FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT SETS VACAYA APART FROM OTHER LGBT TRAVEL COMPANIES?
Let’s start with the fact that there are no other large-scale travel companies on earth serving the entire LGBTQIAPK community. VACAYA is the only one. Our award-winning leadership team, known as The Vacayans, is made up of real people – people who care, who listen, who do the right thing, and who act as your travel savvy companion. At VACAYA, we understand what’s important to you – fun, friends, adventure, and clear timely communication, all cornerstones of any great vacation. We believe in a traveler’s right to actually plan their vacation, so we’ll release our trips well over a year in advance and you’ll know party themes and entertainment many months before we ever set sail. We strive to provide you with all the tools you’ll need to have a great time. After all, this is your vacation and it should be a stress-free experience. No worries. No concerns. Just ease and fun at every turn.
IS VACAYA RIGHT FOR ME?
We at VACAYA believe life begins at the edge of your comfort zone. So we create a warm environment where ALL who believe “love is love” are welcome. You don’t have to be the son of Zeus coming down from Mt. Olympus to travel with us (but of course, those guys are welcome, too). At VACAYA, we are all mere mortals and we celebrate the great diversity within our community. Traveling with VACAYA is all about being completely comfortable in your own skin. No matter where you fall on the LGBT+ spectrum, and no matter whether you’re single, coupled, black, white, skinny, thick, or even straight, you’ll easily find a welcoming tribe within the VACAYA universe.
IS VACAYA A GOOD VALUE?
Value is completely relative and altogether personal, of course, but you won’t find a more all-encompassing and multi-layered experience at this price anywhere on the planet. With first-class accommodations, stellar entertainment, fun friendly parties, and above all, world-class guest service, the VACAYA value simply can’t be beat.
WHAT MAKES VACAYA SO SPECIAL?
VACAYA is about savoring the good times, building lifelong memories, appreciating great friends while making new ones, and giving back to the communities we visit. VACAYA is about discovering magical textures, tastes, smells, sites, and sounds of lands near and far… together. Sailing the seven seas or enjoying a resort that’s all ours is about the moments we spend connecting, laughing, and living life to the fullest. Its possibilities are endless and exciting. Sensual. Life changing. These experiences open our minds, unify our rhythm, and bond us for life. This is the spirit of VACAYA.
IS VACAYA FOR ADULTS ONLY?
Yes. The minimum age for our guests is 18. Guests over 18 but below 21 years must travel with a companion over the age of 25, staying in the same room.
IS THERE ANY ADVANTAGE TO BOOKING EARLY?
Booking early provides you with a greater choice of accommodations on the cruises or at the resorts. Booking early also allows you to take advantage of our Early Booking pricing.
WHAT DO THE RATES INCLUDE?
Unless specified, rates are per person, in U.S. dollars, and based on double occupancy. Rates include room, all standard meals (not including premium dining experiences), entertainment, many activities and sports, and VACAYA staff assistance. At VACAYA all-inclusive resorts, all your drinks are included as well! Rates may be impacted by promotional offers. Rates and fees are subject to change without notice. Please see individual vacation descriptions for additional details.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED IN THE RATE?
Each VACAYA adventure is slightly different. But typically, rates do not include airfare, port charges, gratuities, optional specialty restaurant fees, optional shore excursions, specialty sports, spa services, phone calls, shop purchases, and personal expenditures. There are exceptions, though… like our all-inclusive Oasis resorts and Luxe cruises. Please see individual vacation descriptions for specific information and additional disclaimers.
CAN I PAY FOR MY VACAYA TRIP WITH CASH OR A PERSONAL CHECK?
A credit card is required for purchase. Using a Visa-, MasterCard-, or AMEX-logo’d debit card is also an option. When using a debit card, the funds are immediately transferred from your designated bank account, making your transaction “same as cash.” Personal checks are not accepted.
DOES VACAYA TAKE OVER THE ENTIRE CRUISE SHIP/RESORT?
You betcha. They’re all ours! And having that exclusive access allows us to craft a fully-immersive experience from start to finish tailored perfectly to our community’s needs.
WHAT IF I HAVE SPECIAL NEEDS?
