top of page
  • Q: Is a passport required for this cruise?
    A: For this cruise you can use either a passport or a certified copy of your birth certificate, but a passport is highly recommended. Should you need to return home unexpectedly from any port on the itinerary, the country you are in will not accept your birth certificate in lieu of your passport. It will cost you time and significant inconvenience to arrange for your departure through the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate. When traveling on a passport to the Caribbean, your passport must be valid for six months beyond the last day of the cruise and have two blank pages.
  • Q: I want a stateroom category that isn’t listed on your website. Can you still book me into it?
    A: Yes. We can book you into any stateroom category on the ship, provided the category hasn’t sold out. You will be able to participate in all group lessons and events, your cruise will be priced at the lowest publicly available fare when we book you. You won't be able to take advantage of any of our group booking incentives, however you will still be part of the group and will be able to participate in all dance lessons and dance events.
  • Q: Are there themed nights on the cruise?
    A: Yes. Royal Caribbean offers a number of themed nights for each cruise. Specific themes vary by ship and itinerary, but usually include a 50s/60s party, a silent dance or “hush” party, and a white party.
  • Q: I can get a better rate from Costco that includes a gift card. Will you match the price and incentives I can get by booking this cruise with another source? Can I book with another source and participate in the lessons and group events?
    A: We do not price match nor do we match incentives. Janet negotiates with Royal Caribbean to get a great group price, as well as secure private access to popular venues where we hold our lessons and events. Her ability to lock in the times and space we need is based on the size of our group. If you don't book into the group, you aren't contributing to the group so you can't take advantage of the group by participating in our lessons and events.
  • Q: What is covered in the cruise fare?
    A: The cruise fare covers the cruise, all taxes and port fees, daily complimentary entertainment offered by Royal Caribbean, dining in the complimentary venues for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks throughout the day. Complimentary beverages are limited to tap water, coffee and tea which are available throughout the ship 24X7. Complimentary iced tea, lemonade and some flavored waters are available during mealtimes in the dining facilities.
  • Q: When is final payment due?
    A: Final payment is due by 13 December, 2025.
  • Q: I have my own travel agent. Can I book into this group through that agent?
    A: No. Janet leverages her close relationship with Royal Caribbean to secure the best group rates and dance spaces for the exclusive use of our group. To take advantage of that you must book with Tidewater Cruise and Travel. Tidewater Cruise and Travel respects your relationship with other travel agents and will not solicit future bookings from any group member that normally books with another agent.
  • Q: Can I make incremental payments before the final due date?
    A: Yes. If you wish to make payments on the cruise before the final payment date just contact Janet via email at or give her a call on 410-652-5936.
  • Q: Is trip insurance required?
    A: No. Trip insurance is not required but we highly recommend it. Tidewater Cruise and Travel is a licensed seller of insurance and we offer policies through TravelSafe. If you prefer, you can purchase trip insurance through Royal Caribbean at time of booking, or purchase your own policy from a third party insurance provider. Janet will discuss insurance options with each guest at booking.
  • Q: There are four of us interested in sharing a cabin. Is that possible?
    A: Yes, but not at the group rate. Our group fares are limited to doubles, but we can book triples and quads at the lowest publicly available fare for the cabin category desired and number of guests. Triples and quads can participate in all group lessons and events, but don’t qualify for any group booking rates or incentives. Inquire about pricing by e-mailing or calling Janet on 410-652-5936.
  • Q: I am a Diamond Plus cruiser with Royal Caribbean’s loyalty program. Will I still get all the benefits that come with that status if I book with this group?
    A: Yes! All levels of loyalty benefits are protected when you book into this group and you’ll be able to take advantage of the benefits that go along with your level.
  • Q: What expenses are not included in the cruise fare?
    A: Dance lessons, gratuities, alcoholic beverages, sodas, specialty coffee, dining in specialty restaurants, room service, shore excursions, and trip insurance.
  • Q: Can I room with somebody else participating in the group and split expenses?
    A: Yes, of course. We do not match up roomies, but we will pass along any request for roommate to the singles booked on the cruise. That said, most of the singles who’ve participated in the past have preferred to keep their single room.
