Delta Vacations

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Delta Vacations

Avalon Waterways


Questions? 1-866-574-7102

Return to Delta Vacations ►

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why should I choose Delta Vacations and Avalon Waterways?
Delta Vacations offers you decades of experience in helping you have a terrific vacation, along with an outstanding choice of origins and destinations serviced by the world's largest airline. You can count on us to deliver at great vacation at a great price, giving you more value for your money. With Delta Vacations, featuring the Globus family of brands, you'll receive:

  • The lowest airfares when you purchase your flight and tour or river cruise together
  • Convenient nonstop and connecting flights via Delta Air Lines and its airline partners
  • 1,000 bonus miles, in addition to credited flight miles, through the SkyMiles® program
  • A choice of more than 100 vacations in dozens of countries
  • VIP access to major sights throughout your journey
  • Accommodation in first-class and above hotels
  • The services of expert Tour Directors
  • An ideal combination of free time and planned activities
  • Many great meals included in your package
  • The knowledge and comfort that you are traveling with 2 of the most recognized, respected, and recommended tour operators in the world.

What do you need to know while on board?

Air Conditioning and Heating
All rooms on the ships are air conditioned and heated. All ships have individual controls in the staterooms.

Beverages
Choice of of complimentary wine, beer or soft drinks will be included with dinner on Avalon Europe river cruises. In Europe and the Galápagos, coffee and tea are available free of charge throughout the day from "early riser" breakfast through dinner. On the Yangtze, sodas are included at lunch and dinner.

Clothing
Dress aboard and on shore is casual. Please bring comfortable walking shoes for sightseeing. Dinner attire is casual—open-neck shirts, slacks, dresses. Coats and ties may be worn. The Captain's Welcome and Farewell Dinners are dressy, but not formal.

Cruise Director
A professional, experienced, English-speaking Cruise Director accompanies every departure.

Cuisine
All meals on board are prepared by accomplished chefs and consist of local food adjusted for North American tastes. There is a full buffet breakfast, and in Europe a buffet lunch including choice of soups and main courses with appetizer, salad or sandwich, and dessert. On the Yangtze, a mix of Western and Chinese dishes is offered; in the Galápagos, you'll be able to taste some Ecuadorian specialties. Dinner is a multi-course meal with a choice of entrées.

Dining
When it comes to dining, you'll savor your destination in more ways than one. Whether you're planning a busy day of sightseeing or a relaxing day on board, start each day with the breakfast that's right for you! Sumptuous breakfast buffets feature menu items that are conveniently color coded to indicate foods that are low calorie, low fat/low calorie, high fiber, low cholesterol, and high energy. Meanwhile, tantalizing lunch buffets will please your palate, and each onboard sit-down dinner features an inviting selection of appetizers, soups, entrees (including vegetarian choices), desserts, and complimentary coffee, tea, and regional wines. From the rouladen of Germany to the fine wines of France, our professional chefs will delight your tastebuds with regional specialties as well as Western favorites (complimentary wine, beer or soft drinks will be included with dinner on Avalon Europe river cruises). And for those times when a quiet breakfast sounds appealing, room service of Continental breakfast is available in all Royal Deck staterooms and suites on our European ships.

Electricity
Electricity on board is 220v. The bathrooms have a dual 220v/110-120v plug for shavers and small appliances. You will need an adapter or converter to use in other outlets in the stateroom for any small personal items such as a razor, curling iron or alarm clock. In the Galápagos, electrical outlets are 110v with American type outlets.

Gratuities
Gratuities on board and on land are not included in the cruise price. Tipping is a personal way to show your satisfaction for good service and is always appreciated. It is recommended that tips be paid in cash.

Hair Dryers
All ships have hair dryers for passenger use; please ask at the reception desk if one is not in your stateroom.

Laundry
Laundry service is available on board for a modest fee. Check the price list in your stateroom. Clothes cannot be dry cleaned on board. For safety reasons, we ask that passengers do not iron their clothes in the staterooms; the laundry service will do pressing for a fee.

