Before You Cruise

  • What is the Back to Back Cruise Search?

    Our industry-first Back to Back Cruise Search is a powerful tool that helps users find the perfect combination of back to back cruises within any date range. Simply select one or more destinations and our proprietary search algorithm determines the best back to back cruise options within your date range. We built this tool from the ground up to make it easier for you see all of your favorite cities in one trip, or simply to get from Point A to Point B, exclusively via cruise ships. For example, if you wanted to travel from Florida to London, Paris and Rome, simply select Transatlantic + Europe or Transatlantic + Mediterranean and our Back to Back search will show you the best back to back cruise packages that visit all three cities, exclusively via cruise ships. Please note, when booking a Back to Back Cruise package, you must book each cruise separately as separate reservations, even if all of the cruises in the package are on the same cruise line. For example, if you are booking a Back to Back Cruise package that includes 4 cruises, you would need to complete the online booking process 4 separate times to create the 4 separate reservations. Our Back to Back Cruise checkout system will guide you through each step of the online booking process for all of the cruises in your Back to Back Cruise package.

  • What is the Custom World Cruise Search?

    Our Custom World Search is a modified version of our Back to Back search that allows users to pick specific cities instead of general destinations. For example, if you want to visit Sydney, Singapore and Hong Kong on 1 trip, simply select those 3 destinations and our proprietary search algorithm determines the best back to back cruise options within your date range that visit all 3 cities. We built this tool from the ground up to make it easier for you see all of your favorite cities in one trip, or simply to get from Point A to Point B, exclusively via cruise ships. Please note, when booking a Custom World Cruise package, you must book each cruise separately as separate reservations, even if all of the cruises in the package are on the same cruise line. For example, if you are booking a Custom World Cruise package that includes 4 cruises, you would need to complete the online booking process 4 separate times to create the 4 separate reservations. Our Custom World Cruise checkout system will guide you through each step of the online booking process for all of the cruises in your back to back cruise package.

  • How do I book multiple rooms on the same ship?

    It is impossible to book multiple rooms on the same reservation at the same time. If you need to book more than one stateroom on the same ship, you would need to book each stateroom as separate reservations. For example, if you need 3 staterooms on the same ship, you would need to complete the online booking process 3 separate times to successfully create the 3 separate reservations. If you need to book 8 or more staterooms on the same ship, you may qualify for special discounted group rates (that can’t be published online) and we recommend contacting our group reservation specialists for more information. Please note, all prices listed on the site are displayed as per person and based on double occupancy, unless otherwise noted (some studio cabins do not require double occupancy to book).

  • How do I change or cancel a reservation?

    Please submit a help ticket and our Support Team will contact you within 24 hours to provide assistance with your request. Each cruise line has different cancellation policies and penalty fees depending on the type of cruise rate you booked (non-refundable / refundable) and the amount of time remaining until the cruise departure date. When booking a cruise, it is your responsibility to check with the respective cruise line to ensure you fully understand their cancellation policies. Since CruiseWire does not offer travel insurance directly, we recommend booking with a credit card that automatically includes travel insurance (as a card member benefit) or purchasing third party travel insurance to avoid being charged penalties if you need to cancel your reservation unexpectedly.

  • What’s included with my cruise fare?

    Cruises offer an unparalleled travel experience that make it possible for you to visit many different destinations without the hassle of coordinating the travel between each location. Unlike flying on an airplane, traveling from country to country on a cruise ship is actually fun, entertaining and convenient. Your cruise fare includes stateroom accommodations, gourmet dining, entertainment and access to other amenities such as pools, gyms, nightclubs, piano bars, sports deck activities and more. Each cruise line is different, but internet access, shore excursions, alcoholic beverages, gratuities, casino gambling, spa treatments and access to some specialty restaurants are usually not included with your cruise fare. Included benefits are also dependent on special promotions that were offered at the time of your cruise booking. For example, some cruise lines offer free internet packages, free alcoholic beverage packages, etc. as special promotions, but these offers will be clearly presented to you during the booking process on the order summary page.

  • What is the stateroom “guarantee” accommodation?

