Frequently Asked Questions
When do I receive my cruise tickets?
Effective January 1, 2010, major cruise operators (Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Celebrity etc.) have discontinued the printing of individual cruise tickets. Boarding passes can now be obtained by completing on-line check-in via the cruise companies’ public web site. Luggage tags must be ordered during on-line check-in at least 21 days prior to departure. If luggage tags are not ordered, you can receive blank tags at the port of embarkation.
When do I receive my reservation number?
Group bookings are separated into individual reservations shortly after final payment is received. Guests will receive reservation numbers from your group leader (teacher, event organizer etc.) approximately 60 days prior to sailing.
I am unable to order luggage tags from the cruise line web site. What should I do?
Luggage tags can be obtained on the morning of embarkation. Please ensure all bags are tagged before handing them to porters.
What is included in our price?
All Stars at Sea prices will include port service fees and governmentally imposed tax. Cruise companies reserve the right to impose a fuel supplement on all guests if the price of West Texas Intermediate fuel exceeds US$65 per barrel. Stars at Sea is not responsible for any fee imposed by a travel provider.
Is transportation provided from the airport to the ship?
Not unless you've purchased your air transportation through the cruise company. For guests arranging their own air transportation, transfers may be purchased. Contact the cruise company representative located in the airport baggage claim area. Representatives are typically on duty between 10 am and 3 pm. They can be identified by cruise company uniform and signage.
Can I purchase transportation from the airport to the ship?
Yes. Ground transportation can be purchased during your on-line check-in or via the cruise company representative at the airport. Representatives are typically located in the airport baggage claim area between 10 am and 2 pm. They can be identified by cruise company uniform and signage.
My Travel Agent says she \ he can get my daughter \ son a children rate much cheaper. Is this true?
No! Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Carnival do not offer a 'children rates'. They do offer a discounted rate for the third and fourth guest, regardless of age. For ease of calculation, your group leader will provide you quad, triple and double pricing. 3rd and 4th person discounts are included in your quad and triple price. The formula used is simply: (Guest 1 + 2 + 3 + 4) / 4 + port service fees + governmental tax.
Are shipboard gratuities included with our cruise payment?
Unless noted on guest registration forms and cruise line pre-board documentation, gratuities ARE NOT included in your cruise pricing.
When do we pay gratuities?
Most major cruise suppliers will automatically add gratuity to your shipboard charge account upon embarkation.
How do I cancel my cruise?
Cancellation must be submitted in writing through your group leader.
What are the cancellation fees?
For current Stars at Sea cancelation fees, please click here. Note: As outlined on cruise company websites, “Cancellation charges for groups differ from those for individuals. Please consult your travel agent for details.” As all Stars at Sea bookings are at a group level, kindly use the link provided above for current information.
Is cancelation insurance available?
Yes. Your group leader will have insurance pricing and enrollment sheets.
How do I book a shore excursion?
Excursions can be booked aboard ship or via the cruise line web site. You will require individual reservation numbers in order to book excursions. Without an individual ID number (see above), guests can only browse available excursions.
What's the difference between inside and ocean-view (outside) staterooms?
Outside staterooms have a window, inside staterooms do not.
Are inside and outside staterooms the same size?
Typically, inside staterooms are slightly smaller than ocean-view rooms. The average difference is less than 10 sq. ft.
What's the difference between a stateroom and a cabin?
Marketing. Consumers perceive greater value when purchasing a 'stateroom' opposed to a 'cabin.'
Are triple and quad staterooms bigger?
No. Quad, triple and double staterooms (e.g. category 'K' quad vs. 'K' double) are the same size. Stateroom categories (different decks or inside / outside) however may differ.
Where are the beds in triple and quad staterooms?
Every stateroom has two lower beds that can be configured as separate (twin), or together (queen). The third and fourth twin beds will retract from the wall or ceiling. In some cases, especially balcony rooms, a sofa bed may be available for 3rd and 4th guest.
Where do I sit in the dining room?
Groups are typically blocked together in the dining room. Consult the shipboard Maître d' to confirm or change table assignment. Your Maître d’ will typically be available embarkation day between 1:00 and 4:00 PM. Guest Relations will be able to direct you to their location.
I have a question regarding the casino, youth program, drinking age etc.?
Please consult the cruise company website and enter your question in the search bar. Links to cruise company web sites can be found on the Stars at Sea ‘links’ page.
