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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

This guide answers the most commonly asked questions about group cruising. If you have additional questions that this page does not answer or requests to change your reservation–such as upgrades and name changes–please contact your group leader. Thank you.

Ship Information
Click here to view the ship statistics, deck plans and pictures of the Independence of the Seas.

What’s Included
Your cruise price includes your cabin, port fees, taxes, most meals and entertainment, parties and transportation between the ports on your itinerary. On most ships, alcoholic beverages and sodas, as well as optional shore excursions are not included.

Cabin Location
Booking as a group does not guarantee the cruise line will assign every cabin in the same location of the ship for the entire group. Every attempt will be made by the cruise line to keep cabins close together, but based on the size of your group and availability on the ship, this is not always feasible. Cabins may be spread out on the same deck, or located on different decks.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line automatically charges gratuities to your onboard account. This amount covers service gratuities (tips) for your cabin steward and dining room staff, but not additional service charges that apply to bar drinks, spa treatments, shore excursion staff, etc. The amount can be adjusted onboard according to quality of service received. Royal Caribbean reserves the right to change the amount of the gratuity at any time.

Name Changes
Name changes are generally permitted prior to final payment without incurring any fees. After your scheduled final payment date, the cruise line will charge a fee of up to $50 per person to change or correct the spelling of a name. Please note that a name change for every passenger in the same cabin will result in a cancellation of that cabin, and penalties will be assessed by the cruise line.

Royal Caribbean requires passengers to check in online and print an electronic ticket called SetSail Pass. To print your SetSail Pass, your cruise must be paid in full. To board the ship, simply present proper ID and your SetSail Pass at the pier. Once booked, you will receive a cruise confirmation with additional details.

Age Requirements
All cruise lines require that at least one person in each cabin meets a minimum age requirement. The information that follows was provided by the cruise lines at the time of this writing, is subject to change, and should be verified with your Vacations To Go group specialist prior to booking.

Royal Caribbean requires that at least one person in each cabin is 21 or older.

One exception to this age requirement is made for underage married couples, who as long as they are both 18 are allowed to board unaccompanied. These couples may be asked to show proof of their marriage.

Most cruise lines welcome children to travel on their ships, though infants and pregnant women are subject to some restrictions. Children traveling with a guardian that is not their legal parent, or children traveling with only one parent or legal guardian may require additional documentation to travel. Your Vacations To Go group specialist can check these requirements for you if they apply.

Your age on the date of sailing is generally considered your age for the length of the cruise.

Consumption of Alcohol
Royal Caribbean requires passengers to be at least 21 to consume any type of alcohol.

Gambling On-Board
Royal Caribbean requires passengers to be 18 or older to play in the shipboard casinos.

Embarkation Procedures
On the day your cruise sets sail you will be required to go through a quick check-in process at the pier. At this time the cruise line will verify that you are the correct person checking in by comparing your reservation with your passport, or other identification, and they will set up an on board expense account. A credit card is required for each passenger in the cabin to pay for amenities that are not covered in the cost of your cruise–one card can be used for multiple passengers.

Disembarkation Procedures
Cruise lines typically determine the time you will be scheduled to disembark the ship on your transportation arrangements to get home. Passengers with very early flights departing the same day will check out first, where passengers with late and next day flights will typically check out last. All passengers will be required to pass through customs, and since the cruise line will be loading the ship for the subsequent voyage that day, plan on disembarking the ship early in the morning.

Shore Excursions
A shore excursion is a term that refers to anything you do off the ship, in port. At every stop, you’ll have the option of exploring the area on your own or as part of a group with a planned itinerary. You might hike a tropical rain forest in the Caribbean, fish for king salmon in Alaska, tour Mayan ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, or take a sightseeing tour. Vacations To Go recommends you wait to book until you are onboard for the following reasons:

  1. You will have access to professionals at the shore excursion desk to assist in choosing the best excursion to fit your personal tastes, fitness level, and time schedule for the day.
  2. Frequently there are additional excursions available onboard that might be a better fit than something out of the list available in advance.
  3. Sometimes a highlight of a shore excursion is dropped or a significant aspect is changed between the time the advance descriptions are printed and the time the ship sails.

Dress Codes
Shipboard dress is casual during the day. Shorts and tasteful T-shirts are acceptable even in the dining room. At dinner shorts and t-shirts are not allowed and dress on informal nights is resort casual. There is 1 formal night on your Royal Caribbean cruise.

Casual: Slacks and sport shirt for men (no jeans); slacks and blouse, sundress or pantsuit for women.
Informal: Jacket with or without tie for men; dress or pantsuit for women.
Formal: Dark suit or tuxedo for men; evening gown or cocktail dress for women.

Kids Program
Click here to find out more about Royal Caribbean’s Kids Program on our website.