    On the stateroom category selection page, you might see the word “GUAR” instead of the actual room number, depending on the current availability of that stateroom category. Stateroom guarantee cabins are great for people that want to get more for their money and are less concerned about the exact location of their accommodation. When you select a stateroom guarantee fare, you are guaranteed to receive a stateroom in the category you have booked at minimum, but you have zero control over the exact location or view of the stateroom. For example, if you book a balcony guarantee stateroom, your stateroom will definitely have a balcony, but you won’t know the exact stateroom number until after you book the cruise. In some instances, cruise lines will actually give you an upgraded room at no additional cost if you’re flexible on not knowing the location of your stateroom until after you book the cruise. If you need to book 2 or more staterooms that are directly next to each other or if you prefer to have a stateroom on a specific deck, this would not be a good option because the cruise line makes the final decision on your exact stateroom number, at their sole discretion.

  • What time can I board the ship?

    Most cruise ships usually depart from the first port around 4:00pm local time and the boarding process generally begins around 11:00am. For many cruise lines, passengers with a suite category stateroom are usually allowed to board the ship before passengers with an inside, outside or balcony stateroom. Please check with the cruise line directly to confirm the exact boarding times for your specific cruise itinerary.

  • How do I decide which cruise line is best for me?

    Choosing a cruise line is very similar to choosing a land-based hotel as the decision is usually based on personal preferences, budget, lifestyle and amenities, but for others, the actual itinerary might be the most important factor to consider. At the top of the CruiseWire website, click the “CRUISE LINES” link to learn more about each cruise line. Take some time to research the detailed descriptions we have provided for each cruise line and each ship to determine which option is best for you. For families, couples and singles interested in nonstop fun and entertainment, Carnival Cruise Lines, Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line are usually the most popular options. For a more sophisticated, smaller ship size experience, Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line and Cunard are great options. For a European cruising experience, MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises are the best options. For an ultra-luxury private yacht experience, Seabourn Cruises is the perfect choice. The newest ships for each cruise line usually offer the best in class experience with the latest technology and attractions. Additionally, you can submit a help ticket or give us a call and the knowledge CruiseWire support team can help provide additional guidance.

  • Do I need to check-in online before my cruise departs?

    Yes. Similar to the check-in process for airline flights, most cruise lines require you to check-in online before your cruise departs. After you book your cruise, you can use the cruise line reservation number to check-in online directly on the cruise line website. You should also print your boarding passes and luggage tags during the online check-in process.

  • Do I need to print a boarding pass or luggage tags?

    Yes. It’s important to check-in online on the cruise line website before your cruise departs. During the online check-in process, you will have the opportunity to print your boarding passes and luggage tags.

  • What type of travel documents do I need to board the ship?

    We always recommend bringing a valid passport to board the ship. The boarding policies vary from each cruise line, but using a valid passport to board the ship is something that all cruise lines prefer and accept. If you don’t have a valid passport, please contact the cruise line directly to determine what type of travel documents are acceptable to board the ship in accordance with their boarding polices.

  • Should I purchase travel insurance?

    Yes. CruiseWire does not offer or sell travel insurance. We recommend booking your cruise reservation with a credit card that already has cruise travel insurance built-in or purchasing travel insurance from a respected insurance company. Any travel insurance must be purchased separately by contacting your preferred insurance company directly. CruiseWire will not be liable for any type of travel related incidents, accidents or losses that occur before, during or after your cruise, which is why we recommend purchasing travel insurance from a third-party insurance company before your trip.

  • Are there special rates for solo travelers?

    Yes, but only for specific ships. Many of the newest cruise ships offer special solo traveler staterooms that do not require you to pay the normal double occupancy rate and are based on singly occupancy pricing. Currently, the following cruise lines have at least 1 or more ships in their fleet that offer special solo traveler staterooms: Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean. Click the “CRUISE LINES” link at the top of the CruiseWire website to see the specific ships within each cruise line that offer solo traveler staterooms. Please note, due to the limited number of solo traveler staterooms on each ship, these staterooms usually sell out quickly.

  • Should I book shore excursions in advance?

    Yes. Shore excursions can often sell out before the cruise actually departs, which is why we recommend booking shore excursions directly with the cruise line after you finish booking your reservation on CruiseWire. With most cruise lines, you can register for a free account to book shore excursions online using the cruise line reservation number provided by CruiseWire.

