Cruises seem like such a great deal on the surface, however by the end of the cruise it’s easy to feel like you’ve been short changed. There are so many extra travel expenses and fees that are commonly overlooked when planning a cruise vacation.
I’ve cruised with Disney, Royal Caribbean and Carnival and I think everyone should go on at least one cruise, but beware of all the costs associated with cruising. The base price of the cruise can seem like such a great deal before you begin adding tax, port fees, tips, travel, excursions and transfers.
Below I’ve outlined expenses that could be incurred with a $149 inside cabin on a 4-night cruise. When I’ve booked cruises I’ve always been surprised by how much more the price per person ends up being by the time you get to the payment screen. There are many costs associated with cruising that every traveler should know.
Some of the fees shown above are optional, however by the time you pay your taxes/port fees, tips and transpiration or parking you have virtually doubled the price of just the cruise ticket. To find out the true cost of the cruise I recommend you call the cruise line to ask what the required expenses will be on your cruise ticket. You'll be amazed by how quickly the cruise ticket price will double and sometimes triple from the base price.
In terms of traveling cheap, I haven't found a way to really take a 'cheap cruise vacation' because of fixed costs that can't be discounted. I've found the best deals by going to beach resorts and even all-incluseive resorts at a fraction of the cost of cursing. I haven't used miles and points on a cruise because I don't feel like you get a very good value by using them on cruise tickets.
I'd be interested in your feedback, whether you think cruises are a good deal or if cruise 'deals' even exist anymore.