Frequently Asked Questions

Booking

No. IEEE-USA’s 50th Anniversary Cruise is an all-inclusive package and it must be purchased through the group to participate in activities.

IEEE-USA 50th Anniversary Cruise is a 4-night, Caribbean cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas. It will depart from Orlando (Port Canaveral), Florida on Monday, October 16, 2023, and will return on Friday, October 20, 2023.

DayDatePort of CallArriveDepart
Mon10/16/2023Orlando (Port Canaveral), Florida--4:00pm
Tue10/17/2023Day at Sea----
Wed10/18/2023Nassau, Bahamas8:00am5:00pm
Thu10/19/2023CocoCay, Bahamas7:00am5:00pm
Fri10/20/2023Orlando (Port Canaveral), Florida7:00am

The price for the cruise varies per stateroom category, please visit our Prices & Inclusions page for a complete list of available stateroom categories and costs.

Prices are per person based on double occupancy; guests who book a single occupancy stateroom will be charged 200% of the applicable double occupancy per person cruise fare.

Taxes and fees are a flat rate per passenger, regardless of room type or occupancy of the stateroom booked. Shipboard gratuities include your room steward and the ship’s main dining room venue staff. Both must be pre-paid with your reservation and are subject to change until the day of sailing.

Gratuities for casino dealers and spa personnel are not included since not all guests will utilize those services. A gratuity for bar services and servers will automatically be added to the price of your drinks on your bar check.

Your cruise fare includes:

  • ALL EXCLUSIVE IEEE events as outlined on the event’s website
  • Welcome reception held for the group with specialty cocktails, unlimited wine and beer, and hot & cold canapés
  • Shipboard accommodations for four (4) nights in your choice of stateroom type
  • Ocean transportation aboard the Independence of the Seas, round-trip Orlando (Port Canaveral), Florida
  • All meals in the ship’s main dining venues (there’s gourmet fare in the formal dining rooms and casual restaurants for meals throughout the day), with reserved group dinner seating in the ship’s main dining room. Please note dining at specialty restaurants require an additional fee.
  • 24-hour room service is available (a service fee applies to all room service orders)
  • Variety of shipboard entertainment and activities

Please note the following are NOT included in the package prices:

  • Air transportation
  • Transfers (to or from airport/hotel and ship)
  • Alcoholic beverages (with the exception of included group Welcome Reception)
  • Shore excursions
  • Photographs
  • Cost of medical services, if required
  • Specialty restaurant dining
  • Goods purchased onboard (gift shops, art auctions, etc.)
  • Spa and salon services
  • Items of a personal nature including but not limited to laundry, and telephone
  • Gratuities for casino dealers, spa personnel, or bar services

There are three payment plan options available for this event:

  • Pay In Full – attendees will pay in full at time of booking
  • Four Payment Plan – attendees who choose this payment option will be required to pay a $200 per person initial deposit ($400 deposit for single occupants) at the time of booking, a second deposit equal to 33% of the remaining reservation balance is due by January 1, 2023, another 33% is due by May 1, 2023, and the final payment is due by July 1, 2023. Note: deposits are retroactive, bookings made on or after January 1, 2023, or May 1, 2023, will be required to pay all the previous deposits combined, etc.
  • Monthly Payment Plan – attendees who choose this payment option will be required to pay a $200 per person initial deposit ($400 deposit for single occupants) at the time of booking. The remaining reservation balance due will be equally divided by the number of months between the booking date and July 1, 2023. These payments will be due on the 1st of each month with the final payment being due no later than July 1, 2023.

Please note:

  • All payments are in U.S. dollars. Accepted forms of payment are American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. The charge on your credit card statement will appear as LKCRUISE.
  • Payments will be automatically charged to the credit card on file for the guest’s selected payment plan from the options outlined above. It is your sole responsibility to know your applicable payment due dates and to verify payment has been successfully processed by the scheduled due date. Payment reminders will not be sent.
  • Reservations not deposited at the time of booking or with scheduled payments not kept up to date are subject to cancellation.
  • Full payment is required at the time of booking for any reservations made on July 1, 2023, or later.

RCI is currently developing updated protocols that provide for continued safety for all guests, crew and the communities in the ports of call, better align with the travel and hospitality sector, and meet destination regulations. Please visit RCI’s Healthy Sail Center for additional information.

It is the responsibility of each guest to be informed and comply with RCI’s COVID-19 requirements and protocols at the time the cruise sails. Passengers not meeting the cruise line’s requirements will be denied boarding, and no refund of the cruise fare will be issued. These policies are set by the cruise line (not IEEE), and no exceptions are allowed.

