Onboard expenses

Mar 25th, 2002, 07:42 PM
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Onboard expenses

Now that I know what it will cost to get myself and wife on the ship and back home, I'm wondering how much money I'll spend on the ship.

Alcohol, tipping, surcharges at meal time. Fees to get off the ship at port.
Mar 26th, 2002, 04:48 AM
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It all depends on you. If you drink, that is expensive, each drink is at least 4.00 including tip. Tipping is approx 8.00 per day per person, there are no surcharges at dinner or fees to get on or off the ship. Don't forget if you gamble there is a casino on board. I have gone on cruises and have spent only an additional 200.00 not including tips. Hope this helps.
Mar 26th, 2002, 05:30 AM
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If you are planning on:

Internet services
room service
field trips

These all cost additional money. The snorkeling and scuba diving services offered through the ship lines are as much as 40% higher than you can get on your own. This is where a GOOD TA can help and is worth the additional fees.
Mar 26th, 2002, 07:06 AM
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Just a note that whatever drink you order, even if its only one, 15% is already automatically included.
Mar 26th, 2002, 07:07 AM
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Standard additional shipboard and land-based expenses:

1.Shore excursions. Usually cheaper if booked privately and not through the cruise line.
2.Spa services-massage, facial, seaweed wrap, manicure, pedicure, hair cut or color, etc.
4.Drinking-beer, wine, hard liquor, bottled water, cappucino, latte and hot chocolate on some cruise lines, juice outside of breakfast and lunch.
7.Art auctions
8.Fees for specialty or alternative restaurants - varies greatly depending on your ship
8.Fees for ice cream or seasick medication on some ships
9.Taxis or rental cars on land
10.Entrance fees to private beaches, etc. on land
11.Tipping-$10.00 per day per person minimum, unless you are in a suite with a butler, in which case you tip him/her as well.
12. Tips for room service delivery-room service itself is free
13.Charges for using the internet

Anything else, anybody?
Mar 26th, 2002, 10:02 AM
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You just locked it for me. I have been watching this board for about a week to decide on booking a cruise. Between all the "Nice" people I have heard and all the added expenses it appears to be cheaper to go to an all inclusive resort. Well good luck to you all.
Mar 26th, 2002, 10:58 AM
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Another thing, on Princess in Feb, at ports they charged you $4 each way to get to the town, on their bus.
Mar 26th, 2002, 11:52 AM
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Land OR sea trips, I add up the amount I think I will need. THEN, I multiply that by 3. So far, that's always been enough money to cover the trip (2 people). Haven't camped for years but it's probably not cheap anymore either.
Mar 26th, 2002, 12:15 PM
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You get what you pay for. Radisson and several others have a no tipping policy on their ships.
Mar 26th, 2002, 01:42 PM
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You didn't mention which cruise line you are sailing on. Assuming you are on one of the mainstream lines...

1. Alcohol - prices start at $3 and up for domestic beer and $20 and up for a bottle of wine plus 15% automatic gratuity, slightly less than restaurant prices in a major metropolitan area.

2. Tipping - average recommended or automatic gratuity is $10 per person per day (one week cruise for 2 = $140). Special services from the maitre d', concierge (if you are in a suite), or room service may warrant additional gratuities.

3. Surcharges at meal time - alternative restaurants onboard cost anywhere from nothing to $25 per person per meal with the average being around $10-$15 per person. Of course, the main dining rooms and buffets are always included in your cruise fare.

4. Fees to get off the ship at port - I'm not sure what you mean by this, taxi fare in town??? That would depend on the port. Perhaps you could clarify your question.

Hope this helps.

Mar 26th, 2002, 03:10 PM
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Ok, I'm confused! Who are we expected to tip? Cabin steward, waiter, bus boy, etc.?? And do you put the tip in an envelope on the last day?
I am a major novice- traveling with my 11 yr old son to the Bahamas this weekend. Would appreciate any/all info.
Mar 26th, 2002, 03:16 PM
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Do pop over to cruisecritic.com. You'll get much more specific information there -- there are boards for every line. Every cruise line has slightly different policies.

