Booking a Cruise Online
General Online Booking Questions
- Can I book my cruise online?
- Is it safe to book online?
- Is it cheaper to book online?
- How is CruiseCheap.com different from other cruise websites?
- What if I have questions during the process?
- How far in advance can I book a cruise?
- Can I book a cruise online for someone else?
- How old do you have to be to take a cruise?
- What's the minimum age to take a cruise? Can I bring an infant?
- Are pregnant women allowed to cruise?
Cruise Selection and Availability
- Can I book all cruise lines online?
- Can I find Senior Citizen discounts online?
- Can I find Past Passenger Rates online?
- How many people fit in a cabin?
- Can I book connecting cabins online?
- Can I find wheelchair accessible cabins online?
- What is a "Guaranteed" cabin?
- When I select "check availability" it instructs me to call. Why?
- Can I book more than one cabin at a time?
- Can I book a group online?
Airfare, Hotels and Transfers
- Can I book hotels and transfers if I want to arrive a day or two early?
- Do I have to book cruise line airfare?
- What are the benefits of booking cruise line airfare?
- I need certain flight times. Can the cruise line offer that?
Names and Payments
- Why do I have to enter Legal Names? What if I don't know them?
- I just got married. Should I use my married or maiden name?
- Do I have to pay in full for my cruise now?
- Is your site secure for my credit card?
- Is it possible to use more than one credit card for payment?
- Will my Debit Card work as payment?
- My credit card payment wasn't accepted. Why?
- When is my final payment due?
- How do I make my final payment?
- How will the charges appear on my credit card?
- My reservation was confirmed. What happens next?
- My reservation is pending. How will I know when payment has been accepted?
- Should I purchase the travel protection plan?
- What happens if I need to cancel my cruise?
Can I book my cruise online?
CruiseCheap.com gives you the ability to book your cruise online if you would like. Most cruise lines including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, NCL, Princess and Holland America all offer online pricing and booking capability; but there some exceptions where you can only book your cruise by speaking with a live person.
- Luxury and niche cruise lines like Regent Seven Seas, Cunard, Ponant, Seabourn, Silversea, Un-Cruise Adventures, etc. simply do not offer online pricing. You must speak to a live person to book these cruises.
- Any cruise vacation that includes a land component cannot be booked online. If you're interested in an Alaska or European Cruisetour or a Disney 7-night cruise and land package, you must speak to a live person for rates and availability. These products are too complicated to book online.
- If you are a West Coast resident taking a cruise departing from the East Coast, you may be entitled to a free hotel before your cruise. This is not available if you book online. Please call to see if you qualify.
- Sometimes cruise line reservation systems are unavailable due to scheduled or unscheduled technical issues. During these periods, you would need to speak with a Cruise Specialist.
- Groups cannot be booked online. You can book multiple cabins online if you choose, but you will get a better rate if you speak with a Cruise Specialist. Additionally, only a live agent can ensure that your cabins are near one another and that you are all seated together at dinner.
- Do not book your cruise online if you think you may qualify for special discounts, offers or coupons; if you need a wheelchair-accessible cabin, special services, or connecting cabins; if you are booking multiple cabins; or back-to-back cruises.
Is it safe to book a cruise online?
Professionally, it's safe to book with CruiseCheap.com as well. We are insured and bonded and are a member of the Cruise Lines International Association and we are happy to provide references upon request. Unlike some Internet Travel Companies, we do not outsource our website and customer service calls to other countries in an effort to save money. All of our Cruise Specialists are trained and based in the United States.
Is it cheaper to book my cruise online?
In most cases, the rate you see on the website is exactly the same rate you will receive from one of our cruise counselors. However, there are times when you will receive a lower rate on the telephone. The following rates are not advertised on CruiseCheap.com but are available by speaking with a Cruise Specialist.
- Past Passenger Rates (no website shows past passenger rates)
- Senior Citizen Discounts
- Resident Rates of Certain States
- Military Discounts
- Special Last Minute Rates
If you think you may qualify for a special discount, please call one of our Cruise Specialists.
How is CruiseCheap.com different from other websites?