  • How do I access my cruise reservation?

    If you signed up for a free CruiseWire account at the time of booking, you can access your cruise reservation at anytime by logging into your CruiseWire account dashboard. If you were not logged into a CruiseWire account at the time of booking, click the “SIGN IN” link at the top of the CruiseWire website, then click the “ACCESS TRIP RESERVATION” link. When you get to the “ACCESS TRIP RESERVATION” page, simply enter your email and your CruiseWire booking number to pull up your cruise reservation details. Additionally, you can also access your cruise reservation by registering for a free account directly on the cruise line website, using the cruise line reservation number.

  • What should I do if there is incorrect information in my reservation details?

    Please contact us immediately and we will attempt to work with the cruise line to correct any errors. CruiseWire does not charge change fees or cancellation fees, but you may be subject to change fees imposed directly by the cruise line, depending on their respective terms and conditions and change policies. In most cases, there are no penalties or change fees for correcting errors within 24 hours of making a reservation, but this will always be at the sole discretion of each cruise line.

  • What type of stateroom should I choose?

    On most ships, there are always 4 main stateroom categories including Inside, Outside, Balcony and Suite. Inside rooms are usually the smallest and have no windows. Outside rooms are usually similar in size to inside rooms, but outside rooms include at least 1 window. Balcony rooms are usually the most popular choice and always include a private balcony. Suite rooms are the largest and most luxurious and usually include extra amenities and perks that are not available to passengers in the other 3 stateroom categories. The pricing within stateroom categories is usually based on 2 main components including total square footage and location of the stateroom on the ship.

  • Why should I book with CruiseWire?

    We realize you have many choices when booking a cruise reservation and we never forget that it’s our duty to EARN your business. Customer satisfaction is and always will be our number one priority and our travel agents are seasoned travel professionals that consistently go above and beyond to make sure our customers get the exact vacation they’re looking for. So how is CruiseWire different from the competition? - Earn 5% CashBack Rewards on All Cruises Instantly - No Booking Fees - No Cancellation Fees - Exclusive Back to Back Cruise Search - Exclusive Custom World Search - Over 25,000 Cruises Sailing to 121 Countries Available - Cruise Inventory for Over 160+ Ships - Exclusive Favorites Bookmark Tool to Track Your Favorite Cruises - Save Your Traveler Profile Details to Speed Up the Booking Process - Dedicated USA Based Support Team - View Upcoming and Past Cruise History with Built-In Countdown Timers - Comprehensive Cruise Line and Ship Directory - Industry Leading Expertise

  • Do you offer special pricing over the phone?

    No. As a part of our commitment to pricing transparency, our lowest available pricing will always be displayed online on the final Payment Checkout Page (directly above the credit card form). Booking online at CruiseWire.com is the best way to get our lowest possible cruise pricing rates as we do not offer lower pricing over the phone. Plus, you'll earn 5% cashback automatically on all cruise reservations when you book online at CruiseWire.com.

  • Do you offer past guest discounts?

    Unfortunately, we do not have the ability to offer past guest discounts. However, we offer 5% cashback rewards automatically on all cruise lines, all ships and all staterooms. Simply sign up for a free CruiseWire account before you book online and you’ll automatically earn 5% cashback on every cruise reservation. Additionally, all available discounts and promotional bonus offers will be displayed online on the final Payment Checkout Page (directly above the credit card form). Booking online at CruiseWire.com is the best way to get our lowest possible cruise pricing rates as we do not offer lower pricing over the phone.

On your Cruise

  • Can I park my car at the cruise port?

    Yes, parking is available at most ports, but we recommend reviewing the respective port website to confirm the specific details for parking. Please note, parking overnight at cruise ports can be expensive with daily rates often starting at $20 per day. If possible, we always recommend taking a taxi or ride sharing car as it’s always easier to handle your luggage with curbside drop-off compared to parking in a garage and then walking your luggage to the check-in area.

  • Should I purchase a beverage package from the cruise line?

