Know Before You Go
Here are some answers to many of the questions about the cruise experience. Learn about what to do before you cruise, on embarkation day and during your cruise. Also be sure to understand about the documentation that is required to travel and the importance of travel insurance.
If you still have questions then please free to contact us and we'll be happy to help you.
Frequently Asked Questions
When can I expect to receive my final documents?
Cruise vouchers will be sent to you via mail or email 2-3 weeks prior to departure. Please note that cruise tickets will not be released by the cruise line until after each guest has completed the pre-cruise registration. Pre-cruise registration can generally be completed after final payment is made.
When will my airline itenery be available?
Air arrangements purchased through the cruise line are generally made available about 3 weeks prior to departure. Please note that air schedules are booked at the discretion of the cruise line and cannot be changed. Anyone requiring special itineraries/air carriers must arrange for custom air prior to final payment. The minimum charge for custom air itineraries ranges from approximately $35-$100 per person and additional charges may apply. Custom air should be booked as early as possible to insure flight availability. It is the traveler's responsibility to confirm seat assignments and other special services, such as special meals or wheelchair assistance directly with the airline.
What should I pack?
Can I make restaurant and other onboard reservations in advance?
Many cruise lines now offer a variety of dining options including specialty restaurants. As these restaurants tend to be smaller it is recommended to make reservations in advance during the pre-cruise registration process. Reservations can also be made in advance for the Spa and for some other onboard activities and entertainment venues.
Should I re-confirm my airline reservations?
Most airlines require passengers to check in online on their website 24 hours prior to the flight departure time and to print out boarding passes. At this time you can set your profile preferences to be notified about schedule changes either by email, text or a phone call. Please note that while you need to check in 24 hours prior to your flight departure, boarding passes generally cannot be obtained in advance for international flights as the airlines need to be able to verify the validity of your passport and other boarding documents. Plan to be at the airline counter at least 1-1/2 hours before flight time for domestic flights and 2-1/2 hours before flight time for international flights to account for any possible delays.
Is parking available at the pier?
Parking available at most of the piers and the rates vary by location. Visit our Cruise Port Parking page for links and additional information about the parking facilities for specific ports. Please note that at some piers only cash is accepted.
How do transfers work?
Most cruise lines include transfers between the airport and the pier on embarkation/disembarkation day if you have purchased an air/sea package directly with them. Passengers providing their own air must get their own transportation to/from the pier. Prepaid transfers can be purchased separately from most cruise lines. Flight information must be provided to the cruise line with final payment if separate transfers have been purchased.
What are boarding procedures?
What is the visitor policy?
For security reasons most cruise lines have implemented a "no visitor" policy aboard their vessels.
Can I use my hair-dryer, shaver or other electronic equipment?
Most ships have 110-volt outlets in the staterooms however nearly all ships now feature hair-dryers in the cabins. While traveling outside of the US a converter and an adapter is usually necessary for most electronic devices. Some ships sailing outside of North America offer both 110 and 220-volt outlets. Most hotels outside of the US only offer 220-volt outlets.
We can stay in touch with the outside?
What about tipping?
Gratuities vary by cruise line and are usually added to your shipboard account. A general rule of thumb is to plan for about $12.50 to $15.00 per person per day which includes gratuities for your room steward and dining room staff. On many cruise lines it is now possible to prepay the above gratuities. Certainly, if you have received exceptional service from an employee and want to give an additional tip as a token of appreciation, then cash can certainly be offered. On most cruise lines a 15%-18% gratuity is automatically added to beverage purchases, spa packages and other service related items which you may adjust according to services rendered. Most luxury cruise lines and river cruise lines include tipping in the price and will advise you accordingly.
Will I have a ship-board account?
Most cruise lines have set up a "cashless" system designed to make your life on board as simple as possible. You simply sign a receipt for each of your on-board purchases and then settle your shipboard account at the end of the cruise. Cash, VISA, American Express, MasterCard, Discover, and personal or traveler's checks are accepted as payment on most cruise lines.
What is the ship-board check policy?
Most cruise lines will cash traveler's checks. Personal checks cannot be cashed and cash cannot be drawn from your shipboard account.
Are there laundry services aboard?
Can we celebrate a "special" day?
Are there medical services onboard?
Do the cruise lines offer shore excursions?
Shore excursions can be purchased in advance with us or with the cruise line. Royaltys will help you make the most of your time in port and provide you with the best transportation and guide services available. Excursions can range from simple walking tours to zip-lining, helicopter rides and even custom shore excursions.
Passport, Insurance & Important Information
Do I need travel insurance?
Travel insurance can be purchased through the cruise line or inform us prior to final payment with Royaltys Travel Agency. The price will vary depending on the cost and length of your cruise. We strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance. Once you are within the final payment period the cruise lines will impose strict cancellation penalties as outlined in their brochures. These penalties will not be waived even for medical reasons. Insurance also offers certain medical benefits while you are travelling as most personal insurance policies do not cover policy holders outside of the United States. Please contact Royaltys Travel Agency for further details.
Do I need a passport?
All U.S. citizens including children must present a passport or other approved travel document when entering the United States by air. U.S. citizens can present a passport, NEXUS card at airports with NEXUS kiosks, U.S. military ID with travel orders, or a U.S. Merchant Mariner Document when on official business.
U.S. citizens returning home from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Bermuda, by land or sea, will be required to present one of the travel documents listed below.
The name of the group and supervising adult;
A list of the children on the trip, and the primary address, phone number, date of birth, place of birth, and name of at least one parent or legal guardian for each child; and
A written and signed statement of the supervising adult certifying that he or she has obtained parental or legal guardian consent for each participating child
Cruise.com strongly recommends that all guests travel with a valid passport during their cruise. This greatly assists guests who may need to fly out of the United States to meet their ship at the next available port should they miss their scheduled embarkation in a U.S. port; guests entering the U.S. at the end of their cruise; and guests needing to fly to the U.S. before their cruise ends, because of medical, family, personal or business emergencies, missing a ship's departure from a port of call, involuntary disembarkation from a ship due to misconduct, or other reasons.
Download Passport Forms
Click here to be re-directed to download a copy of the United States passport form(s).