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Booking your Cruise

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What do I need to do to book my cruise?

Call Cruise Connections! We have a convenient toll free number: 1-800-661-WAVE and are open 7 days a week.
You can also submit the Request a Quote form on our website and one of our cruise experts will contact you with the information you have requested.
Our professional multilingual cruise specialists, who enjoy and take pride in planning your dream cruise, are waiting for your call.

Why should I book with Cruise Connections?

At Cruise Connections Canada, we Guarantee the Lowest Prices on all Cruise Vacations, to all destinations, all the time!
Since we represent every major cruise line, we offer more ships, more dates, more itineraries and greater cabin choices, than anyone in the cruise industry.
Cruise Connections has received the most prestigious awards for outstanding customer service and highest sales volumes. When Cruise Connections books your cruise, you are assured of the very best value for your money.

Wouldn't it be simpler for me to deal with the cruise line directly?

You can make your reservations directly with some cruise lines but usually this is not to your advantage. When you book with Cruise Connections you will get personal service from one of our cruise specialists. This person will take the time to get to know you and understand what you want from your vacation. Most cruise lines have hundreds of reservations agents. To them, you'd be just another passenger. To us, you're a valued client - we promise to deliver not only the best cruise experience but we also guarantee the lowest price in Canada. Our rates are often lower that those available directly from the cruise line.

I live outside of Canada and I've never done business with you. How can I be sure you are a legitimate travel agent?

Since 1985, Cruise Connections Canada has satisfied thousands of customers. We are one of the leading companies in the cruise travel industry and are members of CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association), ACTA (Alliance of Canadian Travel Associations), NACOA (National Association of Cruise Only Agencies), The Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau. This is your assurance that you will get what you expect: great service, great prices and most importantly, great value.

Why are your rates better than what my local travel agent is quoting me?

Many cruise lines offer special bulk buying rates to their top producing agencies. We then pass these savings on to you. Additionally, our counsellors are cruise experts. They know how to get you the best deal. Plus, since we sell only cruises we make it our job to be aware of all the various special offers our cruise line partners may be offering.

What about special rates for Seniors or for Families?

Cruise lines frequently offer special rates for Seniors (over 55 years) with savings of up to $100 or sometimes more. These are normally available on cruises during the off-peak season - September and mid-December and right after the New Year. To qualify for these rates, one person in the cabin must be over 55 (and have identification to prove it).
When a cruise has space available and the cruise line wants to fill those cabins that can accommodate a 3rd, or 4th passenger, they may offer special Family Rates. The third and fourth person in a cabin may pay $499 per person on a typical seven-night cruise. However, to help fill a ship, the cruise line may reduce this rate to $99 or even offer free passage to 3rd and 4th guests. In these situations the first and second passenger pay the normal cruise fare and the additional passengers get the special rate. Note: these discounts are typically only available on the cruise portion of your vacation. The airfare may be full price for everyone. Ask your Cruise Connections agents about these special rates.

Do cruises have last minute deals, or should I book early?

Last Minute Discounts are less popular than in the past. Today, cruise lines reward those who book in advance with special lower rates. They can now tell about three months prior to departure if promotions are needed to help fill the ship. If they do, they'll institute Past Passenger Discounts first, Senior Rates second, Regional Promotions third, and then drop the rates for all passengers only if necessary.

Deciding on whether to wait for a better deal depends on your level of flexibility. Overall, to get the ship, itinerary, sailing date and cabin accommodations you want, it is better to book early. Plus, the cruise lines will often lower your rate if a better promotion comes along after you book your trip.
A few things to consider before deciding whether to book early or take your chances on a last minute special include:
Early booking (at least 6 - 8 months in advance) is advised if:

  • You want to be part of an inaugural cruise
  • You want a specific cabin, i.e. suites or mini-suites; or a specific location (port, starboard, middle of the ship, bedding, etc.)
  • You require a wheelchair accessible cabin
  • The itinerary you have selected is an unique itinerary (holiday, infrequent)
  • You're not flexible with dates (honeymoon, vacation, etc.)
  • You need a cabin that can accommodate a 3rd or 4th person
  • You're travelling with a group and need multiple cabins (family, group, etc.)
  • You prefer a specific dining time. Depending on the cruise itinerary, one dining time may fill up faster than the other.
  • You plan to use frequent flyer tickets to get to the port (especially foreign cruises)

Waiting for a last minute deal may work for you if:

  • You have lots of flexibility (on both your itinerary and sailing dates)
  • There are only two of you cruising
  • You aren't particular about the location of your cabin and you will take an inside cabin
  • You can drive to the port (and none of the other guidelines apply)
  • You feel it isn't any fun unless you have lots of pressure.

