Frequently Asked Cruise Questions

Wouldn't it be simpler to deal with the cruise line directly or on the web?
You can make your reservations directly with some cruise lines or on-line but usually this is not to your advantage. When you book with you will get personal service from one of our cruise specialists. This person will take the time to get to know you and understand what you want from your vacation. Most cruise lines have hundreds of reservations agents. To them, you'd be just another passenger. To us, you're a valued client. Our rates are lower than those available directly from the cruise line.

What does my cruise fare include?
You will receive for your cruise fare: ship board accommodations in cabin category purchased; use of all on board public facilities including pools, spas, saunas, gyms; ocean transportation to ports of call; all meals onboard ship including breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, midnight buffets (most ships) and 24 hour complimentary room service (most ships); all of your basic beverages including coffees, teas, milk and juices (soft drinks and alcohol must be purchased from the bar); on-board entertainment including shows, entertainers, bands, games and activities are complimentary (casinos and bingo at your own risk). NOT INCLUDED : Items of personal nature are available for purchase, such as spa treatments, laundry, photographs, shore excursions and ship to shore phone service

What is required to purchase a cruise?
You must be 21 years of age or older to travel. Under the age of 21 may sail when accompanied by a parent, guardian or spouse who is over the age of 25. Note one exception, married couples who are a minimum of 18 years of age may travel together by providing a copy of marriage certificate to the cruise line upon boarding.

A deposit only is required to confirm your cruise vacation, most 3 and 4 day cruises require a deposit of $100 per person with final payment normally due 70 days prior to sailing. Most 7 day cruises require $250 to $350 per person deposit (varies by cruise line) with final payment normally due 90 days prior to your departure date.

How do I know what cruise is best for me if I've never cruised before?
You may have to do some homework to answer this question or speak to a cruise consultant who can help you with your decision. Selecting a cruise depends on many factors – your personality, your likes and dislikes, where you want to go and how much money you want to spend. The best cruise line for you might not be the best line for someone else. There are many cruise lines and ships to choose from, but if you can zero in on one which may be best for you, you can be assured you'll have a great time and get the most for your vacation dollar.
Some of the things you should consider are:

  • Price. How much do you want to spend?

  • The Ship (its age, size, style of accommodations) – what's your preference?

  • Itinerary – where do you want to go?

  • Passengers (interests, ages, etc.) – what do you like to do?

  • On board activities and shore excursions – what interests you?

  • What other types of vacations have you taken in the past?

There are also some excellent cruising guides available at libraries or bookstores. Additionally, each cruise line produces a brochure and most have informative web sites.

Do cruises have last minute deals, or should I book early?
Last Minute Discounts are less popular than in the past. Today, cruise lines reward those who book in advance with special lower rates. They can now tell about three months prior to departure if promotions are needed to help fill the ship. If they do, they'll institute Past Passenger Discounts first, Senior Rates second, Regional Promotions third, and then drop the rates for all passengers only if necessary. Deciding on whether to wait for a better deal depends on your level of flexibility. Overall, to get the ship, itinerary, sailing date and cabin accommodations you want, it is better to book early. A few things to consider before deciding whether to book early or take your chances on a last minute special include:

Early booking (at least 6-8 months in advance) is advised if:
You want a specific cabin, i.e. suites or mini-suites; or a specific location (port, starboard, middle of the ship, bedding, etc.)

  • You require a wheelchair accessible cabin

  • You have a specific itinerary in mind

  • You are not flexible with dates (honeymoon, vacation, spring break)

  • You need a cabin that can accommodate a 3 rd or 4 th person

  • You are traveling with a group and need multiple cabins

  • You prefer a specific dining time. Depending on the cruise itinerary, one dining time may fill up faster than the other

