How can I find a lower fare?
Is my airline ticket refundable?
Can I give my airline ticket to someone else?
When do I have to check in for my flight?
How much luggage can I take on my trip?
What are e-tickets?
What if I lose my paper ticket?
How do I get seat assignments?
Can I use my debit card to purchase airline tickets?
What if my credit card is declined? How does that affect my airline reservation?
How do I tune into travel warnings?
Where can I check out what I can carry on?
Why use a travel agent?
How do I benefit from Activa Travel's automated low fare monitoring?
How do I stay informed about airline schedule changes?
Choose to cruise for YOU. You can have the vacation of a lifetime, see the world, completely unwind, dance the night away, feast on fabulous cuisine, learn something new, make new friends, bond with your family, steal quite moments. Whatever your heart desires, you CAN have it all when you choose to cruise. Consider these perks:
1. VALUE: One price purchases your cabin, dining, entertainment and more!
2. ROMANCE: Secluded beaches, pampering, oceanview dining and spa services are just some of the romantic pursuits of cruising.
3. CUISINE: Tantalize your taste buds with exotic gourmet meals. Prefer pizza or ice cream? Or a healthier spa choice? Many cruise lines offer a wide variety, from a traditional ballroom setting to a small bistro to a casual eatery.
4. VARIETY: With more than 150 ships, 1,800 ports-of-call and an unbelievable array of places to see and things to do, your Activa Travel cruise counselor will find the perfect cruise for YOU! You also have the option of adding on a pre- or post-cruise land tour.
5. ACTIVITIES: Fill your days with sightseeing, sports, cultural lectures and educational tours. Or simply lounge by the pool and relax. At night, enjoy dancing, musical revues, gaming or quiet stargazing.
6. SIMPLICITY: Don't come back from your vacation needing a vacation! Planning a cruise is simple – leave the details to your Activa Travel cruise counselor. Once you're onboard, many of your expenses are pre-paid and hassle-free.
7. NEW HORIZONS: Fall asleep in one destination and awake to a new horizon. And the best part? You only have to unpack once!
8. FAMILY: Families love cruising! Children's programs, swimming, kid-friendly menus and ship tours will keep your kids happy and give you some much-deserved time alone. What's more, children often travel at a reduced rate.
9. PAMPERING: Regardless of your budget, all cruise lines pamper their guests with first-class service around the clock.
10. SATISFACTION: Cruises have a higher percentage of satisfied customers than any other vacation experience. See for yourself!
Whether it's just the two of you, a close-knit group of 200 or anything in between, combining your wedding and honeymoon on a cruise vacation couldn't be easier. Every year, more couples are realizing that doing just that provides romance, value, simplicity and fun. From intimate weddings to grand celebrations, we'll help you plan the wedding of a lifetime. Your Activa Travel cruise counselor will assist you in determining which cruise line and cruise ship best suits your wedding plan.
Depending on your cruise line and destination, you'll be able to say "I do" onboard or in port. We'll present your options, along with itineraries as unique as you and your partner. We'll also make sure you feel pampered: Cruise lines are chock-full of spa treatments and other indulgences like breakfast in bed and champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. What's more, your floating resort includes your meals, entertainment and transportation between exotic ports all in one price. We'll even help you with custom wedding packages that include photos, flowers, music and more.
Romance awaits you – trust your Activa Travel cruise counselor to help you find the right wedding and honeymoon package to suit your tastes, dreams and wallet. We live up to our promise: At Activa Travel, you pack, we plan.
Yes! Group cruising brings your friends and family together for an unforgettable vacation – and Activa Travel makes it easy for you to get started and get cruising.
Plan a group cruise as an incentive or for a wedding, your next family reunion, even with your bowling team. You'll be surprised how many groups make a perfect match for group cruising!
Consider these simple steps as you begin to plan your group cruise:
1. Define your group and the interests of the people in it. Do you want to island-hop, would you prefer more time on the ship, is a newer ship important to you? There are many itineraries and cruise lines and your Activa Travel cruise counselor will help you choose what's best for your group.
