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Visa & Passport Information
Do I need a Passport?
In order to travel you will require a valid passport, it is also a requirement that you have at least 6 months validity on your passports from the date of your return.
Do I need a Visa?
Visas are required by British citizens for a number of our destinations and ports of call. A charge may be applicable - for up-to-date information check with the relevant embassy. Please ensure that you check visa requirements for each port of call on your itinerary as well for the country/countries where you will start and end your cruise. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documentation. All other passport holders should check with the relevant embassy or consulate.
I am travelling to the United States, Do I need a Visa?
All passengers, visiting or transiting through the USA, will be required to complete the Electronic Visa Waiver Program (ESTA) a minimum of 72 hours prior to your departure which carries an additional charge of $14.00 per person and will last for 2 years. We strongly recommend that you apply for your ESTA in plenty of time to avoid any complications.
If you are visiting or transiting through the U.S.A, San Juan or any of the US Virgin Islands (including ports of call on your cruise ship) you will need to obtain the Electronic Visa Waiver Program (ESTA) if you are a British passport holder. ESTA is mandatory and needs to be completed no later than 72 hours prior to your departure, although we’d recommend taking care of this as soon as you can. The ESTA visa waiver will cost $14 per person, and will last up to 2 years unless revoked, or your passport expires. Please click here to visit the official ESTA website. All other passport holders (including British Subjects) will need to consult the US Embassy.
I don't have the address, how do I complete my ESTA form before I travel?
If you are travelling to the Florida and have booked a villa/private home and do not have the full address, 'CITY & STATE' will suffice.
If you are transiting through the U.S.A, San Juan or any of the US Virgin Islands please add your address as ‘in transit’.
Advance Passenger Information System
Due to increased security in the USA, UAE, China, Thailand, Spain and Jamaica, it is now necessary for you to provide the airline with various details at least 72 hours prior to your departure. By providing these details prior to your flight, it will enhance your passenger experience and make your journey through immigration much smoother. Failure to provide this information may prevent you from boarding your flight.
What information will the airline need?
The airline will need to take your, full names as per your passport, your passport number, country of issue, issue and expiry date, country of Citizenship, date of Birth and gender.
Where will I find the airlines reference number?
You will find your airlines reference number on your booking invoice, received with your initial paperwork.
If I have connecting flights, do I need to insert all the information for each carrier?
Yes, if you are travelling on more than one airline you will need fill in your details for each airline, with the exception of UK domestic flights.
I'm only connecting through one of these countries, and I won't need to go through immigration, will I still need to complete this information?
Yes, you will still need to complete all the information even if you are only transiting through one of the countries. As you will be landing in the country all information MUST be completed.
I've already got my ESTA, so does this still apply to me?
It does apply to you even if you've already completed your ESTA information. Advance Passenger Information is completely separate and is additional information.
How do I update my information?
To update your information you will need to go online to your relevant airlines website. We have listed some of the airlines below for your ease.
www.virgin-atlantic.com or alternatively you can call Virgin Atlantic on 0844 209 8703
www.americanairlines.co.uk or alternatively call American Airlines on 0207 365 0777
www.britishairways.com or alternatively call British Airways on 0845 773 3377
www.avro.co.uk/apis or alternatively call Avro on 0871 423 8551
www.easyjet.com or alternatively call EasyJet on 0843 104 5000
For passengers travelling with Jet2 or Aer Lingus, please contact our Customer Service team at email@example.com with the details.
If you are having trouble inserting your advance passenger information, please contact Customer Services on 0844 557 9734 or firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help.
When is the balance of my holiday due to be paid?
Full payment for your holiday is due 13 weeks prior to your departure.
How can I pay for my Holiday?
You can call us on 0207 107 3080 to make a payment using our secure automated payment system. You will find your reference number in the top right hand corner of your paperwork; please have this number to hand when using the automated service.
We accept payment by cheque, credit card and debit card - direct payments to Virgin Holidays by credit card handling fee of 2% of the total value of your transaction. Debit card payments are free. This charge is correct at time of writing and we reserve the right to increase/decrease this charge and you will be advised at the time of booking).
