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I book with an on-line agency?
How can I pay for
Can I book a
cruise on short notice?
What about Cruise
Can I get
frequent flier miles when
using an Air/Sea package?
Will I fly on
What is air
Do I have to buy
air travel through
the cruise line?
Are all ships and cruises fairly similar?
Do I need a
Are there different
classes of service?
Will I get bored?
What's there to do
Do I have to
participate in the activities?
Do cruise lines
welcome families with kids?
What is there to do
Is there a charge
for the entertainment?
Is it easy to meet
Can singles have
fun on a cruise?
What should I pack?
Will I need a
Can I use my hair
dryer or shaver?
"different meal seatings?"
What about fitness
and healthy eating?
Can I get a
Can we celebrate a
Is cruising right
What about tipping?
motion-discomfort a problem?
Are there medical
services on board?
Are there laundry
It all sounds too
good to be true! Is it?
When is Hurricane
passengers with special needs?
What will my cabin
What if I
don't like my table-mates?
money should I take with me?
Can we stay in
touch with the outside?
When will I
receive my tickets?
do I book with an on-line agency?
Booking a cruise with an on-line agency is
just like booking with any local agent. Salty Dog Cruise and Travel
recommends that you always use a credit card when booking a cruise for
your protection no matter who you book through. We will send you a
written confirmation as soon as the cruise is booked with the cruise
line along with ship and cruise information if desired. We will also
contact you when your final payment is due. All cruise tickets will be
delivered to you via two or three day priority mail, Airborne, or
Federal Express, and Salty Dog Cruise and Travel will notify you prior
to the delivery.
can I pay for my cruise?
Your cruise will usually be broken down into
two payments, a small deposit of between $100.00 and $300.00 per person
is due to confirm a booking, the balance is due approximately 75 days
before you sail. Salty Dog Cruise and Travel accepts major credit
cards, money orders or certified checks, but we still recommend credit
cards for the most protection for our clients.. Any bookings made
within 60 days of sailing must be paid for in full at time of booking.
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 stateroom, 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, optional shore excursions, and personal
services such as massage or hair styling.)
I book a cruise on short notice?
Even the most popular cruises may have space
available because of late cancellations, but, to cruise on the ship,
cabin and sailing date you want you should plan and book early. (Salty
Dog recommends booking 6-12 months in advance)
about Cruise Insurance?
Insurance is a good idea for most cruisers,
but not all choose to buy the offered coverage. Most policies will
reimburse you the cost of the cruise if you have to cancel up to the
day of the sailing if you or any of your party has an illness. Some
policies may offer more that others, so visit the Salty Dog Cruise and
Travel Insurance WEB page, or give us a call.
is an Air/Sea package?
An Air/Sea package includes your cruise
ticket, an airline ticket and ground transportation needed to get you
to the port. When using this package, the cruise line will, at their
discretion, fly you on either a scheduled airline or a charter flight.
Ground transportation is then provided to take you to your ship.
I get frequent flier miles when using an Air/Sea package?
Frequent flier members may inform the gate
agent when checking in for their flight of their frequent flier number
and you will be credited with the mileage.
I fly on direct flights?
When you book your airfare through the cruise
line, you will normally receive your flight schedule 29 days prior to
travel, and the cruise line always does their best to provide the most
direct and convenient flights from your closest airport. You can be
booked on any airline on any flight schedule that will get you to your
port of embarkation before the ship sails. This means that if you live
near Washington, DC, and the main carrier, US-Airways, has a direct
flight from Washington to Miami, most likely you would be booked the
direct flight. If the cruise line does not have reserved space on that
flight they could fly you through Atlanta first on Delta.
is air deviation?
An air deviation will allow you to pick your
airline and flights prior to making your final payment. There is
usually a $35 - $50 non-refundable fee (per passenger) and there may be
additional charges if the air fare exceeds the negotiated rates between
the cruise line and the airline. Most cruise passengers accept the
normal cruise line air arrangements without deviation due to the added
cost. Other than during peak travel periods, you will most likely get a
flight you can live with. Air deviation request need to submitted in
writing at least 60 days before your cruise.
