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Cruise Brokers International

 

Booking Questions

How do I book a cruise?
Why should I book with Cruise Brokers International?

Is it better to book my cruise early or wait for a last minute discount?
Can I book on short notice?
What about these rates I see advertised in my Sunday newspaper? Why aren't they ever available?
Why can't I just deal with the cruise line directly?
Do the cruise lines offer last minute discounts?
Should I buy cancellation protection and trip interruption insurance? 
How do I pay for my cruise? 
What are the deposit and final payment requirements?
Will I receive a written confirmation of my booking?
When will I receive my documents?
What are the immigration entry requirements?
Will my cruise dining request be confirmed on First (Main) Or Second seating?
When are the Terms & Conditions for booking air through the cruise line?
Who should I contact if I have questions that haven't been answered?

How do I book a cruise?

We prefer to talk with you directly to get a better feel of what your needs, desires, interests and preferences are. Simply call Cruise Brokers International at 800-261-3487, and we will help you pick the cruise that fits your vacation schedule, tastes, and budget. If you have a very good idea on what you want and can provide all the necessary information so that we can give an accurate quote, you may prefer to send an
E-mail quote request. All e-mail requests will be followed up with a phone call.

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Why should I book through Cruise Brokers International?

There are a number of reasons to book with Cruise Brokers International. Among them, prompt, courteous service from a certified Accredited and Master Cruise Counselor, and the best rates around!  For more information about Cruise Brokers International, visit our
Company Profile.

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Is it better to book my cruise early or wait for a last minute discount?

It depends on your level of flexibility, but overall, it is better to book early. The cruise lines will often lower your rate if a better promotion comes along after you book your trip. Some guidelines are listed below, but again what they really come down to is flexibility.

Small Group Bookings: (family and friends, usually a minimum of 8 cabins) 
Book at least 9 - 12 months in advance to secure the best pricing and cabin availability.

Incentive/Corporate Groups: 
Book ahead as far as possible - preferably 12 months or longer. In addition to securing the best pricing and cabin availability you may want to allow extra time for your company promotion and implementation of program goals.

Individual Bookings:

Book early (at least 6 - 8 months in advance) if:
You need multiple cabins 
You're not flexible with dates (honeymoon, anniversary, vacation, etc)
You want a specific cabin, for example:
- suite, mini-suite, or verandah
- location (port, starboard, middle of ship, bedding, etc.)
- handicapped
It's an inaugural cruise
It is a unique itinerary (holiday, infrequent)
You need a cabin for 4 or 4 people
You are particular about seating at dinner (especially if you want late seating)
You plan to use frequent flyer tickets to get to the port (especially foreign cruises)

Book late if:
You have lots of flexibility (itinerary, dates), especially if only two people are cruising.
You don't care about the location of your cabin and you will take an inside cabin.
You can drive to the port and/or don't have to worry about air availability and lowest pricing.

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Can I book on short notice?

Even the most popular cruises sometimes have space available because of late cancellations. Check with your Cruise Brokers International agent or check the listings under
Last Minute Cruise Specials.

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What about these rates I see advertised in my Sunday newspaper? Why aren't they ever available?

Often rates you see in the Sunday newspaper in the early part of the year are for sailings during the most affordable week in the fall and on the shortest cruise. Since this pricing is based on the lowest category on the ship (which happens to have the fewest cabins), they are sold by the time you call. Until recently, all rates were quoted without airfare, port charges and taxes. It's very difficult at times to explain to a client that a seven night cruise with airfare, port charges and taxes in an outside cabin from Atlanta is $1,099 per person when they saw an ad in their paper stating their cruise rates were from $199 per person. $199 would be for a three-night cruise in a bunk bed cabin, for a third and fourth passenger, without airfare, port charges or taxes. It's very misleading and we try to avoid such advertising.

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Why can't I just deal with the cruise line directly?