    The answer always depends on how many sodas or alcoholic beverages you plan to drink per day. Purchasing a beverage package allows you to pay a flat rate price per day for unlimited drinks, instead of paying for each drink separately. Beverage packages usually start around $40 per day and if you purchase a beverage package, you usually have to pay the daily rate for the entire length of the cruise. For example, if you’re traveling on a 7 night cruise, you would have to purchase the beverage package on the first night and you would have to pay for all 7 nights as you can’t pick specific days that you want to pay for the beverage package to save money. If you believe you’ll drink more than $40 worth of soda and alcoholic beverages per day, it could be a great value, especially since most alcoholic drinks start at $7+ per drink.

  • What is a specialty restaurant?

    Specialty restaurants are optional dining options offered on cruises and usually require an extra cover charge. These dining options are usually the “best of the best” for what each ship has to offer and often have a specific dining theme, i.e. Asian, Italian, Steakhouse, etc. Most ships charge approximately $15 - $40 per person for specialty dining restaurants, but some ships will include complimentary access to these restaurants on certain nights for guests staying in Suite staterooms. These specialty dining options are always optional and there is always plenty of included dining options where you can eat for free for passengers that do not want to pay a cover charge for dining.

  • Are there casinos onboard the ship?

    Most cruise ships do have casinos onboard, especially on the newer ships. However, not all ships feature casinos and we recommend researching the specific ship before making a reservation if this is important to you, including the types of gambling that are offered, i.e. slot machines, poker, blackjack, etc.

  • Is room service dining available onboard the ship?

    Most cruise ships do have room service available onboard, but not all ships. Most ships offer a 24 hour room service menu with an extensive list of options that are included at no additional charge, especially on the newer ships. Please note, many ships charge a “late night” surcharge if ordering from the room service menu after 11:00pm.

  • Is smoking allowed onboard the ship?

    This depends on the ship, but most ships offer a special designated smoking areas. Smoking in staterooms, dining areas and many public areas is usually prohibited.

  • Do I need cash onboard the ship?

    While almost all purchases can and should be charged to your onboard ship account using your cruise room card, we recommend bringing cash as some cruise lines require that you pay for tipping and/or casino gambling with cash only. Additionally, you might need cash while visiting each port, so we always recommend either brining cash or at the very least, brining an ATM card so that you can get cash from the ATM onboard if needed.

  • Will there be a TV in my room?

    All of the major cruise lines do include a TV in all rooms. However, to be thorough in your research, you should check with the cruise line directly to confirm a TV will be included with your room if this is important to you, especially if you are traveling on one of the older cruise ships.

  • Are babysitting services available onboard the ship?

    Yes, most ships do offer both private and group babysitting services. However, we recommend confirming the specific childcare service details for the exact ship(s) you’ll be traveling on by contacting the cruise line directly since babysitting services will vary depending on the exact ship.

  • Is internet access available onboard the ship?

    Many ships offer internet access, either directly from your stateroom or at an onboard internet café, but the availability of internet and Wi-Fi will vary based on the specific ship. Please note, there is almost always an additional surcharge for internet access and most cruises charge by the minute. There is a small number of ships that offer unlimited internet packages, but there will still be a daily charge for internet access. Internet speeds will be subject to the ship’s satellite connection and you should expect to see lower internet speeds compared to what you would expect with land-based internet connections.

  • Will Netflix or other streaming services work onboard the ship?

    Probably not. Most cruise lines implement blocking technology within their internal internet delivery systems to limit data intensive services such as Netflix. The internet bandwidth will probably not be sufficient to utilize video streaming services onboard. However, we recommend checking directly with the cruise line to confirm as some of the newest ships might have this capability.

  • What happens if I get sick or injured while onboard the ship?

    All ships have medical centers and doctors onboard. If there is a very serious medical emergency, passengers can be airlifted to the nearest hospital or the ship can make an emergency detour to the nearest port, but this will be at the discretion of the onboard doctor and ship captain. The onboard doctor can provide you with over the counter medicine for passengers with seasickness, although the larger and newer cruise ships have stabilizers to help mitigate the situation in the event of sailing through rough seas.

  • Do I need to make dinner reservations while onboard the ship?

