FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Group Cruise Questions
General Cruise Questions
Group Cruise Questions
Who is Dancing Moon Travel?
Dancing Moon Travel is your trusted resource for all your leisure travel needs since 2008. Whether you need an unforgettable Alaskan adventure --a luxury private villa rental -- a custom group cruise event -- or just a fun Caribbean getaway -- Dancing Moon Travel can help you plan a vacation, complete with lifetime memories. Pat Hand, owner of Dancing Moon Travel is a Certified Cruise Counselor and we are one of only a handful of travel agencies with two Certified Group Event Travel Specialists on staff. Don’t forget, at Dancing Moon Travel "We Choreograph Dreams".
What does a group cruise vacation entail?
A group travel event is above all an incredible opportunity to build lifetime memories with friends, family & followers. New experiences and exotic destinations are always more fun if they are shared. The camaraderie as you break bread together at dinner and share your day’s experiences is priceless, whether you are traveling with friends and family, a hobby or special interest group, or with business associates. In addition, a group travel event – whether by land or by sea – can offer special amenities and private events customized specifically for your group. Whether you want to just enjoy extended time to reconnect with friends and family, celebrate a milestone event, or host your own branded motivational or educational event – a group travel event offers an unparalleled opportunity for group bonding and team building.
What's Included in your cruise fare?
Food, food and more food! - All of your meals and snacks throughout the day in the main dining areas are included with your cruise. Room service is also a nice alternative and is usually complimentary but please inquire on your cruise as some late night requests may involve a nominal service charge. Many of today's ships offer optional premium specialty restaurants that charge a nominal fee.
Drinks - There is complimentary fountain water, ice tea, coffee and a small choice of juices available in the buffet area 24 hours/day. Most other beverages such as soda, bottled water, alcohol drinks, juice and specialty coffees are an additional fee. Most cruise lines now offer inclusive bar packages that will include beer, wine and soda for an upfront fee of approximately $60-65 per day/per person. Please inquire with Dancing Moon Travel for details whether this option is available on your cruise. One small caveat: For the "Adult Beverage Option" everyone in your stateroom must order the beverage package in order for you to be eligible to purchase it.
Entertainment - Cruise ships cater to the casino lovers and show stoppers! Live bands, comedy clubs, Las Vegas style production shows and deck parties are all included in your fabulous cruise vacation. A cruise always offers a wide array of varied onboard entertainment with your cruise fare.
Taxes/Port Fees - Dancing Moon Travel includes all of these excess fees in our final pricing so there are no surprises. Taxes and port fees are a large percentage of the cruise cost and many travel agencies will charge them separately.
Not Included: Gratuities for the ships staff. Most cruise lines add approximately $14/day per person to your onboard cruise bill which is split up between your room attendant, dining room servers and those hard-working behind-the-scenes employees who making sure the buffet is full at all times. It is customary, but voluntary, to tip your state room steward and waiter extra in cash if you feel their service was exceptional. NOTE: Some of the cruise events Dancing Moon Travel produces also include the gratuities. Check the stateroom pricing section for details.
How many travelers are in a cruise group?
The number of single travelers in each of our groups varies based on the destination, season and obviously the number of people who sign up. It can vary from 16 to 500.
Is the entire ship reserved for this special event?
No, the entire ship is not all for this particular special event at sea. Although our groups may have quite a large presence onboard the ships, there are still other travelers onboard. There is such a thing as a “whole ship charter” … these general require an upfront deposit of $1 million for a mid-size ship.
Are the group cruise activities/amenities available to anyone onboard the ship?
No, people must book into our private event to take advantage of our exclusive onboard program and amenities.
Do you match a solo traveler with roommates? What if I prefer my own room?
We can attempt to match solo travelers with roommates of the same gender at no additional charge. Booking early will help us with this process but but the success of our efforts can not be guaranteed. This complimentary matching service saves our guests money by allowing them to take advantage of the shared (double) occupancy cabin rate. This service is available in most standard cabin categories but not available for suites. If a single prefers to room alone, we are happy to provide rates on single occupancy cabins.