CruiseCheap.com specializes in cruise vacations. We only sell cruises - not airline tickets, hotels, and rental cars unless they are part of a cruise package. Discounted cruises are what we do. As a result, you will only find cruise information on our website. And it's information that's relevant to helping you plan your vacation.
Statistics show that the number one reason why people go to the Internet is for information. CruiseCheap.com is full of content that provides in-depth information about cruise lines, cruise ships, kids programs, weddings and honeymoons, first time cruising, etc... In some cases, we have more information about a cruise line than the cruise line's own website!
Our agents are also highly trained cruise experts. If you have questions about something you see on our website, our US-based Cruise Specialists are prepared and eager to help you. Unlike some US Internet Travel companies, we do not outsource our customer service calls to other countries where labor is cheaper.
If you combine our outstanding cruise prices with this extraordinary focus on cruise planning information, you'll find that CruiseCheap.com is a company you can trust with your individual or group cruise reservation.
What if I have questions during the online booking process?
If you have any questions or encounter any problems while booking your cruise, please call or email us. We will be happy to help you.
How far in advance can I book my cruise?
Cruise lines will typically load their inventory in the system 18 months in advance. Once you select "check availability" and you find a selection, you can book your cabin. If you would like us to notify you once a cruise is available, please contact us and we will be happy to accommodate your request.
Can I book a cruise online for someone else?
Yes. Please note that the cruise documents and any e-mail correspondence will be sent to the address listed in the billing information section. If you wish to have the tickets sent elsewhere, please call our Customer Care department and we will be happy to assist.
If you are booking a cruise online for another individual, please make sure you have the legal names and birthdates prior to beginning the online booking process. This will help you avoid any name change fees that may be imposed by the cruise line to correct the error later.
How old do you have to be to take a cruise?
Guests under the age of 21 must be accompanied by a parent, grandparent or guardian 25 years of age or older in the same stateroom. In other words, two 21 year olds can travel together, but a 22 year old and a 20 year old cannot cruise even if they turn 21 during the cruise. Cruise Lines will make exceptions for young adults who are married and who bring a marriage certificate to prove it.
What's the minimum age to take a cruise? Can I bring an infant?
Most cruise lines require that infants be at least 16 weeks old to travel and others require young kids to be even older for longer and exotic itineraries. Since each cruise line has different minimum age requirements, it is always best to book your cruise with a live cruise agent, instead of online, if you are traveling with infants.
Are pregnant women allowed to cruise?
Women who will be 24 weeks pregnant during the cruise will be prohibited from taking a cruise. Please make sure that you have your doctor's permission to travel even if you are less than 6 months pregnant. If you are pregnant, do not book online. Instead, call and speak with a Live Cruise Specialist to discuss your travel options and requirements.
Can I book all cruise lines online?
CruiseCheap.com connects directly to the reservation systems of most major cruise lines, giving you live availability and pricing to allow you to book your cruise online. A few cruise lines, especially the luxury or specialty cruise lines, do not support this direct link functionality to their reservation systems. Therefore, in those cases you would need to speak to a live person.
Can I book Senior Citizen discounts online?
Sometimes cruise lines extend special discounts to passengers who are AARP cardholders or who are 55 years and older. At this time, these rates do not appear on our website with the other prices. If you or anyone in your cabin is 55 or older, please call for Senior Discounts.
Can I book Past Passenger rates online?
Past Passenger Rates are not available on any website yet. If you are a Past Passenger of any cruise line, you should call and speak to a live Cruise Specialist. Most cruise lines extend some sort of offer, coupon, upgrade or discount rate to any passenger with a Past Passenger number.
As an FYI, the Carnival Corporation owns Carnival, Cunard, Costa, Windstar, Holland America, Princess, and Seabourn. If you have sailed with any of these cruise lines, you may be eligible for Past Passenger discounts with one of the sister companies.
How many people can I put in one cabin?
Most cruise ships have cabins that can accommodate up to three or four passengers in one stateroom (triple and quad occupancy). Carnival, Disney and Celebrity can accommodate up to five passengers on certain ships (quint occupancy). Since the third/fourth/fifth passengers in a cabin pay less than the first two, this is an affordable way for many families to travel. There are limited numbers of triple, quad and quint cabins. If you have a need for a cabin that accommodates more than two people, we strongly encourage you to book as far in advance as possible as these cabins sell out before any of the others.
