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Cruise Comparison Guide: Hidden Costs

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Whether you’re planning a Caribbean Cruise or voyaging up the inside strait of Alaska, there are some things you’ll want to know about cruise pricing, beyond what you pay for passage. To help you price your next cruise, here are some of the hidden costs you’ll want to consider. 

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Full Article:

Whether you’re planning a Caribbean Cruise or voyaging up the inside strait of Alaska, there are some things you’ll want to know about cruise pricing, beyond what you pay for passage. To help you price your next cruise, here are some of the hidden costs you’ll want to consider.

 

Your Cruise Fare: What Is and Isn’t Included

 

Your cruise fare includes accommodations, port fees and charges, taxes, meals in the main dining rooms and buffets, and most entertainment: shows, dance classes, comedy clubs, and use of the sports amenities such as pools, water slides and rock walls. With some exceptions, the following items are not included:

 

Gratuities

 

You can often find special cruise prices that include “prepaid gratuities,” but if you don’t have that option, plan to tip for your onboard service. It is required, and added to your final bill. The rate on most cruises is $12-$14 per passenger, per day, with around $5 more per day for suites. Bar tabs often include a 15-18% gratuity automatically.

 

Beverage Packages

 

You may not realize how much alcoholic beverages, plus tips, can add to the cost of a cruise. At the end of the cruise, you may have that sinking feeling when you get the final bill. Solution? Get a beverage package. It’s convenient and predictable, and usually costs between $45 and $65 per person, per day plus tips.

 

 

Exceptions: On Norwegian Sky Cruises, Regent 7 Seas and Crystal Cruises, alcoholic beverages and soft drinks are included. Check with your cruise line to find specific policies. They vary a lot.

 

Corkage fees: If you bring your own wine or champagne on board (it’s mostly allowed on embarkation day) and want to drink it in one of the ship’s restaurants, you will be charged a corkage fee of $15 to $30 per bottle.

 

 

Do not bring liquor onboard unless you check first. On Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Disney and most others, it is not allowed.

 

Shore Excursions

 

These off-ship excursions are sometimes the most interesting part of your cruise. The cost for a snorkel cruise with unlimited drinks may be around $65 per person, and renting jet skis can be $75 or more. On Alaska cruises, you will have to purchase a shore excursion to see the wilderness areas by train or dogsled, a great experience you’ll never forget.

 

Specialty Restaurants

 

The specialty restaurants are not included in your fare, but the prices per person vary widely, from a $3.95 latte in a coffee shop to $100 per person for dinner in a very posh dining room. Be sure to check before making your reservation.

 

Spa Treatments

 

A 50-minute massage at the spa can run from $120 to $180. Note that fitness and yoga classes are usually around $12-$15 per person.

 

Start Planning Now

 

If you’re armed with knowledge and realistic expectations, a cruise can be a fun and affordable vacation. Start your research at Dunhill Travel Deals and find the perfect cruise with all the extras you’re looking for!

 

May 20, 2017

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