    We recommend checking with the cruise line directly as this will vary based on the exact ship and cruise line. If traveling on some of the larger ships, we definitely recommend making dinner reservations in advance as the restaurants can book up quickly around the prime dinner times. However, the staff onboard will do their best to accommodate any passengers who would prefer to wait until they board the ship to begin planning dinner reservations.

  • Is it possible to exchange money into a different currency onboard?

    Yes, but it depends on the exact ship as this will vary based on each ship. Additionally, if your ship does offer currency exchange services, they will likely only be able to exchange widely used currencies such as exchanging US dollars into Euros or Euros into US Dollars. Most ports have a currency exchange center as well.

  • How does tipping work onboard the ship?

    This will vary depending on the cruise line. Most cruise lines automatically add gratuity each time you make a purchase onboard. Additionally, all cruise lines have a daily gratuity charge (typically $12+ per night, per passenger) that is automatically charged to your onboard ship account, unless you booked a cruise that included a free prepaid gratuity promotional offer. If you plan on ordering room service, it is customary to tip the waiter that brings the food to your room with cash.

  • What happens if I’m late boarding the ship at a port?

    The ship will leave without you and you will be solely responsible for meeting the ship in the next port to get back on the ship. This will probably be very costly since you would need to then arrange for last minute travel to meet the ship in the next scheduled port. We recommend always boarding the ship at least 30 minutes before the departure cutoff time. Additionally, we recommend purchasing third party travel insurance to protect you in situations such as missing the boarding cutoff time.

  • What time can I get off the ship on the final day?

    This depends on the arrival time at the final arrival port. Most cruises arrive at their final arrival port very early in the morning and then it takes a few hours for the ship to complete the docking process and be cleared by local customs officials. We recommend calling the cruise line directly to confirm the earliest available departure time for your specific cruise, especially if you have an airline flight planned for the day of the final arrival.

  • Can I board a cruise late if I miss the original departure date?

    This should be possible in most situations, but you should definitely contact the cruise line directly to inform them of your plans as soon as you know that you won’t be able to board the ship on the original departure date. This decision will always be at the sole discretion of the cruise line.

  • What happens if there is a hurricane on my cruise?

    The ships have advanced weather monitoring equipment onboard to track any potential hurricanes or storms that might intersect with the original itinerary route. If needed, the ship can easily change course to avoid the storm. If this happens, your itinerary may be changed, and this will always be at the sole discretion of the cruise line. Please note, cruise lines usually do not offer any type of refund in the event of a changed itinerary.

  • What happens if the itinerary on my cruise is changed?

    This is an inherent risk that can’t be avoided when traveling by cruise ship. If your itinerary is changed, this decision will always be at the sole discretion of the cruise line, and most cruise lines will not offer any type of partial refund as a result.

International Travel

  • Do I need a valid passport to travel on a cruise ship?

    This depends on the cruise line, the itinerary and the citizen status of the passenger. We always recommend bringing a valid passport when traveling on a cruise, regardless of the itinerary. However, in some cases, US citizens traveling on round trip cruises may be able to board with a birth certificate and valid government issued photo ID, but this is NOT guaranteed. You are solely responsible contacting the cruise line directly to determine what type of documentation and/or Visas are required to board the ship.

  • Do I need to bring my passport when I get off the ship at each port?

    This depends on the port location and your citizenship status, but we always recommend bringing your passport with you to be on the safe side. Many local merchants will require valid government issued ID to make purchases with credit cards. Additionally, if you miss the boarding cutoff time at the port for whatever reason, the situation could become even more complicated if the ship leaves you in a foreign country without your valid passport.

Cruisewire account dashboard

  • Can I view my upcoming / past cruises from my CruiseWire account?

    Yes, but you must already be logged into your CruiseWire account at the time of booking. If you book a cruise without being logged in to your CruiseWire account, our system will not be able to link your cruise reservation with your CruiseWire account. It’s completely free to sign up for a CruiseWire account, plus you’ll earn 5% cash back on all cruises that are booked with your CruiseWire account.

  • How do I bookmark a cruise as a favorite?

    You must be logged in to an active CruiseWire account to use the favorites tool. When browsing the search results, look for a small “heart” shaped icon that is located on all search result entries. Simply click this heart shaped icon and you’ll should see that the heart icon changes colors (when clicked) to indicate that a cruise has been bookmarked as a saved favorite.