VACAYA strives to accommodate guests with special needs. However, the following conditions apply: Any physical disability or mental condition that requires special treatment or attention should be made known to a VACAYA Vacation Planner soon after your reservation is made. Simply email the details to email@example.com. Although it’s always viewed as an absolute last resort, VACAYA has the right to refuse or revoke passage/participation to anyone who, in its judgment, is in a physical or mental condition that makes them unfit for travel or who may require care beyond what VACAYA can provide. To preserve your wellbeing, certain activities may be unavailable based on current or pre-existing conditions. All guests with disabilities must be self-sufficient or travel with a guest who is capable of providing any necessary assistance during the trip or in the event of an emergency. While nearly all large ships and resorts are easily navigable for guests in wheelchairs, certain areas may be inaccessible. A Special Note to wheelchair-bound guests considering international river cruising: given the reality of cobblestoned streets, wheelchair-unfriendly buses, and a dearth of accessible staterooms, river cruising is a difficult vacation option for wheelchair-bound travelers. In general, only collapsible wheelchairs can be accommodated and all passengers must be able to walk on/off the ship without assistance.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO TRAVEL SOLO WITH VACAYA?
We highly recommend it! We organize special activities such as dinners, mixers, and meetups designed to bring singles and solo travelers together. If you’re looking for helpful tips for finding a roommate, we’ve got an entire page just for you. You can find that HERE.
WILL THERE BE 12-STEP PROGRAM MEETINGS ONBOARD/AT THE RESORTS?
We provide daily meetings for members of all 12-step programs.
SHOULD I PURCHASE TRAVEL INSURANCE?
Yes! We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance to protect against the unforeseen. Great travel insurance ensures that if you need to cancel, you’re protected. It also offers 24-hour emergency assistance and protects your valuables while on vacation. Ultimately, travel insurance gives you peace of mind.
DO I NEED A PASSPORT AND VISA?
All documentation is your responsibility, so please make sure everything is in order well before your departure. With rare exceptions, a valid passport is required for nearly all VACAYA travel. Your passport should be valid for 6+ months following your trip. And to avoid any potential problems, you should have multiple blank pages. Certain ports or resort locations require a visa, so check individual visa requirements with the relevant embassies of all countries to be visited. If you’ll be covered by a “blanket visa” as part of our group, we’ll certainly let you know in advance.
WHERE CAN I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THINGS LIKE CANCELLATION POLICIES AND PENALTIES, PAYMENT OPTIONS, AND OTHER IMPORTANT TERMS?
VACAYA has documented all these important items and more in our Guest Terms and Conditions.
WHY IS MY DEPOSIT NOT COMPLETELY REFUNDABLE?
Simply and honestly put, there are costs involved with processing each and every reservation. From charging your credit card for the initial purchase to later refunding any balance due upon cancellation, VACAYA pays processing fees for each of those transactions. Add to that the internal labor costs of us having to manually process cancellations and the costs quickly add up. When most people book, they are fully committed to the vacation, but we understand life can sometimes twist and turn unexpectedly. That’s why we highly recommend purchasing full-coverage travel insurance the moment you book with us (in fact, it’s available to you online at the end of each VACAYA booking!). Travel insurance will ensure you’re covered if plans change.
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE?
Here at VACAYA, we’re fond of Kafka’s take on this important question: “The meaning of life is that it stops.” All of us are here only temporarily, so living life to the fullest each and every day should be our most important goal. That is the spirit of VACAYA.
IS THE VACAYA EXPERIENCE LIKE ONE BIG ENDLESS CIRCUIT PARTY?
Simply put, no. The Vacayans love a great party, including the occasional Circuit Party, sure. And we will have parties, yes… and some may even go all night. But there won’t be all-night ragers every night of your cruise or resort holiday with us. We truly view the VACAYA experience as a vacation; we’re not a dance-till-you-drop marathon. We believe in balance – giving you the chance to party with your friends and explore the fascinating regions we visit and occasionally sleep. If you’re looking for a cruise that’s more focused on the Circuit Party scene, we recommend Atlantis Events. They create dance-till-dawn-every-night-of-the-week extravaganzas built around that unmistakable Circuit Party thump of tribal and hard house music. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’ll love Atlantis.
DO YOU OFFER TRAVEL INSURANCE?
Travel insurance is available from Travel Guard. To learn more, CLICK HERE or call Travel Guard directly at 877.249.5376. By law, VACAYA is unable to answer specific questions about coverage.
WHAT IF I HAVE TO CANCEL AN ALREADY-BOOKED TRIP?
All cancellations are handled through a VACAYA Vacation Planner. Simply call 718.504.0404 or chat with us between 12-2pm ET Monday through Friday and we’ll be happy to assist you. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW DO I ADD A ROOMMATE TO MY RESERVATION?