For questions about the ship or the registration process, email us at reservations@ieeeusa.org.

For questions about the IEEE-USA 50th Anniversary cruise inclusions and events, email us at cruise@ieeeusa.org.

Yes, we welcome family and friends! There is plenty of fun to be had on board the Independence of the Seas and the cruise ports for guests not attending the IEEE-USA 50th Anniversary sessions and activities.

Passengers who wish to book staterooms near other passengers may make their request in the Notes field on the reservation or send an email to reservations@ieeeusa.org. We’ll do our very best to accommodate the request, however it depends on whether the passengers have booked within the same stateroom category and the availability of rooms at time of request.

When you book your cruise, simply click on the reservation button for one passenger then click the option that reads “I wish to be matched with another single traveler and pay the double occupancy price.” Best efforts will be made to pair you with a roommate of the same gender and within the same stateroom category, however roommate requests are not guaranteed. Please refer to the Single Share Terms & Conditions for additional information.

Due to the unique nature of this event, all reservations will be subject to the following cancellation policy related to the cruise portion of your booking:

  • Between the date of booking and June 1, 2023: $50 per person cancellation fee ($100 for single occupants)
  • Between June 2 and June 29, 2023: $125 per person cancellation fee ($250 for single occupants)
  • Between June 30 and July 27 2023: $200 per person cancellation fee ($400 for single occupants)
  • Between July 28 and August 29, 2023: 50% of the total reservation cost
  • On or after August 30, 2023: no refunds will be issued

Please note:

  • Cancellation dates are based on Eastern Standard Time.
  • Notice of cancellation must be submitted via email to reservations@ieeeusa.org.
  • No refunds will be made in the event of interruption or cancellation by any passenger after the commencement of the cruise. No refunds will be given for cruise no-shows.
  • Any adjustment to the above policy is at the sole discretion of IEEE.
  • Cancellation fees for airline tickets and/or other reservations made by attendees are subject to the cancellation policy of the specific airline/supplier.

You will have the option to obtain a quote and purchase trip insurance on the reservation site after payment is made (deposit or full payment) on your reservation. This travel insurance is offered by Travel Guard.

Yes, your legal name as shown on your proof of citizenship and gender as shown on your identification is required.

Proper travel documentation is required at embarkation and throughout the cruise for all passengers. Even though a passenger has completed the cruise line’s online reservation, it is still passenger’s responsibility to present the required travel documents at the time of embarkation. Any passenger without proper documents will not be allowed to board the vessel, and no refund of the cruise fare will be issued. RCI, IEEE, and its agents/affiliates assume no responsibility for advising passengers of proper travel documentation.

For your protection, RCI highly recommends that all guests travel with a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the end of their cruise. In addition, it is recommended that guests bring a second official form of identification such as a laminated driver’s license or identification card issued by a federal, state, provincial, country, territory or municipal authority.

The ship may collect your passport to speed up the clearance formalities in each port of call, so it is suggested that you bring a few photocopies of your passport’s personal page which includes the picture and that you carry one of these photocopies with you each time you leave the ship.

Requirements are subject to change, and it is each guest’s responsibility to ensure that he/she has the appropriate documentation.

For more information on the documentation requirements, please see the cruise line’s website at https://www.royalcaribbean.com/faq/topics/travel-documents.

Please visit the U.S. Department of State website for all passport information. Please note a passport could take six weeks or more to process, so make certain you allow enough time.

Passengers are responsible to ensure that they are eligible to sail according to RCI’s requirements, including but not limited to the following:

  • Guests who meet RCI’s COVID-19 protocols and requirements at the time of sailing as posted on RCI’s Healthy Sail Center
  • Infants must be at least 6 months old on the day of departure.
  • Women must be less than 24 weeks into their pregnancy on the day of departure and for the duration of the cruise. This policy is due to the risk of premature labor. Pregnant women must have a letter signed by their doctor (on the physician’s letterhead) stating how far along in weeks their pregnancy will be at the beginning of the cruise, that mother and baby are in good health and fit to travel, and that the pregnancy is not considered high-risk.
  • Adults must be 21 or older unless the passenger is:
    • traveling in the same stateroom with an individual 25 years or older; or
    • traveling in the same stateroom with a spouse (proof of age and/or proof of marriage are required)

Passengers not meeting the cruise line’s requirements will be denied boarding, and no refund of the cruise fare will be issued. These policies are set by the cruise line (not IEEE), and no exceptions are allowed.

Reservations

Any changes in registrations must be made via the online registration system. Until approximately 45 days prior to sailing, most changes to existing registrations can be made by logging into the cruise registration system. Within 45 days of sailing, any change requests will need to be submitted via email to reservations@ieeeusa.org.

