University at Sea®
5700 4th St. N.
St Petersburg, 
Florida 
33703
Office Hours
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8:30 am - 6:00 pm EST
Saturday
9:00 am - 5:00 pm EST
Sunday
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST
Cruise Conference Planning For Your Association
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FAQ

If you are an individual who plans to attend a Continuing Education Inc./University at Sea® cruise conference and you have questions about cruising or about the conferences themselves, please review the list below. If you cannot find the answers to your questions, please feel free to email us at contactus@universityatsea.com or call us toll free at 1-800-422-0711


1. How does University at Sea® work?
2. How do I sign up?
3. When will I receive my credits?
4. Are these programs accredited?
5. Will there be room for me in the course?
6. Can I extend my cruise vacation?
7. Are there meeting rooms onboard?
8. Are Cruise Conferences tax deductible?
9. Is cruising affordable and a good vacation value?
10. How long are cruises?
11. Where can I go?
12. How do I book a cruise?
13. Are all ships fairly similar?
14. Are there different types of cruises?
15. Are there any special educational programs on-board?
16. What's an air/sea cruise?
17. Do I need a passport?
18. Are there different classes of service?
19. Will I get bored? Feel confined?
20. What can I do in port?
21. Do I have to participate in the activities?
22. Do cruise lines welcome families with kids?
23. What's there to do at night?
24. Is there a charge for entertainment?
25. Will there be people like me?  
26. What should I pack?  
27. Will I need a tuxedo?  
28. Can singles have fun on a cruise?  
29. Can I use my hair dryer or shaver?  
30. What are different meal seatings?  
31. Is cruise ship dining as good as I've been told?  
32. Can I get a special diet?  
33. What if I don't like my tablemates?  
34. Are there non-smoking areas?  
35. Can we celebrate a special occasion?  
36. Is cruising right for honeymooners?  
37. Can we stay in touch with the outside world?  
38. What about tipping?  
39. Are there medical services onboard?  
40. Are there laundry services aboard ship?  
41. Do cruise lines accept group bookings?  
42. Is motion discomfort a problem?  
43. It sounds too good to be true! Is it?
44. Will the sessions interfere with shore activities?
45. Who should I see if I have questions that haven't been answered?
46. Are their restrictions related to travelling while pregnant?
47. Is there a minimum age for cruising? What are the travelling infant policies?

1. How does University at Sea® work? University at Sea® is a series of continuing education seminars hosted on luxury cruise ships.

2. How do I sign up? You may either call us toll free at 1-800-422-0711, or browse this website for the program you are interested in, and simply click on the "Register Online" links and fill in a registration form. One of our agents will then call you and help you complete your reservation.

3. When will I receive my credits? Upon completion of the course, you will be required to fill out the appropriate course evaluation. Upon returning from the cruise, the conference coordinator will forward the evaluation forms and sign-in sheets to the University at Sea®. We will then forward that paperwork to the program's accrediting body. After they have processed your paperwork they will mail you a certificate of completion which you will then submit to your appropriate state board for relicensure. Usually it only takes a few weeks after you return home for you to receive your certificates.

4. Are these programs accredited? All of our programs are properly accredited for the professions advertised. The appropriate accreditation statements can be found on any program's descriptive web page. If you have any questions about a program's accreditation, please call us, toll free, at 1-800-422-0711.

5. Will there be room for me in the course? Almost certainly. We have yet to have to turn an attendee away. If we can secure accommodations on the ship, we will be able to seat you in our class. 

6. Can I extend my cruise vacation? Cruise lines feature special pre- or post-cruise hotel packages that allow you to extend your vacation in either your port of embarkation or debarkation. Also, tours can be arranged in such ways as to blend seamlessly with your cruise vacation. Just ask our Agents for details!

7. Are there meeting rooms onboard? Just about every full-size ship has public rooms or a conference center to offer as meeting space for groups. Your ship may also be able to offer audio-visual equipment or internet connections. You can rest assured that any cruise ship hosting one of our programs will have the latest and greatest in the way of conference rooms and meeting services!

8. Are Cruise Conferences tax deductible? We are not qualified to advise you regarding tax matters. We suggest that you speak with a licensed tax consultant. However, we believe you should consider the value of cruising in its own right, without regard to potential tax advantages. You'll find that, even when your particular set of circumstances does not warrant a deduction, cruising is an excellent value and a great way to meet your continuing education needs while also providing many chances to relax and "get away from it all.". While on board, all meals and entertainment are free. When you add the cost of those incidentals to the price of attending a conference at a hotel, it's easy to see that attending a cruise conference is a vastly superior value.