2. What size budget does your group have? Is a 3-day cruise best for most or can everyone participate in a 7-day cruise? Here's a tip: Cruising rates often drop in September, October, early November, May and June.
3. How many cabins will you need? Qualifying as a group often adds value to your sailing but it requires at least 8 cabins.
4. Grow your group! Promote your cruise, along with all the fun and savings of group cruising. You'll be pleasantly surprised at how many people are interested in group cruising.
5. Cruise lines require deposits and final payments in advance. For your convenience and assurance, be sure your payments are made per cruise policy through your Activa Travel cruise counselor. Deposits also will help you clarify which group members are seriously planning to travel and who may want to wait until the next voyage.
Group cruising often provides extra potential benefits, including:
In fact, cruising is among the best vacation values! We have cruises to suit every budget. Your cruise fare includes your meals, your stateroom, on-board activities and entertainment, plus transportation from port to port. Which means you'll know the cost of your cruise vacation before you go. (Typically, your only extra expenses will be drinks, specialty restaurants, gratuities, optional shore excursions and personal services such as massage or hairstyling.) You'll be amazed!
Cruises can be as long or as short as you want. We offer itineraries from three days to three months. And your destinations are seemingly endless, with more than 1,800 ports worldwide and practically every destination accessible by water.
Just call or email Activa Travel and one of our cruise counselors will help you pick the cruise that fits your vacation schedule, tastes and budget. We'll make all the arrangements, from your doorstep to your ship and back. Activa Travel is affiliated with the Cruise Line International Association, Inc., and our cruise counselors have completed an extensive program of training, including sailing on and inspecting a vast number of cruise ships.
Cruise ships span from intimate to yacht-like to vessels stretching longer than three football fields. You can sail with fewer than 100 fellow guests or with more than 2,600, in atmospheres ranging from casual to formal, contemporary to classic. You can even choose sail-assisted ships. Enjoy the endless activities offered on a contemporary resort-style cruise or immerse yourself in the culture of a destination on a special interest cruise. With all this variety, you'll be happy to have the guidance of your Activa Travel cruise counselor!
There are cruises designed for virtually every interest and personal preference, including boutique cruises; luxury cruises with globetrotting itineraries; large, contemporary ships with a fantastic array of recreational facilities; classic vessels evoking the time-honored traditions of cruising; and special-interest or exploration cruises specializing in unique destinations with an accent on cultural enrichment. Further, some cruise lines feature soft adventure expeditions to such unusual and rustic frontiers as Antarctica, the Amazon rainforest or the African Serengeti. Or discover historical legacies closer to home with enlightening itineraries to New England, French Canada and the Colonial America coast.
For experienced travelers, destination-focused cruises specialize in premium, culturally-rich ports of call with itineraries dedicated to illuminating such historic, world-class treasures as the antiquities of classical Greece, the Polynesian paradise of Hawaii or the fabled splendor of Norwegian fjords. For many, the perfect vacation includes the non-stop fun and sun of a tropical resort-style cruise to the Caribbean, where you can sample a variety of island cultures and cuisines while working on a terrific suntan. Many cruise lines even create special onboard themes, with entertainment ranging from jazz festivals and classical music concerts to golf clinics and murder mysteries at sea.
To complement the spirit of discovery that travel evokes, many cruise lines feature an extensive selection of onboard enrichment seminars hosted by distinguished guest experts. In addition to lectures highlighting the history and sights of ports you will be visiting, you also may find special in-depth presentations ranging from Renaissance works of art and strategic financial planning to epicurean secrets of classic French cuisine.
That depends on the type of cruise and your destination. Most cruises do now require passports. Your Activa Travel cruise counselor will help you with travel documentation requirements.
Today's cruise ships are "one-class," which means that everyone can use all of the ship's facilities. The price of a cabin is based primarily on its size and location. Regardless of the category you book, you'll enjoy the same courteous service, menus, activities and entertainment as everyone else on board.