For example, tips are NOT included in the bars or on wine on Holland America, but they are on every other major cruise line. Cappucino and espresso are free on HAL all the time in the cafe and (I think) all mainstream lines during meals. But off meal time, you gotta pay for it. Room service is a charge item on some lines, free on others.

Yep, this is one of the most confusing issues for cruisers. Sorry. But relax and enjoy.
Mar 26th, 2002, 03:26 PM
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Which cruise line? The 2 that I know are charging automatic gratuities are NCL and Princess (there are probably others, maybe someone else can add to this list). In this case, the automatic $10 per person per day gratuity covers your room steward and all dining staff. If you feel that someone has gone out of the way to provide you with extra services, you can of course tip them additionally.

If you are NOT on one of the cruise lines that charges an automatic gratuity, tips are traditionally given on the last evening of the cruise. The average recommended amount is something like $3.50 for your room steward and waiter, and $2.00 for your assistant waiter (these are all per person per day). I usually only tip the maitre d' if he has provided some service (other than coming by the table once during the cruise to say hi).

Other than the above, I tip a few dollars for each room service delivery. For salon and spa services, you can add the gratuity to your bill when you sign for your treatment.

Hope this helps.
Mar 26th, 2002, 03:55 PM
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And what if the moon is full on Thursday? Geez.... I wanted to go on a vacation not revisit a lesson in economics. And you find this type of business relaxing? God shopping in Paris is easier.
Mar 27th, 2002, 05:02 AM
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Your post is one of the reasons that we quit going on the middle of the road cruises. They nickle and dime you to death. Everybody on a RCL and Carnival cruise runs around with their hands out. The better cruise lines are now going to no tipping policy.
Mar 27th, 2002, 05:39 AM
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Lucy. What are they? I haven't given up on cruises yet. Just RCCL & CCL, this being one of the many reasons.
Mar 27th, 2002, 05:51 AM
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my first cruise is upcoming, so all of this talk is new to me. Is it easier to just pay the tips up front on you're sign and sail card or is it better to do it later after services rendered? I am goinmg with CCL and keep in mind this is our first cruise. I know that HAL, PRINCESS, & CELEBRITY are more upscale , but wee are traveling with another couple and we are mid-late 30s and we like to party (have fun not stay drunk!) so all the talk of onbvoard expense has me a little worried about all of the hands held out I will see> thanks.
Mar 28th, 2002, 05:03 AM
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CCL is close to the bottom of the cruise lines as far as the help wanting tips. CVCL is not upsacale in any way shape or form. If the staff hawks you drinks all day, tip the way you would in a bar.
Mar 28th, 2002, 07:31 AM
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We have been on over a dozen cruises. The last one was a 12 day trip with most of the ports in Norway. My bill at the end of the cruise was *0*. I paid cash to the room steward, the busboy and the waiter--even though we were on a ship with freestyle type dining, we selected a waiter and stayed with him throughout the cruise.

We drank iced tea,milk, chocolate milk, coffee, or juice at all meals=no charge. Every port was wonderful and we saw it all by walking. We did book a couple of bus ride tours when we got off the ship. Total cost for our tours=approx. $40.

We purchased soda, beer and wine in the ports and took them to our room. We either drank in our rooms or took full glasses with us.

It is entirely possible to cruise and not spend any more money at all besides the initial cruise, port and air charge.
Mar 28th, 2002, 08:19 AM
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Don't forget BINGO! Unless I am the only bingo fan here.

I don't drink alcohol, I've never had an onboard spa or salon service, I don't overindulge on pictures, I don't really visit the casino...but I am a sucker for bingo (almost every day), and that can add up.

(But yes I have won - not the jackpot, but the pot before the jackpot - so I always think I have a chance!)

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