More questions than answers?

Please email us at info@gamingbysea.com

 

Review these FAQ to discover what happened with our events in 2020 and how we worked with our guests and cruise line.

As you may know, in response to the pandemic, the cruise lines and many resorts cancelled bookings in 2020.

Royal Caribbean, our cruise provider, acknowledged early on that many of its guests might not be comfortable cruising in 2020 and began offering our guests Future Cruise Credits (“FCC”) for 100% of the cruise fare portion (and refunds for the rest), even if they were past the refund period. When Royal Caribbean, began cancelling its cruises, it either granted a 125% Future Cruise Credit (“FCC”) or a full refund to anyone still booked on the cruise.

Royal Caribbean launched its Cruise with Confidence program in the beginning and we were pleased with how they worked with our guests through all of this and will be using them again in 2021. They had to make a lot of decisions on short notice and work through a lot of refunds, but have been making it happen.

As all of this unfolded in 2020, Royal Caribbean created their “Cruise with Confidence” program to allow guests to make the best choices for them.

This program is constantly evolving, so we will refer you to their website for the latest information:

https://www.royalcaribbean.com/cruise-with-confidence

If you have Future Cruise Credits (“FCC”) with Royal Caribbean, those can be used on our Royal Caribbean cruises, whether you booked with our exclusive travel agency or not.

An FCC can be used to pay all or a portion of your cruise fare (you can make-up any shortfall).

FCC apply toward your initial deposit.

We will have a section in registration for you to provide information regarding your FCC.

Obviously, we do not know. Our first event for 2021 is not scheduled until Spring of 2021 (very late – ok, the very last day of spring). And, based on the latest we are hearing about quick testing and vaccine progress, we are feeling confident about our timing.

Royal Caribbean has been working with the US CDC to plan when and how to begin cruising again and, based on what we have seen them do so far, we are confident they will take care of our guests.

We communicated regularly with our guests, updating them as Royal Caribbean provided information and what our event status was.

Also, we offered our guests three options if they decided they would prefer not to travel (regardless of the original refund policy):

1) A full refund of their Gaming Pass(es)

2) A partial refund of their Gaming Pass(es) and a beautiful Gaming By Sea Shirt

3) A credit for their Gaming Pass for a 2021 Gaming By Sea event of their choice, regardless of its price.

First, because it is a vacation!

Second, we love to play games and you do too (hopefully – at least your friends or family do, right?)!

Third, we are not trying to be the biggest event out there. We are just getting together a group of (soon-to-be) friends to play games, go to dinner, do fun stuff, and hang out!

Fourth, we schedule our games! The size of our events allow us to do this, so you do not need to worry about coming on your gaming vacation and wondering when and what you will get to play (see How we Schedule Games, below). You will not spend time hunting around the ship looking for people to play that one game you have always wanted to play.

Fifth, there is a lot to do when you are not playing board games or great places to hang out and do nothing! No need to drive around town (no cars!) looking for something to do or eat – it is all right there (but then, there are adventures out there to enjoy, too)!

Yes. There are so many fun things to do. Please check the pages for each event, the Gaming pages, and the FAQ below to get some idea of all the fun there is to have!

First, we enjoy them and want to make sure you do, too!

Second, we are holding them in different locations to ensure the events remain more personal and more people can reach us (though we would be excited to have you join us for all of our events).

Third, we are not trying to have the biggest board gaming cruise on the ocean, just have a great vacation with new friends and play lots of board games. So, we thought, why not bring board gaming cruises closer to the people who want to enjoy them?

We planned two events for 2020 and are planning three for 2021!

Be sure to check our website regularly, email us at info@gamingbysea.com, or Like our Facebook page to stay up-to-date for 2021! We will work to have the 2021 cruises secured by early-2020.

We are planning cruises leaving from both the Pacific Coast and the Atlantic Coast in 2021, as well as an event at a Caribbean resort!

Registration for Gaming By Sea’s 2021 Events will be open soon!

Visit the home page for dates and locations…and save that date!

You can send us an email at info@gamingbysea.com to be added to our mailing list.

Yes. However, there are a couple exceptions.

1) We can transfer NextCruise bookings into our group. See the NextCruise FAQ for more information.