9. Is cruising affordable and a good vacation value? Yes! Cruising is the best vacation value! There are cruise vacations to suit every budget. Your cruise fare includes all meals, your stateroom, on-board activities and entertainment, plus transportation from port to port. You'll know what your vacation will end up costing you before you go. (Your only extra expenses will be drinks, optional shore excursions, and personal services such as massage or hairstyling.) See the chart to compare the value of a cruise to the total cost of other vacations. You'll be amazed!

10. How long are cruises? As long or short as you want. Cruise lines offer itineraries from three days to three months! However, the majority of the cruises that are host to University at Sea® courses range from 7 to 12 nights in length. This allows for the attendee to have a chance to enjoy the cruise experience and the course without either unduly affecting the other.

11. Where can I go? You can go wherever you want. Cruises visit over 1,800 ports worldwide and practically every destination accessible by water. Just check the Cruise Guides for Worldwide Destinations to see all the exciting choices available to you! And the University at Sea® is steadily offering newer and more exciting itineraries to its calendar of events. For a complete listing of options please visit our Upcoming Conference Schedule.

12. How do I book a cruise? Just call our staff at 1-800-422-0711. We will help you pick the cruise that fits your vacation schedule, tastes and budget. They can make all the arrangements to get you from your doorstep to your ship and back. Planning a vacation has never been easier! If there is a particular University at Sea® course that you want to participate in.

13. Are all ships fairly similar? Far from it. Cruise lines' ships range from under 200 feet to over 1,000 feet long. You can sail with fewer than 100 fellow guests or over 4,000. Enjoy atmospheres ranging from casual to formal, contemporary to classic, old world luxury.

14. Are there different types of cruises? There is an incredible diversity of cruise vacations available -- all custom designed to suit different interests and personal preferences. For the explorer, there are cruise lines which feature soft adventure expeditions to such unusual and rustic frontiers as Antarctica, the Amazon rain forest or African Serengeti. For experienced travelers, destination-focused cruises specialize in premium, culturally-rich ports of call with itineraries dedicated to illuminating such historic, world-class treasures as the antiquities of classical Greece, the Polynesian paradise of Hawaii or the fabled splendor of Norwegian fjords. 

For many, the perfect vacation includes the non-stop fun and sun of a tropical resort-style cruise to the Caribbean, where you can sample a variety of island cultures and cuisines while working on a terrific sun tan. Plus, many cruise lines feature special-interest themes on-board, with entertainment ranging from jazz festivals and classical music concerts to golf clinics and murder mysteries at sea!

15. Are there any special educational programs on board? Well, it's good that you asked because that's our specialty. Almost every cruise listed in our schedule offers a University at Sea® program. For offerings in your profession, please use the navigation links in the upper left hand portion of this website.

16. What's an air/sea cruise?A fly/cruise or an air/sea cruise vacation package includes either free or specially-reduced airfare along with your cruise ticket. These convenient money-saving options are available from most major North American cities and include ground transfers between the airport and ship as well as baggage handling.

17. Do I need a passport? You should have a Valid Passport (US Citizens, please see the U.S._Department_of_State for information on obtaining or renewing a passport. Some ports may also require a Visa (Multi-entry for non-US citizens joining a cruise that departs from and returns to a US port). Our staff can assist you in getting the correct documentation.

18. Are there different classes of service? Yes and No. Today's cruise ships do often offer "super luxury" accommodations with exclusive access, butler service and other special features; that exclusivity and an additional crew member devoted to your comfort does cost somewhat more than "standard" accomodations. Those who can afford to and who choose those accomodations rarely regret their choice. However, "standard" staterooms generally offer excellent accomodations.

Also, apart from the above, differences in the price of a stateroom are primarily based on type of stateroom (e.g. interior/oceanview/verandah/suite) and, within those broad categories, location (midship vs. forward/aft and upper deck/lower deck). Regardless of the category you book, the onboard staff will provide you with the same courteous service, activities, and entertainment as everyone else.

