New to Cruising - Get Your Answers Here


Nuts and Bolts About Cruising

David Rentsch

President, Cruise Holidays

What do I get for my cruise fare?

Basically you can expect to receive the following for your cruise fare:

A stateroom with a bathroom and your own room steward is included with your fare. Depending upon what you have purchased, the stateroom might include a verandah or a large oceanview window. Your stateroom will always include closets and storage space, a chair or small sofa, a make-up mirror and

Ship transportation per the itinerary you have selected is, of course, also included. Today’s cruise vessels are equipped with the latest in radar, satellite systems and computerized fire and safety systems, and the crews are exceptionally well

All onboard meals are part of your fare. This is an area where the industry has achieved legendary status. Both the quality and quantity of good food is amazing. It’s possible to consume as many as nine meals a day, should one wish to do so. Room service is also included, often on a 24-hour basis. The cruise lines have been extremely sensitive to dietary trends, and offer a wide variety of choices. Recently low-carb options have been added to ship menus. It’s possible to have Diabetic friendly cuisine, low-fat cuisine, Kosher cuisine, Vegetarian cuisine, as well as choices from around the world. Some ships offer alternative restaurants, some with extra fees, and some without. Coffee, tea, juices

Most onboard entertainment is included. Nightly musical reviews, high teas, bands, discos, cooking and wine demonstrations, karaoke, movies and other entertainment is included. Special pool games, athletic contests, bridge and other entertainment is also available at no charge. All cruise ships have some form of workout area – some rivaling the finest workout sports clubs available anywhere, and they almost always are free (special classes in Yoga, Pilates, etc. may have a small surcharge). A large number of ships feature walking and jogging decks where three to five round trips equal a mile. All larger ships have sophisticated satellite television systems and offer CNN, ESPN and other cable stations even while at sea in the most remote locations. Near first-run movies and other specials are usually

dressing area, a television with onboard and satellite channels, and usually a small refrigerator of some kind. The room will have individual heating and cooling controls. Your bathroom will always include a shower, and sometimes a bathtub

as well. The beds can be either two twins or one queen sized configuration and if a third or fourth person is staying in the room, wither fold down upper bunks, or a foldout couch make up the additional beds. Pricing for your stateroom is determined by the type, size and location of your stateroom, with insides being the lowest and suites being the top of the line. Older and smaller ships usually have smaller staterooms and some luxury ships are all-suite. The room steward will clean the room, change the linens and towels and provide other services, (laundry, dry cleaning, ice) as requested by the passenger.

trained in their duties and tasks and must meet U.S. Coast Guard and other government requirements before they can carry passengers. Itineraries are always planned on a basis of best effort on the part of the cruise line to meet the published schedule, but be aware, should weather conditions, some kind of ship malfunction or other interference take place, the cruise line reserves the right to alter the schedule. The ship captain has the ultimate responsibility for the safety and well being of his passengers, the crew and the vessel, and he takes these responsibilities seriously. If some kind of alteration takes place in most cases the cruise line will offer some kind of remedy to the passengers, often a shipboard or future cruise credit.

and water with meals are also usually available at no charge. Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages cost extra, but usually there is at least one, and sometimes two, free cocktail parties thrown for all guests.

Cruise Cuisine

Onboard Entertainment

found on the television systems as well as onboard events such as the passenger talent shows, the post lectures about upcoming ports of call and even disembarkation talks explaining how the system works. Most of the large ships include a complimentary children’s program starting around age two or three and running up to age seventeen. These young folks programs include special counselors and facilitators and have their own dedicated facilities on the ship which are off limits for adults.

Youth Programs

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Balcony Stateroom