General information? | What is there to do? | Who cruises? | What should I pack? | What about dining? | Celebrating something? | What other services will I find? | More questions?
Is cruising affordable and a good vacation value?
Cruising is the best vacation value! There are cruise vacations to suit every budget. Your cruise fare includes all meals, your stateroom, onboard activities and entertainment, plus transportation from port to port. 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.)
How long are cruises?
As long or short as you want. Cruise lines offer itineraries from three days to three months.
Where can I go?
You can go wherever you want. Cruise ships visit over 1,800 ports worldwide and practically every destination accessible by water.
How do I book a cruise?
Visit or call Sunsational Cruises! Their professionals will help you pick the cruise that fits your vacation schedule, tastes and budget. They can make all the arrangements to get you from your doorstep to your ship and back.
Are all ships fairly similar?
Far from it. Cruise ships range from under 200 feet to over 1,000 feet long. You can sail with fewer than 100 fellow guests or over 2,600. Enjoy atmospheres ranging from casual to formal, contemporary to classic, old world luxury. You can even choose between traditional propeller-driven vessels or sail-assisted ships.
Are there different types of cruises?
There is an incredible diversity of cruise vacations available--all custom designed to suit different interests and personal preferences.
For the explorer, there are cruise lines which feature soft adventure expeditions to such unusual and rustic frontiers as Antarctica, the Amazon rain forest or African Serengeti.
For experienced travelers, destination-focused cruises specialize in premium, 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 or the fabled splendor of Norwegian fjords.
For many, the perfect vacation includes the nonstop fun and sun of a tropical resort-style cruise to the Caribbean, where you can sample a variety of island cultures and cuisine's while working on a terrific sun tan.
Plus, many cruise lines feature special-interest themes onboard, with entertainment ranging from jazz festivals and classical music concerts to golf clinics and murder mysteries at sea.
Are there any special educational programs onboard?
To complement the spirit of discovery that travel evokes, many cruise lines feature an extensive program of onboard enrichment seminars hosted by distinguished guest experts. In addition to lectures highlighting the history and sights of ports you will be visiting, there may also be special in-depth presentations ranging from Renaissance works of art and strategic financial planning to Epicurean secrets of classic French cuisine.
What's an air/sea cruise?
A fly/cruise or an air/sea cruise vacation package includes either free or specially-reduced airfare along with your cruise ticket. These convenient moneysaving options are available from most major North American cities and include ground transfers between the airport and ship as well as baggage handling.
Do I need a passport?
This depends on the type of cruise and your destination. You will need some proof of citizenship and identification. You'll receive complete information on required documents well in advance of your departure.
Are there different classes of service?
Today's cruise ships are 'one-class.' Everyone can use all of the ship's facilities. The price of a cabin is based primarily on its size and location. Regardless of the category you book, you'll enjoy the same courteous service, menus, activities, and entertainment as everyone else on board.
What about tipping?
Tipping is a matter of individual preference. A general rule of thumb is to plan about $3.00 per person per day for your room steward and dining room waiter, and about half that amount for your busboy. (A few cruise lines include tipping in the price and will so inform you.) Other shipboard personnel can be tipped for special services at your discretion.
Is motion discomfort a problem?
Rarely. Popular cruise itineraries boast some of the calmest waters in the world. In addition, stabilizers on modern ships, advanced availability of accurate weather information, and development of effective preventative medications have, for the most part, eliminated the incidence of motion discomfort.
Will I get bored? Feel confined?
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.
Cruise ships are like 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. If you're more active, join in exercise or dance classes, and sports contests. Practice your tennis stroke or golf swing, or take some fresh air on the jogging deck. Swim, stretch out in the sauna or work out in the gym. You can also see a feature film, attend an enrichment lecture by renowned experts, play backgammon or bridge. And that's just when you're on board!
What can I do in port?
So much you'll have a hard time choosing! You can explore on your own or take a guided tour (often referred to as shore excursions). Search ancient ruins or hunt for shopping bargains. Ride a raft over river rapids, a bicycle down the side of a 10,000 foot volcano, or a horse across miles of hills and beaches. Climb a waterfall or pyramid. Follow the footsteps of history or the wake of a water-skiing 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!
Do I have to participate in the activities?
On a cruise, you do what you want, when you want. You can do everything or do absolutely nothing. It's your vacation!
What's there to do at night?
At night, life aboard a cruise ship really 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, and the Masquerade Parade.
Is there a charge for entertainment?
Never. 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.
Will there be people like me?
No matter what you've heard to the contrary, there's no such thing as a typical cruise passenger! All kinds of people take cruises now...all ages...from all walks of life...singles, couples and families. Just ask Sunsational Cruises' Consultants for advise on the best ship for you, based on your tastes and lifestyle.
Do cruise lines welcome families with kids?
More and more cruise vacation are booked by families with children. Most cruise lines provide plenty of supervised activities for youngsters, 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. The youth counselors will help keep them busy and entertained. Ships even offer youth camps that cater to all ages, from toddlers to teens. Best of all, children generally travel at a substantially reduced rate.
Can singles have fun on a cruise?