19. Will I get bored? Feel confined? Hardly! Being at sea gives you a feeling of total freedom that no land-based resort can offer. There's plenty of room. And it will probably take you two or three days just to discover everything that's on board. Plus, you get the added adventure of exploring many exciting ports of call. Cruise ships are like floating resorts with all the choices fine resorts have to offer. You can lie back in a lounge chair, breathe in the sea air, soak up the sun, read good books, or watch the ever-changing seascape. If you're more active, join in exercise or dance classes, and sports contests. Practice your tennis stroke or golf swing, or take some fresh air on the jogging deck. Swim, stretch out in the sauna or work out in the gym. You can also see a feature film, attend an enrichment lecture by renowned experts, play backgammon or bridge. And that's just when you're on board!

20. What can I do in port? So much you'll have a hard time choosing! You can explore on your own or take a guided tour (often referred to as shore excursions). Search ancient ruins or hunt for shopping bargains. Ride a raft over river rapids, a bicycle down the side of a 10,000 foot volcano, or a horse across miles of hills and beaches. Climb a waterfall or pyramid. Follow the footsteps of history or the wake of a water-skiing boat. If there's still time, play golf or tennis. Learn how to windsurf. Sun and swim at some of the world's best beaches. Catch a record marlin. Sail, snorkel, or scuba dive. Take a cable car to the top of a mountain. Explore dark catacombs. In short, cruising is the perfect way to sample a number of new destinations and try all the things you've ever dreamed of doing, while never having to pack and unpack!

21. Do I have to participate in the activities? On a cruise, you do what you want, when you want. You can do everything or do absolutely nothing. It's your vacation! However, the University at Sea® continuing education courses offered on board are monitored for attendance. You will only get credit for those hours that you actually attend.

22. Do cruise lines welcome families with kids? More and more cruise vacations are booked by families with children. Most cruise lines provide plenty of supervised activities for youngsters, especially during school holidays. If your children enjoy swimming, sports, games, movies, and the adventure of new places, they'll love a family cruise. You'll find that children adapt to shipboard life with ease, and you won't have to wonder what they're up to every minute. The youth counselors will help keep them busy and entertained. Best of all, children generally travel at a substantially reduced rate. 

23. What's there to do at night? At night, life aboard a cruise ship really turns on. There's dancing, live entertainment, nightclubs and lounges, feature films, and parties with all your new friends. Most ships also have casinos. What's more, there are many special events like the Captain's Cocktail Party, Passenger Talent Night, and the Masquerade Parade.

24. Is there a charge for entertainment? On a cruise vacation, the entertainment is on the house for most venues. Some ships now offer special entertainment that has a nominal cover charge.

25. Will there be people like me? No matter what you've heard to the contrary, there's no such thing as a typical cruise passenger! All kinds of people take cruises now... all ages... from all walks of life... singles, couples and families. Just ask your CLIA-affiliated travel agency for advice on the best ship for you, based on your tastes and lifestyle.

26. What should I pack? Pack like you would for any resort. Cruise vacations are casual by day, whether you're on the ship or ashore. In the evening, ships vary as to dress. As on shore, attire is dictated by occasion. At the Captain's Gala, for example, you'll probably want to wear something more formal, such as a dark suit, or cocktail dress; perhaps even a dinner jacket or gown.

27. Will I need a tuxedo? On some cruises, formal dinners or parties are part of the fun. But don't buy a tuxedo just for the trip. Even on the most formal of ships, a dark suit and tie are fine for the dressiest occasions. If you do want to dress to the nines, many ships offer tuxedo rental services. Many cruises now offer "Freestyle" or "As you wish" type cruising - much more casual and flexible.

28. Can singles have fun on a cruise? Cruising is ideal for people traveling alone, because it's so easy to meet other people. In fact, most ships have parties just for singles early on, so you can get to know people right away. Many ships even offer gentlemen hosts who can be dance partners, dinner companions or a fourth at cards. Most ships also have single cabins as well as single rates for double staterooms. If you ask them, many cruise lines will even find you a roommate to share a cabin so you can obtain the per person/double occupancy rate, saving you even more on a great vacation.

29. Can I use my hair dryer or shaver? All modern ships have outlets in the staterooms comaptible with your personal care equipment. Many staterooms even come with hairdryers.

30. What are different meal seatings? Some ships' dining rooms can accommodate all passengers in one "seating." Ships often offer fixed time seating and "dine when you wish" options. Our reservations staff can help you request your preference when you book your cruise. Whichever type of dining you choose, remember that one of the best ways to make new friends is to ask for a large table. In addition, some ships offer alternative dining rooms, such as Italian, Chinese, Japanese or Southwestern themed restaurants, separate from the main dining room.

