You’ll be asked by your travel agent to make a deposit, either a fixed amount or some percentage of

the total cost of your cruise. You’ll then receive a receipt and booking confirmation, either electronically as a PDF file or by snail-mail. You’ll typically be asked to pay the remaining fare usually no later than 60 to 90 days before your departure date.

Cruise lines have varying policies regarding cancellations, and it’s important to look at the fine print in the line’s brochure to make sure you understand the policy. Most lines allow you to cancel for a full refund on your deposit and payment any time up to 75 days before the sailing, after which you have to pay a penalty. When in doubt, always ask your travel agent or do a little independent research online.

Onboard Medical Care

Large ships usually have a fully equipped medical facility and staff (a doctor and a nurse or two) on board to handle any emergency. They work in a medical center that typically offers set office hours but is also open on an emergency basis 24 hours a day. A fee (sometimes a steep one) is charged to your onboard account. The staff is equipped to do some surgery, but in cases of major medical emergencies, passengers may be airlifted off the ship by helicopter to the nearest hospital and that can cost a bundle if you’re uninsured.


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