When will we perform?
Cruise Directors / Cruise ship staff schedule entertainment approximately 21 days prior to sailing. Group leaders will be informed as soon as Stars at Sea receive information from the ship. Typically, performances take place between 4 pm and 11 pm following a port of call or between 11 am and 11 pm on ‘at-sea’ days. Rehearsals are typically in the early morning between 7:00 am and 11:00 am. Shipboard staff is singularly responsible for scheduling performance times.
Can performance times change after being scheduled?
Yes! Although it happens very rarely (less than 1% per year), cruise companies reserve the right to change performance times. Shipboard programming is dynamic and may change due to any number of reasons. Weather, guest entertainer (professional), cruise company production rehearsals, crew training, equipment repair etc.
Where will we perform?
Typically, performances take place in what is commonly referred to as the ‘main theatre’ or ‘main show lounge.’ These venues are one in the same and the name variance is similar to ‘stateroom’ and ‘cabin.’ In almost two decades, 99% of all Stars at Sea performances have taken place in the main theater. Shipboard staff is responsible for performance location. Some reasons a performance may not take place in the theatre are; production show cast change, production show change, repair or maintenance to the stage or theater, group request etc.
How many people will attend the show?
As with all public shows, there's no way to determine average audience size. For groups traveling on larger ships, average theater seating capacity is 1,200. That being said, performing for an audience of 500 may appear lightly attended.
Can we tell / invite other guests to our show?
Absolutely. As with all luxury hotels, you cannot solicit with print material (posters, flyers, cards etc.). You can however, discuss the performance times with fellow guests.
Is there a charge to perform?
Just like theaters on land, cruise ship technicians (light and sound), theater and custodial personnel get paid. Fees related to your performance, rehearsal, shipboard group coordination have been pre-paid by Stars at Sea. If, however, a group leader requests specialized lighting (studio logo (gobo) etc.,) staging (fog machines,) or additional workshop time, fees will be charged directly to the group / group leader. Also if the group missises, is late for or runs overtime on rehearsals, overtime fees will be charged. Any time overage or rescheduling, if available, will be at the sole discretion of theater personnel and technicians.
Can we perform on one of the islands / cities we visit?
Yes, however, safety concerns arise when performing off the ship. Although some 'port of call' my be geographically close to the United States, Canada, Great Britain or Australia, local laws, customs and safety may vary. Although performing on a cruise ship is among the safest performance opportunities available, a performance in another Country may present security concerns. Groups choosing to perform in ports of call will do so at their own risk.
Can Stars at Sea arrange a performance on one of the Islands?
No. Guest safety is Stars at Sea number one concern.
How long has Stars at Sea been offering performance opportunities on cruise ships?
Marketing for Stars at Sea began in March 1994. The first Stars at Sea performance group cruised on Royal Caribbean’s Nordic Empress in March 1995. Interesting fact... The first group for Stars at Sea was a dance school named Dance Innovations, located in Chatham New Jersey USA. Dance Innovations has since cruise more than 15 times with Stars at Sea.
How many guests has Stars at Sea booked on cruise ships?
In 2009, Stars at Sea celebrated its 100,000th guest booking.
Is Stars at Sea a Travel Agency?
In 1994, Stars at Sea founders designed, pitched and negotiated a performance program with Royal Caribbean. The foundation of the program was formed on more than a decade of work in dance and music education. Following months of negotiation with senior executives and department heads, the Stars at Sea performance program was launched.
The State of Florida requires any ‘Seller of Travel’ be licensed with the State. As such, Stars at Sea is a licensed ‘Seller of Travel’ with the State of Florida (Lic. # ST-26518). Although we have booked more guests on cruises than a large Travel Agency, the Stars at Sea performance program has been and continues to be the core of our business. Past guests have the opportunity to book individual cruises via www.starsatsea.com however, we do not widely market individual bookings.
Although our company roots stem from the Fine Arts industry, as a large Seller of Travel for almost two decades, Stars at Sea has membership with several Travel organizations.
The most commonly known are: International Association of Travel Agents Network (IATAN), International Air Transportation Association (IATA), Cruise Line International Association (CLIA)
Is Stars at Sea insured?
Yes. Stars at Sea is insured with the same company that underwrites Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Lines cancellation policies, Berkely Insurance Agency.