  • You plan to use frequent flyer tickets to get to the point

Is a balcony cabin worth the extra money?
This is a matter of personal preference. Do you like to look outside every morning and see
what the weather is like? Do you savor the idea of sitting out on your own private verandah sipping your morning coffee? Your answers to questions like these will help you decide if you should spend the extra money on a balcony stateroom. One of the advantages of having an ocean view or balcony cabin is that the natural light can make the space seem a lot larger. It also gives you some perception of time. In an inside cabin you have no idea what time it is! Some people feel this reason alone is worth the extra cost. If you want to know what the weather is like each day, it's a lot easier to tell when you have a window in your room. However, many ships have live cameras from the Bridge Deck that show you exactly what it's doing outside, all you have to do is turn on your TV. Some people feel that a window isn't worth the extra expense for the little amount of time you actually spend in the cabin, and would rather spend the money on shore excursions or shopping. The choice is yours. Ocean-view cabins generally cost about $120.00 more per person for a 7 or 10 night Caribbean cruise. Discuss the advantages of both types of staterooms with your agent. The one itinerary where we highly suggest a balcony cabin is Alaska . With daylight hours approaching 20-22 hours in the peak season, it's wonderful to be able to enjoy it from your outside cabin or balcony.

Does the cruise line offer airfare to get me to the cruise?
Yes, the cruise lines do offer airfare from most major air cities within the U.S. and Canada for most cruises. When purchasing airfare as a package from the cruise line, you are confirming your transportation from your air city to the ship and return after the cruise. The cruise lines do not issue flight schedules until 30 days prior to your cruise. Air schedules are at the sole discretion of the cruise line (if you need an exact airline schedule, you must request an air deviation with your cruise specialist, additional fees between $50 to $75 will apply for air deviations, plus additional air cost, if any). The cruise lines do reserve the right to substitute charter air/common carrier service without prior notice.
How are payments for my cruise handled?
GENXCRUISES.COM will take payments by major credit card, personal checks (for deposits only), money orders or bank cashiers check (for final payments only). If you call in your major credit card to GENXCRUISES.COM, we simply call your credit card into the cruise line, the cruise line will actually charge your credit card, the charge will appear on your credit card statement as the cruise line. GENXCRUISES.COM is paid by the cruise line after you sail. When payment by check, all checks must be made payable to GENXCRUISES.COM and must be received a minimum of 45 days prior to the cruise line final payment due date. GENXCRUISES.COM will send an agency check to the cruise line for your payment.

What are cancellation penalties?
If you should need to cancel your cruise, cruise lines do definitely have penalties for cancellation on every ship, penalties will vary by cruise line , destination and length of cruise. You must verify with your cruise specialist the exact penalties for the cruise that you are purchasing, or as listed in the cruise line brochure under cancellations and refunds.

Should I purchase cruise protection?
We highly recommend the purchase of travel protection for every cruise we offer. Coverage can include, but not limited to: trip cancellation due to medical emergency, illness or death. Coverage is for your immediate family or traveling companions (pre-existing conditions are normally not covered); trip interruption; trip delay; baggage protection; medical expense coverage and emergency evacuation. Please verify cancellation coverage for the cruise you are purchasing as listed in each individual cruise line brochures.

What should I pack?
Depending on your destination, you want to travel prepared for both daytime and evening, as well as on land or at sea. Warm destinations: Resort wear, shorts, slacks, sun dresses, jeans are all appropriate daytime attire. But be sure to take a sweater or jacket along for occasional cool evenings. Bring comfortable walking shoes and don't forget your sunglasses, a sun hat or visor, swim wear, sunscreen and of course rain gear. For formal evenings, cocktail dresses or gowns are recommended for the ladies, and the men wear a jacket and tie or tuxedo. On the informal evenings, just about anything but shorts is fine. If you forget to pack something, don't worry, the shops onboard ship sells everything from beaded gowns to sunscreen. Cool destinations: These climates are a little tricky. The air temperature at sea is moderated by the cool or cold ocean temperature, something like standing in an open door of a refrigerator. Yet on land can be quite warm. You want to pack long pants, sweaters, mittens, warm hat and sunglasses for on deck sightseeing. Shorts and long pants, windbreakers, walking shoes, sun hats and sunglasses on land. Indoors on ship should include resort wear as well as formal attire such as cocktail dresses or gowns recommended for the ladies, jacket and tie or tuxedo for the men.