Library
You may check out books from the ship's library free of charge. We ask that you return them before your cruise ends.

Medical Services
Due to the proximity to land, medical services can be called from shore rapidly. In the Galápagos, there is a physician on board.

News
The onboard daily newsletter features information about daily activities, shore excursions and tour departure times.

Onboard Language
The language on board is English. All staff, crew and tour guides speak English. All announcements and commentary will be in English.

Onboard Shop
Each ship has a shop area offering accessories, film, souvenirs and some select personal and toiletry items.

Safes
Ships have in-room safes. In the Galápagos, valuables may be stored in the ship's safe free of charge.

Smoking
In Europe and in the Galápagos, all ships have non-smoking interiors. Smoking is only permitted on the Sky Deck. On the Victoria Anna and Royal Lotus smoking is limited to certain areas of the ship.

Special Occasions
Passengers celebrating special occasions, such as anniversaries or birthdays, should alert ship personnel upon boarding the ship.

Telephones
Each stateroom has a direct dial telephone which may be used to call between staterooms. Ship-to-shore calls are also available. Any charges are placed on your shipboard account. In the Galápagos, there are two satellite-linked pay phones available for use in the reception lounge.

Television
Each stateroom has color satellite TV and will receive some English programming. There is a shipboard information channel and a channel with entertainment videos or movies. A TV is found in the ship's library in the Galápagos only.

Your Shipboard Account
For your convenience, all purchases and paid services on board are billed with a guest check and added to your personal shipboard account. At the end of your cruise, you will receive a total which can be paid with cash or charged to a credit card.

Currency and Credit Cards

In Europe:
Most of the countries you will be visiting in Europe use the Euro. Exceptions are Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia; they all have their own currencies but the Euro is accepted in many establishments. Many locations accept major credit cards; however in small towns they are not widely accepted. In these cases and for incidentals or small vendors, you will need some local currency. ATM machines are located on shore at some stops. Prior to your departure, confirm with your bank that your ATM or credit card and PIN number will work abroad. All purchases on board are charged to your room account. The onboard currency is the Euro. U.S. currency and traveler's checks may be exchanged for Euro. For payment of shipboard accounts, Euro and U.S. dollars are accepted as well as American Express, Visa, Mastercard and Diner's Club. A fee is charged for the use of traveler's checks. Personal checks cannot be cashed on board.

In China:
U.S. dollars are widely accepted on shore. The local currency is the Yuan. ATM machines will dispense yuan or they can be purchased on board the ship using U.S. dollars. The currency on board is the yuan. Shipboard accounts can be settled in cash, traveler's checks or most major credit cards.

In Ecuador:
Ecuador uses US Dollars as their official currency. Credit cards are usually accepted in larger towns. In smaller towns cash is recommended. Shipboard accounts can be settled by credit card, cash or travelers checks.

In Egypt:
The official currency in the Egyptian pound, but Euros and US Dollars are widely accepted. In small towns it is recommended to carry small amounts of local currency, but vendors in tourist areas are likely to accept US Dollars. Credit cards are usually accepted in larger towns. ATMs are available in most larger cities. Shipboard accounts can be settled by credit card or with cash. Travelers checks are not accepted.

What are some nautical terms you need to know while river cruising?

AFT toward the stern of the boat

ASTERN in back of the boat

BILGE the interior of the hull below the floor boards

BITTER END the last part of a rope or chain; the inboard end of the anchor rope

BOW the forward part of a ship

BRIDGE the location from which a vessel is steered and its speed controlled

BULKHEAD a vertical partition separating compartments

BUOY an anchored float used for marking a position or a hazard on the water and for mooring