Names changes are permitted, but at least one of the original and/or primary financially responsible guest’s names as of the stateroom’s original reservation must remain on the reservation. If all original guests cancel, this is considered a full cancellation without refund, and name changes will not be allowed. Note: event badges are not refundable and non-transferable as noted on the cancellation schedule above.

In all cases of name changes, the “new” guest must make the full payment amount due as of the date of the name replacement in order for the guest being replaced to receive a refund of payment amounts previously made.

Yes, you can — subject to availability. Rates are based on the number of guests in your reserved stateroom. Changes in occupancy will result in a rate increase or decrease, depending on the type of change. No refunds will be issued for any decrease of rate change until the stateroom has been paid for in full.

While many staterooms can accommodate more than two people with a sofa bed or upper berths stored in the stateroom ceiling, etc., not all rooms can; and such accommodations are subject to availability at the time of reservation. Due to Coast Guard safety regulations, there cannot be more guests accommodated in a stateroom than the designated occupancy for that room. Also, please be advised that each guest must be registered and paid for in full in order to be allowed to board the ship.

Stateroom changes to another room within the same room category or higher can be made until 45 days prior to sailing and require authorization by all parties named on the reservation. A stateroom change to a room category lower than the room category of the original reservation would be considered a room cancellation and rebooking, and cancellation fees would be applied.

Approximately 3 to 4 weeks prior to the sailing date, guests who have booked and paid in full will receive an email with their cruise line booking number for the cruise. The email will also contain instructions on how to check-in online via RCI’s website – where guests can sign up for shore excursions, make specialty dining reservations and pre-register a credit card for onboard purchases. All guests are required to complete the online check-in at least four days prior to cruising. Cruise documents will be available for printing through the cruise line’s online check-in approximately 3 weeks prior to sailing.

Detailed instructions about clearing customs will be provided onboard ship near the end of your cruise. Some general guidelines/suggestions to keep in mind as you shop in foreign ports include keep receipts for gifts and purchases. U.S. residents visiting foreign ports have a duty-free allowance of $400 and those 21 years or older may include one liter of liquor.

You can pre-purchase shore excursions on RCI’s website once you receive your booking number and online check-in instructions for the cruise (approximately 3 to 4 weeks prior to the sailing date) or once you are onboard ship. We will also have private tours for our group which will be available for purchase closer to sailing.

Yes, this cruise will count towards your Crown & Anchor membership, and your program amenities will be available onboard the ship.

Onboard the Ship

Daytime: Casual attire is always appropriate day wear and in port, and includes jeans, shorts, tees, tank tops, polos, sundresses and blouses. (Please keep swimwear for the pool deck only.). Also, be sure to bring low-heeled, comfortable shoes for deck activities and shore tours; and a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses are highly recommended.

Evening: For most evenings, casual attire (excluding tank tops and shorts) is fine; or you may wish to take it up a notch with collared shirts, slacks, skirts, etc. Two evenings of your cruise will have a “Wear Your Best” attire designation, which is your chance to get glamorous, be chic and shine – your way.

Note: t-shirts, swimsuits, robes, bare feet, tank tops, baseball caps and pool wear are not allowed in the main restaurant or specialty restaurant at any time. Shorts and flip flops are not allowed during evening hours. The dress code will be enforced at all restaurants, and guests are asked to follow the Smart Casual or Evening Chic dress code in the RCI’s for all evening performances.

The ship’s daily program, which is delivered to guest staterooms each evening, will be your guide to the correct attire each evening.

Reminder: travel documents, valuables and medications should be packed in carry-on luggage.

Detailed instructions about clearing customs will be provided onboard ship near the end of your cruise. Some general guidelines/suggestions to keep in mind as you shop in foreign ports include keep receipts for gifts and purchases. U.S. residents visiting foreign ports have a duty-free allowance of $400 and those 21 years or older may include one liter of liquor.

RCI can accommodate special diets that have been created in consultation with a dietary specialist. Selections offered are for lunch and dinner in the main dining room only. Sample diets include vegetarian, vegan, diabetic, low fat, low sodium, low cholesterol, kosher meals, gluten free and lactose free. Please note any special dietary needs in the Notes section of your reservation.

Room service is available any time of the day or night — simply order from the room service menu located in your stateroom (a service fee applies for all room service orders).

There are a limited number of wheelchair accessible staterooms available onboard the ship. For people that do not use a wheelchair but still need minimal assistance, bars and raised toilet seats can be accommodated in most staterooms. In addition, disposal units for needles, and refrigerators for medication can be put into most staterooms upon request. All of these items are available on a limited basis and should be requested in the Notes section of your reservation. If you have an accessibility need, please send an email to reservations@ieeeusa.org.

