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CRUISE FAQs

Whether you are cruising for the first time or are a veteran cruise vacationer, here you can find answers to some frequently asked questions about cruises in general as well as about the cruise lines we represent in India.

What destinations can I take a cruise to?

Simply put, almost anywhere in the world. Sail to exciting ports in Alaska, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada/New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, Mexico, the Pacific Northwest, Panama Canal, South America, and Transatlantic. Check our cruise calendar for more information on the destinations.

Will I get sea sick?

In today's day and age all cruise liners are fitted with modern stabilizing systems that corrects roll, pitch and yaw, so it is highly unlikely that you will experience motion sickness. In any event, weather predictions are taken into account and the ship will not sail into bad weather knowingly.

Is a cruise vacation affordable?

Yes. A cruise vacation is highly affordable! There are cruise vacations to suit every budget. Where else will you get cruise transportation, accommodation, most meals, activities and entertainment included in the price you pay. No surprises here. The extra you spend maybe on your alcoholic and beverage purchases and on your shore excursions.

Will I feel confined on the ship or get bored?

No way! Your cruise ship is a floating resort and with so many things to do and explore, it will probably take you a couple of days to get familiar with your surroundings. The cruise ship is huge and there is plenty of space.

So much to do and so little time is a refrain that is commonly heard on board a cruise ship! Active enthusiasts will find loads of activities to keep them busy, be it jogging, gymming, swimming, and even practicing one's putt on the mini golf course. For the more relaxed ones, a leisurely spa treatment, a book by the pool and a stretch in the sauna are only some of the options available.

What is the policy for infants and pregnant women?

Anyone who is fit and does not suffer from any communicable disease can cruise. However there are certain exceptions. Pregnant women should not have entered or will enter into the 24th week of pregnancy while on the cruise are considered high risk.

No guest who is under 21 years can be booked unless accompanied by an adult 21 years.

When can I board the ship?

It is advisable to arrive at the pier at least two-three hours before the scheduled departure time, as cruise check in closes in most cases, 90 minutes prior to departure. Guests arriving after this will not be permitted to board.

How do I get to the ship from the airport? Can I get a transfer?

Passengers arriving at the airport can usually get a taxi from the airport to the pier. Most cruise companies can also arrange a airport to pier transfer for a fee. This needs to be pre-booked with your travel agent or TIRUN, the local representative of your cruise company. If you buy a transfer, a representative of the cruise liner will meet you at the airport and provide transportation between the airport and the pier.

What to pack?

Be sure to pack your camera, suntan lotion and your swimsuit. Besides these, normally three types of clothing is required - casual, smart casuals and formal. Casual attire: shorts, t- shirts, slacks, trousers, jeans, skirts and sun dresses Smart casuals: Dresses and skirts for women and trousers and jackets for men Formal: Cocktail dresses for women and suits or jacket and ties or tuxedos for men. It is possible to rent tuxedo on most ships. Alternately your country's traditional national dress will do, in case a cocktail dress is not suitable for you. Indian women can wear saris and men can wear a 'sherwani' if they so wish. Check how many formal nights there are on your sailing and pack the requisite number of clothing. Pack a windcheater and sweater for cool days and chilly evenings on the deck. A pair of walking shoes or hiking boots will be good idea for the days you plan to go sightseeing. You may also want to bring raincoat and umbrella. The onboard voltage is normally 110/220 volts, so bring along an adapter if necessary. Hair dryers are provided in every cabin, so you don't need to carry one.

Are there any restrictions on what I cannot bring onboard?

You cannot bring any item that is dangerous or illegal. Drugs, arms, guns, explosives, animals and flammable items fall into this category. So be sure you do not bring these.

Why should I use the online check-in process?

If you use the online check-in option, this will save you time at check in as you will not have to fill in elaborate forms. On Royal Caribbean, once you have completed the online check-in successfully, you will get a Set Sail Pass that will expedite your check-in at the pier. Please note that online check must be completed at least 3 days prior to your sail date. If you have your Set Sail Pass, look for the Set Sail Pass counter at the pier and you will have to present the following documents:

Set sail Pass

Passport or identification document

Credit Card to be used for onboard expenses

If you are sailing on Celebrity Cruises, please visit the official website and log in to My Celebrity and complete the online check-in process. Once completed, you will receive an Xpress Pass that you need to carry with you and this will make sure your check in at the pier is expedited.

What about dining options?

There are two dinner seatings in the main dining hall on board cruise ships. At the time of booking, please request your preference. You can choose from the main dining which usually at 6.15 pm or late dining which is at 8.30 pm.Complimentary Room Service is also available in your cabin, in addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner and the midnight buffets.

