Discovery Cruises FAQs
HOW DO I BOOK CRUISE TICKETS?
Cruise tickets can be booked in one of several different ways. We accept credit and debit cards for online or over the phone reservations. We accept cash and travelers checks on site. Sorry, no personal checks.
IF I PURCHASED TICKETS ONLINE, ON THE PHONE OR AT THE TICKET OFFICE, DO I HAVE TO CHECK IN?
NO. Discovery Cruises offers ticketless boarding. When you make a reservation for any scheduled cruise, whether online, via phone or onsite at the Discovery office, you will not receive an actual ticket for your selected cruise, you will only receive a confirmation number/boarding pass. Please print a copy of your boarding pass and bring this information with you or have the boarding pass available on your phone as it will be required for boarding the vessel. When you arrive at our facility for your scheduled cruise, your party will proceed directly to the vessel for check-in/boarding. You must have a confirmed reservation before boarding the vessel. Boarding begins approximately 15-30 minutes prior to your scheduled cruise time. Please plan on arriving for your cruise no later than 30 minutes prior to departure.
WHAT TIME SHOULD I BE THERE?
It is recommended that you arrive at least one half hour (1/2 hour) prior to cruise departure time. Please check the calendar schedule the day prior to your confirmed cruise to ensure there have been no changes to your departure time. Cruises leave at their scheduled time and there are no refunds for no shows or missed departures.
WHAT TIME DOES BOARDING BEGIN?
Boarding begins 15-30 minutes prior to each scheduled cruise.
CAN WE GET A REFUND IF WE CANCEL ONCE TICKETS HAVE BEEN PURCHASED?
NO. No cash or credit refunds will be issued. If canceled up to 48 hours prior to your scheduled cruise, an exchange of date, time or cruise may be permitted. If you cancel within 48 hours from your scheduled cruise, no exchange, cash or credit refunds will be given. Purchased tickets are limited to one exchange of date only. Refunds or exchanges will not be permitted if you do not arrive in time to board the cruise and miss the boat’s departure. Please arrive a minimum of 30 minutes prior to departure time.
WHAT HAPPENS IF DISCOVERY CRUISES CANCELS MY CRUISE?
For all cruises we require a minimum of 20 passengers to leave the dock. In the event that the cruise you are scheduled for does not meet the minimum, or if weather conditions are too poor to cruise per Coast Guard safety requirements, we will notify you as soon as possible by the phone number or email address provided when the reservation was made. You will be asked to reschedule or if that is not possible, a full refund will be issued. A full refund is the limit of our liability for cancellations made by this company.
DO YOU CANCEL IF IT RAINS?
NO. We do not cancel cruises due to weather. We cruise in all weather conditions unless the weather conditions are deemed unsafe by our Captain or per Coast Guard regulations. The vessel is fully enclosed and the main deck is climate controlled for your comfort. This ensures comfortable cruising, rain or shine, in the spring, summer and fall. A jacket may be necessary during cooler spring or fall conditions in this region should you prefer seating on the upper deck or spending time on the outside observation decks and an umbrella may be helpful walking from the parking lot and during the boarding process should we have forecasted rain.
WHAT IS THE DRESS ATTIRE FOR THE BOAT?
Comfortable, casual, weather appropriate. Low heel shoes for women is advised as there may be uneven surfaces on the deck of the boat. Spring and Fall conditions may require some layering. Discovery Cruises does abide by the no shirt, no shoes, no pants, no boarding policy!
IS THERE ASSIGNED SEATING?
NO. All regularly scheduled public cruises are first come, first serve. There are plenty of seats available on both the main deck and the upper deck for all confirmed reservations.
ARE THERE ANY AGE RESTRICTIONS ON YOUR CRUISES?
Please see the specific cruise details for information pertaining to any age restrictions for children. Some special event and evening cruises may have restrictions. Any child under the age of 16 on any of our cruises must be supervised by an adult. Infants are welcome onboard as long as they bring along at least one parent. Children under the age of 2 are complimentary on our cruises, however, they must be confirmed during the reservation process so we have accurate numbers of every person onboard. Identification is required for alcoholic beverage purchases. Alcohol will only be served to those 21 years of age and older.
