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FIRST TIME CRUISERS
Can I afford a cruise? If you can afford to take a hotel-based vacation, you can afford to take a cruise vacation. There are cruises available at all price ranges - from budget to luxury - and all represent perhaps the best value for your vacation dollar.
What do I get for my money?
Your cruise price includes your cabin, all meals (including the midnight buffet!), entertainment, parties and, of course, all transportation between all the ports on your itinerary. On most ships, alcoholic beverages and optional shore excursions are not included in the basic price.
Will I feel bored or confined on board?
Never! Think of a cruise ship as a floating resort on par with any Las Vegas megahotel. On-board activities begin at dawn and go into the wee hours of the night. The scenery is constantly changing, and every port is filled with new and exciting opportunities for exploration.
What can I do on a ship?
That depends on the ship, but generally the larger ships will have the most activities. You may wish to lounge on deck by the pool with a good book, sign up for exercise or cooking classes, swim, play bingo or bridge, gamble in the casino, take in a Broadway-style floor show or a magician's act, enter a talent show or a putting contest, take a dance class, get a massage or attend a lecture.
How long do cruises last?
Marchi Travel sells cruises that range from 3-night weekend escapes to 110-night, around-the-world voyages.
Is airfare included in my cruise price?
Cruise lines usually offer both a cruise-only price and an AIR/SEA price that includes connecting airfare, transfers between the airport and ship and baggage handling. In some instances, only the cruise-only fare is available. The prices shown on our site are typically cruise-only, but our travel specialists will gladly provide an air-inclusive price if requested.
What's a shore excursion?
That's a term that refers to anything you do off the ship, in port. At every stop, you'll have the option of exploring the area on your own or as part of a group with a planned itinerary. You might hike a tropical rain forest in the Caribbean, fish for king salmon in Alaska, tour Mayan ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, or take a sightseeing tour.
Are all cruise ships the same?
Absolutely not. They range from yacht-like vessels with 100 passengers to towering megaships with huge atriums and a maximum capacity of over 3,000 people.
Will I need a passport?
All cruises now require proof of citizenship. On some itineraries, a certified copy of your birth certificate and a driver's license or government-issued photo I.D. are sufficient, on others a passport is required. Visas may also be required on the more exotic itineraries. Your travel specialist will advise you on documents you will need depending on your itinerary.
Is a cruise suitable for families with kids?
Not just suitable, they're perfect! Large cruise ships are now designed with kids-only facilities, counselors, daytime activities and nighttime baby-sitting. Children of all ages are welcome on most ships. Your travel specialist can advise you of the dwindling number of ships that are not kid-friendly.
Are cruises suitable for single travelers?
Cruising is very popular with single travelers, and cruise lines go out of their way to make it easy for singles to meet and mingle with other passengers. Some cruise ships offer single cabins, and most offer a single supplement rate for double staterooms. You'll never have to feel alone on a cruise... unless that's what you're looking for!
Are cruises really that popular?
You better believe it! More than ten million people will cruise in the next year, and cruising routinely earns the highest ratings in customer satisfaction among all vacation categories. Once you try it, you'll be hooked.
What is a Day at Sea?
A Day at Sea is a full day spent sailing between two ports. Most cruises include one or more Days at Sea.