We all plan travel in our own way, but the above list is a helpful guideline. You might also want to: make a timeline; add reminders in your To Do list or calendar; study ports of call by reading travel guides or websites.
Remember that you can ALWAYS contact Professional Travel Service, Inc., for answers to your questions.
Registration and Documentation Pre-register Online
This web site has links to the registration pages for most major cruise lines. Professional Travel Service, Inc., will complete the online registration on your behalf, unless you tell us otherwise; please let your travel advisor know if you plan to take care of this yourself.
If you'd like to access your reservation for any reason...
Remember, if you do not have internet access, or if you have difficulty with the cruise line web site, our advisors will complete the registration for you! In order to do this, we will need the following information:
The full LEGAL names of all travelers
Passport Information: numbers, names, issue and expiration dates
An Emergency Contact, including name, number, address, phone number, and relationship to you
Professional Travel Service, Inc., reserves the right to charge a service fee for the creating and mailing of documents.
Passport and Document Requirements
Please VERIFY ALL PASSENGER NAMES. The names on your invoice must match the identification you will be using to travel. If there is an incorrect name, or an incorrect spelling, please contact us IMMEDIATELY. Service Charges incurred for correcting these names after cruise tickets or air tickets have been issued are the traveler’s responsibility.
Please note that YOU WILL BE DENIED BOARDING if you do not present proper documentation for your cruise. A passport is easiest and is now REQUIRED most cruises.
It is the ultimate responsibility of the traveler, not Professional Travel Service, Inc., to be aware of the proper documentation and visas required for travel to various countries, particularly because the requirements may vary due to your nationality or country of birth. Cost of all Visas and other travel documents, entry and exit fees charged by some countries--even if not disclosed prior to travel--shall be the responsibility of the traveler.
IF YOU ARE TRAVELING WITH SOMEONE ELSE’S CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 18: In addition to the appropriate documentation, you also need a notarized letter from their parents allowing them to travel with you. This requirement MAY ALSO APPLY to your own child(ren) under 18 if both parents not traveling, particularly if you are divorced.
IF YOU ARE DENIED BOARDING for any reason, the cruise line will not offer a refund, and Professional Travel Service, Inc., is unable to help you get a refund.
Professional Travel Service, Inc., STRONGLY recommends the purchase of travel insurance. For best coverage, purchase travel insurance aka “cancellation insurance” within 10 days of your initial deposit. Having insurance will cover the cancellation penalties if you are forced to cancel for “covered reasons” which are primarily medical and emergency related.
We partner with TravelGuard to provide a variety of policies to suit many different needs and budgets. For more information, please visit our Trip Insurance page on this site.
Sample policy cost: If the Trip Cost = $3001-$3500 per person, then a person age 30 pays $125 for coverage. A person age 31-59 pays $145 for coverage.
The basic coverage also includes: Trip Interruption– Reimburses the unused, nonrefundable portion of your trip as well as increased transportation costs if you have to leave the trip early due to a “covered reason”. Missed Connection– If you miss a cruise because of a delayed or canceled flight, expenses are covered up to $500. Travel Delay– Receive up to $150 per day (limit $500) to cover additional expenses for accommodations due to a travel delay of six hours or more. Medical/Dental– up to $25,000 Emergency Medical Transportation – up to $500,000
*DISCLAIMER: This information is an overview only, and limitations apply. Consult the actual policy and insurer for complete terms and conditions.
Changes, Cancellations, and Penalties
In addition to cruise line or travel supplier cancellation penalties, a minimum service charge of $40 per person will be charged to start the cancellation process after the traveler’s initial deposit or final payment. Total cancellation penalties may exceed the original total cost of the trip. Professional Travel Service, Inc., cannot ask a travel supplier to make an exception to a published cancellation or name change fee policy. Any name change made after final payment will be deemed a cancellation and re-booking of space; cancellation penalties will still apply even if (for example) only one name in a double occupancy cabin is changed.
A name “correction” may be deemed a name “change”. This often happens in the case of name changes due to changes in marital status. Please be sure your legal name appears on your reservation, and that it matches the ID you will be using for travel.
It is the responsibility of the passenger to be aware of cancellation penalty conditions and effective dates. Cruise Line Cancellation Penalties are applicable to virtually ALL cruises or cruise-tours and will vary according to proximity to the dates of travel. Conditions are posted on the cruise line web site.
Professional Travel Service, Inc., strongly recommends that you purchase trip Insurance to protect yourself from loss if you are forced to cancel for a covered reason (primarily medical or emergency). Complete coverage information is available from TravelGuard.
Onboard Ship Shipboard account
The cruise line will take an imprint of your credit card during embarkation. Your room key will then act as a charge card for all onboard purchases including gift shop, shore excursion, bar, and spa services. A detailed statement will be delivered to your stateroom the last night of the cruise.
You may either reserve in advance of the cruise at the cruise line’s website, or you may reserve cruise line shore excursions aboard the ship at the shore excursion office. Charges will appear on your Shipboard Account.
If you are visiting a foreign port that does not readily accept US Dollars, Currency Exchange will be available aboard your ship, or at services on the pier at the port of call. It is not necessary for you to change currency prior to leaving home.
All cruise lines have “Open Seating” for breakfast and lunch.
For Dinner, most cruise lines have dispensed with the traditional dining of the past. You are no longer required (in most cases) to eat at the same table, at the same time, and with the same companions every night of your cruise. SOME of the cruise lines still have the option of “assigned dining” available to you for dinner, if that is your preference.