You can make certain modifications to your existing booking by visiting MY TRIPS (located in the upper right-hand corner of each of our webpages). Simply log in, click on the reservation you’d like to change, and choose the appropriate option: REPLACE GUEST – This option is to assign a name to “ADULT 2” on your reservation. ADULT 2 is the default listing for a person whose name was not given at the initial time of booking. ADD GUEST – If your room has a capacity over 2, you can add a 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th person to your reservation (up to the maximum capacity for your selected room) using this option. All replacements/additions will incur a cost at the time of change. Our online booking tool will calculate all appropriate additional fares, fees, and gratuities. If you’re trying to do an online name change (where one person named on your reservation is being replaced by someone else), as a general rule, you can only take someone off a reservation and replace them with someone new IF the person being removed has not had any financial responsibility for the reservation. If the person being removed has paid ANY part of the reservation, then you will have to call in to VACAYA to start this change process. We will send you an authorization form that all parties involved in the change must sign. This ensures everyone involved with the change is fully aware of what’s happening and gives their permission for VACAYA to make the requested change. If you require the assistance of a VACAYA Vacation Planner, simply call 718.504.0404 or chat with us between 12-2pm Monday through Friday and we’ll be happy to help.
HOW DO I CHANGE THE ROOM I BOOKED?
All modifications to existing reservations require the assistance of a VACAYA Vacation Planner. Simply call 718.504.0404 or chat with us between 12-2pm Monday through Friday and we’ll be happy to help. Please note that room changes are only possible within the same category or to an upgraded category.
WHAT IF I NEED TO CHANGE A NAME ON MY RESERVATION?
If the person being removed/replaced on your reservation has paid ANY part of the reservation, then you will have to call in or write to VACAYA to start this change process. We will send you an authorization form that all parties involved in the change must sign. This ensures everyone involved with the change is fully aware of what’s happening and gives their permission for VACAYA to make the requested change. For a fee of $100 per person, guest replacements (name changes) can be made on paid-in-full reservations in which no refund of fare needs to be made. For changes to reservations with a balance due or where funds need to be refunded and repaid, a fee of 6% plus any difference between the original and current sales price will be payable in full at the time of the change. Changes are also subject to any additional fees imposed by suppliers, airlines, cruise lines, hotels/resorts, transportation companies, sightseeing companies, restaurants, etc. All guest replacements must be completed at least 14 days prior to departure. You can reach a VACAYA Vacation Planner at 718.504.0404 between the hours of 12-2pm Monday through Friday. This change can also be requested via email at email@example.com.
WHAT IF MY NAME IS MISSPELLED ON MY RESERVATION?
Before completing your online booking, be sure to check the spelling of your full legal name. Your name must match your passport/proof of citizenship exactly. If you’ve made a mistake, our Vacation Planners will be happy to help you correct it free of charge. However, that correction needs to be requested BEFORE the manifest for your trip is generated (approximately 120 days out). Once the official cruise line’s/resort’s manifest has been generated, a name correction fee of $100 will be charged.
WHAT IF I’D LIKE TO GIVE A VACAYA TRIP AS A SURPRISE GIFT?
Every traveler must register to use our booking tool using a unique email address (it’s the main identifier within the system). If you’re trying to buy a trip for your partner as a surprise gift, we encourage you to simply leave the second guest blank when making your reservation; you can add them in later. Once your gift has been announced, you can reach out to us at 718.504.0404 and we’ll be happy to add your partner to the reservation. Adding them to your reservation will ensure they receive all VACAYA communications regarding the trip from that point forward.
CAN WE USE TRAVEL AGENTS TO BOOK WITH VACAYA?
Of course! While our online booking tool is easy to navigate, we know sometimes you may need the assistance of an experienced travel professional – especially when it comes to securing air, hotel, transfers, etc. for your VACAYA holiday. If you already work with an agent, simply call or email them to let them know you’re interested in a VACAYA trip. Once they register with us as an authorized travel agent, they’ll be able to handle your booking from start to finish.
CAN I PAY FOR SOMEONE ELSE’S ROOM?
Absolutely! Some guests may want to travel with their friends and pick up the tab for those friends’ room. (YAY for them!) In our world, this is called a Sponsorship. So if you’d like to pay for a friend’s room, just give our Vacation Planners (or your friendly neighborhood travel agent) a call and we’ll be happy to help you with this type of booking. Phone service hours are Monday through Friday 12-2pm ET.
