Inclusions, Exclusions & Pricing:
What is included in the Cruise price?
Shipboard accommodation as reserved and paid for, ocean transportation as per itinerary, all meals onboard, some non-alcoholic beverages available in vending machines (eg. tea, coffee, lemonade and iced-tea – subject to cruise offerings), recreation and entertainment onboard.
What is excluded in the Cruise price?
Items of a personal nature, such as transfers, shore excursions, alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (unless opting for a drinks inclusive rate when booking), spa treatments, dining in the specialty restaurants, laundry, telephone, email, internet, photographs, gratuity, medical services.
What factors affect the price I pay when booking my cruise?
Cruise Pricing is dynamic and depends on multiple factors such as: Sailing Date, Cruise Duration, Number of persons occupying a Cabin, Type of Cabin -Inside, Outside (window), Balcony or Suites, Deck (higher decks cost more), Drinks Plan etc.
Unfortunately, due to the dynamic nature of cruise pricing, we do not have a static price list to be shared. Pricing is quoted on a case to case basis and valid if booked at the same time as quoted.
Are your prices per person or per cabin?
We generally quote prices for all cruises on a per cabin basis. The price of the cabin depends on the number of the occupants, their ages, and whether booked on a standard or all-inclusive basis (i.e. with a drinks plan).
Do we pay the same price irrespective of the number of persons occupying our cabin?
No, pricing depends on the number and ages of cabin occupants.
Do we get a discount if booking 2 or more cabins?
Group discounts can be requested when booking at least 20 cabins on the same sailing date. However, this is subject to approval by the cruise line based on existing booking load for the requested dates.
What are gratuities/service charges? Why am I paying them?
Gratuities are a crew appreciation amount added to your onboard account and pooled in order to recognize the many crew members in the Bar, Dining, Entertainment, Housekeeping, Guest Services, Galley and Onboard Revenue areas and entertainment areas throughout our fleet who contribute to the guest experience. You can opt to pay this in advance at the time of booking your cruise, or directly on board the night prior to your disembarkation day. Currently, Costa charges EUR 11 per adult per night (age 15 & above) and MSC charges EUR 10 per adult per night (age 12 & above). Children pay 50% and Infants (< 2 for MSC & < 4 for Costa) are not charged. Subject to change. Cruise liners do not recommend tipping individual crew members.
What options do I have for cabin types?
Broadly, cabins fall under 4 major categories – inside cabins (without windows or balconies), outside cabins (with a window – cannot be opened), balcony cabins (with a balcony where at least 2 people can sit facing the ocean or the interior of the ship) and Suites. Within each category, pricing can vary depending on how high up on the ship your cabin is located, along with its size, amongst other factors.
Does the cabin I book affect the facilities I can access onboard?
With the exception of suites that may have certain additional privileges, generally all cruise participants have access to the same common facilities onboard.
Can I know in advance which specific cabin (number) I will be assigned?
Unless you book a “GAURANTEE” Cabin, you WILL know in advance your cabin number at the time of finalizing your booking. Guarantee Cabins are discounted cabins within a particular category whereby the cruise liner decides where to assign your cabin at the time of check-in. Please note guarantee cabins maybe with obstructed views.
If I book a balcony or outside view cabin, am I guaranteed a sea view?
Sea views are guaranteed only whilst the ship is sailing. When the ship is docked at port, we can’t be certain whether your cabin will face the city/port or the ocean. Certain cabins have a partial/obstructed sea view. For example, they maybe obstructed with a life boat. Please ask your travel consultant as these cabins are specially designated as such to ensure guests booking them are aware well in advance.
What is the maximum number of persons allowed in a Cabin?
The MSC Opera and Costa Toscana permit a maximum of 4 persons in a cabin. This includes children and infants. The MSC World Europa offers Suite Cabins that can accept a maximum of 6 persons. Please note these cabins are limited in availability and not all cabins are of the same size. Early booking is strongly advised to secure larger cabins that can accommodate more than 2 persons. Exceptionally, we may be able to secure a special approval to accept 5 persons in a cabin that normally permits 4 persons only if the 5th person is an infant. However, this is subject to approval by the cruise lines.
Can 4 adults sleep together in the same Cabin?
Yes, certain cabins will allow 4 adults to sleep together in the same cabin. However, please consider 1) these are limited in availability 2) the 3rd and 4th adult would be sleeping on a sofa bed 3) cabin space maybe a little tight especially if booking a longer sailing. In such cases, we would recommend booking 2 x Cabins or a Suite to ensure more space and comfort.
Can I get inter-connected or adjoining or opposite cabins on the same deck?
Some ships do have connected cabins on certain decks and cabin categories. If these are unavailable on your preferred sailing dates, we will strive to offer adjoining cabins, or at least cabins on the same deck. We strongly advise booking early to increase the likelihood of us being able to accommodate such requests.
