Any time of year is a great time for a cruise, but it really depends on the destination. The Caribbean is perfect for cruising all year long, but some of the more exotic destinations may only be seasonal. Alaskan Cruises typically take place between May and September and cruises to Europe are usually between April and November.
Cruises are typically the least expensive between September and Christmas, but not during Christmas as that is usually more expensive. Most people take vacations during the peak summer months, so if you wait until after summer there are some pretty good deals available.
Cruises can be for as long or as short as you would like! Some cruises are as short as three days and some are three months. We can help you create the perfect itinerary based on how much time you would like to spend cruising.
Travel Document Requirements for All Passengers
Passengers must be booked by their FULL LEGAL NAME as it appears on their documentation of citizenship (Passport and/or Birth Certificate and Driver’s License) – no nicknames, incorrect spellings, different surnames, etc. will be accepted.
All passenger ships and airlines are required to file a passenger manifest with the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS). This information is collected by the cruise lines at least 14 days prior to departure. Most cruise lines collect this information through their website, and airlines collect the needed information at the time of reservation. Passengers not complying with this regulation will be denied boarding, and will not be entitled to a refund. Please make certain that all passengers comply with the document requirements for your cruise. You must check with your cruise/airline/tour operator to ensure 100% compliance.
A valid passport is REQUIRED for everyone, and must be valid for six months after your trip end date UNLESS you are taking a ‘Closed Loop’ cruise from a US port.
"Closed Loop” cruises from a US Port do not require a passport (this can change at anytime) and is only as far as the USA is concerned. Many countries you may be visiting DO REQUIRE a passport for closed loop cruises and it is YOUR responsibility to research and meet these requirements. Keep in mind that the closed loop exemption is only for cruises. If you get sick and need to fly home from outside the US – you will be denied without a passport. We highly recommend everyone travel with a valid US passport regardless of closed loop status. The ‘closed loop’ exemption is only as per the US government, some cruise lines may require passports regardless, although we are unaware of any at present.
If you are NOT required to have a passport for your trip you may use naturalization papers OR an original certified copy, with raised seal, of your birth certificate along with a government-issued photo ID that is valid for travel – some state IDs are not valid for travel. The photo ID must be issued by a state or federal government, i.e. a state driver’s license with photograph. Voter’s Registration or Social Security cards are not acceptable proofs of citizenship. If you are traveling with your birth certificate as proof of citizenship, and your name has changed since the birth certificate was issued, you must provide documentation supporting the name change such as marriage certificate or court document.
Visas may be required for entry into some countries. Your cruise line and/or tour company should notify you of any required visas/documents. TravelPerks is not responsible for any failure of the cruise line and/or tour company to do so.
Children under 16 years do not need a photo ID. A minor traveling with an adult who is not the sole legal guardian or only living parent, must have a notarized parent/guardian consent letter that authorizes the minor to travel and receive medical treatment in case of emergency. If you need a sample, please ask.
All non-U.S. citizens, residing in the United States, must show a valid Alien Registration (green card) along with their valid passports. All others must show valid passport and other required visas including a multi-entry visa for the U.S. All non-U.S. citizens must check with all appropriate government agencies, embassies or consulates regarding visa and documentation requirements to travel to the ports of call included in the itinerary.
It is the sole responsibility of all guests to provide the proper citizenship documentation required for embarkation of their vessel and re-entry into the United States. Guests will also be responsible for providing proper identification upon airport check-in. Those without proper identification will be denied boarding. Guests denied boarding by immigration officials or travel providers due to lack of proper documentation, criminal convictions, or any reason, will not be entitled to a refund.
1) Some countries have a very strict policy of denying entry to those with criminal convictions, Canada is a one of those. If you have a criminal conviction, it is your responsibility to ensure that you can enter the countries on your trip. Being denied entry or the ability to board the ship is not covered by insurance and is not subject to refund of any portion of your vacation costs. 2) Owing back child support can also be grounds for denial of travel. 3) Pregnancy: If you are pregnant or may become pregnant, it is important to ensure you meet the conditions of travel for your cruise line (generally not beyond 24 weeks at any point during the cruise). All these issues are your responsibility to comply with, and no refunds will be granted for any denial of travel.
NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE
Most ships have a no-cash policy during the cruise. During the check-in process, you will be asked to set up an onboard credit account, if you have not already during your pre-cruise paperwork. This is most commonly done with a credit card but you may also use Traveler’s Checks or cash. Most ships will not accept personal checks.
You can charge all drinks and other services to your stateroom and pay at the end of the cruise. On most cruises you can check your balance any time using your room’s television.
Cruise lines allow you to bring as much luggage as you like. Keep in mind that checked luggage can take several hours to get to your stateroom, so it is a good idea to keep a carry-on bag with your travel documents, valuables and any other item you may want in the first few hours of the cruise (camera, medications, etc.)