You can actually make reservations with some cruise lines, but usually this is not to your advantage. Our agency has strong buying power with most cruise lines. We often get special rates that are unavailable directly through the cruise line or other agencies. At Cruise Brokers International you deal with one agent with whom you've developed a relationship. Most cruise lines have hundreds of reservations agents. To them, you'd be just another passenger. To us, you're a valued client.

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Do the cruise lines offer last minute discounts?

Last minute discounts are less popular than in the past. Today, the cruise lines are trying to fill the ships with better early booking discounts. They can now tell about three months prior to sailing if a sailing needs help. If they do, they'll institute "past passenger" discounts first, then senior rates and regional promotions. Lastly, they'll drop the rates if necessary. Either way, if you book early and the price comes down after putting down your deposit, the cruise line will often lower your rate to the new promotion. You're always better off booking early.

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Should I buy cancellation protection and trip interruption insurance?

Travel insurance protection never seems necessary - unless you have to use it!  Without insurance, if you cancel your cruise after final payment, you will suffer penalties (refer to the individual cruise line brochure for description of penalties). Penalties may range from $50 per person or could be the full cost of the trip. The cruise line doesn't care if it was your life saving, or you have a heart attack, or even a death in the family. You will not get your money back after final payment without insurance. 

For further information of types of coverage, please refer to the
Travel Insurance section under General Information on the homepage.

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How do I pay for my cruise?

For your protection you are always better to pay for your cruise by a credit card. Credit cards are convenient, safe and you get extra protection for your vacation from your credit card company should a cruise line or tour company go into default or bankruptcy. Your statement will show that the payments went directly to the cruise line or tour operator. Although we discourage payments made by check, we will accept certified bank checks payable to Cruise Brokers International.

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What are the deposit and final payment requirements?

Deposits range from $100 - $1000 per person,depending on the cruise line.  If you must pay by check, your check must be received at our office two weeks prior to any stated deposit or final payment due dates, and should be made payable to Cruise Brokers International.

A cruise deposit of approximately $250 per person is normally required at the time of booking. You will be advised of the exact amount required by the cruise line at the time of booking. At this time you should have decided whether you wish to purchase the optional Cancellation & Protection Insurance. ((hyperlink to Travel Insurance). After the final payment has been made, should you cancel your booking, you will be subject to the cruise line's cancellation penalties. 

If you are planning on booking a land package, deposits and payments will vary according to each individual tour operator. You will be advised accordingly.

For security reasons and your protection, Cruise Brokers International does not accept credit card payments via the web. We ask that you fax your credit card information to 1-864-294-1133 (you can print off the following form), or call 800-261-3487 with your credit card information.

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Using your browser's print button will print the following form and the Air Line Deviation form correctly.

 

CHARGE FORM: (Fax to: 1-864-281-0066)
Passenger Name(s): _____________________________________

Home Phone Number: (     ) ___________________________
(if you live outside the United States, include Country Code and City Code)

Address: ________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Destination: _____________________________ Departure Date ___________________

Cruise Line or Tour Operator Name: __________________________________________

Amount to be charged: $________________________

Credit Card Type: Visa/Mastercard, etc. ______________________________________

Exact name as it appears on the face of the Credit Card: __________________________

Credit Card Number: _____________________________________________

Expiration Date: _______________________

Authorization Signature __________________________________ Date ____________

Cruise Brokers International
103 Seedling Way

Mauldin, SC  29662

Phone: (864) 281-1882 or (800)261-3487
Fax: (864) 281-0066

RESPONSIBILITY:
Cruise Brokers International and its agents act only as intermediaries for passengers and its suppliers and assumes no liability nor accepts responsibility for illness, injury, damage, accident, loss, delay, itinerary change, or any other irregularity which may be occasioned by any company carrying out the details of the cruise or tour. The sole and exclusive responsibility of an IATA carrier shall be in accordance with and is limited by contract of carriage of passenger airline ticket, applicable tariffs and provisions of the Warsaw Convention. If applicable, any IATA carrier shall not be responsibility or liable for any act or omission, or occurrence during the time passengers are not on board the airplane. Participant(s) acknowledge that neither Operator nor its agents have made representations or promises with respect to the arrangements described herein except as expressly set forth in the operators literature.