CLEAT a fitting to which lines are made fast

COURSE the direction in which a ship is steered

CURRENT the horizontal movement of water

DISPLACEMENT the weight of water displaced by a floating vessel

DRAFT the depth of water a boat draws

FATHOM six feet

FLOOD an incoming current

GALLEY the kitchen area of a ship

GUNWHALE the upper edge of a ship's sides

HELM the wheel or tiller controlling the rudder

HULL the main body of a vessel

KEEL the centerline of a boat running fore and aft

KNOT a measure of speed equal to one nautical mile (6,076 feet) per hour

LEEWARD the direction away from the wind

NAUTICAL MILE one minute of latitude; approximately 6,076 feet—about 1/8 longer than the statute mile of 5,280 feet

PORT the left side of a ship looking forward; a harbor

SCUPPERS drain holes on deck, in the toe rail, or in bulwarks or in the deck itself

SOUNDING a measurement of the depth of water

STARBOARD the right side of a ship when looking forward

TRIM fore and aft balance of a boat

WINDWARD toward the direction from which the wind is coming

YAW to swing or steer off course

What are the origins of river cruising nautical terms?

OVER THE BARREL
The most common method of punishment aboard ship was flogging. The unfortunate sailor was tied to a grating, a mast, or over the barrel of a deck cannon.

TO KNOW THE ROPES
There were miles of cordage in the rigging of a square rigged ship. The only way to keep track of and to know the function of all of these lines was to know where they were located. It took an experienced seaman to know the ropes.

DRESSING DOWN
Thin and worn sails were often treated with oil or wax to renew their effectiveness. This was called "dressing down." An officer or sailor who was reprimanded received a "dressing down."

FOOTLOOSE
The bottom portion of a sail is called the foot. If it is not secured, it is "footloose" and dances randomly in the wind.

GROGGY
In 1740 British Admiral Vernon (whose nickname was "Old Grogram" for the cloak of grogram which he wore) ordered that the sailors' daily ration of rum be diluted with water. The men called the mixture "grog." A sailor who drank too much grog was "groggy."

POOPED
The poop is the stern section of a ship. To be "pooped" is to be swamped by a high, following sea.

AS THE CROW FLIES
When lost or unsure of their position in coastal waters, ships would release a caged crow. The crow would fly straight toward the nearest land, thus giving the vessel some sort of navigational fix. The tallest lookout platform on a ship came to be known as the "crow's nest."

CUT AND RUN
If a captain of a smaller ship encountered a large enemy vessel, he might decide that discretion was the better part of valor. He would order the crew to cut the lashings on all the sails and run away before the wind. This term also meant to cut the anchor cable and sail off in a hurry.

TOE THE LINE
When called to line up at attention, the ship's crew would form up with their toes touching a seam in the deck planking.

UNDER THE WEATHER
If a crewman is standing watch on the weather side of the bow, he will be subject to the constant beating of the ocean spray. He will be "under the weather."

What is the price policy?

Vacation prices are per person, based on double occupancy, and do not include airfare except as noted on the itinerary pages. Single room supplements and triple room reductions are listed where applicable; not all accommodation types are available on all vacations. We encourage full deposit early to secure your space and to protect the price of your vacation. Prices are subject to increase without notice, subject to the guarantees set forth below.

Once Avalon has received your full non-refundable land/cruise deposit your vacation price is guaranteed and you are protected against any base land/cruise price increase due to currency surcharge. Any subsequent cost increases are at our expense, not including energy cost increases and/or any government tax increases.

If you purchase air through Avalon, an additional $250 per person non-refundable deposit is required to protect your air fare price. Please note that Avalon reserves the right to ticket passengers upon receipt of full land and air deposit. Thus any changes at your request made after receipt of your full deposit are subject to airline-imposed change fees and/or changes in airfare price. These fees are your responsibility to pay and will be required at time of request. This includes name changes or name alterations.

Air is only available to passengers traveling from the United States and is only available when booked in conjunction with a land/cruise vacation.

Vacation departures in 2012 are subject to price and itinerary modifications. Full details will be available in May 2011. Passengers have the right to cancel their reservation without penalty within 14 days of notification in the event of price increases for departures in 2012.

