The Hidden Costs of Cruising (Make sure you budget for them!)


Although there are many great cruise deals out there, a lot of people are under the impression that once you pay for your cruise holiday, you won’t need any other spending money. Although on some “all inclusive” cruises, you might be able to get away with this – the vast majority of people will still end up having a significant onboard account to pay off at the end of their holiday.

Below are some of the things which people often forget about when they book a holiday, and do not account for when budgeting and working out their holiday spends:

– Alternative Dining

You don’t HAVE to dine at the speciality restaurants onboard the ship, but especially if you are on a 2 week cruise, you will probably fancy a chance from the main dining room at some point. Budget for 2 – 3 evening meals on a 2 week cruise.

– Shore Excursions

There are positives and negatives to booking excursions with your cruise line. The main negative is that they are expensive. The main positive is that the ship ain’t going to leave without you! The best way to avoid paying over the top prices, is to do your own thing whenever you are docked within easy travelling distance of the port.

– Spa Treatments

Spa treatments are almost never included in the price of your cruise, unless you get a special offer when you book. If you think you won’t use the spa, you don’t have to budget for this but remember that you might have to pay just to access certain areas of the ship in the spa area.

– Laundry

Laundry can be quite pricey and as you pay per garment usually, you could be looking at over $50 easily for a bag of washing. If they have the facilities for you to do your own washing, use them! Ok so it takes a few minutes out of your holiday, but you can spend that extra money on cocktails!

– Souvenirs

You will likely be buying these onboard the ship at the gift shops and in port while you are exploring. Even if you don’t intend to buy many souvenirs, the price can quickly add up, especially if you are in an expensive location. Try to reign in your spending and get people small gifts that are easy to transport.

To be continued…


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Claire has worked in the travel industry since leaving college in 1994. One of this blog's most regular contributors, Claire covers cruise news and industry trends.

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