Worried you'll get bored or feel confined while cruising? Hardly! Being at sea gives you a feeling of total freedom. There's plenty of room – it will probably take you two or three days just to discover everything that's onboard. Plus, you get the added adventure of exploring many exciting ports of call.
Cruise ships are floating resorts with all the choices fine resorts have to offer. You can lie back in a lounge chair, breathe in the sea air, soak up the sun, read good books or watch the ever-changing seascape. If you're more active, join in an exercise class, dance class or sports contest. Practice your tennis stroke or golf swing, or take some fresh air on the jogging deck, go for a swim, stretch out in the sauna or work out in the gym. Many ships offer unique activities like rock-wall climbing, spas and onboard adventures. (Some activities have additional fees.) You can also see a feature film, attend an enrichment lecture by experts, or play backgammon or bridge. All this just when you're onboard!
There's so much to do in port, you'll have a hard time choosing! Explore on your own or take a guided tour (referred to as shore excursions). Search ancient ruins or hunt for shopping bargains. Ride a raft over river rapids, or a horse across miles of hills and beaches. Climb a waterfall or pyramid. Follow the footsteps of history or the wake of a waterskiing boat. If there's still time, play golf or tennis. Learn how to windsurf. Sun and swim at some of the world's best beaches. Catch a record marlin. Sail, snorkel, or scuba dive. Take a cable car to the top of a mountain. Explore dark catacombs.
In short, cruising is the perfect way to sample a number of new destinations and try all the things you've ever dreamed of doing while never having to pack and unpack!
On a cruise, you do what you want, when you want. You can do everything or do absolutely nothing. It's your vacation!
With so many cruises booked by families with children, most cruise lines provide plenty of supervised activities for kids, especially during school holidays. If your children enjoy swimming, sports, games, movies and the adventure of new places, they'll love a family cruise. Children adapt to shipboard life with ease, and you won't have to wonder what they're up to every minute. Youth counselors will help keep them busy and entertained. Some cruise lines even have youth counselors with childcare training from US colleges. Ships offer different types of age-appropriate activities, suitable for toddlers to teens. Babysitting in the cabin is available at an additional charge. Your Activa Travel cruise counselor will give you details on the childcare options onboard your ship. And here's an added bonus: Children often travel at a reduced rate!
Again, it depends on your ship, but in most cases, when the stars come out, a cruise ship really turns on. There's dancing, live entertainment, nightclubs and lounges, feature films and parties with all your new friends. Most ships also have casinos. What's more, there are many special events like the Captain's Cocktail Party, Passenger Talent Night, Broadway-style shows and Las Vegas-type revues. And the best part? On a cruise, entertainment is on the house. There's no cover, minimum or charge for admission. The shows are live, the films first-rate and they're all included in your cruise fare.
There's no such thing as a typical cruise passenger! All kinds of people take cruises – all ages, from all walks of life, singles, couples and families. Just ask your Activa Travel cruise counselor for advice on the best ship for you, based on your tastes and lifestyle.
Many cruise lines feature a more relaxed and casual approach to dress throughout the cruise. Yet formal dinners or parties can also be part of the fun. Don't buy a tuxedo just for the trip. Even on the most formal of ships, a dark suit and tie are fine for the dressiest occasions. Plus, many ships offer tuxedo rental services.
When it comes to mealtime, there are choices and more choices. During the day, there are many different places to eat – in the formal dining room, on deck, in a pizzeria, at an espresso bar, just to name a few. At night, most ships offer several venues. Some dining rooms accommodate all guests at one time, called a "seating," while many ships offer you a choice of several eating times and others encourage you to dine at your leisure. More traditional ships have two seatings in their formal dining rooms, which differ only by time (typically 6:00p and 8:30p). Just decide whether you prefer to dine early or late and have your Activa Travel cruise counselor request your preference when you book your cruise. Frequently, you can choose to dine at night someplace other than the formal dining room, such as an intimate restaurant that features Italian, Chinese, Japanese or Southwestern cuisine. More and more cruise lines are opening up their informal lido areas to evening dining, where the dress and dishes always are casual and, sometimes, you can even eat out under the stars. Many ships offer romantic in-cabin dinners as well. The choice is yours!
