You’ve been daydreaming about your perfect cruise ship vacation for months. You can picture yourself sipping cocktails on the deck, enjoying lavish buffets, and dancing the night away. There’s just one problem…the cost.
You’re not sure how much a cruise ship vacation will cost, and you don’t want to overspend. You’ve heard horror stories of people blowing their entire budget on one trip.
The unknown can be scary, but don’t worry! We’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about estimating the cost of your cruise ship vacation.
1. The cruise line that fits your needs
Choosing the cruise line is one of the most critical considerations when budgeting for your trip.
Luxury cruise lines are not for everyone. They are best suited for those who can afford the cost and appreciate life’s finer things. Luxury lines offer more service, accommodations, and amenities than other cruise lines. They also typically have a more sophisticated clientele. A luxury cruise line is best if you want an upscale cruising experience. Such lines are Viking, Seabourn, Regent Seven Seas, and Azamara. Of course, these vacations are much more expensive, but you get what you pay for, an unforgettable holiday.
More affordable brands may have fewer bells and whistles but can still provide a great vacation experience. These lines may not have all the extras, but they can still offer plenty of fun, sun, and relaxation. Generally, they provide more value for money. Such lines are Odyssey of the Seas, Celebrity Apex, MSC Virtuosa, or Carnival Horizon.
The time of year you sail is also important to consider. High season prices will affect popular travel periods like summer and winter holidays. Check for discounts during shoulder seasons or take advantage of last-minute deals if you have some flexibility in your travel dates.
2. Where the ship departs from
The port of departure and destination are also important to consider. Cruises may not have departure ports near your home, so you’ll need to factor in the cost of getting to your port.
Your travel method could affect your overall cruise ship vacation cost if you’re planning one on a budget. When traveling long distances, compare airline, bus, and train ticket prices. There is no doubt that air travel is the most convenient but the most expensive as well. (Remember to include the cost of the bus or taxi ride.) You might also want to check out the cost of driving your own car.
3. Extra costs for onboard activities
When planning a cruise vacation, it’s important to factor in extra costs for activities onboard the ship. And while some cruise lines include one or two of these activities in the price of their cruises, most do not. You can do a wide range of activities, such as dance classes, spa treatments, and cooking demonstrations, but these come at an additional cost. Most activities range from $10-$30 per person, but some can be as expensive as $100.
Before booking any activities, be sure to check with your cruise line to see how much they’ll cost. Also, it is a good idea to read reviews of the activities you are considering to know what to expect. By planning ahead, you can take advantage of all the activities your cruise ship has to offer without breaking the bank.
4. The type of cabin you choose
There are different cabin types on a cruise ship, and their prices vary based on their size and location.
The most basic type of room is an inside cabin. These cabins don’t have any windows, but they are usually the least expensive option. You can book an outside cabin if you’re looking for a little more natural light. These cabins have windows, but they may not have a balcony. Balconies are only available in some of the higher-priced rooms.
You can book a suite if you’re willing to spend a little extra. On most cruise ships, the suites are on top decks and offer stunning ocean views. There’s more to them than that. Most suite cabins come with their own private balconies, separate living and sleeping areas, and luxurious bathrooms. Check out these fantastic suite cabins if you’re planning a cruise and want to splurge on a little extra luxury.
5. Cost of shore excursions
Planning a cruise can be exciting, but knowing the potential costs associated with shore excursions is important. While many cruise lines offer some free or discounted activities, others can charge upwards of $100 per person. And, it’s not just the cost of the activity itself that you need to consider – transportation to and from the port, tips for guides, and souvenirs can all add up.
Before booking a cruise, take some time to research the average cost of shore excursions in the ports you’ll be visiting. Your trip budget will be more accurate this way, so there will be no surprises. And, if you’re traveling with kids, remember that many activities will have an additional cost for them.
6. Dining expenses
There is no doubt that one of the best things about cruising is the food. Multiple dining options are often available, including some with additional costs. While the extra expense may seem worth it, there are a few things to consider before shelling out the extra cash.
The first thing to decide is whether you’ll actually use the extra dining options. If you like to stick to a strict budget or don’t enjoy trying new foods, paying extra for a more upscale dining experience may not be worth it. Additionally, many cruise lines offer many delicious and affordable dining options, so you may not even need to splurge on a special meal.
On the other hand, it is worth checking out the local cuisine when we travel to an unknown country. But that means extra costs, so don’t forget about it when you plan your cruise budget.
7. Leaving a tip
Tipping is often seen as a necessary evil when taking a cruise. While it is customary to tip your waitstaff and cabin stewards, the costs can add up quickly.
First of all, most cruise lines automatically charge a daily gratuity to your onboard account. This charge is typical $10-15 per person per day and is used to cover the tips for your dining room waitstaff and cabin steward. While this charge may seem high, it actually works out to be much less than you would normally tip for good service in a restaurant or hotel on land.
Of course, you are always free to give additional tips if you feel that someone has gone above and beyond during your cruise.
8. Cost of alcoholic drinks
Drinks on a cruise can be expensive, especially if you buy them from the ship’s bar. The prices for alcoholic beverages can range from $5 to $15 per drink. Drinks alone can easily cost hundreds of dollars if you’re not careful.
There are ways to save money on drinks while on a cruise. One way is to bring your own alcohol onboard with you. You can bring a limited amount of alcohol on board the ship, so make sure you stock up before departure.
The ship also offers many different drink packages that can be purchased on board to save money on drinks.
To sum up
When planning a cruise ship vacation, several cost factors must be taken into account. These include the cruise cost, airfare, and spending money while on the ship. By being aware of these costs and planning accordingly, you can ensure that your cruise ship vacation is within your budget.