CAN WE BRING A STROLLER ONBOARD?
We have very limited space onboard for strollers. Strollers are allowed in the lower, main deck salon only. No strollers can be accommodated on the upper deck. Please consider leaving your stroller behind unless absolutely necessary. If you must bring a stroller onboard, be sure to note this in special comments on your reservation so that we can be prepared and better able to accommodate.
ARE LIFE JACKETS ON BOARD?
Our vessel is 100% Coast Guard certified with personal flotation devices (PFD ) and all required lifesaving equipment, including child PFDs.
DO YOU HAVE ELEVATORS?
NO. Access to the upper deck on our vessel is by stairs only.
ARE THERE RESTROOM ONBOARD?
YES. There are restrooms available on the main (lower) deck however these restrooms are not wheelchair accessible. There are handicap restrooms available at the Discovery Pier parking area.
IS THE VESSEL HANDICAPPED ACCESSIBLE?
Please contact our staff for specific questions regarding accessibility on our vessel or to let us know in advance if you or a guest has any special boarding needs. Under Federal law and due to special marine safety construction guidelines, USCG-regulated small vessels are not subject to land-based architectural configuration requirements. Although we do our best to accommodate those with special mobility needs consistent with our vessel capabilities, staffing and docking space, we can do a better job with advance notice. For safety reasons motorized scooters cannot be accommodated.
DO YOU ALLOW ANIMALS ONBOARD?
In accordance with the federal Americans with Disability Act (ADA ) and Michigan law, people with disabilities may bring their licensed service animals. The ADA and Michigan law defines a service animal as a dog that is individually trained to perform tasks or do work for the benefit of a person with a disability. The tasks or work the animal does must be directly related to the person’s disability. The ADA and Michigan law do not recognize emotional support animals as service animals, therefore, we do not allow emotional support animals or pets on our cruises. We may ask if the animal is required because of a disability and what work or task the animal has been trained to perform. No personal pets are allowed.
WILL I GET SEASICK?
The vast majority of our guests have no issues at all as we do not leave the calm waters of the West Bay of Grand Traverse Bay. On days where we are experiencing a stronger North wind the bay could experience some chop, not at all similar to the oceans rolling swells which are in most cases if not all, the culprit for an upset stomach. Even some chop on the bay causes relatively little movement from a vessel of this size.
IS SMOKING ALLOWED?
NO. Smoking and/or vaping of any kind is forbidden on the vessel during public cruises.
IS THERE FOOD AND BEVERAGE ONBOARD?
YES. The Discovery offers a full service beverage bar with a selection of affordable mixed drinks, beer and wine, sodas, juices, coffee and bottled waters. There is a snack bar available with a small selection of lunch items and snacks. Guests may use cash, credit or debit cards for purchases. Identification is required for alcoholic beverage purchases. Alcohol will only be served to those 21 years of age and older.
CAN I BRING MY OWN ALCOHOL ONBOARD?
NO. Our liquor license does not allow for outside alcohol to be consumed on the premises.
IS THERE AIR CONDITIONING?
YES. The main (lower) deck is climate controlled at all times for our guests' comfort.
CAN WE MEET THE CAPTAIN AND SEE THE PILOT HOUSE?
YES! Guests are welcome to come and meet the Captain. However, for safety and security reasons, we ask that you check with our crew onboard before visiting the pilot house. We want to ensure that all passengers and crew are kept safe and that the captain is not distracted while performing essential duties.
IS THERE WIFI AVAILABLE ONBOARD?
Sorry, but at this time there is no WIFI available onboard. Cell service is available while cruising on the bay for most larger carriers.
IS IT CUSTOMARY TO TIP THE CREW?
If our customer service and cruise experience has exceeded your expectations or if a crewmember went above and beyond in making your day extra special, a gratuity is always greatly appreciated. All gratuities received will be shared with all crewmembers aboard your scheduled cruise. It is customary to tip on any on-board food or beverage purchases.