I HAVE READ AND UNDERSTAND ALL CONDITIONS OF THIS CONTRACT AND AGREE TO ITS TERMS.


I do ______I do not _______ accept travel insurance


Signature _______________________________________ Date ____________________

Signature _______________________________________ Date ____________________


===============================================================
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Will I receive a written confirmation of my booking?

Once a deposit has been made you will receive a written confirmation within 7-10 business days.

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When will I receive my documents?

Your documents will be mailed to you no later than 1-2 weeks prior to your departure date.

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What are the immigration entry requirements?

Entry requirements are the sole responsibility of the passenger. No refunds will be made if improper documentation or proof of citizenship results in denied boarding or entry into a foreign country. The following are general guidelines for entry requirements. If you are unsure contact your agent or local embassy to be sure you will be in compliance. 

If you are a United States citizen or Resident Alien and are travelling only within the 48 states of the Continental U.S. you will be required to show picture identification (e.g. drivers license) when you check-in at the airline counter. In addition, if you are traveling outside the 48 United States or internationally, your required documentation will vary depending on your citizenship and destination. A current Passport and Picture Driver's License identification is usually sufficient proof for a U.S. citizen. Some countries (e.g. Caribbean) may substitute an original birth certificate in lieu of a Passport, while other Caribbean countries (e.g. Roatan Is., Puerto Cortes and Margarita Is.) require that all U.S. citizens have a current passport. If you are a Resident Alien you must carry your Green Card and any other necessary documentation. If you live outside the United States you will be required to carry a current Passport. Ask your Cruise Brokers International agent if you are unsure.

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Will my cruise dining request be confirmed on First (Main) Or Second seating?

At the time of booking a cruise you will be asked your dining preference. This preference will be noted on your booking with the cruise line. If you book ahead far enough usually you can be confirmed on your dining choice. Otherwise, your request is noted and you are placed on a wait list. Confirmation will be made when you board the ship. Dining assignments are made on a request basis only to the cruise line. Please note the travel agency has no control over what dining you are assigned.

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When are the Terms & Conditions for booking air through the cruise line?

When booking your air through the cruise line, the cost of your roundtrip ground transfers are included in your price (e.g. from the airport to the pier, and from the pier back to the airport). 

TERMS & CONDITIONS:

You will be assigned round-trip coach class service from your home gateway on the day of your departure and last day of your trip. The cruise line assigns air schedules approximately 21-30 days prior to your departure. Although they attempt to book you on the most direct and timely schedules, there may be occasion where you are not booked on the most direct routing. All aspects of air travel are based on airline availability. If you are traveling during peak season for your destination or over a holiday, the airline experiences high demand for the most desirable flights. The cruise line is solely responsible for choosing your flight schedule. Please note the travel agency has no control over this booking process. 

Certain cruises or tour itineraries may misconnect with the flight schedules offered in and out of certain cities, which may require you to overnight or take an overnight "red-eye" flight either before or after the cruise. Hotel accommodations resulting from operational overnights will be at your expense. 

If you prefer to choose your own airline carrier, or flight schedule, you may want to consider paying an "air deviation" request. Please advise your agent at the time of your booking if you wish to do this.

You make special requests for any of the following:
Airline of your choice
Nonstop routing (if available)
Your preference of flight times
Upgrade to first or business class
Coordinated flights with others with whom you are traveling
Flights on days other than the day of cruise departure or arrival

Your reservation must be under full deposit, and our office must make the air deviation request to the cruise line no later than ten days prior to final payment. We suggest, however, that you make your request at the time of deposit to increase your chances of obtaining the schedule you prefer.

Sometimes air deviations are denied because the request is made too early. If your request is denied for this reason, Cruise Brokers International will resubmit your air deviation on a later date as advised by the cruise line.