  • Q: Is the deposit refundable if I book and later have a change of plans?
    A: Yes. As long as you cancel before final payment is due, the deposit is fully refundable. If you book a cabin category that is outside of the group, the deposit is still refundable provided you booked a refundable deposit fare.
  • Q: I want to do I sign up?
    A: Use the form on the "Book Now" tab in the site menu to let us know you are interested. You can also call Janet Blackwell from Tidewater Cruise and Travel on 410-652-5936 or e-mail her at
  • Q: Will you hold informational meetings prior to the cruise?
    A: Yes. Michael and Janet will host at least two pre-cruise meetings. One will be held prior to final payment being due, and the other will be held approximately two weeks prior to the cruise sail date. Additional meetings may be scheduled as needed to share information and coordinate cruise activities. The pre-cruise meetings will be held via Zoom and a link will be sent to all group participants. The pre-cruise meetings will be recorded in the event you can't join us so you won't miss out on important information and cruise updates.
  • Q: How much is the deposit and when is it due?
    A: A deposit of $500 per stateroom is due at time of booking.
  • Q: I am traveling as a solo dancer. Is there a special rate for single cabins?
    A: Unfortunately, no. Our group rates are per person based on double occupancy, so single occupancy cabins will be double the shown fare, minus taxes and fees for the second person.
  • Q: I’m traveling single. Are there single cabins?
    A: No, there are no single/studio cabins aboard Explorer of the Seas. Singles are booked into a double cabin and pay double the per person cruise fare. You get a bit of a price break by not having to pay taxes and fees for the second person.
  • Q: I am an accomplished dancer. Will I have to endure beginner lessons?
    A: No. Michael prices the lessons as a block and charges a single fee. It is up to you to decide how many and which lessons to participate in. That said, even accomplished dancers can benefit by going back to the basics. Most of our accomplished dancers participate in all of the group lessons.
  • Q: Are the group lessons open to anyone outside of the group?
    A: No. Group lessons are closed, private events. Nobody else on the cruise is permitted to participate in the lessons, though they are welcome to observe.
  • Q: Where can you dance on the ship?
    A: All styles of dancing take place throughout the ship wherever and whenever guests feel the urge. Scheduled dance events occur throughout the cruise with live and recorded music. Latin dancing with live music takes place nearly every night of the cruise in the Boleros lounge. American smooth ballroom, club, hip-hop and contemporary dancing takes place in the Star Lounge and Viking Crown Lounge nightly to live and recorded music. Activity schedules are published in the daily Cruise Compass which you can access from the Royal Caribbean app.
  • Q: Do the lessons teach specific dance routines?
    A: The group lessons don't focus on choreography...they teach steps and patterns than can be combined with steps you’ve already mastered in any combination. If you are interested in choreography for a special event or competition, Michael is available to work with through private lessons.
  • Q: When do you schedule private dance lessons?
    A: Michael works with all dancers interested in private lessons to schedule them at their convenience. Times may be constrained by the availability of a venue appropriate to the lesson.
  • Q: Who provides dance instruction during the lessons?
    A: Michael Sims is the dance instructor for all lessons. Michael is an accomplished competition dancer and professional dance instructor. For more information on Michael's accomplishments as a dancer and professional dance instructor go to the Lite On Your Feet Dance Studio website.
  • Q: I don’t know many dances. Will I have to pay for lessons that cover dances I haven’t learned?
    A: Michael prices the lessons as a package. You are welcome to participate in as many or as few lessons as you feel comfortable.
  • Q: Where on the ship will the dance lessons be held? What kind of dance floor does the ship offer?
    A: We won't know the specific venue for our dance lessons until Janet finalizes arrangements with the onboard group coordinator. The ship has several dance appropriate venues. Our group was formed early and our eleven year track record with Royal Caribbean will help us get top choice. It will help if we book up our group allocation early, so if you want to join us don't wait to contact Janet and book your cruise.
  • Q: When do you pay for dance lessons?
    A: Michael will determine when payment for lessons is expected when we are closer to the cruise departure date.
  • Q: My partner and I are interested in the cruise, but we don’t like dancing with anybody else. Can we still participate?