  • How do I remove a bookmarked cruise from my favorites list?

    Removing a bookmarked cruise can only be done from the “MY FAVORITES” page within your CruiseWire account dashboard. Once you get to the “MY FAVORITES” dashboard page, simply click the heart icon for the cruise you want to remove and the page will refresh to delete the cruise from your favorites list.

  • How do I update my saved traveler profile information?

    Login to your CruiseWire dashboard account. If you need to change your personal traveler profile information, click the “MY USER PROFILE” link. If you need to change or add additional traveler profiles, click the “ADDITIONAL TRAVELERS” link.

  • What should I do if I forgot my CrusieWire account password?

    Input your email on (http://www.cruisewire.com/Account/ForgotPassword) and click the Submit button. You will receive an automated email with instructions for resetting your CruiseWire account password. If you still need help, please submit a help ticket on the contact page and our support team will provide further assistance.

Billing and cruisewire rewards

  • Do I need a CruiseWire account to qualify for the 5% cashback rewards?

    Yes. You must be logged into a valid CruiseWire account at the time of booking to qualify for the 5% cashback rewards. If you book a cruise and are not logged into a CruiseWire account at the time of booking, you will not be eligible for the 5% cash back offer. It’s completely free to create a CruiseWire account, but you must be logged into your CruiseWire account at the time of booking to satisfy the terms and conditions of the 5% cashback rewards offer.

  • Do all cruise bookings include the 5% cashback rewards?

    Yes, the 5% cashback rewards offer applies to all cruise ships and all cruise lines. However, you must be logged into a valid CruiseWire account at the time of booking to qualify for the 5% cashback rewards. If you book a cruise and are not logged into a CruiseWire account at the time of booking, you will not be eligible for the 5% cash back offer. It’s completely free to create a CruiseWire account, but you must be logged into your CruiseWire account at the time of booking to satisfy the terms and conditions of the 5% cashback rewards offer.

  • When will I actually receive my 5% cashback rewards payment?

    The cashback rewards payments are paid out via PayPal on the next business day following your cruise disembarkation date. The five-percent (5%) cashback rewards offer is only valid for reservations that result in completed travel. If you cancel your reservation, you will no longer be eligible for any cashback rewards payments. Please contact us if you don't have a PayPal account and we will send you a paper check via US Mail.

  • How are the cashback rewards payment paid out?

    All cashback rewards payments are paid via PayPal only. Our support team will contact you via email to confirm that we have the correct PayPal email address on file for you before the cashback rewards payment is paid out. Please contact us if you don't have a PayPal account and we will send you a paper check via US Mail.

  • Can I use my cashback rewards for future cruises?

    Absolutely. You can use your cashback rewards for whatever you want because you’ll receive actual cash. No confusing points systems or credits. Real money, real cash, paid via PayPal to spend however you want on whatever you want, but of course we hope you’ll consider using that cash towards a future booking with CruiseWire! Please contact us if you don't have a PayPal account and we will send you a paper check via US Mail.

  • Do I have to use my cashback rewards for future cruises?

    No. You can use your cashback rewards for whatever you want because you’ll receive actual cash. No confusing points systems or credits. Real money, real cash, paid via PayPal to spend however you want on whatever you want. Please contact us if you don't have a PayPal account and we will send you a paper check via US Mail.

  • What is your refund and cancellation policy?

    CruiseWire does not charge booking fees or cancellation fees. You are solely responsible for reviewing and agreeing to the Terms of Service for each cruise line, including the cruise line cancellation and refund policies. The customer agrees and understands that each cruise line has their own cancellation policy / refund policy and cancelling or changing a cruise reservation in any way may result in the cruise line charging the customer a cancellation fee or change fee. CruiseWire will not be liable for any cancellation fees or change fees imposed by the cruise line because of a Customer’s request to change or cancel their cruise reservation.

  • Does CruiseWire charge cancellation or change fees?

    No. CruiseWire does not charge cancellation fees or change fees. However, each cruise line has their own policies regarding cancellation fees and change fees and you are solely responsible for reviewing and agreeing to the Terms of Service for each cruise line that you will be traveling on.