DISPUTING CREDIT CARD CHARGES
Credit card disputes are very damaging to VACAYA’s financial stability and potentially put the relationship we have with our credit card processor at risk. Because of those ramifications, we offer our thoughts to you if you’re contemplating such an action. When you book with VACAYA, you sign a contract with us – just as you would with every other travel provider on earth. We wouldn’t dream of not delivering a vacation experience to you, so we fully expect your consideration in return. Our Terms & Conditions lay out the payment and cancellation penalty schedule for each of our trips and we’ve been transparent in explaining why these are so important HERE and HERE. If at any time a traveler disputes a valid payment to VACAYA with their credit card company, our hands become immediately tied by that credit card company in dealing with your reservation. This freeze can last up to 90 days (the time it takes for VACAYA to counter the dispute and for the credit card companies to make their decision as to the validity of the charge).
Because we have a signed contract with our guests, VACAYA wins nearly all disputes. However, some disputes are incorrectly resolved in favor of the traveler. In those cases, we then turn the disputed charges over to our Collections Agency for resolution per our agreement with you. That, of course, can lead to a hit against your personal credit rating, not to mention having to deal with the constant contact by the agency seeking to resolve the issue. In addition, no future travel with VACAYA is possible without resolution of the original dispute. So rather than take an action that hurts both you and VACAYA, we simply ask that you contact us to work through whatever issue you have. You’ll get resolution sooner and you’ll remain in good standing with VACAYA for future vacations with your friends and the entire LGBT+ community.
AUTOMATIC BILLING FAQS
HOW DOES AUTOMATIC MONTHLY BILLING WORK?
Enroll in automatic billing (either Automatic Monthly Payments or Deposit Now, Pay Later) and relax knowing your future payments will be made automatically. If you choose our Automatic Monthly Payment plan when you book, we’ll calculate an even monthly payment plan which will be charged to your credit card on file. Payments will be charged on the 15th or the last day of each month (determined automatically depending on the day of the month you book). If your credit card details change at any time, simply update the info in our system prior to your next month’s payment date. It’s that easy! For those in our Deposit Now, Pay Later plan, your future payment dates will be outlined when you select this plan. Please note declined payments are subject to a convenience fee.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF AUTOMATIC BILLING?
It’s convenient. Payments are automatic and evenly divided. There’s no chance of forgetting to pay!
WHAT IF MY BALANCE CHANGES?
If you enroll in either our Automatic Monthly Payment plan or our Deposit Now, Pay Later plan and your reservation balance changes (for instance, if you add a guest or upgrade your stateroom), we’ll adjust the payment amounts on your plan and notify all guests via email. Your payment dates won’t change.
WILL VACAYA SEND A PAYMENT CONFIRMATION?
Yes, we’ll email you a confirmation after each payment.
HOW MANY AUTOMATIC MONTHLY PAYMENTS WILL I HAVE AND WHEN WILL THEY BE?
For guests enrolled in our Automatic Monthly Payment plan, payments will be monthly on the 15th or the last day of each month (determined automatically depending on the day of the month you book). The number of payments is based on how many months there are from the time you book to the final payment date. You will see your exact payment plan when you enroll.
HOW DOES VACAYA KEEP MY CREDIT CARD INFORMATION SECURE?
VACAYA’s credit card processing company complies with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), a set of comprehensive requirements developed by the major card brands to facilitate consistent data security measures. In order to protect your information, VACAYA doesn’t store your credit card information, but for guests enrolled in automatic billing, our credit card processing company does.
WHAT IF A CREDIT CARD IS DECLINED AT THE TIME OF PROCESSING?
When a credit card is declined at the time of processing, an email will be sent asking you to update your credit card details and make payment within 7 days. This can be done at MY TRIPS. Simply log in and you’ll see a list of your current reservations. Click on the MAKE PAYMENT button. You will be asked to verify all of your information. Click to accept Terms & Conditions and update your payment method. Finally, click the SUBMIT PAYMENT button and your missed payment will be charged. All future payments will be charged to this card. Please note that after 7 days, your automatic billing plan may be cancelled.
CAN MULTIPLE PEOPLE IN A STATEROOM DO AUTOMATIC BILLING?
Yes. Each guest can set up their own billing plan – either our Automatic Monthly Payment plan or our Deposit Now, Pay Later plan.
WHAT IF I WANT TO CHANGE MY CREDIT CARD FOR AUTOMATIC BILLING?
Go to MY TRIPS. Log in and you’ll see a list of your current reservations. Scroll to the bottom of the list and select YOUR CREDIT CARDS. Here, you can either update your credit card details or change cards completely. Once you click SAVE, this new/updated card will now be used for all future payments.