What's the REAL cost of a Cruise?

May 5th, 2004, 06:54 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 34
What's the REAL cost of a Cruise?

Several recent posts have alluded to the practice of "nickel-and-diming" and misleading passengers by inferring that a cruise is "almost an all-inclusive" vacation for the price of the ticket. So, as a service to those interested, how about some input from returning cruisers about what their ticket price was and what the total cost of their cruise was? I know figures vary by what you choose to do as "extras", but this can be informative to first-timers who may need to consider the "true" cost, or better put: true-er cost of a cruise. Thanks.
tabcourt is offline  
May 5th, 2004, 07:18 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,244
If you go by the cruise recommendations, on the average, tipping is about $10 per person per day.

Soda is extra. Some cruise lines provide a soda sticker for your card. It is about $5 per day.

All alcohol is extra -- they normally add a 15% tip on to the price.

Some cruise lines have a "specialty" restaurant that costs extra -- but you don't have to go there.

Cruise excursions are normally outrageously expensive.

The spa is extra if you are into that sort of thing.

Shopping on board -- there are plenty of shops.

Bingo is extra if you are into that sort of thing.

I probably forgot a thing or two, but you get to pick & chose which extras you want to indulge.
Budman is offline  
May 5th, 2004, 08:11 AM
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I consider a cruise "all inclusive", with the rooms, meals (3 full and extras galore), entertainment and transportation included, it can't be beat. Other than tips, everything else is pretty much discretionary, it's up to you.

I'd add casino, photos and in-room phone to Budman's list.
Frank is offline  
May 5th, 2004, 08:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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tabcourt...Here is what I am expecting/budgeting..Sept,RCCL,Explorer of the Seas
Cruise Fare $425.00
(Cat N/Guarantee)
Port Taxes 139.00
Taxes/Fees 30.15
Tips 80.00
Bar Tab 175.00
Shore Happenings 50.00
Shopping 350.00
Ttl 1,249.15
Since my budget is $1,250.00 I have room for a short beer on shore!! This is per person,2 to our cabin.I hope this helps...
BeachBoi is offline  
May 5th, 2004, 03:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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If you do not drink (alcohol) or soda or visit the extra cost restuarants you are not spending any extra money other then your ticket price. You do not have to pay for pictures, shop on board or do expensive shore excursions either if you are not interested - no one twists your arm to do these things. Tips are about $10 a day but you are told that upfront so it is not a secret. If you order room service you should tip the server, but you do not pay extra for the food. Really, you do not have to spend a penny other then your cruise ticket price if you set your mind to it. The decision is yours.
Lori is offline  
May 6th, 2004, 03:27 AM
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Anyone who reads a cruise line brochure..or should I say "bothers" to read it will find very VERY clear attorney-approaved "boilerplate" language which states the items that are not included in the price and the words "items of a personal nature" are usually in there somewhere, too.

How anyone can say the industry is "misleading" them is simply whining because they didn't do their homework, OR they had such a good time on the cruise that they spent a lot more (or their kids spent a lot more when Mom and Dad were busy with "other activities") and, as a result did exactly what the cruiseline stockholders wanted them to do..generate revenue.

Thinking of never cruising again? Yeah, right!
May 6th, 2004, 04:21 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 34
Okay, now that the cruise lines have been adequately defended, how about some more facts and figures on what people have actually spent on cruises to a particular region for a particular # of nights? It's all good info for the curious. Thanks!
tabcourt is offline  
May 6th, 2004, 06:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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tabcourt, that will vary. My in-laws don't drink and only buy a few trinkets from the gift shops and maybe a soda card -- get away with $75 to $100 for a 10 day cruise.

Do you like to have a martini before dinner? $9

Get a spa treatment? $100 or more.

Picture taking during embarkation, on formal nights, and at the tables. Do you want to buy those? $25 each.

Do you gamble? Shipboard credit on your account for $1,500.

Do you like wine with dinner? $25 for the least expensive bottle.

Trinkets for family members?

You can spend a lot, or you can spend a little. Everyone's habits are different.
Budman is offline  
May 6th, 2004, 08:00 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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I agree w/Budman - it varies. We don't drink much, but spend money in the casino - sometimes we win, but usually lose on cruises. As for shore excursion, we prefer to go on our own, but, it isn't really a money issue, more of not crowds, being on a bus etc.. We usually have spa treatments which are in the $100 range.
yankfan is offline  
May 6th, 2004, 09:57 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Some good responses here tabcourt. One other cost that needs to be considered is the cost to-and-from the port. So add your airfare, parking, hotel, etc. To be fair, you would also generate these transportation costs on most other vacations, but it is part of the cost of a cruise vacation none-the-less and you wanted to know the "true cost" of a cruise.
Hold is offline  
May 6th, 2004, 01:40 PM
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Don't forget to add the cost of ice cream on Princess. If you have children with you, it can add up. Then bandaid also on Princess for $1.39. On speciality restaurants you have no choice but to pay the tip. Celebrity has cover charge of speciality restaurants. The mass lines charge double for their shore excursions than the all-inclusive lines such as Silversea. When you add tips, drinks, wine, other normal incidentals, and the size of the rooms, the price difference between mass market lines and the exclusive lines aren't as big as it looks.
May 8th, 2004, 08:08 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 228
As others have mentioned so much really depends on your own habits as to gambling, drinking both alcohol and sodas, excursions, spa treatments etc.

