FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND STUFF YOU SHOULD KNOW
Believe it or not … this is the SHORT VERSION! Seriously!!! READ IT! KNOW IT! LIVE IT! LOVE IT!
Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know until you read it and find out you didn’t know it. So, read these … they’ll answer a lot of your questions! AND a bunch of this is legal stuff that you are agreeing to when you book your cabin – you might as well know what you are agreeing to before you actually do it. Especially since we’re going to hold you to it … none of those “my dog ate my homework” excuses are going to fly – if you don’t know what you are agreeing to, you’ll have no one to blame but yourself!
Q: I WAS LOOKING AT THE PRICING PAGE … ARE THE PRICES SHOWN PER CABIN?
No, all prices shown are PER PERSON and are for the cruise fare only (see Terms & Conditions for an explanation of what is included). In addition to the Cruise Fare, each person will be charged an additional $200 to cover government taxes and other fees.
Royal Caribbean automatically adds gratuities to each guest’s cabin account (SeaPass) on a daily basis. For standard cabins (Junior Suites and smaller) the charge is $12.95 per person per day ($51.80 total per person for the cruise). For Grand Suites and larger the charge is $15.95 per person per day ($63.80 total per person for the cruise). These mandatory gratuities are for the maître d’ and his assistants, your waiters and busboys, buffet staff, stateroom attendants, housekeeping services, room service and bellboys. Casino dealers and spa personnel are not included since not all guests will utilize those services. A 15% gratuity is automatically added to bar service beverages, minibar items, and spa and salon services. These gratuities may be itemized on your receipt.
Q: MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY HAVE DESERTED ME AND I CAN’T AFFORD TO GO BY MYSELF … IS THERE ANYONE ELSE IN THIS SITUATION THAT I CAN ROOM WITH?
We DO keep a list of passengers looking for roommates and will be happy to share that information.
HOWEVER, it is NOT the responsibility of NAHA to guarantee you (1) a roommate; (2) a roommate you will like; or (3) a roommate that will pay their fair share and not leave you hanging with full responsibility for the cabin or the need to find a replacement 1 week before the cruise.
Agreeing to a roommate is done at your own risk. Any issues arising from your arrangement to share a cabin with someone you do not know will be your sole responsibility to address.
All that being said, our passengers that have chosen this option have been lucky so far and several great friendships have been formed from these “chance” meetings.
Q: I WANT A SPECIFIC CABIN, HOW DO I MAKE SURE I GET IT?
Passengers will have the opportunity to choose their cabin, based on availability, at the time of booking.
Q: I’M TRAVELING WITH MY BEST FRIEND AND, WHILE I LOVE HIM/HER, I DON’T WANT TO SHARE A BED. MAY WE PLEASE HAVE A ROOM WITH 2 QUEEN BEDS?
Unfortunately, no, you may not. There are no cabins on the ship that have 2 queen beds. All double occupancy staterooms are equipped with two TWIN beds, which can be converted to one Royal King (measuring 72.5 inches wide by 82 inches long) for those that DO want to sleep together. All triple occupancy rooms are equipped with two twin beds (can convert to a Royal King) and a “bunk” (actually called a Pullman bed because it comes down from the ceiling and is not attached to a lower bed as it would be for a typical bunk style) bed. All quad occupancy staterooms are equipped with two twin beds (can convert to a Royal King) and either two bunk (Pullman) beds OR a convertible sofa bed (the Interior and Ocean View cabins have the Pullmans and cabins with a balcony have the convertible sofa).
Q: CAN I BRING ALCOHOL ON BOARD?
Guests will not be allowed to bring ANY alcoholic OR non-alcoholic beverages or any food on board.
Q: WHAT IF I BRING ALCOHOL ON BOARD ANYWAY?
Many people have tried. A few have succeeded. Many have failed. Here’s the bottom line…IF you are caught trying to bring alcohol onboard, best case scenario is that it will be confiscated, disposed of and you are out a few bucks (or many bucks depending on how expensive your taste is). WORST CASE SCENARIO is that you will be DENIED EMBARKATION. This is out of NAHA’s control and solely at the discretion of the port authority. Only you can decide if getting $20-$50 worth of alcohol onboard is worth the risk of missing the boat and getting no refund….
Q: DID I HEAR THERE HAVE BEEN CHANGES TO THE SMOKING POLICY ON BOARD?
<sigh> … Unfortunately, yes … the onboard smoking policy for many of the luxury cruise lines has changed. Direct from the Royal Caribbean website, here are the highlights:
- Guests will be allowed to smoke on the port side of Decks 11 & 12 (except in the H2O zone), in the Connoisseur Club (Cigar Bar), and in Casino Royale (except in the designated non-smoking area).
- All interior public spaces are smoke free. Smoking is not permitted in any dining venue, theater, bar, lounge, hallway, elevator, or the jogging track.