Some items you may not want to forget are:
- Comfortable walking shoes for walking around the ship and in port
- Chargers for your electronic devices
Your ticket package or cruise line brochure will provide specific information on the cruise's dress style. Daytime attire is "resort casual" with shorts and jeans appropriate. There are three main categories for dinner attire in the main restaurants:
FORMAL: For gentlemen, a tuxedo or suit is appropriate, for ladies, a long or short cocktail dress or dressy pantsuit.
INFORMAL: Gentlemen will be asked to wear a jacket without tie and for the ladies, a dress or pantsuit is appropriate.
CASUAL: For gentlemen, an open shirt and slacks are appropriate, for the ladies, casual dresses, or pants. No shorts and on some cruise lines, no jeans are allowed in the dining room for dinner.
Some ships also offer theme nights, so make sure to check your cruise itinerary to pack accordingly!
All standard meals are included in the price of your cruise. Most ships will offer several choices for breakfast which may include a buffet and a full breakfast served in the dining room. You may also have the option of having continental or a full breakfast served in your stateroom. There are usually several choices for lunch and dinner: buffet, lighter fare on deck, and/or a full menu selection served to you in the dining room.
Some restaurants on board will offer a variety of different foods, 24-hour pizza, ice cream parlors, coffee and much more.
Soda and alcoholic beverages are not usually included in the price of your cruise.
*** If you are celebrating a special event (anniversary, birthday, etc.) please be sure to let us know. We will notify the cruise line and most will provide you with a complimentary cake. Be sure to reconfirm this request directly with the Maitre d’. If you forget to tell us, don’t worry - just give the Maitre d’ one day’s notice to comply with your wishes.
All cruise lines are able to accommodate dietary needs and restrictions. If you require kosher, halal, gluten-free or vegetarian meals, please let us know at least 30 days prior to your departure and we will inform the cruise line of your needs. If you forget to do so, you can always see the Maitre d' and they will do their best to accommodate you but there is no guarantee they will have foods on board for every need.
You must be 21 years old to legally consume beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages on board.
From contemporary musical theater to Las Vegas-inspired productions, from live comedy acts to electrifying night clubs and casinos, you'll find an amazing and exciting array of complimentary onboard entertainment that will excite attendees of all ages and desires.
Cruise ships offer an incredible variety of absolutely amazing Broadway, Cirque, skating, or aquatic shows that are sure to wow everyone.
Enjoy an opportunity to dress up and have a "night on the town" with a nice drink at a specialty or piano bar, a terrific meal at the main or specialty dining rooms, and then take in a show. Still not ready to call it a night? There's dancing and late night comedy to keep you going. Don't worry about the kids as they will love taking advantage of the kids' clubs!
Want a quieter evening? Don't want to dress up? No worries--there are plenty of entertainment choices that will please everyone. That's the best part of a cruise ship.
Tipping is a personal matter and the proper way to compensate the staff for the excellent service you receive. Most ship staff work primarily for tips. Tips are generally $14 to $20 a day per person and added to your on board account automatically.
Some cruise lines allow for pre-paying your tips, and some even require it depending on your meal plan choices. If you haven’t pre-paid your tips, and would like to do so, please ask your Vacation Specialist if this is available for your vacation.
While at your discretion, we do recommend tipping room-service $1.00 per person being served. Tips for bar items are included in your charge. Spa and other personal services may have the tip automatically included. Where it isn’t, tipping is appropriate at normal levels for similar services in the US.
There will be so much to choose from that your hardest problem will be figuring out what to do. You can go off on your own or take a guided tour. Every cruise will offer various excursions.
Cruising is a great way to see a number of different destinations -- perhaps ones that you will want to take a vacation to again in the future!
Motion sickness is not typically a problem, as the most popular cruise destinations often have some of the calmest waters in the world. Modern ships have stabilizers and access to accurate weather information. There are also many effective preventative medications, which are always a good thing to pack, just in case.
TravelPerks offers a very comprehensive and competitive Trip Cancellation/Interruption protection program that is available exclusively to our valued customers. We highly recommend this protection. If you haven't already made the smart choice to protect your vacation investment, contact your Vacation Specialist or the first available agent at 541-349-0036.
Cancellation Penalties vary by supplier. Please see our Cancellation Policies FAQ for links to your supplier's terms and conditions.
To thank you for your service many cruise lines offer special military benefits to you and your family members!
Whether you are a veteran or one of the country's active duty military personnel, National Guard, or reserve member you may be entitled to these special military offers by select cruise lines.
For full offer details please contact your Vacation Specialist. Military ID will be required on the day of cruise embarkation at the pier.