The Hidden Costs of Cruising


Although the all-inclusive nature of many cruise deals makes them incredibly cost effective for the majority of holidaymakers, there are hidden costs attached to holidaying on the seas. Here we have a look at some of the hidden costs of cruising and offer advice about how to avoid them.


The majority of major cruise lines add daily gratuities onto passengers’ bills, helping to bump up the wages they pay the crew. The automatically-added gratuities can often be changed if you visit the guest services desk, although the hard work and dedication of the crew often deserves these tips. The automatic gratuities also negate the necessity to add tips to all food and drink orders you make whilst at sea.


Check out our guide to on-board gratuities to see how you much you should expect to tip on your next cruise holiday.

Spa Treatments

Many cruise ships offer their comprehensive spa services and beauty treatments as a paid extra. These indulgent services can add a new dimension of relaxation to a holiday, but often come at a price. These services are often offered at a lower price whilst the ship is docked in port – meaning you can enjoy a more affordable massage or facial whilst everyone is visiting a new excursion destination.


Guided tours into the hearts of towns and cities can often come at an additional cost. Whilst making your way around distant lands after the ship has docked is completely free, a guided tour can help you find the hidden gems and beautiful sights. Alternatively, a little research on TripAdvisor or other impartial online review sites can help you identify the places you most want to visit without necessitating the employment of a local guide.

Speciality Restaurants

Whilst almost all the major cruise ships offer all-you-can-eat dining services, they also host speciality restaurants serving food at an additional cost. It is important to be aware of the restaurants aboard the ship which charge extra before choosing a place to dine – this will remove the risk of an unexpected billing landing on your plate.


If there is a speciality restaurant aboard the ship you are holidaying on which you absolutely must visit – check to see if they offer discounted prices at lunch times.

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Images sourced via Royal Caribbean Press Center and Flickr Creative Commons. Credits: gettheshot75


About Author

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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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