On Royal Caribbean ships there is such a thing called My Time Dining that means you can choose your preferred time of dining anytime between 6.00 pm and 9.30 pm. It gives you flexibility and is applicable in the main dining room.

Other than the main dining room most ships have specialty restaurants on board and there is a cover charge of about USD 30 per head - it is recommended to make reservations in advance if you want to dine at one of these restaurants

Can I bring my own liquor on board?

Guests are not allowed to bring their own liquor on board for consumption or any other purpose. If you have purchased alcoholic beverages ashore or from the shop onboard, you will have to deposit it with the ship and it will be delivered to your cabin on the last day of your sailing.

Can my friends and family come and visit me on the ship?

Due to security reasons, friends or family are not allowed to come on board to visit you at any port.

Are there Baby sitters on board?

Yes there are baby- sitting facilities both in group setting as well as individual. Be sure to book well in advance at the Guest Relations Desk. Most ships require at least 24 hours advance notice, but there is no guarantee that a baby sitter will be available. The minimum age of the child must be one year.

Does the ship provide high chairs and baby strollers on board?

High chairs can be provided but you would have to make the request with your reservation. Strollers are not provided on board.

Are there ATM machines on board?

Most ships these days do have ATM machines installed. There may be a small charge levied for usage.

What about special dietary needs? Will I be able to get Indian vegetarian meals?

Special meal requests like vegetarian, diabetic, low sodium and low fat can be entertained on board. For Kosher meals, lactose free and gluten free must be requested well in advance preferably at the time of booking. All efforts will be made to accommodate the special dietary requests. Please note that these dietary requests will be accepted onboard only for the main dining hall and not other restaurants and eateries on board.

Most cruise ships can accommodate the following:

On Royal Caribbean ships vegetarian meals (including Indian, style vegetarian) are available on all menus in the Dining Room and Windjammer Cafe every day. It is not necessary for guests to make a special request for this.

Kosher meals are available no extra charge. Do notify the cruise company at least 45 days prior to sailing (90 days for European/South American Itineraries). The same goes for lactose free and soy milk.

Celebrity Cruises offer vegetarian meals on board every day of the week, and these are marked on the menu by a special leaf icon. Kosher meals are offered free of charge and one has to request for this at least 40 days in advance. The same goes for lactose free meals too. No sugar added desserts are also available and are marked on the menu with a small diamond next to it. In case you have any allergies to nuts or any other type of food, do let the Maitre De know, so that he can take care of your needs.

Azamara Cruises also take care to see that dietary needs of all guests are met. So do let the cruise line know at least 40 days before your sail date incase you have any special requests. Also once on board please do meet with the Maitre De and reconfirm your special dietary requests.

Where can I dine onboard besides the dining room?

Besides the main dining hall, there is provision for breakfast, lunch and dinner to be served on deck. These ser served in designated areas and you will need to check on your Daily Program for time and location. Food is included in the cost of your cruise.

There are specialty restaurants on board too but there is a cover charge of up to USD 35 per head. Reservations need to be made for dining in specialty restaurants and children under 12 years are not allowed in.

What about room service?

Room service is available 24 hours. Guests can enjoy free room service from 0500 hrs to midnight. A small late night charge will apply on room service between midnight and 0500 hrs.

What are the smoking policies onboard?

Most ships are non smoking, but have designated smoking sections in public areas. One can normally smoke outdoors on one side of the ship. One can also smoke on a private balcony attached to your cabin, if you are booked in cabin that has an attached balcony facing the sea. For safety reasons, no smoking is permitted in any cabin category or a private balcony that looks onto the Boardwalk of the ship. There is heavy penalty that will apply is there is non-compliance of the smoking prohibition.

Cigars and pipes can be smoked only in designated areas onboard the ship.

What activities are there onboard for children and teenagers?

All cruise ships cater to everyone in the family. On Royal Caribbean, they do it best. For the young ones there are Fisher Price programs and interactive sessions for 6 -36 months, the Adventure Ocean Youth programs offer a variety of activities for 3-17 years age groups. The DreamWorks Experience is an unforgettable one where you get to mingle with your favourite characters like Shrek and Madagascar, pose for photo ops with them and get to watch exclusive shows and character parades. The Barbie Premium Experience will have all the little girls floored! Learn fashion designing, take part in a fashion show or just play pretend in the pink Barbie stateroom with teacups, pastries and all. A dream come true for all those Barbie fans out there. On Celebrity Cruises the Youth Program caters to toddlers and teens. There are six different age groups and your child can join into his/hers appropriate age group.

Can I get internet access on board?

