Last Second Cruises

November 4, 2017
Traveling alone with children?

- "Booking within a narrow window presents its own challenges, " said Karyn Todd of "You're always going to be in immediate penalty if you book within 60 days" of your cruise, for one, which means that you could lose all or part of your money should you be forced to cancel. Accordingly, "you've got to think about insurance. Remember, anything can happen, " Todd said, "and the cruise lines have gotten very tough on cancellation. I know it's an additional cost, but the value of having insurance when you're booking a product that's nonrefundable is huge."

- "Before you make a booking, get your documentation in order, " Todd advised. As of last month, any American wanting to travel to a foreign country is required to have either a valid passport or a U.S. passport card (the latter is good only for travelers returning to the United States by land or sea - but not air - from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Bermuda). Check to be sure your passport isn't about to expire; go to for information on obtaining or renewing one. And take a second look at the name on your documents. "You really have to know what everybody's legal name is, what everybody's birth date is, " and present that information correctly on your cruise documents.

- "Before you jump on that great deal for a cruise at the last minute, make sure you can get to the port in a way that's economically friendly, " said Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor in chief of You may see deals on Alaska cruises, for instance, but remember that if one begins in, say, Vancouver, B.C., and ends in Anchorage, you might have to buy two one-way tickets, which can be expensive.

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