I have to buy air travel through the cruise line?
If you can find better airfare rates on your
own or have frequent flyer points then you can certainly purchase your
airfare separately. However, understand that if you have any flight
delays on flights arranged apart from the cruise line, then you're on
your own to catch the ship in the next port of call if necessary. Note,
some insurance plans may protect you from a missed connection or travel
delay claim. You are also responsible for your transportation from the
airport to the ship and back, but some cruise lines are now offering
airport transfers at an small additional cost for those passengers who
elect to provide their own air. When we book our own air, we always
travel a day early, just to be sure and also we just enjoy waking up
close to the ship on the day of our cruise.
all ships and cruises fairly similar?
Far from it! Ships range from under 200 feet
to over 1,000. You can sail with anywhere from fewer than 100 fellow
passengers to nearly 3,500. Experience atmospheres ranging from casual
to formal; classically simple to ultra-deluxe.
I need a Passport?
This depends on the type of cruise and your
destination. You'll probably need, at least, some proof of citizenship,
and a passport will always be accepted.
there different classes of service?
Today's cruise ships are "one-class." Everyone
on board can use all of the ship's facilities. The prices of staterooms
are based on size and deck location. Regardless of the category booked,
you will enjoy the same courteous service, menus, activities and
entertainment as everyone else on board.
I get bored? Feel confined?
The answer to that NO-WAY!! Cruising gives you
a feeling of freedom few places can offer. There is plenty of room, and
it takes two or three days just to discover what the ship has to offer
on board. Then you are busy making plans of just what to see and do at
the next exciting port. Cruise ships are like floating resorts, with
all the things fine resorts have to offer. You can relax alone on a
lounge chair, breathe in the sea air, soak up the sun, read good books
while watching the ever changing view. Or you can join in exercise
classes, dance classes, sports contests and other organized deck
activities. You can also practice your tennis strokes, drive golf
balls, shoot skeet or play basketball. You can go for a swim, stretch
out in the sauna or work out in the gym. You can see a feature movie,
attend lectures by renowned experts, play backgammon or bridge. You
could win enough to pay for your cruise by playing bingo, or trying
your luck in the casino. And that's just when you're on board!
there to do in port?
Too much to describe here!! You will have a
hard time choosing if you should take off on your own, or join a guided
tour. There could be ancient ruins or other great sights to see. Of
course shopping bargains are found everywhere. You can climb a
waterfall or pyramid, play golf or tennis, try the native food or
drinks, learn how to wind-surf, or just sun and swim at some of the
world's finest beaches.
I have to participate in the activities?
On a cruise you do what you want to do. You
can do everything. Or lie back and do absolutely nothing. It's your
cruise lines welcome families with kids?
Most cruise lines make a special point of
providing supervised activities for youngsters, especially during
school holidays. If your children enjoy swimming, sports, games,
movies, and the adventure of new places, they will love a family
cruise. You will find that kids adapt to shipboard life with ease, and
you won't have to wonder what they are up to every minute. The cruise
staff will help keep them busy and entertained.
is there to do at night?
At night, life aboard a cruise ship really
turns on. There is dancing, live entertainment in the nightclubs,
discos and lounges, feature films, and parties with all your new
friends. Most ships have casinos. There are also many special events,
like the Captain's Cocktail Party, Passenger's Talent Night and the
Midnight buffet, and the night can go on as long as you want even until
the spectacular sunrise at sea.
there a charge for the entertainment?
On a cruise vacation, the entertainment is
provided as a part of your cruise.
it easy to meet people?
A cruise ship is the very best place to make
new friends, because everyone is so friendly. The atmosphere is
cordial, relaxed, and there is so much to talk about. You will probably
find yourself making arrangements to meet some of your new friends
aboard another ship again next year.
singles have fun on a cruise?