    A: Yes, of course. The group lessons involve rotating leading and following partners, and all lesson participants are encouraged to participate in that rotation. While it isn't mandatory, it is the standard instructional method for ensuring all students fully master the material presented in the lessons without relying on the familiarity of a well-known partner. If this concerns you, discuss accommodations with Michael before you book.
  • Q: What forms of payment do you accept for the dance lessons?
    A: Michael will take cash, check, and all major credit cards.
  • Q: Do you have to dance and participate in the lessons to book into this group?
    A: No. Anybody can take advantage of our great group rates, but priority is given to dancers as we have a limited allocation of cabins.
  • Q: I am a beginner. Can I participate in the group lessons?
    A: Yes. All skill levels are welcome, though the group lessons are not introductory. Lessons move fast and dancers should be familiar with the basic steps for the dance covered in each lesson they wish to attend in order to make the most of the lesson. Contact Michael directly if you have any concerns about your skill level.
  • Q: What is the ratio of gentlemen to ladies in the group?
    A: We won’t know that until final payment is made on all cabins.
  • Q: How much do the group dance lessons cost?
    A: Michael will determine the cost of dance lessons prior to final payment. We'll post that cost closer to the cruise departure date.
  • Q: Are there dance hosts as part of this cruise?
    A: In the past we have not offered dance hosts, but we are considering it for this cruise. Stay tuned for details.
  • Q: Are there social dance opportunities for just group participants?
    A: Probably. We try to schedule one or two social dances in an appropriate dance venue that is reserved for the exclusive use of our group. The final schedule of lessons and social dances will be released about two weeks prior to the cruise, but is subject to change once we get onboard the ship.
  • Q: How much to private dance lessons cost?
    A: Michael will determine the cost of private lessons prior to final payment. If you are interested in private lessons reach out to Michael directly for more information.
  • Q: Can dancers who aren’t booked as part of our group participate in group lessons and dance events?
    A: No. This is a private group and Janet is securing dance space for the exclusive use of our group. All group lessons and social dances are limited to guests who book as part of our group.
  • Q: When are the dance lessons scheduled…will they interfere with port calls?
    A: All group dance lessons are scheduled for days and times the ship is at sea so as not to interfere with port calls.
  • Q: Are there opportunities to practice the material covered in lessons?
    A: Yes. There is usually time immediately before and after group lessons for practice. Additionally, there is social dancing at multiple venues throughout the cruise that present the perfect opportunity to practice.
  • Q: I know people on this cruise. Can they be assigned to our dining tables?
    A: Unfortunately, no. Royal Caribbean assigns dining times and tables based on individual and group bookings. Group members are free to make arrangements to dine with other guests on the cruise if they choose, provided Royal Caribbean can accommodate their request. Group members wishing to dine with other cruisers can make those arrangements with Royal Caribbean’s dining staff after boarding the ship.
  • Q: Does the group dine together or can I choose my own dining arrangements?
    A: Janet arranges for all group members to dine together at the same time and at the same tables. If you wish to be excluded from the group's dining arrangements let Janet know before final payment is made. Group members are free to dine in specialty restaurants throughout the cruise. There is an upcharge for dining in specialty restaurants but dining packages that offer a discount on that upcharge are available.
  • Q: I have specific dietary needs. Will these be accommodated if I book into the group?
    A: Yes. Royal Caribbean accommodates a wide range of dietary needs to include food allergies, gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, kosher, halal, and more. Janet will provide dietary restrictions for any group member to Royal Caribbean as part of their booking. Additionally, Royal Caribbean staff members inquire before all meals if any guest has food allergies or specific dietary needs. If you have specific concerns let Janet know and she will convey them to Royal Caribbean.
  • Q: Are specialty restaurant dining packages available?
    A: Yes. You can pre-purchase a dining package or wait until you board the ship.
  • Q: Are drink packages available?
    A: Yes. Royal Caribbean offers several drink packages ranging from fountain sodas to full premium alcohol, and priced accordingly. Alcoholic drink packages must be purchased by all guests in a cabin, but accommodations can be made if one guest in a room is a non-drinker. Drink packages can be pre-purchased or you can purchase a package during your first day onboard the ship.
bottom of page