Conference Questions

What is an educational cruise? Welcome to Sea Courses Cruises - specialists in creating the ideal cruise conference. Physician owned and operated, we are recognized as leaders in health care conferences at sea. Our courses cover a wide range of specialties in medicine and dentistry. The programs are designed to provide education with plenty of practical take-home tips, to create opportunities for networking between faculty and participants, and to foster health, wellness, and rejuvenation.

How is an educational cruise different from land-based conference? Since our first voyage in 1995, Sea Courses has provided over 240 CME/CE cruise conferences visiting the seven continents and the seven seas. Physicians and Dentists find it increasingly difficult to have time to travel to cities for their education – but a CME/CE cruise allows
everyone to combine their education with a family vacation.

Research by Sea Courses indicates there are two major advantages of a cruise-based conference. (1) interprofessional learning: Very few land-based conferences offer an opportunity for attendees from a variety of specialties to interact and learn from one another. (2) Longitudinal learning: With the course sessions spread over several days, there is ample opportunity for attendees to interact with faculty and colleagues to discuss
individual issues and learning needs.

Do I need to book my cruise and conference with Sea Courses? Yes. The ships provide many amenities for our
group such as private meeting rooms, dining arrangements, cocktail receptions and more. Participants must book their cruise with Sea Courses in order for us to provide these services. It is highly recommended that your family and
friends also book with Sea Courses so that they will be able to join you at dinner and be invited to join our complimentary Partner's program.One of our professional cruise consultants will be happy to assist you with the reservation and ensure that you have the best available stateroom, location, and cruise fare.

How do I register for the course? You may either call us toll free at 1-888-647-7327 or search this website for the program you are interested in and complete the "More Information" form at the bottom of the page. One of our consultants will contact you shortly with detailed information and a brochure including cruise information, conference details, and the registration page.

Are these programs accredited? Yes - all our programs are accredited. The medical conferences are approved for family physicians and specialists from both Canada and USA. Credits available include MainPro M1, MainCert
section 1, AAFP, AMA-PRA, and MainPro C. Most dental conferences will offer AGD accreditation. The specific credits for each conference are stated in the course brochure and on the conference webpage.

If you have any questions about a program's accreditation please contact our office at 1-888-647-7327 or

Will there be room for me in the course? As long as you have booked your cruise with Sea Courses there is usually room for one more! But don't delay as some cruises sell out in advance of sailing and our most popular conferences may run out of seats in the meeting room.

When are the sessions scheduled? Typically the course sessions are scheduled while the cruise ship is at sea - and not while in ports of call. A detailed schedule for each course is available on this website and in the course brochure.

When will I receive my credits? Attendees are asked to sign in for each block of sessions throughout the conference to confirm your attendance. In most cases, the certificate will be distributed at the conclusion of the conference.

What is the tax deductible status of a cruise conference? Many physicians and dentists attend our programs
for the tax and business considerations that may be possible. Sea Courses is not permitted by law to offer specific tax advice and always refers clients to discuss the details with their accountant. The following features of our
conferences will assist attendees when considering the tax and business aspects of travel:
  • Live, unbiased, accredited education
  • Cruise-based conferences are considered international in location
  • Networking opportunities between faculty and colleagues
  • Destination Discovery tours – often with local medical content
  • A mix of specialties is always represented at a Sea Courses conference
If I have to cancel the cruise, is the conference tuition refundable? Each conference has a date when the tuition
becomes non-refundable. Please make sure that you have appropriate cancellation insurance coverage that includes the value of the tuition. Your Sea Courses cruise consultant can provide you with insurance details and a quote.

Cruise Questions

How much will it cost? One of the most attractive features of a cruise vacation is the good value for the money. On a cruise vacation, your meals, accommodations, entertainment, and most activities are included in the fare for you and your companion. It's easy to stick to your budget. Typically, the only extras are shore excursions and onboard purchases (liquor, spa treatments, photos, etc.). On most sailings, Sea Courses has secured group inventoryand offers the best available prices at the time of booking. Call us today for detailed pricing and promotions.

Companion Cruises Free

Travel with spouses and companions is important for our attendees. With our "Companion Cruises Free" program, basic cruise fare accommodations are incurred by the conference attendee, and their companion cruises free. Please note that additional cruise-related expenses (gratuities, port charges, taxes. and fees) and travel-related expenses (flights, hotels, transfers and insurance) will be charged to each person.