Is my infant (<2 years) chargeable?
All cruise participants are required to pay the government port taxes, that vary as per the sailing. Generally, infants are discounted or free if sharing the cabin with at least 2 adults. Please note there are limited cabins that permit 3 persons in the same cabin and the price of these cabins maybe higher than those that accommodate only 2 persons.
Are baby cots available for infants?
Yes, baby cots are available on certain cabins. Please inform your preference to have a cabin with a baby cot at the time of booking.
Can balcony cabins be booked with children?
Yes, it is permitted to book balcony cabins when sailing with children. Please note at least 1 adult passenger (age 18 or older) must occupy each cabin with children.
Will extra beds be provided for children?
Cabins that can accommodate 3 or 4 persons generally come with a Sofa bed.
Food & Beverages:
Are there meal options for vegetarians?
Yes, all meals are served buffet style and there are options for vegetarians as well served in the buffets.
Are drinks included on board?
No, drinks are not included in standard pricing. Drinking water is available on board at the buffet during opening hours. All drinks (cocktails, coffee, soft drinks) can be purchased with your Cruise Card at the ship’s bars and restaurants. You may opt for a drinks inclusive package at the time of booking. Please ask our Travel Consultant.
What drinks are included in the “all-inclusive rate” with Costa Cruises?
Unlimited offer by glass including a wide selection of wines, spirit, beers, whiskey, vermouth, and cocktails + hot drinks, coffees, soft drinks + 1 bottle of 0,5 liter water per day and per person. Prestigious brands and items from the cabin minibar are NOT included. Subject to change.
What drinks are included in the “all-inclusive rate” with MSC Cruises?
Selection of house wines by the glass, draught beer, a selection of classic cocktails, mixed drinks and non-alcoholic cocktails, soft drinks and fruit juices by the glass, bottled mineral water and classic hot drink (espresso, cappuccino, caffe latte, hot tea). Subject to change.
Can I add a drinks package after booking my cruise at the standard rate excluding drinks?
Yes, you can add a drinks package at a later stage. However, this is most likely going to be at a higher overall pricing. Subject to availability.
Is it possible to book a drinks inclusive rate for only 1 person in the cabin?
No, the package must be booked by all the guests with the same booking number and/or traveling in the same cabin.
Are children in my cabin paying extra when opting for a drinks inclusive rate as they won’t consume alcohol?
No, cabin pricing is automatically adjusted for the age of accompanying children when booking a drinks inclusive rate for the cabin thereby ensuring there is no loss to you. The package reserved for young guests from age 4 to 17 does not include alcoholic beverages.
Can the drinks package privilege be availed at all F&B outlets onboard?
It can generally be used at all bars on board, subject to any ship specific restrictions. However, it cannot be used at specialty/fine dining/themed/signature restaurants that are generally not part of general meal inclusions.
Ports of Call:
When the ship is docked at a port of all, is it mandatory for me to disembark?
No, it is not mandatory to get off the ship at every port of call. You can choose to stay on board. However, please note not all restaurants and bars may be operational when majority of the passengers have disembarked. This is one of the best times to enjoy the swimming pools and other facilities due to the limited people on board.
Do you offer guided tours to explore the destinations?
Yes, cruise liners do operate guided tours at different ports of call. However, the cost of these are NOT included in your package price and attendance is optional. Shore excursions can be booked online after your cruise is confirmed (generally cheaper) usually up to a week prior to the sailing, or whilst on-board. We advise early booking as certain excursions can have limited capacities – especially on peak season sailings.
For sailings that are in Dubai or Abu Dhabi for more than 1 night at the start or the end, can I embark a night later or disembark a night earlier?
Embarkation and Disembarkation is dependent on the availability of the UAE Immigration officials to carry out their checks and process. Therefore, unless the cruise is booked in this manner, we cannot guarantee the same. Please check with your travel consultant for more information.
Are the ports of call subject to change?
Yes, occasionally and due to any unforeseen circumstances, the ports of call may change at short notice.
What do I need to provide to book my cruise?
- Scanned copies of passports of each traveler
- Scanned copies of UAE residence visas, if applicable
- Mobile number and email address of each Adult traveler
- Emergency Contact Number of next of Kin for each traveler.
- Confirmation that you comply with the current Vaccination/Immunization Requirements
- Payment (maybe partial or complete – depending on when you are booking your cruise)
Can UAE Tourist Visa holders sail on Arabian Gulf Sailings?
Nationalities who require a pre-arranged tourist visa to enter the UAE must apply for a Multi-Entry Cruise Visa in order to participate in all sailings, including those that sail within the UAE only. This can be applied within 30 days of sailing and Tourists must enter the UAE on this visa. Processing time varies from 5-10 days or even more at times, varying as per nationality. Therefore, it is advisable to plan ahead and apply for the correct type of UAE Tourist visa prior to entering the UAE.