31. Is cruise ship dining as good as I've been told? Everything you've heard about cruise ship dining is true. You'll find a varied selection of entrees (appetizers, salads, soups, vegetables, and desserts, too) every time you sit down. And there's virtually no limit on what or how much you can order. But, just because your cruise ship offers plenty of delicious food doesn't mean you'll come home out of shape. You can choose low-cal, spa, vegetarian or fitness menu selections that are just as tempting as the regular menu. Best of all, the one thing you'll never see on a cruise ship menu is a price. Because all your meals are included!

32. Can I get a special diet? Most ships can accommodate salt-free, low-carbohydrate, Kosher, or other diet preferences. However, this request must be made in advance, so be sure to advise your Travel Agent when you book your cruise.

33. What if I don't like my tablemates? Rarely is this a problem. However, if you wish to change tables, speak with the maitre d'. He'll make every effort to seat you with more compatible dining companions... discretely and politely.

34. Are there non-smoking areas? Today, virtually all ships we use are non-smoking except in designated smoking areas.

35. Can we celebrate a special occasion? Absolutely! Most cruise lines will even treat you to a complimentary cake and a chorus of "Happy Whatever" to honor the occasion. Your birthday or anniversary can be more festive with champagne, flowers, or canapés. You can even arrange for a special private party. All you have to do is advise your reservations agent in advance.

36. Is cruising right for honeymooners? Without a doubt. Cruising offers an atmosphere that's just right for romance... cozy dinners for two, strolling on deck at sunset, dancing the night away (even under the stars). Most lines provide special services–from Sunday or Monday departures to champagne and breakfast in bed. Also, some ships offer special programs for performing a marriage ceremony or renewing your marriage vows.

37. Can we stay in touch with the outside world? Internet cafes and ship-wide WiFi are available on most ships. Staterooms are generally equipped with televisions with news, sports and general interest options. Shoreside internet and phones are usually available at attractive rates.

38. What about tipping? Tipping is a matter of individual preference. A general rule of thumb is to plan for about $12.00 per person per day for your room steward and dining room waiter and his or her assistant waiter. Most ships now include the standard "gratuity" amount as a charge to your onboard account.

39. Are there medical services onboard? Virtually every cruise ship (except for some smaller vessels operating in coastal waters) has a well-equipped medical facility and staff to handle most onboard health issues.

40. Are there laundry services aboard ship? Almost every sailing will offer laundry, pressing and dry cleaning services at an additional, fairly reasonable charge (a few suites include these services). A very few ships offer self-service launderettes.

41. Do cruise lines accept group bookings? Most lines will work with groups–often at special rates–depending on how many people are involved. Policies vary from company to company and sometimes during certain times of the year. Ask  your Travel Agent for details.

42. Is motion discomfort a problem? Rarely. Popular cruise itineraries boast some of the calmest waters in the world. In addition, stabilizers on modern ships, advanced availability of accurate weather information, and development of effective preventative medications have, for the most part, eliminated the incidence of motion discomfort.

43. It sounds too good to be true! Is it? The one major complaint we hear over and over again is that cruises end far too soon! Beyond that, it's hard to find any negatives. All you have to worry about is relaxing and enjoying your vacation. Most importantly, every crew and staff member on board is dedicated to making your cruise the best vacation of your life (until you top it with your next cruise!)

44. Will the sessions interfere with shore activities? Courses are held while the ship is at sea between ports. You will not miss any shore excursions or other onshore activities.

45. Who should I see if I have questions that haven't been answered? If, after reviewing the FAQ sections you still can't find the answers you are looking for, please send us an email at contactus@continuingeducation.net or give us a call, toll free, at 1-800-422-0711.

46. Are there restrictions related to travelling while pregnant? The cruise lines do have restrictions that prevent certain pregnant individuals from travelling. At the time of this writing, cruise lines will not accept passengers who will enter their 24th week of pregnancy during the cruise. If you are pregnant, please confirm the current rules for the cruise you are hoping to attend with one of our cruise consultants.

47. Is there a minimum age for cruising? What are the policies regarding travelling with an infant? Yes. As a general rule, a child must be at least six months of age before the first day of the cruise. For some sailings (longer sailings with several "at sea" days), the minimum age is 12 months. If you are travelling with a very young child, please confirm the current rules for the cruise you are hoping to attend with one of our cruise consultants.

©2016 - University at Sea®