Why are there no prices for cruise conferences on your website? As a top producer with many cruise lines, Sea Courses is able to offer our guests competitive prices and excellent value for their cruise conference experience. For each of our conferences, Sea Courses negotiates preferred group rates with the cruise lines and as part of our contract we are requested not to publish these rates on a public site. To receive a quote for particular cruise conference simply contact us by email (, or via the website (complete the Information Request form for that particular cruise), or call us toll-free 1-888-647-7327.

Can my friends & family book the cruise – even if not attending the conference? Yes – in fact, it is highly recommended that family and friends also book with Sea Courses so that they will be able to join you at dinner, be invited to join our Destination Discovery tours, and attend the complimentary Partner's Program. Your referrals of family, friends, and colleagues are greatly appreciated and you will earn valuable Sea Bucks. Call Sea Courses for details at 1-888-647-7327.

What is included in the complementary Partner's Program? Sea Courses recognizes that spouses, family, and friends play an integral part in the life of the health care provider. We offer exclusive activities that will typically include:a welcome aboard reception themed event such as champagne breakfast or high tea enrichment seminars such as Health & Wellness ; Balance in Life and Work; Financial and Practice Management. In addition, all guests booked with Sea Courses will be invited to participate in our exclusive Destination Discovery tours.

What is a hosted cruise? Enjoy the company of our trained travel concierge onboard the ship to assure your cruise experience is not only worry-free but also extraordinary. Join your host at our Partner's Program events, and at the conference sessions.

What are Destination Discover tours? These are customized tours created exclusively for Sea Courses guests. Delve into the local culture on these exclusive shore excursions planned with our knowledgeable local experts. Many of our guests tell us this is the highlight of their entire cruise.

What about sightseeing when in port? Our Port Report provides an insider's look into your destinations. We will give you tips for exploring on your own, best shopping, favorite restaurants, and internet locations. Your ship will typically arrive in port early in the morning at which time you are free to go ashore. In most cases, you will be back on board the ship by late afternoon / early evening. This gives you more than enough time to enjoy one of the cruise lines' shore excursions, or, go off on your own to do some shopping, sightseeing, swimming, scuba diving, etc.

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 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. Or you can swim, stretch out in the sauna or work out in the gym. You can also see a feature film, attend an enrichment lecture by experts, play backgammon or bridge. And that's just when you're on board!

What are the differences between categories of staterooms? Every guest can enjoy the use of any of the ship's facilities. The price and the category of staterooms are based primarily on size, location on the ship, and added amenities. Whatever category you book, you'll enjoy the same courteous cruising service, onboard activities, and entertainment as everyone else.

Does stateroom location on the ship make a difference? Location may be important when choosing your stateroom. Factors to consider are:your level of mobility (you may want to be closer to an elevator) noise may be an issue for rooms close to public areas if you are motion sensitive a mid-ship room is recommended.

Will I get seasick? It is unlikely that you will notice any motion on a large cruise ship, even if you are sensitive to motion in automobiles or airplanes. All ships today have stabilizers to smooth the ride, but if you are motion sensitive a mid-ship room is recommended. And, if seas do get rough, there are many preventative medications available on board.

Are cruises a good choice for single people? Cruising is ideal for people traveling alone, because it's so easy to meet other people. In fact, most ships have parties for singles, so you can get to know people right away. As a Sea Courses guest, you will be seated for dinner with other passengers in our group. Our cruise consultants will even assist with trying to find you a roommate so you can obtain the per person/double occupancy rate, saving you even more on a great vacation.

Is there smoking onboard? Virtually all ships have a smoke-free environment including staterooms, private balconies, on deck, and most public rooms.What is the configuration for beds in the stateroom?Most major cruise lines have staterooms with two twin beds that will convert to a double or queen size bed. Let your cruise consultant know which configuration you prefer. When you arrive to your room, if the bed is not as you would like, simply ask your stateroom attendant to change the configuration for you.

Are there activities for children on a cruise? Well-trained staff, extensive facilities, and coordinated activities, mean cruising with kids can be smooth sailing for the whole family. Cruise lines provide age-specific, organized programs run by trained professionals. Although there are slight variations by cruise line, age categories for organized programs are generally geared to 3-6, 7-9, 10-12, and 13-17 year olds. This gives youngsters a chance to experience the cruise with kids their own age while mom and dad enjoy some adults-only time together. Naturally, many of the traditional pleasures of a cruise, such as shore excursions, onboard ship activities, and dinners, can be shared by the whole family together. And, children often travel at a substantially-reduced rate.

