Why are HSR cabin prices different from the cruise line prices ?
First, the cruiseline is not booking this cruise. We have basically rented the ship for 7 days. Customizing both the itineary, and every activity onboard to suit our group and we've extended this ships normal 5 day cruise to 7 days. Included all your tips, gratuities, taxes, FREE giveaways, etc in the price. See below for more info.
What’s included in your rally price that’s not included in a regular cruise price?
For those never before cruisers let’s cover what a REGULAR cruise price covers. Cabin, Food 24-7 with Meals in the dining rooms, cafes’ & snacks throughout the day. Even room service. All your cruiseline ship entertainment, use of the fitness center, sports equipment, and ship sponsored activities.
High Seas Rally® Full ship charter cruise includes all the above , PLUS:
Your Welcome aboard package, with Exclusive rally collectibles, rally patch, pins, decals, magnetic door plaque, seapass holder, tote bag, and more.
Private rally party (or 2) on ship. Costume dress up optional as we have Halloween, Mutiny/Pirate, Hippie, Mexican, Gold Rush Pioneer or Billy Bob parties depending on itenary and rally location.FREE drinks the 1st hour on us. That's about of $30,000 per party. You guys and girls put away some drinks!!
Your FREE chance at winning over $30,000 in CASH AND games that you can play that pay out over $200,000 in CASH. Vendor prizes also providing this ship will accomadate them.
Biker attire, no formal dress up unless you want to participate in one of our special Mutiny (pirate dress nights, 50,60,70’s Hippie Night or our Halloween Party (Biker Fright Night) or formal night..that would be Leather. In other words wear your usual rally gear, jeans & t-shirt, participate in the other dress up nights if you want. The parties will be announced in the fall but a Pirate party is for sure.
Special discount deals on drinks and food at all our private on-shore party locations. Margaritaville, Senor Frogs, etc.
Our recommended onshore locations give our rally participants a minimum 10% discount on purchases. Just look for the WELCOME High Seas Rally banners.
Also available only to registered HSR rally passengers is exclusive rally souvenir merchandise..not available to the public.
Discount rates at Hotels at departure port city and Bon Voyage party.
Vendor Trade show when space is available on the ship? Vendor area, with some of the best aftermarket vendors in the business giving away by random cabin # drawing over $120,000.00 in FREE vendor prizes.
All on-ship tips (gratuities) port charges, govt. fees and taxes are also included in our prices.
We also have a no interest payment plan! We also accept personal checks. Cruise line does not have either.
Please view our payment schedule on our prices page.
Personal service when you call for questions. These rally cruises are all we do 5 days a week 9 hours a day. We are riders and have been for over 30 years. We have set up as vendors at many rallies every year all across the U.S. We became travel agents only because the cruise lines won’t deal with you unless you are travel agents. We don't book individual cruises.
All our rallies contribute to pay for up to 15 bikers or their friends or family that are on Kidney dialysis machines to have a vacation of a lifetime with us on each cruise. With FREE round-trip airfare, FREE hotel room the night before the cruise, FREE balcony stateroom, FREE medical staff and FREE dialysis treatments while aboard ship and spending money to each patient. Approx.$150,000 per cruise. See our Debbie's Dialysis Fund website. http://www.debbiesdialysisfund.com
Yes: We are present and available at all our rally activities.
You will also be notified per e-mail of all future rally registration openings weeks before the general public is made aware.
What cabin is best for me?
All we can do here is give you some things to consider before choosing a cabin category, especially if this is your 1st cruise. First thing you must consider is this is not your regular cruise! If you have friends that have cruised before but not with us, they have only a small concept of what OUR cruises are like. The more you listen to them, the more you’ll be confused.
Although these ships are very stable, the laws of physics still apply should seas get choppy. The center of the ship is the smoothest and the lower in the ship the less motion BUT these modern ships move very little unless waves are over 7 feet. Other things to consider: If a lot of walking is not on your vacation list, we recommend a cabin not too far from the elevator if one is still available. Obviously just being on the same floor as your friends on one of these ships does not mean you are close to them. You could still be 2 football field lengths away. If both you and your friends are near an elevator on the same end of the ship, you’re much closer together than being on opposite ends of the ship on the same deck. Although I (Dean) wrote the following info, if you don’t find your answers just call our office.
