As of today, it is just 14-days until I will be boarding the Sun Princess to cruise the South Pacific. It is getting a little exciting with the cruise getting so close. But at the same time, it has also got me thinking about some of the things that do cost extra when cruising.
Sun Princess News
As I was putting this post together, I found out that it seems the Sun Princess has experienced an outbreak of Norovirus. Nine News reported that around 90 passengers had been affected. You can read more on the Nine News Website.
I Thought Cruise’s We’re All Inclusive?
In some respects, a cruise is all inclusive. The fare you pay at the travel agent does include everything that is essential. Included will be the place you sleep, most food, most activities and entertainment.
So technically it is possible with most cruise lines to take part in an all inclusive cruise. There are some common things and some not so common things you may find yourself paying extra for. Just keep in mind that this is something that will likely vary between cruise lines. It is also a topic that I will cover again after my cruise on Princess to share some of my experience onboard.
What Could Cost Extra?
There are many extras that you can add on both before and after boarding your cruise. Some of the things that might come to mind are most beverages, internet access, Shore Excursions, and speciality Dining. However, there are also some that you might not have consider. Added costs like daily gratuities, spa & salon treatments, laundry, some onboard activities and photos.
While the cruise line will not let you go thirsty often it is only the most basic drinks that are free. Any drinks like soft drink, bottled water, speciality coffees, mocktails and alcoholic beverages will all cost extra.
The cost of drinks will vary between cruise lines. Likewise, there are some lines that will give a little more than others.
If you want to have a connection to the outside world while cruising it is best you prepare to pay for the privilege. In doing some research for my upcoming cruise, the cost is around 86 cents per minute to get started. Dropping to as little as 41 cents per minute for the largest package.
Ordering an internet package before boarding can be beneficial as there are some bonus minutes available. My suggestion is research this early to take advantage of any offers. Also, consider where you are cruising and if you will need internet access or not.
When you arrive in port, there are two options. You can explore the port on your own, or organise your own tour. Which depending on the port and where the ship docks can have varied results.
The other option is to book a tour or shore excursion with the cruise ship. Although shore excursions do come with a price tag, they do also have some benefits. You could look at spending anything from $80 up into the hundreds of dollars depending on what the tour is. But with benefits like guaranteed return to the cruise ship, it could be worth the cost.
When on a cruise ship there is little chance that you will go hungry. There are numerous options for restaurants to eat at included in the price. However, there are also some options that are only available for an additional charge.
Each cruise line will offer a range of different restaurant choices, and they can even vary from ship to ship. The speciality restaurants often are as much about the dining experience as they are about the food. So it can be a nice little treat to experience something a little different.
While the amount varies, almost every cruise line adds a daily charge onboard listed as a gratuity. The charge is an amount that is to be split between the people that serve you both directly and indirectly. You may have the option to have the charge removed or reduced, and tip directly yourself. So it might be worth doing a little research.
The charge is something worth being aware of, and there is a lot of discussion about it going around. However, the full story would be too much to include in this post.
Spa & Salon Treatments
If you are looking forward to a massage or some pampering, it is another area that will cost you. The pricing can vary a lot, but if you are looking for a little me time, the price might be worth it.
Depending on the length of your cruise, laundry may or may not be an issue. Less than ten days and you could probably get away with packing enough clothes to cover you. Longer cruises you may not have an option.
Some ships do have washers and dryers available for a small cost. While some ships your only option is to pay the fee to have the ship’s laundry do your washing.
Some Onboard Activities
For the most part, there are loads of free activities going on to keep you entertained. However, there is also a range of activities that may come at a small or not so small cost.
Again depending on the ship and the cruise line these can vary. In the past, I have paid for some exercise classes and cocktail making demos. However, have also seen cooking classes, wine tasting and bingo. Plus while it might be nice if it was free, there is always the Casino.
When you are onboard a cruise ship, there is a good chance you will find yourself face to face with a photographer. At boarding, getting off the ship in port, on formal nights and other times the ship photographers will be there to capture the moment. Of course, you have the opportunity to say no to the photo, and the purchase.
Watch The Budget
So if you are considering a cruise, keep some of these items in mind. If you think they are going to be something you want to take part, do a little research. Knowing what you might be up for before getting on board can help you stick to your holiday budget.