Yes, most ships have internet cafes or work stations from where you can get access to the internet. There is a small fee for this usage. Some ships also have WI FI designated areas called 'Hot Spots' and you can use your own laptops here. Again, for a fee.

What happens if I fall ill while on board the cruise?

Most ships have at least one registered Doctor and two nurses on board to take care of. Please note that professional medical services are provided for fee. Therefore it is advisable that you have a fully comprehensive travel insurance policy.

During the cruise what documents do I need to carry to get back onto the ship after ashore excursion?

Carry your Sea Pass with you at all times. This Sea Pass will act as your room key as well as your boarding pass to get off and on the ship.

What are the tipping guidelines?

So that you can thank those who have made your cruise vacation better than you could have imagined, these are the gratuity guidelines:

Royal Caribbean International: $ 13.50 per person per day for guests in staterooms, $ 16.50 per person per day for guests in suites.

Celebrity Cruises: $ 13.50 per person per day for guests in staterooms, $14.00 per person per day for guests in concierge class and aqua class staterooms and $ 17.00 per person per day for guests in suites.

Azamara Club Cruises: Gratuities included.

Note:Gratuities are voluntary and at the discretion of each guest. These guidelines serve as suggestions to help guests express their gratitude for the outstanding service they experience on their Royal Caribbean cruise vacation. It is recommended that guest pre pays the gratuities at the time of final payment, so that thereafter guest does not have to worry about paying gratuities on board. A 18% gratuity will automatically be added to your bar bill or wine check when you are served.

In case you have a question that remains unanswered , please get in touch with us and we will be happy to help you out.

At any point, if you'd like personal interaction, please call us on the numbers at the end of this page, write to us at cruise@tirun.com or Request a Call Back and we'll connect with you shortly.

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So you are off on your first cruise vacation. Familiarize yourself with some cruise terminology so you are not all at sea on the ship! Always refer to your ship in the female gender 'she' and remember it is anathema to refer to her as 'boat'. Here's a list to get you started:

Aft: the back portion of the ship

All hands: all the crew members

Amidships: the center part of the ship

Astern: the back portion of the ship or behind the ship

Beam: the widest part of the ship normally in the central part of the ship

Berth: can be a bed or the place where the ship is docked in a port

Bow: the front portion of the ship

Bridge: the location from where the captain controls the ship

Buoy: a marker at sea that serves as a landmark, normally when entering a port

Cabin: a room for the passenger on board the ship, also called a stateroom

Cruise Director: the person in charge of all the entertainment at sea

Debark: go ashore

Disembark: to leave the ship and go ashore

Deck: location of a floor level on the ship

Dock: to come to a port and tie up alongside

Embark: to go on board a ship

First seating: a dinner seating in the main dining room. Normally at around 6 pm. This is also called Main seating

Fleet: the number of ships in the company

FlowRider: on board Royal Caribbean ships -this is a surf simulator

Forward: the front portion of the ship

Galley: a ship's kitchen 

Gangway: a ramp that is used to get from the shore to the ship while it is alongside

Guarantee cabin: while reserving a guarantee cabin, you will get the cabin category you have paid for at a lower than normal price, but you will not be assigned the cabin number or the deck at that time. The details of deck and cabin will be disclosed to you a few days before the sail date

Hand: a crew member

Head: a bathroom

Inside cabin: a cabin that does not have a window, porthole or balcony 

Knot: a measurement of the ship's speed. One nautical mile per hour is equal to one knot.

Maiden voyage: the first sailing of a ship

Master: the captain of the ship

Muster Drill: an exercise conducted onboard the ship whereby the passengers are advised where they are to assemble, safety instructions regarding life jackets and life boats, in case of an emergency at sea. This is a mandatory drill that is conducted on board all cruise ships.

Muster station: is the location or area to assemble in case of emergency

Ocean view cabin: an outside cabin that has a fixed window 

Pitch: the forward and backward movement of the ship as it moves

Porthole: a round window that is fixed in the cabin 

Purser: an officer aboard the ship who serves as manager for guest queries and services

Quad: a cabin that can accommodate four persons

Roll: the ship's side to side movement at sea

Second seating: is the later of the two dinner seatings on board a ship

Shore excursion: is a guided tour of the destination/activity a guest can go on when the ship is docked at a port

Starboard: the right side of the ship

Stateroom: is another term for a cabin on the ship

Stern: is the back or rear portion of the ship

Suite: refers to the largest category of cabin on the ship and normally includes living and sleeping areas

Tender: a small ship/boat that transports passengers to the shore if the ship is anchored at sea and not docked alongside. This is common practice when the harbor is not deep enough for the ship

Triple cabin: is a cabin that can accommodate three guests

Veranda: is the private balcony attached to the cabin

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