Preparing For Your Cruise
When to Make Reservations:
You have your vacation dates selected, and you’re coming to visit the beautiful Alabama Gulf Coast! Orange Beach and Gulf Shores have so many activities to offer, and we are proud to be one of many tour operators! Our educational Dolphin and Nature Cruises, and our Sunset Sailing Cruises are two unique experiences that we offer in Orange Beach, Alabama.
Depending on the time of year that you’ve planned to travel to the AL Gulf Coast, you’ll want to strategically plan your vacation itinerary. We have the season’s beginning, the busy season, the busier season, and the off-season to consider. If you’re planning your vacation for this area’s off-season, that means you’re planning for the September to December time-frame. With the exception of Fall Break, typically early to mid-October, things are slowing down as kids return to school. You can easily make same-day or walkup reservations. Please understand that because this area isn’t experiencing high tourist volume during this season, many operators [CETACEAN CRUISES INCLUDED] have altered availability. Meaning, instead of 4-5 tours per day, we offer one or two.
However, if you are planning a Spring Break [March to mid-April] or summer break [End of May to mid-August], tourist traffic is a totally different rodeo! We offer an expanded cruise schedule, but reservations will need to be made in advance to guarantee your seats on board! Walkups and same-day reservations are based on availability only.
So, if your vacation dates fall within our busy season, do yourself a favor and book well in advance! PRO-TIP: schedule your Cetacean Cruises cruise [or other outdoor activities] to fall at the beginning of your vacation itinerary. The Alabama Gulf Coast weather can be extremely unpredictable, and rainouts are bound to happen. Give yourself flexibility to reschedule your cruise or activity throughout the week to ensure that rainy days are less of an obstacle!
Reservations can be made online or over the phone! 251-550-8000
Double-Check Your Confirmation Dates!
When juggling all of these activities reservations you’re making, mistakes can happen! Whether they are on our end, your end, or a third party’s end, accidentally selecting the wrong date or time for one of our cruises happens all the time! Please, triple-check the confirmation you receive to ensure that you are booked for the correct date. Catching the mistake early on allows us to rebook you to the correct date and time, instead of having to move you to a different date, activity, or cancel your reservation altogether.
Our Weather and Cancellation Policies:
Any coastal region will be subject to extremely unpredictable weather conditions. This is something you need to keep in mind when booking any outdoor activities. We have an established ‘Inclement Weather Policy.’ We are constantly monitoring the weather forecasts and radar. However, these forecasts are not the most accurate and are subject to change within hours before our cruises!
In the event that we must cancel due to weather, you will be given the option to reschedule to our next available cruise time, or you can opt to receive a full refund. Cancelling a cruise is a decision that we do not take lightly, and sometimes a cancellation decision must be made right before departure. Yes, the weather can change that quickly!
For a normal day of cruise operations, we require at least a 24-hour [prior to departure time] notice of cancellation in order to issue a full refund. If you cancel outside of that 24-hour window, you will forfeit your refund. This window gives us time to fill the seats that you cancelled.
Private cruise bookings must give at least a 72-hour cancellation notice to have their deposit refunded. Any cancellations made beyond the 72-hour window will result in a forfeiture of deposit. Any cancellations made beyond a 48-hour window will result in being charged for the entire cruise.
Booking a Private Cruise
We offer several private cruising options! First, you need to decide if you want to schedule a private dolphin cruise, or a private sailing excursion!
Private Dolphin Cruises: MUST CALL TO RESERVE PRIVATE CRUISES
- 2 Hour Private Dolphin and Nature Cruise
- 1.5 Hour Private Dolphin Eco Tour
- 2 Hour Private SUNSET Dolphin and Nature Cruise
Private Sailing Excursions: MUST CALL TO RESERVE PRIVATE CRUISES
Cruise times vary throughout the season, and private cruises must be booked over the phone! You can call 251-550-8000 to discuss availability and pricing!
Private cruises have the option to be catered. We work closely with The Wharf Catering Group, which is who many of our private cruise customers have used in the past. You are welcome to choose your own catering, but you must notify us if you plan to bring food on board or have your cruise catered.
Where Are We Located?
4673 Wharf Parkway West Orange Beach, AL 36561
We are located at The Wharf Entertainment District in Orange Beach, Alabama! The Wharf is a family-friendly establishment with so much to do!
Our ticket booth is located at the very west end of The Wharf, directly in front of the Springhill Suites Marriott hotel. This is where you will check-in to receive your cruise tickets. Turn at The Wharf entrance with YELLOW flags, and park directly across from the Springhill Suites.
NOTE: Unlike Apple Maps, Google Maps does not always direct you to the hotel’s exact location. You are looking for YELLOW flags, not red flags. The Foley Beach Express toll bridge should be in your sight.
Day of Cruise and Appropriate Attire:
Plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to departure for check-in. This gives the crew time to prep the boats for your trip and allows us to contact any last-minute stragglers. Please don’t be late! Our cruises leave the docks at the exact departure time.
Please dress according to the weather. In the spring and early fall seasons, it is recommended that you bring a light jacket. It can be chilly on the water, even if it is comfortable at the dock.
During the summer season, we recommend wearing comfortable, breathable summer clothes. It is HOT in the summer- please bring sunglasses, a hat, and wear sunscreen! You do not need to wear a swimsuit- we will not be getting in the water.
During our winter season, a jacket is recommended. PLEASE dress in warm clothes. It is always cooler on the water than it is at the dock. You are welcome to bring blankets on board!
PROHIBITED ACTIONS AND ITEMS:
Because we have a full-service cocktail bar onboard, we do not permit outside alcohol. We DO NOT TOLERATE UNDERAGE DRINKING. If you plan to order and consume alcoholic beverages, please bring your valid, physical ID– no exceptions.
We also DO NOT permit smoking or vaping on either of our vessels. Customers who do not adhere to these policies will not be permitted to board, or will be dismissed from the cruise altogether.
Do not bring coolers or large food containers on board- there simply is not space! You are welcome to bring a bottle of water, or some snacks, as long as they are contained in a small, soft-sided bag [like a bookbag or small beach bag].
As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions! We are happy to help, and we can’t wait on have you onboard!
Email: [email protected]