Everything you've heard about cruise ship dining is true. At each meal, you'll find a variety of entrees (appetizers, salads, soups, vegetables and desserts) and each day brings a different selection. Ever wanted to experiment with a cuisine or try a dish? Feel free to order more than one entrée or appetizer or even dessert! Yet just because your cruise ship offers plenty of delicious food doesn't mean you'll come home out of shape. You can choose low-cal, spa, vegetarian or fitness menu selections that are just as tempting as the regular menu. Best of all, the one thing you'll never see on a cruise ship menu is a price because your meals are included! Some ships have added additional dining experiences; chose from those that are included (pizza parlors, bistros, etc.) and those that have a surcharge for an over-the-top evening celebration.
Most ships can accommodate salt-free, low-carbohydrate, low cholesterol, Kosher or other diet preferences. However, this request must be made in advance, so be sure to advise your Activa Travel cruise counselor when you book your cruise.
Celebrations are encouraged – most cruise lines will even treat you to a complementary cake and a chorus of "Happy Whatever" to honor the occasion. In addition, many cruise lines offer special packages so your birthday or anniversary can be more festive with champagne, flowers, or canapés, for example. You can even arrange for a special private party. Just advise your Activa Travel cruise counselor in advance.
Cruising is just right for romance: Cozy dinners for two, sunset strolls on deck, dancing under the stars, you name it. Most cruise lines offer special services like Sunday or Monday departures, champagne and breakfast in bed. Some ships even offer special programs for performing a marriage ceremony or renewing your marriage vows.
Most ships have a daily newsletter with news, headlines, selected stock quotes and sports scores. Many staterooms are equipped with televisions and have satellite or cellular telephones. While at sea, you can also call someone onshore through the ship's radio officer. In addition, most ships have fax capabilities and a growing number have computer cafes with Internet access.
Tipping is a matter of individual preference. A general rule of thumb is to plan for about $3.00 per person per day for your cabin steward and dining room waiter, and about half that amount for your busboy. (A few cruise lines include tipping in the price and will so inform you.) Other shipboard personnel can be tipped for special services at your discretion.
Virtually every cruise ship (except for some smaller vessels operating in coastal waters) has a medical facility and health care professionals on staff to handle almost any emergency. If you have a medical condition that might put you at risk, discuss it with your doctor and inform the cruise line at the time of booking. And, whenever you travel, check to see what your health insurance covers. Onboard medical care is expensive; as with any trip, Activa Travel highly recommends trip protection insurance to cover you for unexpected emergencies.
Most cruise lines welcome groups – often at special rates and with special amenities depending on how many people are involved. Policies vary from company to company. Your Activa Travel cruise counselor has booked a variety of group cruises and is ready to help make yours memorable!
Just about every full-size ship has public rooms or a conference center for private or corporate group meetings. If you'd like to make meeting or incentive travel arrangements, ask your Activa Travel cruise counselor to contact the cruise line's group sales department to coordinate schedules and arrange for any special needs. Your ship may also be able to offer audio-visual equipment, communications, meeting coordinators, secretarial and printing services, and more.
Cruise lines feature special pre-or post-hotel packages that allow you to extend your vacation in either your port of embarkation or debarkation. Many travelers enjoy arriving at their port of embarkation a day or two early – especially in winter months when air travel can be questionable from certain destinations.
Popular cruise itineraries ply some of the calmest waters in the world. In addition, stabilizers on modern ships, the availability of advance weather information and the development of effective preventative medications have, for the most part, eliminated the incidence of motion discomfort.
The one complaint we hear time and again is that cruises end far too soon! Beyond that, it's hard to find any negatives. All you have to do is relax and enjoy your vacation. Most importantly, every crew and staff member on board is dedicated to making your cruise the best vacation of your life – until you top it with your next cruise!