If I am eligible to receive a visa on arrival to the UAE, do I still require a multi-entry cruise ship visa?
No, guests eligible for a visa on arrival into the UAE are NOT required to apply for a multi-entry cruise ship visa. However, please ensure you have NOT already used the maximum allowed number of days when entering the UAE on previous trips within the last 180 days. Subject to change as per UAE immigration.
Do I need to carry my passport if opting for a UAE only sailing?
Yes, original passports valid for a minimum of 6 months beyond your sailing date is required to sail even if opting for a UAE only sailing. Additionally, UAE resident passengers must carry their latest valid Emirates ID.
What are the latest vaccination and/or PCR requirements to sail?
For MSC Sailings: Click Here
For Costa Sailings: Click Here
Please note these requirements are subject to change and hence we recommend monitoring these links as you approach your sailing date.
What documents do UAE Residents require to sail on Arabian Gulf Cruises?
Passports should be valid for a minimum of 6 months beyond the cruise end date. UAE Residence visas should be valid for a minimum of 3 months beyond the cruise end date. If your cruise docks in Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, you may eligible to disembark, subject to having applied for and received a “Transit e-Visa by Sea”. As these requirements are continuously changing, please check with your Travel Consultant at the time of booking. Additionally, you must meet the necessary conditions of vaccination/immunization against Covid-19 and maybe required to carry out a PCR in order to disembark at certain ports of call, even if this is not a requirement to embark on your cruise.
Does my UAE Residence Visa need to be valid for minimum 3 months beyond the cruise sailing date at the time of booking my cruise?
No, we only require your passport information to book your cruise. You must ensure your UAE residence visa meets the minimum validity requirement at the time of embarkation failing which you may be denied boarding.
Is it mandatory for me to purchase travel insurance?
No, most cruise lines have dropped the mandatory travel insurance requirement. However, we strongly advise only booking with insurance. The trip cancellation/curtailment in travel insurance we provide protects you against cancellation charges in case of the unfortunate occurrence of a covered reason from the time you book till you sail. Travel Insurance is NOT available for UAE only domestic sailings.
Payment & Cancellation Policy:
Do I need to pay the entire quoted amount upfront?
Payment time lines depend on the cruise you book. Normally, all cruise lines require full payment at least 60 days prior to sailing. We recommend issuing insurance simultaneously when booking your cruise to ensure you are protected against trip cancellation/curtailment for covered reasons.
Once booked, what are your cancellation policies?
Cancellation fees vary as per cruise line and itinerary. Information on the applicable cancellation policy will be shared with quotations, prior to accepting your booking. Generally, the closer you are to your departure date, the higher the cancellation charges become. Fortunately, the trip cancellation/curtailment in travel insurance we provide protects you against cancellation charges in case of the unfortunate occurrence of a covered reason from the time you book till you sail.
Is their Wi-fi on-board? Will my UAE mobile data plan work?
Yes, there is Wi-Fi onboard. However, this is a paid service offered by the cruise line. You may opt to purchase your preferred Wi-Fi package based on your data and speed requirements. UAE Data plans work whilst docked at UAE ports. However, when at sea, there is often patchy network affecting data connectivity. Booking an all-inclusive rate does NOT entitle you to use the onboard paid Wi-Fi service.
Are pets allowed on board?
Unfortunately, no animals are allowed on board, apart from recognized assistance dogs. Bringing assistance dogs on board is, in any case, subject to approval by the cruise line and must be requested by the Guest when booking.
Is smoking permitted onboard?
In line with global standards, smoking areas on board are fewer than non-smoking areas and are indicated by signage and ashtrays. Smoking (including e-cigarettes) is not permitted in cabins, on cabin balconies and anywhere not expressly indicated by signage and ashtrays. We remind you that throwing cigarette butts or anything else overboard at sea is strictly prohibited as it may seriously put in danger safety at sea.
Do casinos operate onboard?
Yes, however these are only operational when the ships are sailing on international waters.
What facilities are available on board for children?
Please review the cruise ship videos on our website. All ships are children friendly and welcome families.
Are pregnant women accepted onboard cruise ships?
Yes, they are. Pregnant women must, at the time of booking, produce a medical certificate from a doctor confirming the week of pregnancy and their fitness to travel on board a cruise ship for the period of the cruise and for the actual itinerary. MSC Cruises cannot accept a booking by, or carry, any Guest who will be 24 weeks pregnant or more by the end of the Cruise. MSC Cruises is not responsible for any consequences resulting from a Guest’s condition, whether or not it is evident. Subject to change as per cruise policy.