2) If you find some super-sale out there that is going to save you a few hundred dollars, we will not make you pay all that extra money to come play with us. Just send us an email to let us know what you want to do, what you are going to save, and where you found it. We will confirm that you are good to go before you buy your Gaming Pass. Then, enter a note about it on the Gaming Pass registration (there is a space for that). After that, to keep your Gaming Pass secure, send us your proof of reservation.

Why do we need you to book with us? The number of staterooms booked as part of the group is one of the ways we are granted our private event space on the cruise. In any case, our prices should be as good as, if not better than, anything you will find on your own. (Let us know if not and we will speak with our group representative!)

Yes (and welcome aboard), but…

There is no way for us to know in advance whether you can find a better deal by going with our group rates  or the NextCruise special. So, be sure that you have our sailing dates, prices, and OBC (Onboard Credit) handy when you go to the NextCruise desk.

Even though we will have you transferred into our group, our group prices and OBC will not apply – only the NextCruise amounts (sorry, we have no control over that).

Simply do either of the following to let us know your NextCruise information (NOTE: You do not need to make a Stateroom Hold request when registering if using NextCruise):

1) When you go to purchase your Gaming Pass, enter “NextCruise” and i) if you have not sailed, the sailing date or ii) if you have sailed, the Booking ID in the last box in the Gaming Pass section titled, “If you are not making a Stateroom Hold…”.

or…

2) If you purchased your Gaming Pass before completing your NextCruise booking, email (Subject Line: “NextCruise”) your Booking ID and information to info@gamingbysea.com.

Regardless of whether you provide the Booking # via email or online, do not forget to buy the Gaming Pass to hold your spot!

Everything else is up to our agency to do. They will use your Booking ID to transfer your reservation into our group and will notify you when it happens. Your NextCruise transfer will tie to your Gaming Pass and you will be good to go! If we need more information to complete your booking transfer, we will contact you. 

Prices for rooms can be found by clicking on the Room Prices tab on each Event Pages.Note, in addition to showing the room price per person, these show the All-in Price for each room. If all Group rooms have been booked, those prices will be removed temporarily until we can secure another block of staterooms.

Spring 2021       |       Summer 2021       |       Winter 2021

In addition to the Stateroom price per person, cruise lines charge for Taxes, Port Fees, and Gratuities. We are showing the “All-in” price to let you know your full cost up-front. This amount does not include add-ons that are optional for you to purchase (drinks – other than those included with the cruise, alcoholic drinks, drink packages, wifi, specialty dining, special tours, etc.)

Remember to buy your Gaming Pass to play!

Just about every cruise line charges gratuities (basically a tip for the staff), but this is usually done after the booking. We wanted to ensure you were aware of the total cost of your booking up-front. You can find details about Royal Caribbean’s gratuities policy here.

These will not be charged up-front by our travel agency, unless you instruct them to do so, and you will pay them at the time of the cruise.

If there are still Gaming Passes, purchase one to secure your spot, and select a Stateroom Hold. Let us know under the “Non-Group Stateroom Request” section that you wanted a Group Stateroom and the type you were seeking.

We will be working hard to reserve another block of Staterooms for the group and will contact everyone in the order they submitted their Hold. Gaming Pass reservations will not expire if no Group Rooms are available.

If we cannot secure you a room, the Gaming Pass(es) will be fully refundable.

Yes. Let us know that during registration and, when you receive your booking confirmation, just confirm that you want to “split the check”, with whom, and in what amounts. Both payments must be completed within the Stateroom Hold period. Also, you may purchase your Gaming Passes separately.

Once your deposit/payment is made, you will have access to the Cruise Planner, which will allow you to make reservations for events onboard, purchase packages, and book Royal Caribbean’s sponsored tour packages.

You can choose to book tour packages through our travel agency, also. They will be able to offer more options than are available from Royal Caribbean (and some may be the same packages!). The primary advantage to booking through Royal Caribbean is that they say that they will not leave port without you if their tour groups are late returning.

As a note, we will be looking for your feedback to plan some Group Shore Excursion tours, as well.

You are always able to enjoy the Shore Excursions on your own – paid tours are not required, though some individual activities during shore excursions may require additional fees.

You may request a custom booking on the registration site by entering information into the “Non-Group Stateroom Request” area.

Do not make a “Group Stateroom Hold” selection.