Cruising is ideal for people traveling alone, because it's so easy to meet other people. In fact, most ships have parties just for singles-early on, so you can get to know people right away. Some ships even offer gentlemen hosts who can be dance partners, dinner companions or a fourth at cards. Some ships also have single cabins as well as single rates for double staterooms. If you ask them, some cruise lines will even find you a roommate to share a cabin so you can obtain the per person/double occupancy rate, saving you even more on a great vacation.
What should I pack?
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.
Will I need a tuxedo?
On some cruise, formal dinners or parties are part of the fun. But don't buy a tuxedo just for the trip. Even on the most formal of ships, a dark suit and tie are fine for the dressiest occasions. If you do want to dress to the nines, many ships offer tuxedo rental services.
Can I use my hair dryer or shaver?
Most ships have 110-volt outlets in the staterooms. But do check with your Sunsational Cruises' Consultant to be sure. Most ships even feature hairdryers in your cabin.
What 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. 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 Sunsational Cruises' Consultant request your preference when you book your cruise. Whichever seating you choose, remember that one of the best ways to make new friends is to ask for a large table. In addition, some ships offer alternative dining rooms, such as Italian, Chinese, Japanese, or Southwestern theme restaurants, separate from the main dining room.
Is cruise ship dining as good as I've been told?
Everything you've heard about cruise ship dining is true. You'll find a varied selection of entrees (appetizers, salads, soups, vegetables, and desserts, too) every time you sit down. And there's virtually no limit on what or how much you can order. But, just because your cruise ship offers plenty of delicious food, doesn't mean you'll come home out of shape. You can choose low-cal, spa, vegetarian, or fitness menu selections that are just as tempting as the regular menu. Best of all, the one thing you'll never see on a cruise ship menu is a price. Because all your meals are included!
Can I get a special diet?
Most ships can accommodate salt-free, low-carbohydrate, Kosher, or other diet preferences. However, this request must be made in advance, so be sure to advise your Sunsational Cruises' Consultant when you book your cruise.
What if I don't like my table mates?
Rarely is this a problem. However, if you wish to change tables, speak with the maitre d'. He'll make every effort to seat you with more compatible dining companions...discretely and politely.
Are there nonsmoking areas?
Today, virtually all ships have smoking and nonsmoking tables and/or sections in the dining rooms and lounges. In fact, many cruise ship dining rooms, and even some entire ships, are now totally smoke-free, reflecting passenger requests. If you want your dining table in a nonsmoking area, just tell your Sunsational Cruises' Consultant. On board, in 'open-seating situations,' you can advise your waiter or the maitre d'.
Can we celebrate a special occasion?
Absolutely! Most cruise lines will even treat you to a complimentary cake and a chorus of 'Happy Whatever' to honor the occasion. Your birthday or anniversary can be more festive with champagne, flowers, or canapés. You can even arrange for a special private party. All you have to do is advise your Sunsational Cruises' Consultant in advance.
Is cruising right for honeymooners?
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 programs for performing a marriage ceremony or renewing your marriage vows.
Can we stay in touch with the outside world?
Quite easily. Most ships have a daily newsletter with news, headlines, selected stock quotes, and sports scores. Many ships have internet and email capabilities. Staterooms on most ships are equipped with televisions. While most ships now have satellite telephones in passenger cabins, you can also call someone on shore through the ship's radio officer while at sea. And, you can make phone calls from most ports. In addition, most ships have fax capabilities.
Are there medical services onboard?
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.
Are there laundry services aboard ship?
Almost all cruise ships have laundry facilities and many provide dry-cleaning services. There is, however, an additional charge for professional laundry and dry-cleaning services. Many ships also have self-service launderettes.
Do cruise lines accept group bookings?
Most lines will work with groups-often at special rates-depending on how many people are involved. Policies vary from company to company and sometimes during certain times of the year. Just ask your Sunsational Cruises' Consultant for details.
Are there meeting rooms onboard?
Just about every full-size ship has public rooms or a conference center to offer as meeting space for groups. If you'd like to make such arrangements, ask your Sunsational Cruises' Consultant to contact the cruise line's group sales department to coordinate schedules and arrange for any catering needs. Your ship may also me able to offer audiovisual equipment.
Can I extend my cruise vacation?
Cruise lines feature special pre or post hotel packages that allow you to extend your vacation in either your port of embarkation or debarkation.
It sounds too good to be true! Is it?
The one major complaint we hear over and over again is the cruises end far too soon! Beyond that, it's hard to find any negatives. All you have to worry about is relaxing and enjoying your vacation. Most importantly, every crew and staff member on board is dedicated to making your cruise the best vacation of your life (until you top it with your next cruise!)
Who should I see if I have questions that haven't been answered?
Ask Sunsational Cruises.
Sunsational Cruises is affiliated with Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). CLIA-affiliated travel professionals are knowledgeable about all the options available for your cruise experience. In fact, you'll find that most have been on cruises, so they can advise you from personal experience. Many CLIA-affiliated agencies, like Sunsational Cruises, even have Accredited and Master Cruise Counselors on staff. These are individuals who have successfully completed a variety of cruise training programs and have visited or sailed on many of the ships you may be interested in. To talk to one of these experts at Sunsational Cruises.