Yes, you can take personal photos and videos of yourself and family/friends on board. However, video will not be allowed during the classroom instruction. Note: the IEEE classroom sessions will be filmed and our attendees may appear in future promotional or educational material.

Please be courteous and not include other ship guests or crew members in your photos or videos without their permission.

Guests can be contacted onboard of the Independence of the Seas by calling 1-888-724-7447 (from the U.S.) or 1-321-953-9003 (from outside the U.S.) Please note that rates apply and are billed at $7.95 per minute (subject to change). Forms of payment accepted are Visa and MasterCard only and calls are limited to 10 minutes per call.  Callers should have the ship name and the stateroom number or name of the party they are contacting before calling. Callers using the above numbers will be transferred directly to the guest’s stateroom. If the guest is not in the stateroom at the time of the call, the caller may leave a voicemail message.

You can also make calls from the ship using the Ship-to-Shore telephone service. Rates for this service also apply and will be billed to your shipboard account starting at $7.95 per minute. Telephones are available in all staterooms.

Yes, to keep you connected while at sea, all RCI ships provide VOOM Internet access facilitated through the Internet Café and through the ship-wide Wi-Fi network. There are various plans available for purchase. Further details regarding availability and cost will be available on the cruise line’s website after you complete your online check-in and onboard ship.

RCI offers an advanced roaming network on board all ships, allowing you to make and receive calls while at sea using compatible mobile phones that are set to roaming. International roaming charges will be conveniently billed to you by your home mobile carrier. Mobile phone service will be available for use while the ship is at sea.

Rates for usage of your cellular phone are determined by your home mobile carrier. Please note that calls to 800, 888, 866 and 877 numbers are not toll free while onboard or in foreign ports. You will be billed by your home mobile carrier for your international roaming usage on your regular mobile phone bill. It can take up to 60 days for charges acquired while using your cellular phone at these times to appear on your phone bill. For more information, please contact your home mobile carrier customer service.

Staterooms do not have irons or ironing boards; however, the ship offers washing, pressing, and dry-cleaning services for a reasonable rate. Please also note that irons and clothes steamers are strictly prohibited onboard the ship for safety reasons. If you choose to bring one with you, it will be confiscated from your luggage before sailing.

Any special needs, including allergies, must be indicated in the Special Requests/Notes section of the online reservation, and will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. While there is no guarantee that all special needs/requests can be accommodated, we will make best efforts to accommodate the need or provide an alternative if possible.

The ship has a minimum of one fully licensed doctor and 2 licensed nurses onboard, who are available in the ship’s medical facility during scheduled hours or on call 24 hours a day through the Guest Services desk.

The Independence of the Seas does NOT provide wheelchairs for onboard use. Guests can, however, rent a wheelchair, motorized wheelchair or scooter from one of RCI’s recommended providers:

  • Scootaround – 1-888-441-7575 or 1-204-982-0657
  • Special Needs At Sea – 1-800-513-4515 or 1-954-585-0575

Not every area of the ship is wheelchair accessible; however, RCI has made substantial modifications to enhance your ability to move about the ship. The Independence of the Seas features accessible elevators at each elevator bank with tactile controls within reach of passengers who use wheelchairs.

Accessible routes are available throughout most areas of the ship, and signs are posted to assist you in locating these pathways. There is also accessible seating within your ship’s restaurants and lounges, and in designated accessible public restrooms.

The cruise ship operates on a cashless system. Passengers can validate their onboard account with a Visa, MasterCard, or American Express card, or by making payment by cash or traveler’s check. Passengers can then sign all on-board services and purchases to their shipboard account. At the end of the cruise, passengers will receive a completely itemized statement of charges.

RCI does not accept personal checks, and only U.S. currency is accepted aboard the ships. There is an ATM located onboard the ship, though a transaction fee will apply.

Yes, there is a fitness center (see ship’s daily newsletter for scheduled hours) and a jogging track, which is open 24 hours a day and complimentary to all passengers.

Guests are not allowed to bring water, sodas, and other non-alcoholic beverages onboard that are packaged in glass or plastic bottles. A small quantity of non-alcoholic beverages (i.e., sparkling water, sodas, energy drinks, juice, and milk) packaged in cans or cartons may be brought onboard on embarkation day and must be in the guest’s carry-on luggage. A small quantity is considered a maximum of 12 sealed, unopened cans/cartons of 12-ounces each or less per person.