Are there cruises that fit all generations of my family? Yes, there are. Cruises are a great way for families to travel together and see a variety of countries and ports. But it usually takes one of the larger cruise ships to provide the necessary "something-for-everyone" facilities inside! Small, "boutique" ships and cruise lines simply can't - and don't even try to - appeal to multi-generation cruisers.

Are there baby-sitting services onboard? Most cruise lines offer babysitting from early morning until the late evening. Depending on the cruise line, babysitting may be in a group setting or individually in your stateroom.

Can I get/send e-mail while onboard the ship? Yes. Most modern ship offer two options for staying connected while onboard: Wireless Internet Access (Wi-Fi) and workstations that provide access to e-mail and the Internet. In many cases both options will be available from your stateroom. Don't worry if you don't have an e-mail account - you can easily establish one onboard.

Can I call home from the ship? All ships provide Ship to Shore telephone service from your stateroom. One thing that has changed is that many cruise ships have installed cell phone antennae to satellite translators on their ships. This mean that your cell phone that used to fail once the ship lost sight of land will now work. Cell phone users will get the bill for international roaming or other fees when they get home (remember it may not be cheap). Check rates before using any tech devices.

Do I have to tip? If so, how much?For most Sea Courses educational groups, gratuities are pre-paid and included on your final invoice. The amount paid is at the recommended level set by the cruise line (typically $11 US per person per day). However, if you feel someone onboard provided exceptional service, you are welcome to give an additional cash gratuity to this person.

What should I pack? Generally speaking, cruise travel is very casual during the day and casual to formal in the evenings. This can vary depending on the itinerary. Caribbean and Alaskan cruises are more informal while Mediterranean and European cruises tend to be a little more formal. This can also vary from cruise line to cruise line and ship to ship. Sea Courses will provide you with a recommended list of items to pack.

When is the best time for dining? There is no one correct answer as to which dining time is best. You have to decide which factors are right for you. For example a Mediterranean cruise which is very port intensive and active, probably lends itself best to late seating. An itinerary with many sea days might lend itself best to early dining. Today, many of the cruise lines are offering alternate dining options as well as ‘open seating' for those that want a more casual dinner experience, or were too late returning from a port of call.

Are medical services available? Virtually every major cruise ship will have a staffed medical facility to handle emergencies. If you suffer from a medical condition, check before booking to make sure the ship on which you are cruising can handle your needs.Vacation Questions.

Can I extend my cruise vacation? Yes you can. Sea Courses offers exclusive pre- and post-cruise tours that are combinable with many of our voyages. On other sailings, our consultants will be able to arrange customized programs including hotels, city stays, and tours to fit your travel plans.

Do I need a passport? As of June 1, 2009 everyone travelling from/to the United States or Canada by air, land, or sea will need to present a valid passport. Other countries visited during your cruise may also require a Visitor's Visa. For Canadian and US citizens, our staff will provide information about the travel documentation required. For other nationalities, you are advised to contact your countries embassy when making your travel plans for details of documentation required.

Should I Get Medical and Travel Insurance for My Cruise?The easy answer to this question is "yes". In a world where anything can happen, travel insurance is your ticket to safeguarding your trip. There are many good reasons why you need travel insurance. If you're getting ready to go on a trip make sure you protect all your plans with travel insurance. It gives you the coverage you need when dealing with unexpected situations – whether you're venturing within Canada, USA or to another country. We've partnered with Manulife World Travel Insurance to provide you with the products and emergency assistance services that fit nicely with all your travel plans. Manulife offers a wide range of insurance coverage so you can travel knowing you're protected.

Can Sea Courses book my flights? Although we are a cruise-focused travel agency, we can assist with your flights to/from the cruise. There are two basic options (1) Flights booked with the cruise line. Prices are set by the cruise line and additional fees may apply for special requests such as direct flights or preferred airlines (2) Flights booked directly through Sea Courses office with one of our preferred flight partners.Clients wishing to book flights using air miles/points must book directly with the airline or air miles provider. Your Sea Courses consultant will provide you with the cruise line recommended flight arrival and departure times.