Can I book connecting cabins online?
Connecting cabins are adjoining staterooms that have a door that connects the two of them. These are popular with couples traveling with their kids because of the door inside the stateroom that allows access to the other room. Although you would be able to book two cabins next to each other by identifying them on the deck plan, you wouldn't know if they were actually adjoining rooms. There is also the chance of a cabin being gone by the time you start the second booking. If you need connecting or even cabins next to each other, you should always call and have an agent complete the transaction.
Can I book a wheelchair accessible cabin online?
Cruise ships have a limited number of wheelchair accessible staterooms on each sailing. We highly recommend that you call and speak with a Cruise Specialist. In addition to helping you find the best stateroom, your Cruise Specialist will help you with regards to other special needs you may have while traveling.
What is a "Guaranteed" cabin?
Some cruise lines offer what is called a "guarantee category". This means that you will receive your cabin number and deck assignment when you check in for your cruise. You will be guaranteed a cabin in the category that you booked and no lower. If your booked category is not available when you check in, then you will receive a complimentary upgrade to a higher category. This process is very similar to booking a hotel room. With a hotel, you book a room type and you're assigned your room number when you check in at the front desk. The same principle applies here. This is a very common practice among all major cruise lines.
Guaranteed categories can be a great value, especially for first time cruisers. These are usually less expensive and can sometimes result in a complimentary upgrade.
Guarantees are not for everyone. Do not book a "Guarantee" if cabin placement on the ship is important to you because you are traveling with others, traveling as a family with multiple cabins, or simply prefer a specific location such as mid-ship. If, on the other hand, you don't care where your cabin is (as long as it's a specific type of cabin), then a Guarantee should save you some money and you may even get a nicer cabin than you paid for.
When I select "check availability," it instructs me to call. Why?
There are a number of reasons why the website may instruct you to call. When a cruise line reservation system is temporarily unavailable, you cannot continue online. Second, a few luxury and specialty cruise lines do not support online bookings. Finally, the selected sailing may be sold out.
Can I book more than one cabin online at a time?
You can purchase more than one cabin; but each will need to be a separate transaction. There is no additional charge to call us to book multiple cabins and we highly recommend it for three reasons. First, to make sure your cabins are close together. Second, we need to cross-reference the reservations so that all the cabins are dining together. And third, if you're booking 8 or more cabins, you may be entitled to an additional group discount or other amenities.
Can I book a group online?
If you have eight cabins or more in a group, you should never book it online. You may be able to take advantage of group pricing offered by the cruise line or other amenities your group could receive such as free cabin upgrades, cocktail parties, complimentary onboard photographs or onboard spending credits.
Click here for more information about Group Cruises
Can I book hotels and transfers if I want to arrive a day or two early?
You cannot book hotels and transfers from the cruise line online. You will need to call one of our Cruise Specialists to help you with pre- and post-cruise hotel packages and transfers.
Do I have to book cruise line airfare?
You do not have to purchase the cruise line air. You may purchase your own airfare or use frequent flyer points if you prefer. When booking your flights, make sure that you try to arrive at the ship no later than two hours before the ship departs. On your return flights home after the cruise, you should not book a flight that leaves before noon. We recommend that you consider arriving a day before your cruise if you have a long way to travel, many connections, or are traveling during the winter months when weather delays may affect your flight schedule.
If you're using frequent flyer miles, we suggest you check with the airline to make sure there is availability of frequent flyer seats before booking your cruise. When you make your own air arrangements, you will also need to provide your own transportation to the pier from the airport.
What are the benefits of Cruise Line Airfare?
Cruise line airfare usually includes transportation from the airport to the pier and back to the airport. The cruise line will also make every attempt to get you on the ship if you miss the departure due to airport delays. When booking your own air, we recommend you plan to arrive earlier (even the night before), especially in the winter months when airport delays are more frequent.
I need certain flight times. Can the cruise line offer that?
When you book your airfare through the cruise line you have no control of the flight schedule unless you request an "Air Deviation." This means the cruise line will try to accommodate a specific request for carrier or flight schedule. To request an Air Deviation, you will need to call your CruiseCheap.com Cruise Specialist who will handle the request for you. The cruise lines do charge a fee of $35 - $75 per person for an Air Deviation on top of any additional charges the airline may charge.