Do enter the required Guest information and purchase your Gaming Pass to hold your place.

You will receive your custom quote via email. We want you on the cruise and will work hard to find a solution. If we cannot find a Stateroom that meets your needs and you elect to not join the cruise, your Gaming Pass will be refunded.

I have more than two (2) people going on the cruise and we want to share a room. How do I do that? With just one or two exceptions, all of the Group Staterooms are for 2 guests. During registration, enter the information for your needed room(s) in the “Non-Group Stateroom Request” area. Do not make a “Group Stateroom Hold” selection (unless one of those meets your needs).

Another option to consider, based on who is attending with you, is to request adjoining rooms.

Be sure to purchase your Gaming Pass, though, to hold your spot.

I want to reserve a single-occupancy room. What do I do? Go through registration as above and enter your information in the “Non-Group Stateroom Request” area. Do not make a “Group Stateroom Hold” selection. Please note that there is only a small discount for single-occupancy vs. double-occupancy rooms and there are not many available.

We have just created a BGG Forum for gamers seeking roommates, so that may be an option to consider.

Be sure to purchase your Gaming Pass, though, to hold your spot.

Why are all of the Staterooms for just 2 people? Unfortunately, the cruise line does not allow us, with the rare exception of a suite or two, to block Group Staterooms that hold more (or fewer) than two people. We want you to join us on the cruise, so be sure to make a Non-Group Stateroom Request and purchase your Gaming Pass to hold your place.

  1. Click a “Book Now” button on the appropriate cruise page (or here: Spring 2020Fall 2020) to open our secure Eventbrite page (Using NextCruise? See the FAQ below).
    1. If you are booking the rooms for your group:
      1. Have your Passport(s) handy so you can correctly enter the Name and Birth Date of each guest.
      2. If you have a Crown & Anchor number (RC’s frequent cruiser club), you will want that number handy, too.
      3. If you want to select your own Stateroom, you may want to open the Deck Plan link (available on the website’s Event page and the Eventbrite welcome page). We were able to set-aside some specific rooms in each of our group categories that you are welcome to choose while they are available or request one (we will do the best we can).
    2. If your roommate is handling the Stateroom purchase, have your roommate’s name or Booking ID (optional) handy to help us match roommates. Enter the information when you purchase your Gaming Pass.
  2. Select one “Gaming Pass” or more.
  3. Select a “Stateroom Hold” if you will be handling the reservations for your friends and family or enter your roommates information.
  4. Click “Checkout”.
  5. If making the reservations, Choose your Stateroom
    1. Select a Group Stateroom OR
    2. Make a Non-Group Stateroom Request (see below FAQ).
    3. Enter the information for each Guest.
  6. Purchase your Gaming Pass.
  7. You will receive your Booking Confirmation via email.
  8. Make your Stateroom deposit / payment.

Visit the appropriate Royal Caribbean sites below for more information and  “What to know before you board” site for more information.

Visit Royal Caribbean’s “Where is the Port of Vancouver” for information on directions, parking, and transportation options.

By car, the Spring 2021 cruise out of Vancouver (Port of Vancouver) is just a couple hours from Seattle; a few hours from Portland, Spokane, and Richland; a day’s drive from Boise, Calgary, and Helena; and a good road trip from Salt Lake City, Reno, Sacramento, and San Francisco/Oakland!

Also, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is just a little over 20 minutes from the cruise port and you have Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) as a back-up just a couple hours away. Connecting flights between the two airports can be quite cheap and just take an hour.

Visit Royal Caribbean’s “Where is Port Canaveral (Orlando)” for information on directions, parking, and transportation options.

The Summer 2021 cruise out of Port Canaveral, FL (the northernmost major cruise port in Florida) is within a day’s drive of much of the Southeastern United States.

Also, Summer 2021 is accessible from a half-dozen airports, including Orlando International (great for international gamers) and Melbourne Airports (both are only 45 minutes away and shuttles are available).

Visit Royal Caribbean’s “Where is the Port of Cape Liberty” for information on directions, parking, and transportation options.

The Spring 2020 cruise out of New York (Cape Liberty Cruise Port in NJ) puts it within a day’s drive of everything from Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal in the northwest to Ohio in the west to Virginia and North Carolina in the south to Maine in the north.