Please see the Terms & Conditions for full information on our Pricing Policy.

How do single room supplement & guaranteed shares apply?
For single travelers who prefer the privacy of their own room and stateroom, single accommodation can, of course, be requested. Call for single room supplements. On European river cruises: Guaranteed shares are available in select categories. If you are traveling alone but prefer to share a cabin, we will try to match you up with a single traveler of the same gender. Please call our Travel Consultant for details.

Are extra nights before & after your vacation available?
If you'd like to add extra hotel nights, we will try to make arrangements for you at our contracted rates. Rates are per person, per night, and include room with private bath, breakfast, service charges and taxes. Extra hotel nights are only available immediately prior to or after your vacation and are not available on some cruise-only vacations. If your vacation includes a hotel stay, every effort will be made to reserve extra nights at the hotel where your vacation stays. If space at the hotel is not available, alternative accommodation will be reserved at a hotel of equivalent standard. When this is the case, the transfer to and from the included hotel is at our expense. During particularly busy periods, hotel space in certain cities can become so tight that we may be unable to sell extra nights.

What types of hotels are used?
Avalon is proud to be associated with some of the finest establishments worldwide. Many of them belong to famous chains such as Westin, InterContinental, and Hilton.

The specific hotels we have selected for you are listed separately for each vacation. The vast majority of them are Deluxe (D), Superior First-Class (SF), or First-Class (F) establishments. In a few overnight places, where there is no hotel in these categories, we choose the best available (BA) hotels.

Avalon hotel ratings follow the standards set by the independent Hotel & Travel Index and by national tourist boards. The specific rating for each contract hotel is determined by our quality controllers.

We reserve the right to substitute hotels listed on the itinerary pages with hotels of equivalent standard. With your Avalon travel documents you'll receive a list of hotel addresses, telephone numbers, and fax numbers for your vacation.

Are young travelers allowed?
In our many years of cruising experience, we have found that children under the age of eight typically are too young to fully enjoy a cruise vacation. Because of this and for the safety and enjoyment of all passengers, we do not accept children under eight years of age. In addition, please note that there are no special arrangements or activities for children on our ships.

What is Travel Protection Plus?
Travel Protection Plus offers comprehensive protection for your travel investment. In addition to excellent trip coverage and cancellation protection, the plan also includes a Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit that allows for cancellations up to 24 hours prior to departure (or prior business day, whichever is farther out) for any reason. In the event cancellation is for a non-covered reason under Travel Protection Plus, the cancellation penalty retained by Globus, minus the travel protection payment, will be reimbursed under the Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit in the form of Travel Certificates valid for travel within two years from the original cancelled vacation start date. This Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit does not cover Instant Purchase Air or independently purchased air.

What information do I get before you go on my cruise?
Avalon will send you a set of travel documents, which includes a wallet to hold your passport, a handy travel bag, baggage tags, a copy of your itinerary, and, where applicable, information on your hotels and optional excursions.

Is there Internet access on Avalon ships in Europe?
All Avalon ships in Europe have 3G Wi-Fi available for in-room use, as well as public computers with Internet connections in the Internet Corner. There is a small fee to use either the Wi-Fi connection or Avalon's Internet Corner – 2010/2011 Rates: 5 Euros per hour, 15 Euros for 24 hours or 30 Euros per week.

If you choose to bring your own laptop with a network card installed and your plan covers roaming fees, you will not be required to pay an onboard fee. However, if you bring a laptop that is Wi-Fi enabled and access the ship's system you will be charged the rates stated. To access the ship's Wi-Fi network you will be given a PIN number at the reception to use on your laptop to access the Internet.

Do I need a passport and/or a visa?
When traveling outside the United States, a passport is required for U.S. citizens. Some countries require a visa. You are responsible for obtaining and paying for all visas and entry documents. Non-U.S. citizens should consult with appropriate consulates to determine if any visas are needed. Monograms' preferred supplier of visa services is Visa Central.