Thursday, January 8, 2015

Flashback Thursday : What is not included in cruise prices

Cruising is sold as an all-inclusive vacation. Before you set foot on the ship, you have already paid for that cruise. The upfront price includes your room, the taxes, port fees, most dining and some drinks and entertainment. While this is indeed all-inclusive, it is not everything that will be available to you and the opportunities to spend additional money will be abundant and varied.

Specialty dining

If you want to dine in one of the specialty restaurants on your cruise ship, you will need to pay an additional fee and have a reservation. Depending on the restaurant, the fees can be minimal or quite high.

Alcoholic drinks

It is hard to escape from the bars on every cruise ship. There is a bar at the pool, drinks are offered in the theatre, the restaurants and just about anywhere you are on the ship. There are daily specials but no matter what form your drinks take, it is going to cost you and it is shocking how fast that can add up. Many people have been stunned by the amount of their bills just from a drink here and a drink there.

Spa treatments

Most cruises include a spa and a beauty salon. You can have just about any beauty treatment that you would like to have. On days when the ship is in port, there are often specials offered for the cruisers who chose to stay on the ship and get pampered. Prices are similar to prices for services offered on land.

Some exercise classes

Using the exercise equipment in the gym is free but there are classes offered just about every day and many of them come with a fee. However, if you have ever wanted to try Pilates or Yoga, it is well worth it to give it a try.

Internet access

Some of the newer ships are offering wireless in your cabin, for a price of course. It may be that you will have to use the Internet Café. Prices are very high on most cruise lines but if you want to stay in touch, it is a necessary expense.


If you are a soda drinker, the best thing that you can do is to purchase a soda pass. This will allow you to drink as much as you would like for a set fee. Ice tea is free as is tap water.


Any time that you are in port you have the option to take a variety of excursions. You can have a great cruise without excursions but most people don’t take that option. Excursions can be anything from a boat tour to an encounter with dolphins. The prices vary accordingly. If you are like most cruisers, you will take several excursions and if there are two of you, double the price.

Casino games

If you are a repeat cruiser,  you may get some token money to get your gambling juices flowing but you will need to have a line of credit to gamble.


One of the most popular games on the cruise circuit is bingo and it can cost you a pretty penny to take a chance at winning the big jackpot.

Specialty coffee

Most cruise ships have a coffee bar. You can get your daily fix of latte, espresso or macchiato but you will have to flash your card to get these special treats. When you are dining in the main dining room or at the buffet, you will be able to drink coffee or tea for free but not special coffee drinks.


These days, many cruise lines are adding the tip automatically onto your bill when you leave the cruise. This can add up to several hundred dollars. When you consider the level of service that you receive on a cruise, it is well worth treating your cabin steward, waiters and just about everyone on the ship to a tip.

Most of the additional costs that are not included in the price of your cruise are optional. You could have a very nice cruise without spending an additional dime, except on the tips. Chances are however, that you won’t.

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