Also, Newark Airport is just across Newark Bay from the cruise port (20 minutes) and you have LaGuardia and JFK as back-ups (though across Manhattan – but great for our international gamers).

Visit Royal Caribbean’s “Where is Port Canaveral (Orlando)” for information on directions, parking, and transportation options.

The Fall 2020 cruise out of Port Canaveral, FL (the northernmost major cruise port in Florida) is within a day’s drive of most of the Southeast.

Also, Fall 2020 is accessible from a half-dozen airports, including Orlando International (great for international gamers) and Melbourne Airports (both are only 45 minutes away and shuttles are available).

Do not schedule an early flight home after the cruise!

The cruise ship will give you a disembarkation time prior to the last day, so you will know when to be ready to leave. You can spend your time enjoying a meal or in one of the lounges, perhaps playing a board game!

Remember that it can take hours for everyone onboard a cruise to disembark. Then, you need to get to the airport and, based on the airport, may need to be at the airport hours in advance to get through security. Of course, the cruise ship can be delayed being cleared by customs, which can further push back your time.

Do not risk missing your flight, give yourself plenty of time.

Visit Royal Caribbean’s “What should I pack for my cruise vacation?” for more information on packing and luggage for your cruise.

Remember, for those not from the area, the Spring 2020 cruise will be operating out of New York Harbor in March and April. So, even though you are headed to the Bahamas, be sure to bring some warm clothes for the departure and return.

Be sure to check this link from Royal Caribbean about bringing alcohol onboard the cruise.

If you miss your boarding, you will need to contact Royal Caribbean’s Emergency Travel Team to discover your options.

We recommend that you plan to arrive in the area of the port the night before your cruise to reduce the chance that travel delays could prevent your timely boarding.

Visit Royal Caribbean’s website for details on needed Travel Documents.

Request your passport as soon as possible. If you have waited to within a couple months of the cruise, strongly consider paying a fee for an expedited process.

Information for how to apply for a passport for U.S. citizens can be found here.

Citizens of Canada can find information here about applying for passports.

Mexican citizens can go here (en Español) for more passport information.

Generally, citizens of other nations should check with their foreign ministries.

See the Gaming pages and all the Gaming FAQ below to get a better idea of the Gaming fun we will have!

Lots of gaming fun!

Click on the Gaming Pass tabs for each Event to get more information:

Spring 2021       |       Summer 2021       |       Winter 2021

No. Only those who are playing will need a Gaming Pass. Friends and family are welcome to join you on the cruise without buying a Pass. So, invite everyone along! Friends and family are welcome to visit the Private Gaming Area to see what we are doing and you have access to the Game Library.

We have limited the number of Gaming Passes to ensure we have enough private table space for everyone who wants to play. That means that, even though we are using part of the Conference Centers on the ships, these are not going to be big events and that is our intent. We are not looking to have the biggest gaming vacation, just the most fun.

However, if there is a Wait List, we will work with the cruise line to try to add more table space. We will send an e-mail to everyone on the Wait List to let them know as Gaming Passes are made available.

If we are unable to add space to the Private Gaming Area, we will consider offering a Library Pass for purchase to Wait List members that will allow them to access the Game Library and will coordinate space for them to play elsewhere on the ship.

See the “Registration for Cruises and Gaming” FAQ above.

Approximately a month before the event, you will receive an e-mail with the information you need to allow you to reserve a seat for the games you want to play, when you want to play them! There will still be Open Gaming available throughout the event.

 No. If you want to BYOG or check-out games from our Game Library to play what you want, whenever you want, and just stop by the private gaming area when you tire of other fun, you are welcome to do so. We will help you coordinate with other players! You may reserve seats for no sessions, every session, a couple sessions, or all sessions. If you choose to not reserve any seats, we will reach out to ask you to let us know (to ensure you received the registration information and had a chance to decide).

This is one of the great things about our Scheduled Games. You can come with all your friends, play the games that you want to play, then hang out with them later!

Everyone with a Gaming Pass gets to vote for the one game they want to play. Then, they get to tell us the other top games they want to play. We will have a variety of popular games scheduled – just be sure to let us know during registration what you really want to play.

Also, our Game Library will include a variety of games for Open Gaming that you can enjoy (you can BYOG, too) and we will help you find players. There will be room in the private Gaming Area for Open Gaming and elsewhere in the venue.