Things to consider: First, PORT side STARBOARD side means nothing for cruise ships in the modern age as far as being on the debarkation (land) side when the ship is docked. Modern ships can turn on a dime by themselves without the use of tugboats and frequently dock on whichever side is best for them on the day they arrive and modern ships have gangways on both sides. If you are a SMOKER: There is no smoking in any cabin. There are a few areas designated on the ship as smoking areas, such as the casino. Generally the higher up in deck # height, the more expensive the cabin. An identical inside cabin on deck 10 may be $400 more than the same cabin on deck 2. Decks 9 and 10 have most of the large cabins, therefore less passengers and quieter area than the lower decks.
K, L, M, N, K inside category cabins: Even the smallest, least expensive cabins have a shower, mini fridge, blow drier, T.V. and internet accessibility. If you’re on a tight budget or you are of smaller biker size (185 pds or under) an inside cabin may be sized right for you. Please keep in mind there is a reason these are the least expensive cabins. They are the smallest, a few are not in prime locations. If you or your partner are over 200 pounds, the shower is like a phone booth. There are no windows in these cabins and if you use them just as a place to sleep and not have company, they may be just what you want or can afford. However, if you have a motion problem, having no windows can cause or worsen motion sickness. More than 2 large grown-ups in these cabins could be stretching your friendship just a little. Two twin beds that can convert into a Queen. We recommend these cabins to SEASONED cruisers that have no motion problems, are sailing on a budget or have other spending priorities such as the casino,eating, drinking, etc. or just want a place to sleep.
Ocean View Stateroom Cabins: Two twin beds that can convert into a Queen. Small shower. The porthole window does not open but does provide a view. On this ship many are in prime locations and almost as much living space as a Deluxe balcony cabin. Just no balcony. Many have adjoining cabin capacity if you want that with a friend or family which makes the combined size a plus.
Deluxe Balcony staterooms: The 1st cabins with an actual sliding glass door that opens to your own private balcony with 2 chairs and a table on the deck and a real view of the ocean. Now you can actually feel, see, hear and smell the ocean. If you have never seen the blue Caribbean waters, felt the warm air on your face or let the sound of the ocean put you to sleep at night with your door open, you need to add it to your bucket list. These cabins add a whole new list of things you can do in your room besides sleep. Watch the sunrise and sunset on the ocean. Have a romantic night on your private balcony, eat breakfast there in the morning, watch your comrades stagger back to the ship from each Island or hang your banners or pirate flags from your balcony when we are at port. You’ll also be amazed at how much difference an extra 4-5 feet makes in a cabin. Again, two twin beds that can convert into a Queen. Roomier shower.
Superior Balcony Stateroom: The only differences between this and the Deluxe is a little more elbow room, the ability in some cases to sleep a 3rd person and a higher up deck on the ship. Just like a hotel, you pay more for the view. The extra 2 feet in room depth does make a noticable difference. Some of these cabins on the rear of the ship have a much larger deck with lay down chairs. Same price.
Junior Suites: A full third bigger than a Deluxe balcony Stateroom, now we are getting into luxury and real elbow room if you're tall or a big guy or gal. 100 more square feet and a bigger balcony really makes a difference. Full size bathroom with shower and tub and a walk in closet to get your luggage out of the way. Larger flat screen T.V. and a larger bed. We feel Junior Suites are usually the best buy for the money on all RCCL ships.
Grand Suites: Now you have made it to the big time. Not only in the size of the cabin with marble bathroom, walk in closets and 100 more square feet than a Junior Suite and limited concierge service. Need reservations at Chops Grill..no problem. Have an excursion you forgot to book..no problem. Free movie rentals. You get the idea.
Owner Suites: They don’t call it the Owner Suite for nothing! Yet another 100 square feet larger than the Grand Suites. These cabins are all located conveniently near an elevator and near the Concierge Lounge on deck 10. Limited Concierge Service of course but now you have room to invite some guests and throw a party in your room..no problem. Plus a very large outside balcony that’s almost the size of the starting inside cabins. You’ll be the envy of your friends. Maybe you could let them sleep outside on your deck one night?