Cruising is perfect for people traveling
alone, because it is so easy to meet other people. In fact, most ships
have parties just for singles early in the cruise, so you can start to
interface early. Most ships also have single cabins as well as single
rates for double staterooms. In many cases, the cruise line may even
find you a roommate to share a double if you want to save some money.
Salty Dog will assist you with your requests.
should I pack?
Pack like you would for any resort. Cruise
vacations are casual by day whether you are on ship or ashore. In the
evening, the attire varies from nice casual to dressy to formal, and is
posted daily on board. For the Captain's Gala, for example, you will
probably want to wear something more formal, such as a dark suit, or
cocktail dress or perhaps even a dinner jacket or gown.
I need a tuxedo?
On most cruises, formal dinners or parties are
part of the fun. but don't buy a tux for the trip. Even on the most
formal of ships, a dark suit and tie are fine for the dressiest
occasions. The ship normally has formal ware for rent.
I use my hair dryer or shaver?
Yes, most ships have 110 volt outlets in the
are "different meal seatings"?
Some ships' dining rooms can accommodate all
passengers in one "seating." But, most ships have two seatings which
differ only by time. To choose, just decide whether you prefer to dine
early or later and request your preference when you book.
about fitness and healthy eating?
Just because your cruise ship offers plenty of
delicious food doesn't mean you must return out of shape. You can
choose "low cal" or "fitness" menu selections that are just as tempting
as the regular menu. You can also jog, do aerobics, work out in the
gym, swim, golf, play tennis, and much more.
I get a special diet?
Most ships provide salt-free,
low-carbohydrate, Kosher, or other diet preferences, however, this
request must be made in advance. So be sure to advise Salty Dog of your
requirements when you book your cruise.
there "Non-Smoking" Areas?
Today, virtually all ships have smoking and
non-smoking tables and/or sections in the dining rooms and lounges. In
fact several cruise lines do not allow smoking in any dining area. If
you want your dining table in a non-smoking area, just tell Salty Dog
when you book.
we celebrate a "special" day?
Absolutely! Most cruise Lines will even treat
you to a complimentary cake and a chorus (with many accents) of "Happy
Whatever" to honor the occasion. Your birthday or anniversary can be
more festive with champagne, flowers, canapés, wine or cheese. You can
even arrange for a special private party. All you have to do is advise
Salty Dog when you book.
cruising right for honeymooners?
Cruising creates an atmosphere that is perfect
for romance; cozy dinners for two, strolling on deck at sunset, dancing
the night away (even under the stars) and so much more to remember
Tipping is a matter of individual preference.
A general rule of thumb is to plan for about $2.50 to $3.00 per person
per day for your room steward and dining room waiter, and about half
that amount for your busboy. (Some cruise lines include tipping in the
price and will so inform you.) Other shipboard personnel can be tipped
for special services at your discretion.
motion-discomfort a problem?
The most popular cruise areas boast some of
the calmest waters in the world. In addition, stabilizers on modern
ships, advance availability of accurate weather information, and
development of effective preventative medications have, for the most
part, eliminated the incidence of motion discomfort. You should talk to
your doctor if you think you might have a motion discomfort problem.
there medical services on board?
Virtually every cruise ship (except for some
smaller vessels operating in coastal waters) has a fully-equipped
medical facility and staff to handle almost any emergency.
there laundry services aboard?
Yes. Almost all cruise ships have laundry
facilities and a great many provide dry-cleaning services. There is,
however, an additional charge for professional laundry and dry-cleaning
all sounds too good to be true! Is it?