You are able to pay for your holiday by bank transfer. Please ensure you quote your reference number in your bank's reference field in order that we can allocate your payment against your booking.
Account Name: Virgin Holidays
Bank Details: Lloyds TSB
Sort Code: 30-00-02
Account Number: 01444803
IBAN: GB09 LOYD 300002 01444803
Alternatively, you can also send a cheque made payable to 'Virgin Holidays Ltd':
Virgin Holidays Cruises
Accounts Receivable team
Please ensure that your name, address and reference number is clearly shown on the back of the cheque in order that we can allocate your payment against your booking.
When will I receive my holiday tickets?
You can expect to receive your tickets 7-10 days prior to your departure. If however, our suppliers send these to us any earlier we will certainly send them to you straight away!
Help! I don’t have my tickets...
Don't panic, our system will tell us if we have sent your tickets to you or not. If your departure date is getting closer we will already be on the case chasing our suppliers for you. If however, you are due to depart within the next 7 days and have not received any information from us regarding the whereabouts of your tickets then please contact our Customer Service Team on 0844 557 9734.
What will my tickets look like?
With many airlines, cruise lines and suppliers moving to an electronic ticketing system, you will find that your tickets are now ‘E-Tickets’. E-Tickets are electronic paper documents often printed from our suppliers therefore don’t worry that your tickets may not look like they have done on previous holidays!
You will receive your ticketing documents in a red ticket wallet with your paper documents inside ... (If in any doubt if the documents you’ve received are your tickets, just look for the ‘E-Ticket number’ on the documents which confirm these are your ticketing documents).
I haven’t received any luggage labels with my tickets...
The airline will apply personal luggage labels to your luggage during the check-in process however some cruise lines no longer send luggage labels. If you have not received any luggage labels and you do wish to obtain some then please feel free to contact our Customer Service team at email@example.com and we will certainly arrange for luggage labels to be posted to you.
On Board Your Cruise
What can I expect from my cabin?
There are several kinds of cabin which can be described as the following:
Inside Cabins - These are without windows or balconies and come equipped with exactly the same facilities as those facing the outside of the ship.
Outside - The next grade up will be an ocean view cabin featuring a porthole or picture window to see where your ship is taking you and the port that you are in.
Balcony - A balcony enables you to feel the sea air from the privacy of your own balcony / veranda.
Whatever type of cabin you have selected it will usually consist of the following:
Small private bathroom with shower, wash basin and toilet / An international shaver socket, towels, soap and shampoos / Telephone and TV / Vanity desk unit and chair / Wardrobe and drawer space.
When will I find out my cabin number?
Sometimes you can select your cabin number at the time of the booking so you can see exactly where your cabin will be. If you do not have your cabin number then you have been booked into a "Guaranteed basis cabin" This means that you have been booked into a category of cabin which is eligible for any complimentary cabin upgrades into a higher category that may become available nearer the sailing. In cases whereby you have booked a ‘Guaranteed basis cabin’ you will receive your confirmed cabin number on your tickets. Please note that where you do not have your cabin number allocated, we are unable to confirm any requests regarding cabin location, connecting cabins, bed configuration requests).
I'm not registered as disabled, can I book a disabled cabin?
As there are few cabins on-board which accommodate disabled passengers, disabled cabins are reserved for passengers who are immobile only or require specific use of disabled facilities such as hand-rails, walk-in bathroom/shower etc.
Do I need Consent for Minors (age from and to e.g. 0-17 years) travelling without a parent or legal guardian?
Most cruise lines and airlines will now require documentation to be completed by the parent or legal guardian prior to travel which will also need signing/stamped by a solicitor. Please contact us for more information should this affect you as each cruise line will differ.
What sort of clothes should I take?
Most cruise lines dress code during the day is casual and in the evenings a smart casual dress code is enforced. Certain higher class of cruise ships for example, Cunard or our Platinum selection cruise ships will enforce a more formal dress code whereby Ball Gowns/Formal attire is suited for evening wear.
Cruise Lines will offer between 1-2 formal evenings per 7 nights cruise however, these naturally vary depending on the ship. During formal evenings passengers will adopt a more formal dress attire, for example Suit Jackets for gentlemen and a Cocktail dress or Trouser Suit for the ladies. On Formal Cruises you can usually hire formal attire onboard at an additional charge.