Guests are not allowed to bring alcoholic beverages of any kind onboard for consumption, except two bottles of wine or champagne per guests who are adults of drinking age (21-years of age or older.) Guests who consume their personal wine or champagne in the dining room will incur a corkage fee per bottle. Personal wine or champagne may not be consumed in any other public area of the ship.

Please remember that luggage will be scanned and alcohol outside of the cruise line’s policy will be removed and discarded. Security may inspect containers (water bottles, soda bottles, mouthwash, etc.) and will dispose of containers holding alcohol. RCI is not responsible for any alcoholic beverages removed and discarded by shore-side security staff. Such items are not eligible for monetary refund or replacement.

Alcoholic beverages purchased duty free from the ship’s gift shop, or at ports of call, will be collected for safekeeping and delivered to the passenger’s stateroom on the last day of the cruise. A member of the ship’s staff will be at the gangway to assist passengers with the storage of their shore-side alcoholic purchase, while the ship’s gift shop staff will assist passengers with shipboard alcoholic purchases.

Guests who are under the permitted drinking age will not have alcohol returned to them. Please note: all guests must comply with TSA guidelines for transporting liquids.

All interior public spaces (except as otherwise noted below) and staterooms/suite accommodations are entirely smoke free, including outside stateroom balconies. This policy includes all forms of smoking, including but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, electronic cigarettes, and personal vaporizers.

Cigarette, E-cigarette, and personal vaporizer smoking is only permitted in designated exterior open deck areas, and in certain areas within the casino. Cigar and pipe smoking are allowed in designated exterior open deck areas.

Outdoor areas near restricted areas, food venues, and kids play areas and pools will not allow smoking. To assist in locating areas where smoking is permitted, guests will find visible signage posted within all smoking areas and ashtrays that are provided for use.

Cigarettes, cigars, and pipe tobacco must be properly disposed of and never thrown overboard. You must be at least 18 years of age to purchase, possess or use tobacco onboard.

Note: Passengers who smoke in their staterooms or on their balconies will be assessed a $250 cleaning and refreshing fee on their onboard account and may be subject to further action. Information on this fee is included in RCI’s cruise ticket contract. Passengers agree to strictly comply with RCI’s non-smoking policy.

Travel

Orlando International Airport is approximately 46 miles from Port Canaveral, approximately 45 – 55 minutes driving depending on traffic.

If you are flying on the day the cruise departs, it is recommended that your flight arrive into Orlando International Airport before 12:00pm on October 16th to be sure you have time to disembark the plane, collect your luggage and make your way to the cruise terminal. All guests must be checked in and onboard the ship at least one hour prior to sailing.

If you are flying on the day the cruise returns, it is recommended that your flight departs Orlando International Airport after 12:00pm on October 20th. The ship is scheduled to return to Port Canaveral (which is approximately a 45-to-55-minute drive from the Orlando airport) at 7:00am, but the ship must be cleared by local authorities before the disembarkation process begins. Guests must then claim their luggage, go through the Customs and Immigration process and then make their way to Orlando International Airport.

The address for the port is:

Cruise Terminal # 1
9050 Discover Place
Port Canaveral, FL 32920

Parking is available at the port at a cost of $17 per day (subject to change), including day of arrival and departure.

Parking facilities are patrolled by local security, but neither the port nor Royal Caribbean is responsible for any damages or losses occasioned from the use of the facilities.

For more information regarding parking at the port, go to: https://www.portcanaveral.com/Cruise/Directions-Parking

Taxis, Uber and Lyft are available options for transferring from Orlando International Airport or Orlando area hotels to Port Canaveral. Various hotels in the Orlando area also offer transfers to Port Canaveral (please check with your hotel of choice when making your reservation.)

RCI also offers transfers from Orlando International Airport to Port Canaveral on the day the cruise starts and back to Orlando International Airport on the day the cruise ends at a cost of $34.95 per person each way or $69.90 per person round-trip. Transfers may be purchased directly from RCI after completing your online check-in for the cruise (note: for transfers purchased through RCI, it is required that your flight arrives no later than 12:00pm on the day of sailing and departs no earlier than 1:00pm on the day the cruise ends.)

Guests are required to check-in at least one hour prior to departure. Guest will be asked to choose an Arrival Time Slot during the online check-in prior to sailing. It is important that you arrive during your designated time slot. If you arrive earlier, you will NOT be able to able to begin boarding process until your designated time and will have to wait. Those who arrive late will have to wait till they can be placed in another arrival group.

The ship must be cleared by local customs authorities before guests can begin boarding, which can be as early as 11:30am or noon but varies. Please note, however, that staterooms will not be available until approximately 1:00pm and guests will be asked to adhere to their chosen Arrival Time Slot.