FO and TS Suites: First, you must have at least 4 or 6 people in each of these cabins. They are designed for groups. The FO is located near the elevator for convience but lacks the larger balcony and seperate bedrooms of the TS. It's like your first starter house in size but much nicer. When the price is split between 6 people, it's a steal for what you get.
The TS's are all located on the rear of the ship and have separate bedrooms, separate bathrooms with the largest cabins on the ship a large living room and the 2nd largest and deepest balcony on the ship, with lay down lawn chairs.They are all located on the very rear of the ship which we feel is a best kept secret. Most private, best view, biggest decks and very little wind when the ship is in motion. Many people sleep on the rear decks at night watching the stars and listening to the waves. You also get all the benefits of Limited Concierge Service and plenty of space to invite your friends over. The only downside is you have to get along with your invited family or friends for a whole week and remember its $854.00 each for every additional passenger after the second passenger and there is a minimum of 6 passengers in this cabin. When you divide the price of the cabin by 6 or 8 people, You'll feel like Mr. Popular. These are the best party and socializing cabins.
Royal Suite: There’s only one! How about a Grand Piano in your living room and your own private hot tub on your deck. Best view from the ship, largest deck. Hey, if you have the money just do it! Believe it or not this Suite is one of the first to sell every year. We had it one year and it was so high tech that I couldn’t even work the shower in the Master bedroom. Poor me, I had to use the other commoners bathroom shower. Huge bed, huge bathrooms, huge living room, huge deck…its HUGE! Downside..only 4 passengers can sleep in the Royal Suite..if that’s a downside? Ya gotta run your 50 NEW friends out of your room sometime! P.S. you are co-owner of the ship--at least you'll feel like it! Limited Concierge Service..of course.
To check out the cabins / locations, etc CLICK HERE.
How about T.V. and fridge?
Every cabin has a T.V. and mini-fridge. The bigger the cabin, the bigger the T.V. and Fridge. The suites have larger flat screen T.V.’s and Grand, Owner and Royal suites have mini bars. All have hair dryers too. Just announced: Royal Caribbean now has their own satelite for internet service "they say" just like your home service.
Will my cell phone work?
With RCCL's new satelite..we expect much better cell phone service. Roaming charges for international calls can be pricey and once your on the ship, Royal Caribbean adds there cost to your cell phone service. Gotta pay for that satelite. Again,this is new..don't know the cost but we know the service will be much better.
Can I bring my own bottled water?
You could but why bother? Buy the ships soda/water package for the week. All you can drink on the ship for 1 price and they hand you a bottle of water everytime you go onshore.
The ship always offers bottled water for sale as you're departing the ship to go ashore and that might be a good idea. So why drag a case of bottled water with you? Surely you can find something else to put in your luggage. If not, like I said, buy the ships soda/water package for the week. All you can drink for 1 price and they give you a bottle of water when you leave the ship.
Can I bring my bike on board?
Sorry, but on our Rally cruise, only participating vendors and bike builders can bring bikes on board FOR DISPLAY ONLY and listed below are just a few reasons why we feel the experience of riding YOUR bike a couple miles on a Caribbean Island is not worth the hassle and additional cost.
First of all: We firmly believe it’s the people that make this rally..not the bikes. Our average age group is 40-70. A more mature veteran rider that has for the most part outgrown the need to sleep with their bike at night and the need to say “been there, done that”. Many of our riders have several prized bikes but they value the biker community as much as their bikes and if we’re going for a road trip we actually like to say we rode more than 40 miles in a WEEK. Which is about all the total miles you can possibly ride if you take your bike with you on a Caribbean cruise. Let’s face it, it’s pretty much just a glamour photo op with you and your bike in an exotic location, some braggin rights to your buddies back at home and the extra income to do it. That generally brings with it a younger, more inexperienced “look at me crowd” and a lot of ego and we prefer characters..leave the ego’s at home. We also feel it makes us look like rich flamboyant Americans in a mostly less than rich country. Save yourself the grief, money and hassle and go to a local photo studio with a green screen and put whatever background you want behind your bike picture.