Are children's fares free?
No, normally children will travel at a reduced third or fourth passenger fare. Reason: U.S. Coast Guard regulations dictate the maximum number of passengers allowed on each ship. Children are passengers too. When a child travels, it may mean that another passenger will not be allowed to travel, as these ships normally reach passenger capacity before the ships cabins are sold out.
There are a few exceptions where children under 12 only pay taxes call us for details.

How do I pay for on-board expenses?
For your convenience, an on-board room account will be set up for you at time of check-in. Virtually everything on-board ship may be charged to your room account, so that you do not have to carry cash. Your account will be settled last day on ship, and may be applied to most major credit cards, cash or travelers checks.

What about foreign currencies?
Travelers checks and currency exchange is available at prevailing rates at the purser's deck.

What are custom allowances?
U.S. Citizens are allowed $400 worth of merchandise when returning to the United States from abroad. Passengers over the age of 21 may also bring 1 quart of liquor or wine and 200 cigarettes. Non U.S. citizens should check with their local authorities for custom allowance information.

How many suitcases can I take?
Most cruise lines allow luggage up to 200 pounds per person. However, if you are traveling by air, your airline may have different restrictions. Please contact your airline for restrictions.
Is the dining experience on board really as a good as they say?
Yes, and maybe even better! You won't believe the varied selection of entrees, appetizers, salads, soups, vegetables, every time you sit down. And there's virtually no limit on what or how much you can order. Both your wait staff and kitchen staff work unbelievably hard to ensure you are satisfied and happy after every meal. Many ships have specialized dining experiences at nominal fees. Just because your cruise ship offers plenty of delicious food doesn't mean you have to come home a few pounds heavier. You can choose low-cal, spa, or fitness menu selections that are tempting as the regular menu. Additionally the fitness center isn't far away – jog, do aerobics, work our in the gym, swim, golf, play tennis, and much more. Burning calories was never so much fun! The best thing about dining on a cruise ship is you never see a price on the menu.

What time is diner?
You may request early or late seating for you meals. Most cruise lines offer a main seating (normally 6 - 6:30 pm ) or a late seating (normally 8 - 8:30 pm ) for dinner. Lunch is early ( noon ) or late ( 1:30 pm ) in conjunction with your dinner seating. Breakfast is normally an open seating from 7 am to 9 am . Alternate buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner available open seating on most ships. Specialty Restaurants are available on many ships for a nominal fee.

Will I need an electrical converter?
Most ships have 110 volts AC. However some high-voltage hair dryers, electric rollers and electric razors may require a converter

Are there children's programs?
Most cruise lines have wonderful children's programs available on board ship. These programs vary by cruise line, and are normally available to children ages 3 - 17. Programs include co-ordinate and supervised parties, dances, games and activities through out the cruise, most cruise lines will offer activities or babysitting for the evenings. For additional information on the children's program, please refer to your cruise line brochure or your cruise specialist.

What about specials needs?
Wherever possible, the cruise lines try to accommodate passengers with special medical, physical conditions or special requirements. Most ships have staterooms designed for people with special needs or requirements. Any medical or physical condition that may require special attention must be reported in writing at the time of cruise reservation to GENXCRUISES.COM. Cruise lines may require special needs passenger to submit additional related information prior to cruise departure. Passengers traveling with wheelchairs, please be advised that cabin doors are normally 22" wide, bathroom doors are 20" wide, and there is a 3" lip to the shower. Elevator service may not be available to all decks of the ship.

Is there a Doctor?
Yes, physician and nurse are on board each ship. Customary charges will be made for all medical care and services.

Expectant mothers, most cruise lines will require a medical certificate establishing your due date and fitness to travel, the cruise lines will make every effort to accommodate you. Please inform your cruise specialist of your condition so that they may make you aware of any other conditions or restrictions that may apply by each individual cruise line.