The major complaint is that cruises end far
too soon! Beyond that, it is hard to find any negative issues. After
all, you don't have to run to make plane connections to get from one
port to the next. You don't have the hassles of making dinner or
nightclub reservations. You don't have the bother of packing and
unpacking as you move from place to place. You don't get unexpected,
expensive surprises at restaurants or nightclubs. You do have a wealth
of options for shopping, adventure, sightseeing, exploring,
entertainment and sports activities. All you have to worry about is
relaxing and enjoying your vacation. How can this be bad????
is Hurricane Season?
Officially, the National Hurricane Service
states that hurricane season starts on June 1 and ends November 31st.
That's 6 months of the year. The greatest concentration of hurricane
and tropical storm activity tends to be between late August and
mid-October, but that should not be a major concern. The Captain would
never jeopardize the ship, or your safety, and the cruise ships are
certainly safer than the Islands during a hurricane. These ships have
cruising speeds of 20 - 22 knots, and can outrun a 14 knot hurricane.
The ships cruising today are also equipped with the latest
communication, weather, and navigation equipment to keep the Captain
and his crew fully aware of a storm's position and if he feels that
there is any danger to his passengers, crew, or his vessel he will
simply sail to safer waters.
about passengers with special needs?
The cruise lines welcome passengers with
special needs and work hard to assist them throughout their trip. It is
essential that the cruise lines know well in advance if you have any
special medical, physical or other requirements that need to be
addressed. Most modern cruise ships have a number of cabins specially
designed to accommodate passengers in wheelchairs or in need of TTY
communications. Service animals are permitted on board if prior
arrangements have been made. Your Salty Dog Cruise and Travel
Representative can help answer any specific questions concerning your
will my cabin be like?
Cabins on most cruise lines are smaller than
they appear on "The Love Boat". They are designed for efficiency and to
encourage you to use the much larger public facilities on board the
ship. If you requested an "outside" or "ocean view" cabin, you will
have a porthole or picture window, depending on your ship design. Some
outside cabins will also have a small balcony. If you requested an
"inside" cabin you will not have a porthole, window, or balcony. Most
cabins have twin beds which can be converted to a queen size. Your
cabin steward is there to make your stay comfortable; whether to change
the bed configuration to suit your desires, or to bring you extra
towels, pillows, or blankets if needed. Many of the newer ships have
safes in the rooms, and TVs that show current movies, give casino
instructions, and general cruise information.
if I don't like my table-mates?
Rarely is this a problem, but if you wish to
move to another table, speak with the Restaurant Manager. He will make
every effort to seat you with more compatible dining companions. Also
if you wish to be seated at a different size of table, the Restaurant
Manager will do his best to accommodate you.
much money should I take with me?
That depends entirely on you, the cost of your
cruise includes everything except: alcohol and sodas, shore excursions,
tips and personal items such as souvenirs, massages, and hair styling.
When you board your ship you will be asked to activate your account.
This is like running a tab during your cruise and all expenses will be
charged to your room, and at the end of the cruise the credit card you
used to activate your account will be billed for the amount that you
charged while on the ship. If you chose to pay cash or travelers
checks, you will be required to settle up the night before the ship
returns to home port.
we stay in touch with the outside?
Quite easily. Most ships have a daily
newsletter with news, headlines, selected stock quotes and sports
scores, some even deliver the Wall Street Journal to your room.
Staterooms on many ships are even equipped with televisions so you can
tune in to CNN or ESPN. While many ships now have telephones in
passenger cabins, you can also call someone through the ship's radio
operator while at sea, and you can phone home from most ports. In
addition, many ships are equipped with fax capabilities.
will I receive my tickets?
The cruise line will send your tickets to our
office approximately 15 days before you sail to give us time to ensure
your documents are accurate and complete. Your Salty Dog Cruise and
Travel Representative will then notify you and will arrange for
delivery of your tickets. We will normally send your tickets via two or
three day priority mail, or other express delivery service. We then
recommend you contact Salty Dog upon receipt so that we may review them
with you over the phone. If you have booked your cruise on short notice
you can pick up your airline tickets at the airport and can pick up
your cruise tickets at the pier prior to boarding the ship.