The maximum 35 bikes allowed onboard these few specialty group cruises doesn’t work for us: Because, we have as many as 2,100 riders on our High Seas Rally® cruises. The very few cruise ships that do allow bikes have a maximum of 70 riders onboard (that’s with 2 riders on every bike, 35 bikes) and often it's closer to 50. You’re a very small minority. Likewise your cabin selections are very few, since they only reserve a maximum of 35 cabins. Second; our rally is a world-wide rally taking place in November. A large percentage of our rally participants have already prepared their bikes for winter storage. Those that could bring bikes would most likely be those located in close riding or trailoring proximity to the port. We generally have riders from every state in the U.S and several foreign countries; they would be left out along with our other 1900 or so other riders. But just what are they missing?
Even if we could provide the space for 35 bikes as with the small specialty group cruises, there would be a significant upcharge (like theirs) to your current cabin prices to bring your bike. If you don’t ride your bike to the port, the expense of round trip to trailer/ship your bike, paying to park your truck and trailer at the port and your extra travel time expenses could easily run another $1,000, if you live just a few states away from the departure port.
At every port you must awake early (approx. 6am) to get everything in order with customs to depart the ship by 8-9 am. On the islands that allow motorcycles over 500cc, (your bike) all rides onshore are by escort only and stop at the tour conductor recommended restaurants and shops. You have no choice where you ride or stop. Most island roads are left side right-a-way and speed limits are under 45 (second gear). Bringing a large powerful motorcycle is overkill. Sorta like a Muscle Car in downtown NY City. You can’t really enjoy your bike. The Caribbean is not Hawaii. The roads are narrow and in marginal condition and maybe your riding buddy (which you have never rode with before) has a few too many Margaritas. Have you ever dodged a pothole while riding on the wrong side of the road with people you have no riding time with and maybe they don’t have much time riding experience at all? Gotta watch where you put your kickstand down on a heavy bike..it’s sand. Accidents can and do happen. Then what? Ship leaves promptly at announced time. Can you imagine what would happen if you had a breakdown, delay or traffic accident, etc? I doubt AAA would pick up the tow bill. Best to rent light maneuverable scooters, that’s what the roads were made for and any scooter can keep up with your bike on these island roads and speed limits.
Your shore time is totally consumed with your bike. Customs, unloading, refueling, being escorted, cleaning your bike, told where you can and can’t go. No freedom to explore on your own or adventure out. If you think you're upset when it rains at a regular motorcycle event, think of how you would feel after traveling all this way, paying hundreds or thousands more to bring your bike and not being permitted to ride because there is too much sand washed onto the road. By the way, it’s standard cruise ship dress code on their cruises. No vendors, no parties, no prizes, no giveaways, no special fun dress up nights, no grand prize $40,000 giveaway bike, no cash prizes, etc. etc.
So, although the novel idea of unloading your bike from a cruise ship and riding on a far away island may sound good, it’s probably not exactly what you may expect. In this situation; it’s kinda like taking your child with you on a vacation that your child don’t won’t to go on,.. just to show off the child. Our opinion is unless you just gotta have the braggin rights, it's not worth it but if that’s you, we hope you have a great time and the people that provide this service go to a lot of trouble just to make it even possible and deserve every penny they charge. We can’t imagine the liability of putting this together. However, for us, it’s a risk, added expense, and inconvenience we won’t take nor feel it adds to the fun. In short, it’s not our demographics. They are totally different events with totally different personalities. If there were a way that you could be dropped off on one of the larger islands and be picked up the following week and if these islands had real roads like Hawaii, now that could be justified.
Our passengers prefer to spend this one week a year making new biker friends, sharing their riding adventure stories and planning REAL bike road trips with their new found friends. There's more but under the current restraints, we feel that the hassle and worry of bringing your personal bike far outweighs the cost, camaraderie, and FUN...and that’s what OUR rally is all about! Just rent a scooter onshore and go where you want! Save $1,000. Hundreds of our passengers do every year and ride in groups much larger than 35 bikes. Still want to ride a Harley or your own bike during your vacation?? We'll have a few rentals available in Cozumel and hope to have a much larger renatal fleet in Key West when we arrive. Announced later.
Can I make changes to my reservation?
Of course! Just call or email us. 540-942-8791 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Changes and additions can be made up until August 1.
Some change will incur a cost. See our prices page for costs and dates of penalties
What will I be charged if I cancel?