Why do I have to enter Legal Names? What if I don't know them?
The cruise lines require that the name on the cruise documents match your proof of citizenship document (generally a passport or birth certificate). If the names do not match, you may be denied boarding. Some cruise lines will charge a fee for name changes after a reservation is made so it is best to ensure this information is accurate before making your booking.
I just got married. Should I use my married or maiden name?
If you want to use your married name, you would need to bring a copy of your marriage certificate. If there is not enough time, you should use the name that appears on your proof of citizenship (passport or birth certificate).
Do I have to pay in full for my cruise now?
If your cruise departs within 75 days, you would have to pay for your cruise in full at the time of your reservation. If you are traveling outside of 75 days, you can reserve your cruise with a small deposit. Deposit amounts vary by cruise line but you should estimate $100 to $250 per person for a 3-night cruise, $200 to $500 per person for a 7-night cruise and $500 or more per person for a longer cruise.
Is your site secure for my credit card?
Is it possible to use more than one credit card for payment?
You can always put your deposit on one credit card and make final payment with a different credit card. If you want to put either the deposit or final payment on more than one card, you would need to call us and we will be happy to process the payment on more than one card.
Will my Debit Card work as payment?
A debit card is acceptable for payment but many have limit restrictions. You may need to notify your bank to get them to approve the amount of purchase.
My credit card wasn't accepted. Why?
There could be several reasons. The most common mistake is just accidentally entering the wrong numbers or expiration date. Double check for accuracy and try again. Second, make sure the billing address for the card matches the one you've entered on the website. Third, some banks set maximum spend limits for a single transaction. You may need to check with your bank to get approval for the purchase amount in advance. If you're still having problems, please call us directly and a US-based CruiseCheap.com cruise specialist will help you with your reservation.
When is my final payment due?
Final payments are due 75 days prior to travel. Your e-mail confirmation and the invoice you will receive in the mail will indicate the actual final payment date for your trip. We will contact you prior to the final payment date as a reminder.
How do I make my final payment?
We will process final payment on the credit card you authorized for your deposit. If you would like to change credit cards or use multiple credit cards for final payment, you would need to call us and speak with your agent or our Customer Care department.
How will the charges appear on my credit card?
One of the benefits of working with CruiseCheap.com is that your payments go directly to the cruise line. In the unlikely even that you are unhappy with our service, you will have comfort in knowing that it is the cruise line that has your money. With this said, the charge for your cruise will be listed as coming from the cruise line as that is who processes your card. If you have purchased travel insurance, the charge will appear from CSA travel insurance.
My reservation was confirmed. What happens next?
First of all, you will receive an e-mail confirmation of booking your cruise online. Second, a customer service representative will contact you by telephone to thank you for your reservation and verify your personal information. Documents will contain all of your cruise information, payment information and passenger information. Please review both for accuracy and notify us immediately if there are changes required.
My reservation is pending. How will I know when payment has been accepted?
You will receive an e-mail confirmation from us when your reservation has been accepted. There are times when the processing of the credit card can take up to 72 hours. In the event we have a challenge processing your credit card, we will notify you to resolve the situation so you do not lose your reservation with the cruise line.
Should I purchase the travel protection plan?
We highly recommend Travel Protection Insurance. If you have to cancel your cruise at the last minute due to sickness, death or injury to your traveling companion or family member, you will not get a refund from the cruise line unless you have insurance. There are a number of benefits to Travel Protection other than getting your money back if you cancel for a covered reason. This would include lost baggage, missed connections, travel delay, medical coverage on board and in port, emergency evacuation and more. Like any insurance, it's great when you need it and seems like a waste of money when you don't. A cruise is a considerable amount of money and unfortunately, emergencies can happen. The old adage, "You're better safe than sorry", would definitely apply here.
What happens if I need to cancel my cruise?
You may or may not be entitled to a refund depending on when you cancel and whether or not you purchased travel insurance. Cruise line deposit timelines vary. Most cruise lines begin cancellation penalties within 70 days of sailing. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance to protect you against having to cancel due to illness or a death in the family or other medical emergency. If you must cancel, please contact us immediately.