What about dining arrangements on board?
Generally ships which offer 2 dining sittings require first sittings to start between 6:00pm-6.30pm with the second sitting at approximately 8.30pm.
In addition to the traditional dining, you will find that many ships now offer the opportunity to choose ‘Anytime Dining’ which allows guests to eat as they please in the evening between the cruise line’s dining times. (For example, should the ship allocate dining between 6:00pm-10:00pm, guests may eat between these times dependant on availability).
You will have the opportunity to select your preferred dining time at the time of booking however, should you wish to amend this request you can do so at any time with our Customer Service Team prior to your departure.
Please note that dining requests are on a request basis only and therefore cannot be 100% confirmed. Should you not receive the dining sitting you were hoping for, just speak with the Maitre’d on-board your cruise and they will certainly see if there is any availability to change your sitting.
Do I have to pay gratuities?
Gratuities on many cruise ships are now compulsory and will automatically be added to your on board account where applicable. The exact amount added per person per day varies between cruise lines and therefore please visit your relevant cruise line’s website for their full terms and conditions surrounding the daily gratuity charge.
Please note that cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and NCL now offer the opportunity to pre-book gratuities before you go, therefore if you’d like to do this please contact our Customer Service Team if this interests you.
What is a "Service Charge" and do I need to pay it?
You will find that you will be charged on average 15% service charge on any optional purchases made on board the cruise ship. (i.e. drinks purchases, spa treatments, gifts / items from onboard shops). The service charge will automatically be added to your purchase and will show on your receipt for the purchase.
Where can I book shore excursions?
As soon as you have received your cruise reference number, most cruise lines will allow you to pre-book your shore excursions by visiting their website. Each cruise line’s website will enable you to look at various excursions, drinks packages (where available), speciality dining reservations and other on-board services). Alternatively, you can book your excursions whilst on board.
We are celebrating a special occasion will I receive a complementary upgrade or gift?
Please let us know if you are celebrating a special occasion and we will ensure that the cruise line are made aware of this, however it is at the cruise lines discretion as to whether or not they arrange a complementary upgrade or gift.
Do I need travel Insurance?
Comprehensive travel insurance is a requirement on all holidays and we strongly recommend that you purchase this as soon as your holiday is booked to ensure you are covered for any unforeseen circumstances that may arise prior to your departure.
Do I require any vaccinations?
We are unable to offer advice on any vaccination requirements; however we’d strongly recommend you contact your GP as soon as possible, as some medications must be taken as early as 1 month prior to travel.
Do I need to advise you if I am carrying medication on board my flight or cruise?
If you are travelling with medication, please travel with a copy of your prescription or a doctor’s letter confirming the dosage. If your medication is administered via injection or requires refrigeration, please contact our Customer Service team on 0844 557 9734 or at firstname.lastname@example.org so we are able to arrange the relevant assistance for you.
I am travelling to Dubai, am I able to take my medication?
As with the vast majority of countries around the world, including the UK, drugs are illegal in Dubai. Along with the international community, Dubai has a very clear policy regarding drug trafficking, smuggling and possession and this is one of the reasons why the emirate has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. It is for this reason that for some UK medicines that appear on the list of restricted and controlled medicines, including various over the counter medicines such as Codeine, it is necessary to carry an accompanying doctor’s note or prescription to authenticate its use.
It is also advised to take these medicines in their original packaging and an appropriate quantity for the length of stay. Please click here for the full list of restricted and controlled medicines from the Government of the United Arab Emirates, Ministry of Health.
If I am pregnant will I be able to travel?
Most cruise lines will accept pregnant passengers if they travel before the 24th week of pregnancy. They may require some additional medical history so please contact our Customer Service team on 0844 557 9734 or email them at email@example.com.
I require some additional assistance while on holiday, what should I do?
If you have not already advised us, please contact our Customer Services on 0844 557 9734 to confirm what assistance you will require so we can arrange this with your cruise line and airline. If you are travelling with a wheelchair, the cruise line will require the dimensions.