If you are interested in introducing a game and being its rules guru (while playing – or not), let us know when reserving your gaming seats (closer to the cruise) or email to let us know at info@GamingBySea.com.

When we distribute the site link for everyone to reserve their games, we will ask for you to choose a session. Also, those who want to play a specific game and bring it with them on the cruise will be welcome to do so – you can add it to the Game Library (be sure to put your name and contact information in the lid) or not.

We welcome anyone who would like to GM a game to reach out to us.

This is, in fact, how we are able to offer RPG options to our guests.

Let us know the game you would like to GM, the version of the rules, how many players (optimal and maximum), how much space you need, and how much time you would like to make available for it. We can spread it across multiple gaming sessions if need be or just offer it once, initially, and see how it grows from there!

Yes. Our Game Library will be available for check-out (including some of the scheduled games – once all of their sessions are completed) for all types of games and you may BYOG, too. We will help you coordinate with the other gamers. Our Game Library will include a selection of games across the spectrum.

There may be limitations on which games can be removed from our Private Gaming Area to be played elsewhere.

Absolutely. We will schedule breaks from the multi-session games to let everyone who would like to enjoy the excursions do so, but don’t worry – there will be open gaming available if you are having enough fun on board! Also, a group can choose to “play through” or, if a large number decide to stay ashore, we can coordinate games for all of you.

No worries, we will work to schedule a Host or Hostess (or one of us) to provide formal introductions for the big games (as a refresher for experienced players, also), to introduce other games, and to help you understand how to play to increase everyone’s enjoyment.

To use a current buzzword, we “curate” your gaming experience! The basics are below, but we discovered the first time we did it that it is a wonderfully involved process. We look at the number of gamers interested in each game, the optimal player counts for the games, the preferred expansions, the experience levels of our gamers with each game they choose, and more.

  1. Game scheduling starts with registration. We ask you to tell us the games that you want to play. (Don’t worry, you are not limited to those games – you can decide not to play them later – and can choose to play any game you want).
  2. We make a point of scheduling your #1 game and reserve you a seat at the table in advance!
  3. Then, we look at all of the other gamer choices and schedule more games based on everyone’s preferences. Game choices (top and other) that are popular are scheduled more often to ensure there are seats available for the games you want to play the most.
  4. This is a vacation, so we want everyone to be able to do all of the fun things they want and still play the games they want to play. So, we schedule the core game times around shore excursions and other big events (then we work with everyone staying to game to create their own private sessions or open game).
  5. Then there is more communication. We update our guests on the scheduled games, give them some time to “shop” and provide feedback, and launch the game reservation site!
  6. You choose what you want to play, when you want to play it! We just do all the heavy lifting for you.

In addition to the scheduled gaming, we still offer Open Gaming and we invite guests who want to host games to do so. Remember, this is our vacation to enjoy our favorite activities! Eat, drink, game, and be merry!

Visit the Royal Caribbean website for more information on Dietary Requirements. Be sure to note these for each guest during Registration.

See the “Registration for Cruises and Gaming” FAQ above.

Prices for rooms for each Event are on the Rooms Tab on each Event Page.

If all rooms have been booked, those prices will be removed until we can secure another block of staterooms.

If we are unable to secure an additional block of group rooms (as the cruise date grows closer, it become harder to do so), there are often non-group rooms still available and we can help with booking those and adding them to the group.

Other

I am a Designer or Publisher, how can I participate? We would welcome a chance to let you play test a new game, present your game during our cruise – particularly if it is “on theme”, or share information about your upcoming releases. If you have flyers or other paraphernalia to send, please let us know. We can provide shipping information, since it will need to be sent directly to the ship two weeks in advance.

Contact us at info@GamingBySea.com to discuss how we can make that happen.

I am a Vendor or Exhibitor, will there be space for me? We will not be promoting a vendor space, but please contact us at info@GamingBySea.com to discuss your interests if you are a producer or distributor of specialty products, a publisher wishing to promote a game, or one of our local supporters. We want our guests to return home excited about all of the great games they played on our cruise and patronize the wonderful FLGS (friendly local gaming stores) that have supported them and our event.

Keep the questions coming…Email us at info@gamingbysea.com if you need help with anything.