6/4/16 to 2/1/17 - $600.00 per cabin ($300.00 for each 3+ passenger)
2/2/17 to 08/1/17 - 50% of Total Cabin Cost
8/2/17 to 12/4/17- 100% No Refund
Now that we have a full ship charter for 2017, We control dining AND we'll make it simple! Evening dining is 6:00pm -9:30pm. Come when you want, no assigned tables. Want to set with your friends..bring them with you. Want to meet new friends, then be randomly seated.
Dress code: Biker attire. Jeans and T-shirt.
We typically have 2 optional formal (Leather required) dining nights and 2 optional dress up nights if we have a party afterward. The party dress ups depends on what kind of party we have. Pirate, Hillbilly, Hippy, Halloween, etc. It's is your option whether you attend main dining or the party afterward BUT you'll be missing a lot of fun if you don't.
What Travel Documents and identification do I need?
Current Passport (passport must be valid for 6 months past the sail date)
Photo Drivers License (official State drivers license with photo)
Both of the above are required to board the cruise ship.
NEW U.S. Government Regulations for U.S. Citizen Passport Requirements As of January 1, 2009 all person must have a current passport to leave and reenter the U.S.
Click here for new passport requirements
To obtain or renew your passports you can check out this web site
YOUR PASPORT MUST BE VALID 6 MONTHS AFTER THE CRUISE.
Guests who do not possess the proper documentation may be prevented from boarding the ship, disembarking or entering a country, and may be subject to fines. No refunds will be given to individuals who fail to bring proper documentation.
Can I book my cabin through my travel agent?
Your travel agent can book it through us for you but they will get no commission.
What type of clothes do we wear?
This ain' t no dress up cruise. This is casual dress, wear the same clothes you would wear at a normal rally, blue jeans and motorcycle t-shirts.
The two formal nights for dinner we ask that you wear something leather. (Pants, vest, skirt, etc.) Please be discreet. The rest of the time, we will be wearing jeans and t-shirts even for dinner. No profanity on T-Shirts, please!
Dress up nights are optional of course on our onship HSR parties. Most likely one this cruise will be Pirate Night. Still in the works. We've have Hallowwen parties, Hillbilly/ Redneck and Hippy parties too. Lots of fun just to watch if you're not into the dress up thing. You'll get an eye full cause over 1,000 dress up for each of these events. Camera ready!
Another great reason you don't have to pack as much clothing is the laundry service onboard the cruise ship. Just fill out the laundry list hanging on the back of your cabin door, place the laundry on your bed and 24 hours later it is back and in perfect condition. It's very reasonably priced and takes none of your precious time. We recommend NO starch in the jeans! They will have a crease for two months, it is a fact.
Do I need travel insurance?
Protect your Travel / Vacation Investment
Most regular health insurance only covers inside the U.S. Plus you're booking a cruise more than a year in advance. We're not 21 and bullett proof anymore. We ride motorcycles, have kids and aging parents and maybe have a health issue but we sometimes think we're 21 on this cruise and accidents having fun do happen. Weather has never stopped our cruises but weather at the passengers home locations has caused many to miss the ship over the years. Remember the 2017 cruise leaves in December. Stuff just happens! Please take a look at the travel coverage when you register. Nothing makes us feel worse than giving you the bad news that there is no cruise refund. And the ships infirmary is based on emergency room prices should you have a BOO BOO. Take it from someone that's broken 21 bones, fractured their skull and lost their wife all on cruises.Yeh, me.You need travel insurance. So its better to have peace of mind by adding travel coverage to your reservation so you can have even more FUN.
Can I get on this Rally Cruise if I don't own a motorcycle?
If you're open minded, fun loving and want to enjoy life..you'll fit right in weather you are a motorcycle person or not. At our rallies FUN is #1! You do not have to own a motorcycle to be one of our registered passengers. However! You must be aware that you will be surrounded by those that do. Keep in mind that our average group age is 40-70 and not always the most politically correct group to hang out with. If you have rode a bike in the past you’ll no doubt fit right in. True, most of our passengers are Harley® style riders, but Metric riders are gaining in numbers each year and most of us started on British and Japanese bikes so we know the background. Besides, with the bikes at home you'll never know the difference. We like to think of this rally as a melting pot of "Fun-Attics" from all bike brands, clubs and groups from all over the world with a little general public thrown in for flavor.
