We’ve never been on a cruise. What do we need to know?
First, be prepared to fall in love. Nothing is as fun, romantic, magical and gratifying as a cruise. Second, relax. Your cruise includes almost everything- meals, activities and entertainment on board. The Cruise Emporium will help you select the Itinerary, ship, stateroom accommodations, that suit you best and we’ll take care of all the details. All you need to do is pack. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Will I save money if I book directly with the cruise line?
No, you’ll most likely spend more. The Cruise Emporium has the exact pricing, discounts, cruise sales, specials offered by the direct booking department. Once you are booked, we constantly monitor all “new” offers and will update your booking with any new promotion. The cruise line will NOT phone you to tell you of any reductions or new onboard credits! … You enjoy the added benefit of our extensive cruising experience, attention to detail, and working with your own agent who is always available to assist you.

Should I consider travel insurance?
We strongly recommend the purchase of coverage for delays, cancellation or interruption of your vacation, either through the cruise line or an independent supplier. Cost and coverage varies, so we’ll help you sort it all out.

What is there to do on the ships?
Poolside games, aerobics classes, port lectures, extensive outdoor activities such as rock climbing walls, giant movie screens, and trivia games are just a drop in the ocean of activities that await you. A complete listing of all daily shipboard activities, adventures, and entertainment will be placed in your stateroom every evening.

Are there activities for the kids?
You won’t believe all the supervised adventures and activities – for tots (3 years) through teens – included on most ships. Schedules vary by cruise line ranging from a few hours in the morning, afternoon and evening to all-day, everyday. Most ships also offer babysitting for an additional charge.

What time is dinner?
The dining room usually has two “traditional” options every evening, main seating around 6 p.m. and late seating around 8:30 p.m. In addition, many cruise lines have flexible dining between 5:30-9:00 p.m. Let us know your preference and we’ll request it for you. Some cruise ships also feature the option of a casual, open-seating café or a romantic, reservations-only themed (steakhouse, Italian) or other type dining venue.

What options are there for breakfast, lunch, and snacks?

Breakfast and lunch are served in the dining room. And there’s usually an indoor/outdoor buffet for casual or poolside breakfast, lunch and snacks. Many ships also offer ice cream, hot dogs and burgers or pizza in between meals. And of course, there’s always room service.

Is Room Service available?
Would you care for continental breakfast in bed or a sandwich at midnight? While menus vary, most cruise lines offer complimentary room service from a 24 hours a day. (One of our favorite features of cruising is the pot of coffee with fresh pastries delivered first thing in the morning. Now THAT’S room service!)

What about those of us with special diets?
Low-sodium, Kosher, sugar-free, vegetarian, gluten free, and certain other restricted-diet meals are usually available. Just let us know your special dietary request and we’ll take care of it.

What should I wear to dinner?
Where are you dining? Check the daily program for that evening’s suggested attire (formal, semi-formal, casual), or the alternative dining room suggestions for dress.

What should I pack?
Most cruise lines offer a casual resort atmosphere by day and the chance to dress up for at least a few nights. For most cruises (Alaska being the most notable exception), here are the basic suggestions.
• Shorts, slacks, sundresses, jeans, and tops are all appropriate for daytime.
• Light jacket, sweater, may be needed for cooler days and nights.
• Casual nights: Button-down, open-collar or polo shirts and slacks for men. Pants and a blouse or a casual dress are appropriate for ladies.
• Semi-formal: Jacket and tie for men/ ladies wear dresses or pantsuits.
• Formal: Dark suit or tuxedo for men/ cocktail dress or gown for ladies
• Comfortable shoes for daywear and in port — like boat shoes, sandals, or sneakers.
• Work-out clothes (if you’re heading to the fitness center or jogging track)
• Swimwear, sunglasses, a sunhat or visor, and sunscreen don’t forget the sunscreen!
• Prescription medicines carried in original containers (and packed in your carry-on)
• An extra pair of glasses or contact lenses
• Camera and plenty of film (and you can buy more onboard or in port if you run out)

What documentation do I need?

All U.S. and Canadian citizens must travel with one of the following proofs of citizenship:
• a valid passport,
• certified birth certificate with government issued picture I.D.,
• certified naturalization certificate with picture I.D.
All non-U.S. citizens residing in the United States are required to travel with their Alien Registration Card (Green Card) and valid passports. All other guests must have valid passports and necessary visas at time of embarkation.

What about other special needs?
Most new ships have been specifically designed to provide a wonderful cruise experience for everyone- and that includes anyone with special needs. At The Cruise Emporium, we’ll help you choose a ship that will comfortably accommodate limitations- and we’ll make sure that special requests and requirements are in place, so everyone can relax and enjoy.

Can I call home from the ship?
You can call home from the comfort of your cabin & and with plenty of ships going on-line, you may decide to email instead. There is an additional charge for both services.

Will I need cash on-board?
Cruise ships operate as a cashless society. While most onboard pleasures are already included in your cruise, shore excursions, bar bills, spa and salon services, laundry services, photography and gift shop purchases are additional and will be charged to your shipboard account and settled by cash, check or credit card before you disembark.

Can I work away form home?
On many ships, you will find a full range of equipment and services from faxes and computers (with email and internet access) to conference rooms and a/v equipment. Which means you could have your next meeting on board a ship- and bring new meaning to the working vacation.

Is there laundry service?

All cruise lines offer laundry and dry-cleaning services (with stateroom pickup) for an additional charge. Some cruise lines have self-service laundry with washers, dryers and ironing equipment. These are coin operated and you may also purchase detergent, bleach, etc. There is an iron and ironing board. Irons are NOT allowed onboard in your stateroom due to fire hazard. If you do attempt to bring them, they will be taken from you.

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