- Smoking is not permitted inside any stateroom or on any stateroom balcony. This applies to all stateroom categories onboard. If a guest is in violation of this stateroom policy, a cleaning fee of $250 USD will be applied to their SeaPass® account and may be subject to further action pursuant to the “Consequences Section” of the RCI Guest Conduct Policy.
- Cigarettes, cigars and pipe tobacco must be properly disposed of and never thrown overboard. Cigar and pipe tobacco is limited to designated outdoor areas and the Cigar Bar. You must be at least 18 years of age to purchase, possess or use tobacco onboard.
- Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are only permitted within the designated smoking areas.
We have been very fortunate to establish an amazing relationship with Royal Caribbean. Please let’s continue to maintain that relationship and abide by this policy change.
Q: I HAVE A GLUTEN INTOLERANCE, I’M ALLERGIC TO PEANUTS AND I DON’T EAT MEAT. WILL THERE BE SUFFICIENT FOOD FOR SOMEONE WITH MY DIETARY RESTRICTIONS?
Royal Caribbean can accommodate special diets onboard. These diets have been created in consultation with a dietary specialist; selections offered are for lunch and dinner in the main dining room only. Sample diets include: vegetarian, vegan, diabetic, low fat, low sodium, low cholesterol, kosher meals, gluten free and lactose free.
Q: WHY WOULD I WASTE MONEY ON TRAVEL INSURANCE? NOTHING WILL KEEP ME OFF THIS CRUISE!
NEVER say NEVER!!!! We appreciate that you truly believe that there is NOTHING in the world that will keep you away from RLC V. Unfortunately, this has been the thought of several people that didn’t buy travel insurance, had things come up that they couldn’t avoid and lost the money they had paid toward their cruise. NAHA strictly enforces the cancellation policy so we STRONGLY recommend you shell out a few more bucks to protect your investment. You just don’t know what could happen between now and January 19, 2017.
Did we mention you can compare hundreds of travel insurance plans from top providers on the Squaremouth website (https://www.squaremouth.com/21434)? You can use their site to purchase a policy online or to investigate every feature of every policy.
Q: DO I NEED A PASSPORT?
Passports are STRONGLY recommended. One – they just make life easier and Two – if anything happens that causes you to have to fly out of a foreign port … life will be very difficult for you without one.
HOWEVER, you can travel without a passport AS LONG AS you have an original or certified copy of your birth certificate AND a photo id (such as your driver’s license).
YOU MUST HAVE ONE (a passport) OR THE OTHER (the birth certificate AND driver’s license) TO BOARD THE SHIP. This is not a NAHA or a RCI requirement – this is a US GOVERNMENT MANDATE and trust me, these people don’t mess around so make sure you are prepared with the appropriate documents. Sadly, we have had people miss the boat for lack of proper documentation. You don’t want to be the one standing on the dock watching us sail away.
See Royal Caribbean’s website for confirmation or if you need additional information: http://www.royalcaribbean.com/beforeyouboard/passportGuidelines.do
Q: OOOPS…UMMMM…MY SISTER’S COUSIN-IN-LAW’S ROOMMATE’S TURTLE DIED AND I HAVE TO ATTEND THE FUNERAL OR RISK BEING DISINHERITED FROM MY FAMILY. SO I CAN’T GO NOW (very sad “smiley” face). MAY I PLEASE HAVE A FULL REFUND FOR MY CANCELLATION?
There are NO EXCEPTIONS to our cancellation policy. That is why we STRONGLY RECOMMEND the travel insurance. Don’t be silly – just buy the insurance and protect your investment! Use any provider of your liking or to compare hundreds of plans from top providers visit the Squaremouth website. You can use their site to purchase online or to investigate every feature of every policy.
Because you love us and trust us and are taking a blind leap of faith in booking before we’ve announced a single band – we are providing a full refund of all funds paid (EXCEPT for a $50 processing fee) up until 8:00 am (Eastern Time) on March 4, 2016.
As of 8:00 am (Eastern Time) on March 4, 2016 – passengers may be refunded 50% of all monies paid UNTIL …
8:00 am (Eastern Time … yes, it’s ALL Eastern Time – that’s where we live!) on August 1, 2016, after which there will be NO REFUND. FOR ANY REASON. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS.
ANY RESERVATION CANCELLED FOR 90+ DAYS OF NONPAYMENT WILL RECEIVE NO REFUND AT ANY TIME.
Get travel insurance!!! It could be your savior should anything UNEXPECTED happen! To compare hundreds of plans from top providers visit the Squaremouth website. You can use their site to purchase online or to investigate every feature of every policy.
Q: WHAT’S WITH ALL THE LEGAL MUMBO-JUMBO IN THE TERMS & CONDITIONS … YOU REALLY EXPECT ME TO READ ALL THAT STUFF?
Well, yes, actually we do. It’s REALLY in your best interest since, in registering for the cruise, you are agreeing to abide by them. You don’t have to memorize the Terms & Conditions (although we may test you on them before letting you board the ship … ok, no we won’t – I’m just kidding!), but you really ought to know what you’re agreeing to since you will be held accountable to them.