Shore excursions?
Shore excursions can be purchased at the shore excursion desk on board ship. If you prefer to go on your own, information about ports of call will be available at the shore excursion desk.

Special celebrations?
To help you celebrate your special occasion, you may purchase wine, fruit baskets, champagne, birthday cakes, canapés, flowers or other gifts for your cabin. A gift catalog will be included with your cruise documents. Additionally, the cruise lines offer complimentary celebrations at dinner for your special occasion, please inform your cruise specialist of any special occasion you wish to have celebrated.

What if I need to call home?
Most ships now offer phones in your cabin that may be used to call anywhere in the world via international marine satellite. A word of caution , use of these phones are very expensive, normally $10 per minute from the moment you dial, and including through satellite connection (not from when the phone rings). Even the shortest call is normally $30.

When on ship, you will enjoy the services of a wonderful waiter, busboy and cabin steward. You will have the same waiter, busboy and cabin steward throughout your entire cruise. You will not tip until your last day on-board ship, at which time 3 tip envelopes will be left in your cabin for you. Recommended tipping guidelines:

Waiter: $ 3.50 per day per person
Busboy: $ 2.00 per day per person
Cabin Steward: $ 3.50 per day per person
Maitre d: at your discretion

Any on board purchases made such as alcohol, beauty salon and spa service already include a 15% gratuity. Other staff may be tipped as services are rendered.

Do I need a passport?
Proof of Citizenship – It is each passenger's responsibility to provide proper proof of citizenship and required travel documents for each country being visited. Failure to provide required documents can result in denial of passenger boarding without refund. If uncertain as to exact document requirements, use of a Visa service is recommended. GENXCRUISES.COM recommends Zierer Visa Service (866) 788-1100 or

Cruises traveling to ports of call “outside North America and the Caribbean”:
All passengers must present a valid passport and additionally contact their consulate of citizenship concerning additional travel documentation or travel requirements for each of the countries being visited.

Cruises traveling to ports of call “within North America and the Caribbean ”:
U.S. and Canadian citizens – It strongly recommended that every U.S. and Canadian citizen travel on a valid passport. Although lesser proof of citizenship such as an original or certified copy birth certificate with a government issued photo ID may be accepted by the country of destination.

Resident Aliens require a Resident Alien (Green) Card and must additionally consult their consulate of citizenship for additional travel documentation or requirements for each of the countries being visited.

Citizens of all other countries are required to provide a valid passport with a multiple U.S. re-entry visa, and must additionally consult their consulate of citizenship for additional travel documentation or requirements for each of the countries being visited.

Do I need vaccinations?
Typically no vaccinations are required, however you may inquire with your local Department of Health at least one month prior to cruise departure.

Where can I keep my valuables?
Many cruise lines now offer in-cabin safes for your valuables and cash, additionally most cruise lines offer security envelopes and/or safe deposit boxes at the pursers desk at no charge. The cruise lines and GENXCRUISES.COM are not responsible for valuables left in cabins or elsewhere on board ship.

Are visitors allowed?
No, sorry. Cruise lines will not allow visitors due to security reasons. Only ticketed traveling passengers will be allowed on ship. On-board weddings in ports of call are allowed an advance guest list, and will be allowed boarding per cruise line regulations.

With the exception of seeing eye dogs or dogs for the disabled. No pets will be allowed on-board ship.

Is a Cruise-Vacation too good to be true?
The one major complaint heard time and again is that cruises end far too soon! Beyond that, it's hard to find any negatives. With only having to unpack once, and so many great destinations to enjoy, how can you not have fun? The food is fabulous, the entertainment exciting, and there is so much to do that it's hard to know where to start first! The only job you have is to relax and enjoy your vacation. Most importantly, every crew and staff member on board is dedicated to making your cruise vacation the best vacation of your life.
(Until you top it next year with your next cruise!).


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