Some cruise lines will now guarantee dinner seating and take a lower deposit when you book early (this may only be for repeat passengers).
Most people book from 8 months to as much as 18 months in advance. You can always cancel, but of course you have to pay your deposit and it may be non-refundable. If it is refundable, getting the actual refund cheque may be a slow process and could take a few months.
Discuss your vacation needs with your Cruise Connections agent and they will help you decide which option is best for you.

What are my chances of getting an upgrade?

It does happen, but not as frequently as people would like to believe. Most people who get upgraded do so because they booked a "Category Guarantee" special. This means that they booked the cruise ship and sailing date but did not select a specific cabin category. When you book a "Category Guarantee" you are not assigned a cabin number; you are simply guaranteed that category or better. Since some people simply want to get the best price, "Guarantees" are a great way to fill the ship with people looking for a good rate who don't care where their cabin is located. The cruise lines always sell more guarantees in a category than there are cabins in that category. For example, the lowest rate on Celebrity Cruise Line's Zenith is a Category 12, inside cabin. There are approximately 6 category 12 cabins. However, on each sailing, Celebrity will sell between 40 and 60 category 12 guarantees. Therefore, 34 people are going to get a free upgrade. These upgrades are allocated on a first-come first-serve basis and those early bookers typically get the best upgrades. Cabin assignments on guarantees are usually made between a few weeks and the day of sailing. If you don't like the cabin they give you there usually isn't much luck of getting it changed, especially if the sailing is sold out. So if you're afraid of being at the front, back, top, bottom, or under the dining room, don't take the chance; book directly into an assigned cabin.
Don't expect to get upgraded from an inside cabin to an outside cabin. Most upgrades are from low inside cabins to higher inside cabins, or low outside cabins to higher outside cabins. An upgrade from an inside cabin to an outside cabin rarely happens.
If you are assigned a cabin number when you deposit on your cruise, your chances of an upgrade are very small. If you have booked a 4-person cabin, your chances for an upgrade are very small as there are few quad cabins on board.

What if I want to extend my cruise vacation?

Cruise Connections can arrange pre- or post-cruise land packages at the same time you book you cruise holiday. These are available through the cruise line or our own land arrangements department and may include transfers or a rental car. This is a great way to see more of your embarkation or departure city, as well as rest up, particularly if you are travelling overseas.

How can I pay for my cruise? What are the deposit and final payment requirements?

We always recommend that you use a credit card to book your trip. It's convenient, safe, and you get extra protection for your vacation from your credit card company. But if you prefer, we can accept certified cheques or money orders payable to Cruise Connections.
If you are booking your cruise early (more than four months prior to travel) the cruise line typically requires a deposit ranging from $100 per person for a 3 or 4 night cruise, $200 - $250 per person for a 7 night cruise, and $300 or more for longer cruises. These charges vary by cruise line. For most cruise lines you must pay in full at least 65 days prior to travel (some require final payment even sooner).
Your Cruise Connections agent will discuss payment terms with regards to your particular cruise. You will get a comprehensive receipt for every payment and will receive a final payment reminder to keep you on top of your expenses. If you would like to pay in installments for your trip, you may do so provided your vacation is paid in full prior to the final balance due date.

What are the benefits of cancellation insurance?

Without insurance, if you cancel your cruise after final payment, you will suffer penalties and likely lose money. These penalties could be $50 per person or could be the full cost of the trip depending on when you notify the cruise line of your cancellation. The cruise line doesn't care if it was your life savings, if it was a heart attack, a death or if you promise to rebook and say good things about the line; you will not get your money back after final payment without insurance
Whether you purchase insurance is up to you. We will suggest it at the time of booking but it is your decision.

Things to consider about whether or not to purchase insurance include:

  • Can you afford to lose this money?
  • Do you have a pre-existing medical condition?
  • Is your trip relatively expensive?
  • Are you leaving the country for 10 days or longer?
  • Are you at a point in your life where you are susceptible to accident or illness?
  • Are you booking your own air transportation?
  • Is your own insurance limited to medical expenses in Canada or the U.S.?

    If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may want to consider insurance. Insurance typically costs about 10% of your total trip cost and usually covers baggage, trip delay, trip interruption, medical expenses, medical evacuation, and more. The cruise line's insurance typically doesn't cover pre-existing conditions, but there are other insurance policies available to cover these situations. Ask your agent for a brochure explaining it in more detail. If you have to use insurance, it's definitely worth the extra dollars.

What type of Trip Cancellation / Interruption Insurance does Cruise Connections Canada offer?

Cruise Connections Canada offers a comprehensive and competitive selection of travel insurance programs through provided by Travel Guard (AIG).
Benefits include:

  • Default (Bankruptcy) coverage for any cruise line or travel provider
  • Comprehensive trip cancellation and interruption coverage
  • Baggage loss and delay

These are just a few of the many benefits contained in this valuable protection. While travel insurance is not obligatory, we strongly recommend this coverage. Remember, you could lose your entire investment and miss your vacation should something unexpected happen.
For additional information go to the Travel Insurance section of our website.