Q: CAN I TAKE PICTURES AND VIDEO ON BOARD?
Sure! Snap away! BUT only with small, non-professional digital cameras and cell phones. Professional quality cameras with detachable lenses and video specific cameras are not allowed by anyone! And PLEASE be respectful of the artists and your fellow passengers by NOT using a flash during shows.
Also, please be respectful of the artists when they are out and about onboard the ship between performances. This is a working vacation for them and if they are constantly mobbed, they may run away and hide in their cabins … and nobody wants that!
Q: BASED ON THE LAST 4 CRUISES I KNOW THE LINEUP IS GOING TO BE AMAZING! CAN YOU GUARANTEE EVERY BAND ANNOUNCED WILL BE ON BOARD AND THAT I WILL GET TO SEE EVERY SHOW BY EVERY BAND?
There is no guarantee that every band will be onboard OR that every passenger will get to see every show by every band. What we can guarantee is that every band announced has signed a contract with NAHA to be on the cruise. Unfortunately we have no control over “unforeseen circumstances” (illnesses or other personal issues experienced by any artist).
As for the shows, due to the number of artists and number of shows being held during our 4 night adventure, the schedule does require some overlapping. All shows are “festival style” with no assigned seating. All bands will perform multiple shows so you should have a chance to see every band you want to see. A schedule of performances will be released shortly before we sail. To date, I don’t believe we have heard ANY complaints about a guest not getting to see someone they wanted to see.
NAHA / RLC will produce and distribute electronically a band schedule just before we sail. We will also provide schedules onboard the ship (along with a holder and a lanyard so you can keep it with you).
PLEASE keep in mind that we cruise in the ISH time zone … meaning if the schedule shows a band starting in the Theatre at 8:00 pm … we really mean it will be starting at 8:00ish… with all the of the bands and the amount of equipment that needs to be moved and set up, sometimes we get a little behind schedule. Just relax and go grab another drink, we’ll get things started as soon as possible. Getting upset and having a hissy fit that we didn’t start at the stroke of 8:00 pm is not going to get things started any sooner. All it’s going to do is raise your blood pressure and ruin your day.
ALSO, we will clear the Theatre and Studio B between each show. Once the area is cleared, the doors will be closed and will not be reopened until just before the performance begins. This tends to cause lines to form in front of the venues while people wait. Again, there is PLENTY of seating for everyone and typically not really a bad seat in the house. There is no point in standing in line getting grumpy. Go grab a seat at the closest bar and play nice with your fellow music loving passengers…it’s a great time to make new friends!
Q: I’M A RCI CROWN & ANCHOR MEMBER. WILL I STILL GET THE BENEFITS OF MY MEMBERSHIP?
Because we are chartering the entire ship, the Crown & Anchor program amenities will be slightly different. You will receive your deals/special benefits (such as ½ off a glass of wine, 10% off the spa, etc.) which will be loaded onto your SeaPass card (like on other sailings), BUT you will not have access to the Diamond Club (if you are Diamond level or above) and you will not have access to the Concierge Club (if you are Pinnacle level). If you have Visa Credits, you may use them towards onboard credits. And you will receive credit for the cruise, as with any other sailing.
Q: HELP! I BROKE MY LEG 2 WEEKS BEFORE SAILING AND I’D RATHER CRUISE AROUND THE SHIP IN A WHEELCHAIR (PREFERABLY ONE WITH A CUP HOLDER) THAN TRY TO HOBBLE AROUND ON CRUTCHES WHILE ALSO TRYING TO HOLD AN ADULT BEVERAGE (or two)!
Independence of the Seas does NOT provide wheelchairs for onboard use. However, you can rent a wheelchair, motorized wheelchair or scooter from the following vendors who have security clearance to deliver to the ship (cup holder not included):
Care Vacations: 1-877-478-7827
Special Needs at Sea: 1-800-513-4515
Q: SPEAKING OF WHEELCHAIRS, I WILL BE BRINGING MY OWN – IS THE ENTIRE SHIP ACCESSIBLE?
Not every area of the ship is wheelchair accessible. For instance, in Studio B – because it is actually the ice rink – the “floor” area in front of the stage (where the ice has been covered) is not. Also, ALL guests will be asked to leave the Theatre between shows, including those in wheelchairs or with other special needs.
IF you require the use of a wheelchair or scooter on board, please note that such items DO NOT FIT into a standard cabin – only the Handicap Accessible cabins. You MAY NOT leave your wheelchair or scooter out in the hallway – this is considered a safety issue on board and the item will be removed by ship staff. If you need a wheelchair on board and are in a standard cabin, make sure the wheelchair folds!!!!!
For people that do not use a wheelchair, but still need minimal assistance, bars and raised toilet seats can be accommodated in most cabins. In addition, disposal units for needles, refrigerators for medication and oxygen tanks can be put in most cabins upon request. All of these items are on a limited basis and should be requested immediately to ensure availability.