The cruise line charges a non-refundable service fee for all accepted air deviations. This is usually $50 for domestic air deviations and $75 per person for international deviations. If the airline requires an additional fare from the cruise line to accommodate your request, these air costs will also be added to your final payment once you have approved your flight schedule.

Stopovers and open-jaws are generally not accepted as deviation requests. Some cruise lines may offer stopover packages in New York or Los Angeles for passengers on cross-country flights connecting to Europe or the Orient. Ask your agent about what options are available.

You may forfeit your complimentary ground transfers and any complimentary hotel overnights by changing the day of the week on which you fly. Ask your agent about what other arrangements can be made.

The cruise line maintains the right to adjust confirmed flights based on schedule changes or flight cancellations implemented by the air carrier.

If you have booked your vacation inside the cruise line's deadline for final payment you are not eligible for an air deviation.

The cruise line does not notify the travel agency of your flight schedule. If you would like to know your flight schedule prior to receiving your documents, please call or e-mail our office 30 days prior to your departure date. 

Typically, you may not upgrade your airline tickets with mileage awards. The cruise line's air tickets reflect special fares that are non-published by the air carrier and are not open for upgrade to a higher class of service.

Passengers travelling on regularly scheduled airline carriers will receive frequent flyer credit for air travel booked by the cruise line. Please contact the air carrier directly to apply your account numbers and remember to keep your boarding cards until you have received proper credit.

Seat assignments are based on airline availability, and Cruise Brokers International cannot guarantee them. As a service to you, we will communicate with the airline on your behalf, or you are always welcome to contact the airline directly. Your agent will make every effort to honor your request for specific seating, but please understand that seating is up to the airline, and we cannot guarantee your preferences or that you will be seated with the others in your party. In some cases the air carrier denies advance seating and requires you to make your seats when you check in at the airport. The cruise line does not make seat assignments or issue boarding passes. You must pick up your boarding passes from the airline.

If desirable seat assignment is important to you, request an air deviation so that you will know your flight schedule in enough time to get your seats. Otherwise, we will not know your flight schedule until we get your documents approximately two weeks prior to your travel. We will then try to get the best seat assignments, if any, that are available at this time. Cruise Brokers International does not guarantee seat assignments.

Cruise Brokers International does not book your flights. If you decide not to do an air deviation, neither your agent nor Cruise Brokers International are responsible for your air schedule. Once the cruise line has confirmed your flight schedule they will not change it, even if you dislike it.

Cruise Brokers International will reconfirm your flights and obtain seat assignments after the cruise documents are received in our office, unless you have a confirmed schedule through an air deviation and we have specifically requested seats in advance of booking.

Exit row seating cannot be confirmed in advance; if this is your preference arrive at the gate extra early.

The airline and the cruise line do not notify your agent of changes to your air travel after ticketing. We suggest that you contact the airline yourself 24-48 hours prior to departure to become aware of any last minute changes to your flight.

Please arrive at the airport at least 1 hours prior to flight time for domestic and Caribbean flights and 2 hours prior to departure for international flights.

You are required to show proof of identity to board the aircraft. Have your driver's license or passport handy when you check in.

Airlines strictly enforce restrictions on carry-on luggage. Please call the airline directly to determine their requirements.

In the event of a weather or carrier-caused delay the airline will work with you to the best of it's ability, but is not obligated to connect you with the ship. You may want to consider adding a pre-cruise hotel package in the city of embarkation especially if you will be traveling in the winter months.

REQUEST AN AIR DEVIATION:

Cruise Brokers International understands how important a convenient flight schedule is to the overall enjoyment of your vacation. Because the airline already experiences high demand for the most desirable flights, we strongly recommend that you take advantage of your option to confirm your flights through the air deviation process if:

You would like to fly on a particular carrier to earn frequent flier mileage.
You are travelling to the Caribbean in January, February or March.
You want a non-stop flight or the most direct service offered from your home gateway.
You are traveling internationally or to Alaska.
You want to arrive in your cruise departure city a few days earlier than the ships departure.
You want to return home a few days after your ship returns to port at the end of your cruise.
You are traveling over a holiday or Spring Break period.
Your airline seat assignments are very important to you.
Some members of your party have booked their flights directly with the airline or are using frequent flier tickets and you want the same flights they have.
You want to guarantee that you are flying with friends or family booked in separate cabins.
You want to upgrade to first or business class.