Many cruise FAQs are reprinted with permission of the Cruise Lines International Association, Inc.
To find the best fare, be flexible and check prices often. Airline prices change without notice, so when you find a good fare, purchase it as soon as you're confident with your dates and names.
We also recommend these tips that may help you qualify for a lower fare:
Most airline tickets are non-refundable. While some do not have restrictions or cancellation penalties, these tickets are considerably more costly. Need to change your ticket? You may pay a fee, normally $150 domestically plus any increase in the fare. When booking a ticket, review the cancel and change penalties with your agent.
Airline do not allow name changes but you usually can use your ticket at a later date, provided you're willing to pay fees. Remember to review the cancel and change penalties when you book your ticket. You should also note that the name on the airline ticket must exactly match the valid photo identification provided by the passenger. Please ensure the accuracy of the passenger name, including spelling, before you purchase an airline ticket!
Because airlines have become more stringent, it's important to check in according to the most current airline policy. Many airlines now allow you to check in online, which saves you valuable time. Verify check in times when you contact the airline to reconfirm your flight. If you're not at the right gate at boarding, airline personnel have the right to deny your boarding or assign your seat to another passenger.
We recommend you arrive at the airport two hours prior to departure for domestic flights and three hours prior for international flights. Doing so allows for tighter security measures, restricted parking access and gate changes. Other considerations? Traffic, holiday passenger volume and Murphy's Law. Remember, too, that you'll need to remove your shoes to go through security so you may want to wear slip-on shoes and pack an extra pair of socks.
Each passenger is usually entitled to one carry-on bag, as well as one additional personal item, such as a purse, briefcase or laptop. Most airlines now charge for luggage if you are not a "preferred status traveler". Costs vary by airline. Please check with your agent or the airline website for the most current information.
Electronic tickets, or e-tickets, are the convenient, paperless way to fly. Rather than worry about losing paper tickets, you can easily access your reservation by your last name and flight number at the airport. A few airlines do still issue paper tickets; if you do have a paper ticket (which would have come in the mail because you can't print them yourself), treat it like cash because it can be expensive to replace.
Most tickets are paperless e-tickets. However, if you're issued a paper ticket (which would have come in the mail) and you lose it, you'll need to fill out a lost ticket application directly with the airline. Most airlines require you to purchase a new ticket to travel – and likely at a higher fare, if the fare has increased. If the original ticket is unused and returned, the airline will reimburse you for the amount of the new ticket after a period of six months. Note that airlines typically charge an additional non-refundable fee of $75-$100 for each lost ticket application, so check your airline's policies and restrictions. That said, we recommend that you treat your paper ticket like cash and keep it in a safe place. (This does not apply to e-tickets.)
Your Activa Travel team will make every attempt to ensure seat assignments are completed at the time of ticketing. If a seat assignment is not available at the time of booking, we will automatically monitor tickets printed at Activa Travel to see if it becomes available for you. Most major airlines make seat assignments available up to 90 days prior to your departure. Typically airlines block 40% of their seats for airport check-in only. Exit rows and bulkhead seats are restricted from pre-assigned seating. If you're unable to book specific seat numbers when you make your reservation, they will be made when you check in on a first-come, first-served basis. We recommend that you check-in for your flight electronically (via the airline's website) 24 hours in advance. Seat inventory, previously held back by the carrier, will now be available to confirm or enhance your seating preference.
Yes, however, we recommend that you use a credit card instead. Some debit cards (and a few credit cards) don't allow higher-cost travel purchases without special authorization from your credit or debit card's bank. What's more, if you use your debit card to buy a refundable airline ticket and you need to cancel or change your trip, the money already has been debited from your account and a refund may take weeks or months – especially since the airline process is usually slower than most retail transactions.
If your credit card is rejected, we will notify you that your airline tickets cannot be issued. Note that tickets are not purchased, and rates and space not guaranteed, until your credit card is approved and charged. That said, carefully check that you accurately provide your credit card information, including the delivery address, which must match the billing address, and the current expiration date.