Be sure to let your travel advisor know if you’d like assigned dining and if it’s available we will forward your request to the cruise line. Assigned Dining is “on request” only. Professional Travel Service, Inc., cannot guarantee your first choice of dining time will be available.
Princess Cruises– “Personal Choice” – about 7-10 dining venues on the ship, a few of them carry a service charge and require reservations; most are included in your fare. When you show up for dinner with your party in tow, you will be assigned the first available table. Princess also offers “assigned dining” but we have found that most passengers who ask for assigned dining CHANGE to “Personal Choice” once they board the ship.
Norwegian Cruise Line– “Freestyle Dining” – similar to Princess.
Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruise– Primarily still ASSIGNED DINING for dinner, and the “Open Seating” dinner restaurant choices are more limited; sort of the opposite of Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line. If you are cruising with any of these three fine companies, you can avoid the traditional assigned dining and the formality if you wish, and you’ll still have a great cruise.
What to Wear
During your cruise days casual attire is the norm. For most evenings business attire is acceptable. All cruise lines still have “Formal Nights” (usually 1 or 2 a week) and passengers in the main dining rooms are expected to dress appropriately: cocktail dress or nice pants suit for the ladies, coat and tie for the gentleman. Some passengers will don tuxedos and gowns on Formal Nights.
Formal or not, after 5:30pm on any cruise ship it is not appropriate to enter dining areas, lounges, or showrooms wearing shorts, jeans, or beachwear. Whether specifically stated in cruise line policy or not, it negatively impacts the enjoyment of the vacation of other passengers if you do not exercise discretion in regards to dress.
Past Passenger Programs
All cruise lines have some sort of program to recognize repeat cruisers and loyalty. Benefits available to you for a particular cruise may range from nothing to as much as a small discount off your cruise fare or a shipboard credit, or perhaps a private cocktail party aboard the ship. Be sure to let your agent know you are a past-passenger; we will verify if there are any special offers available to you.
Air Travel To and From Port
Most cruise travelers book their air independent of their cruise and they take responsibility for connecting the two. Professional Travel Service, Inc., strongly recommends our travelers purchase air independent of the cruise line for the following reasons:
IF you book airfare through the cruise line:
Regardless of when you book the cruise, the cruise line will choose the air carrier and routing about 45 days prior to travel.
The cruise line makes flight information available to the travel agent ONLY after final payment, and generally about a month prior to travel.
Frequent flyer mileage programs often are exempt from cruise line air tickets (you don’t get miles), airline seat selection and special requests are solely the responsibility of the traveler; air seats are often not assigned until the traveler checks in at the airport.
Professional Travel Service, Inc., has NO control over air carrier, seat assignments, routing, schedule, or delays. If you have special needs, preferences, or you are uncomfortable with these conditions, please make custom air arrangements at additional cost, or air arrangements on your own. If you purchase cruise line air and your flight is delayed, the cruise line is responsible for getting you to the ship.
IF you book air travel on your own:
You will know what you’re getting as soon as you make the reservation.
You will be responsible for getting to the ship on time! Every cab driver in a port of embarkation, however, can get two people to a cruise ship faster and cheaper than a pre-purchased cruise line transfer.
If you purchase air on your own and you are delayed and miss a cruise departure, the cruise line cannot help you. For this reason we recommend you plan to arrive at the port of embarkation at least a day prior to the cruise and spend a night at a hotel.
Terms and Conditions
Professional Travel Service, Inc., is acting as “seller of travel” only, and not as a supplier of cruise or air travel. We are not liable for any loss, damage, injury, illness, death, cost or delay arising from or in connection with the services and facilities provided by or any act of a supplier such as a cruise line, airline, shore excursion operator, train, bus, restaurant, etc. whether or not such arrangements were made by Professional Travel Service, Inc.
Professional Travel Service, Inc., is acting on behalf of various travel suppliers ONLY as seller of travel. We pledge to forward to our travelers all information, tickets, refunds, etc. upon receipt from the cruise line, and in a timely fashion. We cannot be held liable for human clerical error or computer error. This extends to errors in computation or misquoting of fares or charges, or typographical errors on invoices or any marketing materials including internet or e-mail.
From time to time a travel supplier may add a fuel charge, or a government entity may increase the amount of tax to be charged to the passenger AFTER the initial booking. The passenger will be liable for all such charges. This includes taxes or fees charged to arriving or departing passengers that may not have been disclosed prior to commencement of travel.
If you are dissatisfied with the services provided by a particular travel provider, Professional Travel Service, Inc., is not liable for and cannot act on your behalf in obtaining full or partial refund of your fare, nor can we act on your behalf in any legal action.
We reserve the right to CANCEL a reservation prior to the cancellation penalty period and refund payment if we consider the booking to be a risk to the traveler or Professional Travel Service, Inc., financial or otherwise. We reserve the right to cancel and refuse service to individuals who are belligerent or abusive to the travel advisors or staff of Professional Travel Service, Inc.
THANK YOU for booking your travel with Professional Travel Service, Inc., and for trusting us to assist you with your travel planning. We will do our best to assist in any reasonable way, and to give you realistic expectations of what you may encounter in your travels.
Info@ptserv.com (425) 827-5656 811 KIRKLAND AVENUE, SUITE 101 KIRKLAND, WA 98033