WHAT IF I DON'T LIKE MY FLIGHTS?

If you choose not to do an air deviation and you do not like the flights assigned to you by the cruise line, you may either cancel your air arrangements and book your own flights directly with the airline of your choice, or, make changes to your existing ticket directly with the airline.
Changes made directly with the airline to your airline tickets are subject to fees imposed by the carrier. These fees vary by airline but can range from $75 per person for a domestic or Caribbean ticket and $150 per person or more for an international ticket. Check with your carrier before making changes. You will receive a refund for your airfare less any applicable penalties charged by the cruise line. The airline tickets must be returned to the cruise line at your expense by certified mail or other traceable method. The cruise line will process refunds only after receiving your airline tickets and take up to two billing cycles on your credit card. If you paid by check, the refund may take 6-8 weeks.

AIR DEVIATION PROCESS:

Contact Cruise Brokers International with your air deviation request as soon as you make your booking, but no later than ten days prior to your cruise line's required final payment date.
The cruise line will respond to us within two weeks and we will contact you with the air schedule information.
You may either accept or decline the results of the deviation request within 24 hours. If you accept the deviation, the air deviation charges will be added to your reservation.
If you decline the deviation, you will not be charged the deviation fees. You will then be assigned any flight the cruise line has available at 21-30 days prior to your travel. If you do not like the flights assigned to you by the cruise line, they will not change the flights, nor will you be allowed to accept the deviation that may have been offered to you in the first place. Any changes must be made directly with the carrier.
Once you accept your deviation you can only change it by submitting another air deviation request. This must be done with your cruise line no later than ten days prior to your final payment date and the entire air deviation process as listed above will be repeated.
If you decline a subsequent air deviation request, you will still have the same flight schedule you previously confirmed.
All deviation charges are non-refundable and you will be charged by the cruise line for each request
Once the cruise line prints the airline ticket, there can be no changes made by them. Any changes after ticketing must be made by you directly with the airline carrier. Changes made directly with the airline to your airline tickets are subject to fees imposed by the airline carrier.
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Using your browser's print button will print the following form and the Credit Card Authorization Form correctly.

 

AIRLINE DEVIATION REQUEST FORM:

You may print a copy of the following form, complete it, and fax to 1-864-281-0066, or
call us at 1-800-261-3487 or (864) 281-1882.



Guest Names: (Last, First, Middle Initial): 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

Phone Number: wk: (     )____________________

hm: (     ) ______________________

Specific Request for Airline, Flights and Dates:

Before sailing:

Airline/Flight Number______________________________

Departure Date: __________________________ Departure Time: _________________

Departure City ____________________________ Arrival City: ___________________

After sailing: 

Airline/Flight Number_______________________________

Departure Date: ____________________________ Departure Time: ________________

Departure City ________________________ Arrival City ________________________

For International sailings, please indicate arrival date requested at port city. ___________

Upgrade Request:

Please provide me with a quote for an upgrade: First Class _______Business Class_____

Airline Preference ________________________________________________________

Remarks: 

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Please note that a non-refundable service fee ($50 and up, depending on the cruise line) will be added to accepted Custom Air Deviation requests. Cruise Brokers International must receive this form no later than ten days prior to your final payment date. Please note that Custom Air Deviation requests are based on availability and may be limited during peak travel periods. 

Your Signature: _______________________________ Date: _____________________


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Who should I contact if I have questions that haven't been answered?

Call one of our friendly, professional certified agents at 1-800-261-3487, or e-mail us at
sales@cruisebrokers-intl.com

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