Dancing Moon Travel will provide contact information so you may communicate with any possible roommate so you may determine compatibility. The final decision of the suitability of any potential roommate is always left solely to the individuals involved.
Please note that Dancing Moon Travel accepts no responsibility for roommate matching incompatibility such as sleep patterns, snoring, noise, etc. If you are concerned that any of these disparities may be an issue affecting the enjoyment of your vacation, we recommend you purchase a solo cabin or better yet - bring a friend along who may also enjoy this special event cruise!
Under no circumstances will Dancing Moon Travel be liable for any damages whatsoever, whether direct, indirect, general, special, compensatory, consequential, and/or incidental arising out of or relating to the conduct of any client or guest action or interaction between clients or guests, including without limitation bodily injury, emotional distress, harassment, and defamation.
Are the prices quoted based on sharing a cabin?
Rates quoted on our websites are for double occupancy. We are happy to quote rates for solo travelers. No rates are guaranteed until a deposit has been made and the credit card has been charged. Cabin prices are subject to availability and do sell out quickly, so reserve your cabin space early for the best rates.
How much is my deposit and when is my final payment due?
We require a deposit for each cruise booking to reserve your cabin space. Deposit for each cruise varies by cruise line, length of your cruise, and occasionally your destination as well. Deposit information for each cruise is posted next to the pricing information. Full payment is due 90 days prior to the sailing date. For your convenience, charges will automatically be processed at time of final payment. Payments can be made by Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover. For those guests who book within 90 days of sailing, full payment is required at the time of reservation.
Can I book shore excursions through Dancing Moon Travel?
Yes! Shore excursions are guided tours or adventures in a cruise ship's port of call. Excursions can provide some of the most lasting memories of your travel experience, and Dancing Moon Travel offers optional shore excursions for our group. Typically we can provide comparable/same excursions as offered by the cruise line at a better price. We will provide information and booking instructions on these excursions on the main web page.
Where do I sit in the dining room?
One of the benefits of our special event cruises is that we have a separate area of the dining room just for our group. You do not have an assigned seat in the dining room and we encourage you to sit with different dinner partners each night (open-seating) within our reserved tables. We generally reserve late dining (8:00 p.m.) for our entire group.
How do I find any scheduled onboard special events?
You will be invited to a bon voyage reception on the first day of the cruise to receive your schedule of events for the cruise.
Can we meet any of the travelers on our cruise before we depart?
Yes, you will be given access to a private Facebook Group page to communicate with and get to know other travelers on your cruise. We typically hold an optional pre-cruise meet and greet and arrange a pre-cruise hotel in the port city the night before the cruise departs to welcome all of our travelers and begin the fun!
General Cruise Questions
Do I need a passport?
The destination and embarkation/disembarkation port of the cruise will determine what form of ID you will need for boarding. For a “closed loop” Caribbean cruise departing from and returning to the same port, a passport is NOT required. For these itineraries, most cruise lines require a valid proof of citizenship such as a "certified birth certificate with photo ID, military ID, and/or original naturalization papers.”US laws have recently changed. The new laws are part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. The goal is to strengthen border security and facilitate entry into the United States for U.S. citizens and legitimate foreign visitors.
IMPORTANT: If you are sailing on a Alaska or Canada/New England cruise itinerary – or if you are traveling by air to a destination anywhere outside of the USA a passport will be required. If you arrive at the cruise terminals without a passport to depart on one of these itineraries – or at an airport to depart the borders of the USA, you will be denied boarding and no money will be refunded.
For more details, to apply for a passport and other country requirements, please visit www.travel.state.gov.
What are the tipping guidelines?
Although most cruise lines automatically add a daily gratuity charge to each passenger’s onboard account, you always have the discretion to increase or decrease that amount if you have exceptional or (very unlikely) poor service. . Most cruise lines auto-charge an amount between $12.99 - $13.99 per person per day to your onboard account to cover your waiter, assistant waiter, head waiter, room steward, etc. A 15% gratuity will also be automatically added to any bar bill.