1. Understand your coverage before you rent. You already may be covered by your own auto insurance when you rent a car, and/or by the credit card company that you use to pay for your rental. Many rental agencies are strong insurance sellers, so if you're certain you're already covered, you'll be able to decline their insurance with confidence. You'll want to check to see if you're covered for damage to people or the car, and for loss of income while the car is being repaired. If you're not covered, you'll want to purchase rental insurance.
2. If you're traveling on business under a corporate rate plan, please confirm with your employer whether insurance should be accepted or declined.
3. If you're traveling with more than one person, book the car in the driver's name to avoid additional driver fees.
4. Many rental agencies charge a considerable fee for drivers under the age of 25, so whenever possible, make sure the person driving is over 25.
5. Always fill the gas tank before returning the car to the rental agency, as there is normally a large surcharge for fuel if you do not.
6. Consider off-airport rental locations. Many rental agencies will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to their off-airport facilities. These rental locations are generally lower in cost, as added airport taxes do not apply.
1. Avoid advance purchase rates if your plans are not concrete, but take advantage of them if you are certain your plans will not change.
2. Be aware of cancelation policies.
3. Consider the destination: your travel consultant can help you out! For example, Las Vegas is often less expensive during the week, Monday - Wednesday nights. Prices tend to be higher Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. However, a city that centers on business, such as Boston or New York, may have higher prices mid-week, and specials on the weekend.
Travel warnings are issued when the US State Department recommends that Americans avoid a certain country. Because the world of travel is an ever-changing place, it's your responsibility to stay current regarding the stability or conditions of any countries to which you are traveling. Click Here for the most current listing.
For the most current carry on requirements, go to www.tsa.gov . This site also explains the 3-1-1 rule for packing liquids and provides a list of prohibited items. All things considered, it's often easier to pack items in your checked baggage, with the exception of prescriptions. Remember, too, that if you have any items that could be perceived as a threat, consider packing them in your checked luggage.
At Activa Travel, our friendly expertise is at your service. Our dedicated team of travel specialists is the best in the business, which means you can count on us to know ever-changing travel rules and restrictions, alternative options and the lowest fares. Not to mention how to ensure that your travel arrangements are convenient and enjoyable. No matter your needs or requests, let our experience work for you every day, at every leg of your travels. We automatically review tickets printed at Activa Travel for lower fares and better seat assignments; just a couple of the ways we're looking out for you!
We scout savings daily, so your ticketed itineraries get the most current fare reductions. If you qualify for a lower fare, we reissue your ticket at the new fare, issue an airline credit for the difference and send you an email to let you know that you can apply the credit to your next purchase on that airline.
In most cases, we call or email to inform you of substantial changes – and we work with both you and the airline to accommodate disruptive schedule changes.
During business hours, contact Activa Travel and we'll take care of the cancellation for you. After hours, contact the airline, hotel or car agency for individual bookings, or the proper tour operator, such as Carnival Cruise Lines or FunJet Vacations, directly. You may simply wait to contact us the next business day if you're confident that doing so will not incur penalties. If you contact vendors directly, we recommend that you record the date, who you spoke with and your cancellation or change number. Corporate customers may also contact our 24-hour emergency service for assistance. Numbers and access codes are printed on itineraries. (Additional costs may apply.)
Does Activa Travel assess processing fees for airline tickets? In a word: yes. But the reason why is less simple. In addition to reserving and ticketing your flight, we provide complementary flight insurance, low fare monitoring, schedule change assistance, automated seat monitoring and improvement, and peace of mind.
We hope your travels with us are problem-free but if a problem arises, we act on your behalf to resolve it. Activa Travel belongs to the American Society of Travel Agents, an organization dedicated to improving the travel experience, particularly air transportation, for all travelers like you.
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It always fits and provides memories to last a lifetime!
Contact your professional Activa Vacation Consultant - we're here to help make dreams come true!
Passport and Visa Information (for additional assistance, call Activa: 616.588.5332)
US Travel Security (Includes what can be legally carried on.)