We always have a bottle of wine with dinner, do some but not a lot of gambling, sometimes have a cocktail on our balcony to watch the sunset, and usually will frequent the club for a nightcap before retiring. We usually only do one ship excursion (if that) and usually only buy maybe one photograph, indulge in maybe one spa massage. The largest part of our bill is drinks...bottled water, sodas and alcohol combined. I have also been on cruise ships where they actually charge for the transportation shuttle to go to and from town. Also, if you eat in the specialty restaurants on many cruise ships they will charge you extra.

During our last cruise we were able to go on a luxury line cruise, cabin with a balcony for a great 2 for 1 price. Since we didn't have any checks for drinks of any kind, our bottom line end of the week cost were less than what we had spent on mass marketed cruiselines with a balcony cabin and the overall experience was far superior. Cruising is a wonderful experience that you should certainly try. You'll know in time just what ship seems to fit your needs the best.
newyorkgolfer41 is offline  
May 9th, 2004, 08:57 AM
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I agree. Premium lines are better deal when all said and done, especially if you get a deeply dicounted one. You don't feel like you are being put through an assembly line. You don't see drunks though all the drinks are included, and in buffet you don't see people piling up food on their plates as if it's their last meal. Kids if there are any tend to be well-mannered so as adults, also. So look for good discounts in premium lines. The price isn't much different when you include everything, with the exception of an inside room in mass market line, and you'll have a much more pleasant time.
May 11th, 2004, 01:13 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 150
Not what you pay up front! The last cruise I went on in March 04 I paid $1,741pp for 5 nights and 6 days. $232 pp for airfare. The following was included in the $1741 price; all wine with dinner and lunch, tips, port charges and caviar. I had a facial $104, 1 excursion $185 for 2 people, cab to and from airport/port $35 with tip, extra drinks other than wine and purchases on board $639. Gambling for 2 about $800. We went on a 10 day S. Carib in a balcony also on Holland and we paid $2,500 for 2 but our bill at the end of the cruise was $2,600 for excursions, drinks, purchases,not including, any extra tips of about $80 for special people, no tipping policy was in effect then, port charges of about $180 gambling of about $1,200. No airfare, we drove to Miami. You pay how you live.
MauiMaui is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 09:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I've been receiving some mailers from Silverseas...lots of great pricing going on right now. Have you looked into those itineraries? (Silverseas is all inclusive).
petlover is offline  
May 21st, 2004, 10:29 AM
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I really enjoy my wine. Can you bring your own wine on board and pay a corkage fee?
Shar is offline  
May 21st, 2004, 03:12 PM
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Shar, what cruise line are you considering? I believe all will allow you to bring your own wine and may charge you a $10 corkage fee. We've done this before with no problem.

Other cruise ships freely pour complimentary wine (usually quite decent too) so bringing your own isn't necessary unless you have a special favorite that isn't on the menu. Do you have a cruise line in mind? If so, I'd check their website or call your TA to confirm their policy.
petlover is offline  
May 24th, 2004, 10:26 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 25
we just returned from 10 day Holland Amer. cruise of the Med.
Some extras: bingo $ 20 per session( I won $1,060 in a total of two sessions) The ship had 2 sessions a day for 9 days.
Shuttle at some ports $ 5 each way but cheaper than taxis.
Shore ex. run from $35 to $125 PP
Grat. $10 per day PP
Wine package $ 40 for 12 glasses( good value)
Internet: $.75 per minute. I ran up $22.50
My total for two for 10days was $450 which included other items I did not list like bar drinks etc. However you can go on the cheap by drinking ice tea for the whole trip, taking back your gratituity payments and eat in the cafeteria. no excursions, no nothing. Is this a way to enjoy yourself?
gatoorman is offline  
May 25th, 2004, 11:47 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 3
We were on a 10 nighter on Celebrity Summit last December and paid about 1800 for the cruise including port charges and taxes. We dropped another thousand over an above for cocktails, shopping, excusions, etc.
chazaroo is offline  
Jun 4th, 2004, 12:18 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 194
Hi newyorkgolfer41,
Which luxury cruise line did you take?
And please tell which website did you purchase the trip from for the 2for1 price. Sounds like a real deal!

HappyTraveling is offline  

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