You don't need to be part of a club or group to be on this rally cruise but some years we've had as many as 126 different clubs and organizations from all 50 U.S. states both coast of Canada, Alaska, Newfoundland, England, Belgium, U.K., Germany, Brazil, Australia even soldiers home from Iraq on the ship at the same time.
How early do I need to arrive if I make my own travel arrangements?
You should plan to arrive at the pier at least two hours before the ship is scheduled to depart. (at this time departure is set for 4:00pm. Departure time is subject to change by cruise lines. That means be onboard by 2:00pm. Please check your cruise on line boarding documents for confirmed boarding time. It is your responsibility to arrive on time. In preparation for prompt departure, cruise check-in will close 30 minutes prior to sailing. Guests arriving after will not be permitted to board.
Check out our TRANSPORTATION page for lots more infomation.
Can I use my Royal Caribbean Crown & Anchor numbers on the HS Rally?
Yes you can use your Crown & Anchor numbers to get your cruise credit when you do your on-line boarding registration. Just make sure you type in your Crown and Anchor #'s when you apply for your online pre-boarding documents on the RCCL web site approx. 5 months prior to the cruise we'll prompt you per e-mail newsletter with instructions. There are no Royal Caribbean price discounts toward H.S.R. cabin prices.
Are children allowed on the Rally Cruise?
Royal Caribbean does have terrific children programs, however our cruise is during the school year and there have been very few onboard our sailing week in the past. Normally a child to us is under 21. You make that choice! I have had nothing but good reports from those passengers that have brought their children but it's unlikely they will have others their age to socialize with.
What if I get sea sick?
IT’S NOT EASY FEELIN’ QUEASY!
Many of our rally participants are 1st time flyers and 1st time cruisers. Although our cruises are generally very smooth, here’s Debbie’s remedy for motion sickness ...GINGER! Visit your local Health Food Store and purchase some ginger root tablets. Debbie liked Natures Way brand of ginger root. This is the same ginger you use to cook with in your kitchen. The Ginger comes in capsule form. You take 2 capsules every 4 hours when you experience or expect motion sickness, continue taking it for the length of the cruise when you are onboard the ship. Works best when you take the ginger first thing in the morning, again before the evening meal, and right before bed. Ginger has no side effects and is a natural cure. No dopey feeling or dry mouth symptoms like you get with over the counter medications or sea sickness patches. It has successfully cured her motion sickness from roller coaster rides to car sickness to cruising. Please make sure you are not allergic to ginger, we only offer a suggestion and are in no way medical professionals. A few years ago the TV show "Myth Busters" proved ginger was the best cure.
Need A Wheelchair?
The cruise line has a very few wheelchairs primarily for loading and unloading or medical emergencies but there is a company that works with the cruise line to provide RENTAL wheelchairs. Both motorized and simple fold-up type. The company delivers the wheelchair to your cabin prior to you boarding the ship. You just leave the wheelchair in your room when the cruise is over. The wheelchair company name is Care Vacations. Phone # 877-478-7827. Their website is www.cruiseshipassist.com If renting a motorized wheelchair..check with us to make sure your cabin has space for it.
Renewing your wedding vows, getting married or proposing on the ship, bithday, anniversary, etc?
The cruise line has dozens of ways, prices and locations for you to arrange this very special event.
Just click here for the info. http://www.honeymooncruiseshopper.com/weddings1-rccl.htm
Are we (The Owners) coming on the Rally Cruise?
Of Course! We don't sublet our event out to someone else that knows nothing about it. We are the company. You will see us everyday. We will be announcing all prize winners every night, shaking hands, answering questions, present at all our ship and shore parties, games, vendor area, etc. Check back on the website monthly for more upcoming fun and adventure on the RALLY NEWS page. We're determined to make this Rally your best!
Why we don't have a big choice of rally cruise itineary options?
