Frequently Asked Questions about San Francisco Party Cruises
What is the dress code for the cruises?
We recommend California casual attire, such as khaki pants and collared shirts. We request no shorts, tank tops, flip-flops, or gym shoes. For women slacks or skirt, with a collared shirt, or dress. We request no jeans, shorts, tank tops, flip-flops, or gym shoes on these cruises. You may find that some guests are dressed more formally, especially those celebrating special occasions. However, attire varies from comfortable shorts to the more formal. Bring along a light jacket or wrap as it may get a bit breezy on the outer decks.
What time do I board the ship?
Boarding time is usually 30 minutes prior to departure for all cruises. Please check your boarding time when making your reservation.
Is smoking allowed onboard?
Smoking is allowed on the outside decks only with the exception of Harbor Tours, Sights & Sips, Barefoot Music Cruises, and Whale Watching Cruises. Please dispose of all refuse in proper receptacles. Do not throw anything into the water. Please help us keep our harbors clean.
Does the cruise have pre-assigned seating?
As you board, our captain and marine crew will direct you to your deck. From there the host/hostess will show your party to your assigned table(s). Decks are never guaranteed to non-private groups. We assign seats based on needs and capacity for each cruise.
Will I get my own table?
On the majority of our cruises, we assign private tables to the individual parties. However, on some of our cruises, we do have cruise-style seating, where we will ask you to share a table with other parties. If this is the case, you will be told if this is the case at the time you make your reservation.
What kind of entertainment is onboard?
Hornblower offers inviting dance floors and a variety of music, from the dance hits of the 40's through today as well as a variety of jazz, standards and popular favorites. Depending on the cruise, it may be background music, a DJ or a live band. Please check online or ask one of our reservations agents for more details about the planned entertainment for your specific cruise.
Can we meet the Captain?
Yes. Guests are welcome to come and meet the Captain and the First Officer. However, for safety and security reasons, we ask that you check with our staff 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 gratuity included?
A service/operations charge is collected at the time of reservation, related to the cruise and the services included in the ticket. This is not a gratuity and will be used at the discretion of the company. If you wish to purchase additional beverages or food enhancements onboard, we recommend you leave a gratuity onboard based on the quality of service provided to you by our crew.
Is food served onboard during the Party Cruises?
Small plates are available to purchase onboard. Food is not included with your ticket. A full cash bar is also offered.
Are there vegetarian meals? Can I make a special menu request?
Yes, for dining cruises, vegetarian meals are available and can be arranged at the time of booking. If you have a group with many vegetarians or if you have vegans, please notify a reservations agent at the time of booking.
If you have food allergies or other dietary restrictions, please let your reservations agent know at the time of booking. We can also accommodate most other special dietary needs with advance notice.
Can I bring cakes and flowers on board?
Cakes may be brought on board, however, you will be charged a cake cutting fee. Small flower bouquets are also permitted. Please keep in mind you are on a ship, so top heavy arrangements will not be stable. Unfortunately, an early boarding is not available.
Are you regulated by the U.S. Coast Guard?
Our vessels are all subject to inspections by the U.S. Coast Guards and our crew is all properly licensed. We also follow Marsec security guidelines. Should the Marsec security level be elevated, we may opt to increase security measures onboard our vessels to ensure everyone’s safety. The U.S. Coast Guard requires all passengers over 18 years of age to have valid photo identification. Please make sure to have your photo ID available at boarding.
Are life preservers onboard?
Each vessel is 100% Coast Guard certified with life preservers and all required lifesaving equipment, including child life vests.
Is the ship handicapped accessible?
Hornblower does have accessible yachts in the fleet. However, not all yachts and decks are accessible.
Will I get seasick?
The vast majority of our guests experience no discomfort at all as we do not leave the calm waters of the harbor. If you tend to have a problem with motion sickness, you may experience seasickness. If you are sailing on one of our whale watching cruises, we do go out into the open ocean and as a result, the chance of getting seasick increases. For these cruises, we recommend that if you are prone to motion sickness that you take advantage of a number of preventative measures that are available to you.
Is there a phone onboard that receives calls?
Hornblower does not have phones for guests' use. Most cellular services are available on the water as we do not cruise beyond one mile offshore on most of our cruises.