruise lines understand that some people may have health needs during a cruise. Thus they are committed to providing first response and emergency care to guests until they can be transferred to a shoreside medical facility. Most cruise lines have 24-hour medical services and staff operating under guidelines developed in conjunction with the American College of Emergency Physicians (AECP). Cruise lines and travel agents encourage vacationers to obtain medical insurance, travel with adequate supplies of medical prescriptions and devices and to disclose pre-existing medical conditions before sailing.

Rarely. Popular cruise itineraries ply some of the calmest waters in the world. In addition, stabilizers on modern ships, availability of advance weather information, and development of effective preventative medications have, for the most part, eliminated the incidence of motion discomfort.