When should I plan on arriving for my cruise?
If you are participating in one of our group cruise events, Dancing Moon Travel coordinates pre-cruise hotel as a special service to our guests with transportation to the pier. For independent travelers, we strongly recommend you arrive the day/evening prior to your cruise departure date (as flights and weather can be unpredictable) and to get a jump start on all of the fun! For those who choose to arrive the day of sailing, please make sure that you plan to arrive to the ship several hours before the departure time so schedule your air flights accordingly (make sure you select the correct arrival airport). Even for independent travelers, we can also assist with transfers from the airport to the pre--cruise hotel and to the pier on the day of departure. Generally speaking, arriving at the pier terminal between 11 am and noon works out well in most cases.
What happens in the event of a hurricane?
Hurricane season begins June 1 and continues through November 30. Even at the height of hurricane season, the odds of your cruise being affected by one of these storms is extremely small. During the season, cruise lines keep a close watch on any tropical storms or hurricanes forming in the warm waters of the Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea. In the event of a hurricane, the cruise lines top priority is the safety of its guests and to ensure passenger safety, may delay the start of the cruise, extend the cruise, or perhaps change the itinerary. In VERY rare instances that involve a “direct hit” on your departure city, they might even be forced to cancel the cruise completely. The good news is that these ships will not sail into a storm and will alter their itinerary as necessary to stay in safe waters. Dancing Moon Travel closely monitor's any hurricane activity that could affect our cruises and will keep you informed of any delays or cancellations. The latest hurricane information can also be viewed at www.nhc.noaa.gov.
Do many passengers get seasick?
Most passengers do not experience motion sickness on today's modern cruise ships because of their large size, stabilizing devices and advance weather notification systems. If you feel you might be prone to motion sickness, there are a number of over-the-counter medications available in your local pharmacy as well as onboard the ship. Many motion sensitive people (including the owner of Dancing Moon Travel!) swear by the Scopalamine patch, available by prescription. If this is of interest, discuss the pro’s and con’s of “the patch” with your physician.
What should I pack?
Daytime calls for casual clothing, and the dress code for the evenings includes anything from casual resort wear to a sport coat and tie. Remember, jeans, shorts and t-shirts are never permitted in the dining room during dinner. Each cruise generally has one or two formal nights onboard the ship where some passengers get decked out in party dresses, evening gowns, suits or tuxedos. It's not required...but can be a lot of fun!! !! These “elegant nights” are the perfect opportunity to have a portrait made. When’s the last time you had a professional family photo taken?
Can I bring alcohol or other drinks?
Generally speaking, most cruise lines no longer allow you to bring beverages on board. There are exceptions so we suggest contacting Dancing Moon Travel for more information. Any alcohol purchased on board or in port will be held until you disembark the vessel.
What if I need to cancel my cruise?
We encourage our guests to purchase travel insurance to cover unforeseen circumstances and occurrences. Dancing Moon Travel has a special travel insurance policy designed to protect our guests (see the details under the question "What is travel insurance? Do I need it?).
Payments are refundable up until 90 days prior to departure less a $25 per person administration fee. Cancellations within 90-days of departure are subject to severe penalties up to the full cruise cost. Refunds may take up to 30 days. NOTE: Administration fee may be waived for certain groups.
What is travel insurance? Do I need it?
Travel Insurance is available for purchase through Dancing Moon Travel to protect your vacation investment should you need to cancel your trip due to unforeseen circumstances. We highly recommend travel insurance for your vacation investment. Our special insurance plan will cover you for most illness and accidents, your personal belongings, trip delays and much more. The cost of travel insurance is non-refundable.
TRAVEL PROTECTION FOR VACATIONS ADVANTAGES:
- Coverage if you have to cancel or interrupt a trip for a variety of reasons
- Coverage for medical emergencies and emergency medical transportation
- The best time to buy Travel Protection for Vacations: Within 30 days of initial trip deposit [to ensure availability of all coverages. Other conditions, restrictions and exclusions may apply.]