First, we are limited by what ships we can use
Our Vendor Tradeshow and Dialysis program requirements limits our choices: The ship must leave from and return to the same American port—It’s financially improbable that a vendor would ship there display to and from say Puerto Rico or Hawaii to begin the rally cruise. Customs would also make it impossible. That also means we can’t ship our game and giveaway supplies such as bike giveaways, 50/50 tickets, welcome packets, etc. We have experimented with purchasing the vendor prizes ourselves and giving them away and mailing the welcome packets as in Alaska 2011. How important is it to have the vendors there in person?? We have been shelling out $90,000.00 per cruise just to have them onboard each year. That’s how important we think they are. What do you think??
Then the ship we have chosen must have an area big enough for our vendor trade show. Currently, that’s only about 6 ships that we know of in all the cruise lines serving the U.S..
Our Dialysis program is not available on all cruises nor is it welcome on all ships and the departure port must be within a reasonable flying distance for the majority of our patients. Space is a premium on all cruise ships. The ships infirmary must be large enough to accommodate the refrigerator size dialysis machines and medical supplies and just like the vendors, the dialysis machines can’t be shipped just anywhere. When they can be shipped, the expense of the dialysis team goes up dramatically.
Why a 7 day cruise? We feel less than 7 days is more work than fun and over 7 days would thin our numbers down to a very unbeneficial state. When you have smaller numbers we can’t have private dining, change the dress code, private ship parties, etc. There are a few great 9 and 11 day cruises. For example, Hawaii, deep southern Caribbean and Panama Canal but you use 4-5 days of you vacation sea cruising and leave or depart in the middle of the week. That’s primarily why we don’t sail from Baltimore area. It takes at least 4 -5 days at sea just to get to and from the Caribbean. 11 day cruises leave or return midweek. We feel it would reduce our passenger #’s due to those still working for a living. Sunday to Sunday cruises or Monday to Monday work the best but we are always considering Hawaii from California.
Itineraries are important too. Ports of call are a big reason to take a cruise. Most cruise lines now are doing their best to keep you on the ship as much as possible and shorten your shore time. Most of their income is made on the ship. When they sit at port, all on ship casinos and shops are shut down and no sales are allowed. Plus, they pay a huge toll for docking fees. Cruiselines are doing their best to entertain you while cruising and that’s good but we like as near to 8 hours on shore a we can get. Be even nicer if we could stay overnight at some locations. This 2017 cruise finally gives us he time we need...when we take the whole ship..we can do that.
Shore excursions and onshore party locations are important also. Sometimes island onshore party locations can only seat 50 people. If they can’t accommodate our large groups, then the group scatters all over the island. Why is this important? We do have a high percentage of fun drinkers. If they were scattered out all over an island at different locations, we would not have the “never left anyone onshore” record that we have now. If we can find you, we’ll get you back and we have found you in some clever “past out” hiding places. As for shore excursions, we don’t have to worry about the sober ones making it back to the ship but we want to make sure there is a good selection of fun activities.
Why don’t we go back to Alaska or Mexican Riviera? Love to. These are my personal favorites but we have averaged more than a $100,000.00 loss on each of the 3 Alaska cruises due to low passenger count. We must have a minimum of 1,000 passengers for us to break even with our giveaway programs, etc. We can’t seem to break the “it’s too cold “myth of Alaska. P.S. it is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. Mexican Riviera…probably the most fun HSR rally EVER but we were the last ship that RCCL sailed there in 2009. The only ship doing a 7 day cruise now since the “media induced” drug war scare has no vendor area. When a proper ship comes back, we’ll be the first charter to book. We had 4 years work putting that together. It made me sick to see it go away for no real good reason.
We have seriously eyed an 11 day Hawaii cruise leaving from California for years. Maybe in the future if we do just 1 rally cruise every 2 years.
Why don’t we take a full ship charter?? Got an extra 5 million lying around. I’ll need it 15 months in advance and no guarantees you’ll get it back if I don’t fill the ship. In other words, I’m not rich. It’s 2,5 million now for half ship but they gave me that great payment plan, $100,000.00 down, approx. $600,000.00 every 4 months. Keep in mind, I only get paid 90 days before the ship sails. Maybe that’s why nobody else does this? HEY, AFTER 18 HALF SHIP CHARTERS, JUST FOR US, RCCL GAVE US A FULL SHIP CHARTER WITH A HALF SHIP PAYMENT PLAN. FULL SHIP HERE WE COME IN 2017!