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Everyone Should Pay Their Fair Share

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One of quickest means to ruining a good relationship can be disagreements
over money.

And it just doesn’t take much for one person or another to feel like
they are being taken advantage of financially.

On land, when going out to dinner with friends, whether singles or couples,
how do you handle the check?

Do you make it clear to your server from the beginning that you’ll all want
separate checks (the servers just love that)? Or, do you each examine the check when it arrives to determine what each persons share is? Or, do you just split the total of the check, plus tip, dividing by the number of people?

On a cruise, in regard to food, the “who ate what dance” is avoided. In
venues where the price of of food is included in the cruise fare there’s no
worries. But, even in the ship’s alternate dining venues requiring a surcharge,
the procedure is set for the server to charge each cabin, or person
individually. So, unless one clearly invites someone to be their guest at one of
these venues, everyone pays their own way.

In other areas, unfortunately these things aren’t quite so simple and

– Whose turn is it to buy the next round? –

It’s all fine and happy when drinks are flowing amongst friends, enjoying a
cruise together. Payment is so simple on board, you just show the server your
“sail and spend” card. Servers will even run tabs for your group.

The thing is, no one carries cash on a ship (except in the casino perhaps),
so that makes it difficult for anyone to pay someone back for those drinks,
without keeping a ledger book going… or remembering well whose turn it is to
buy the next round.

(No doubt each of us knows someone who orders doubles when it’s someone else’s turn to buy)

It’s generally all well and good while “the party is going on”, but the
last night of the cruise when that statement for your on board expenses is
slipped under the door, someone may become very unhappy, realizing that
intentionally or not their cruise mates may have avoided paying for their “fare
share” of the libations.

The cruise lines do make it easier to split expenses for roommates. At
check in, each room-mate can supply their own credit card or cash to guarantee the
purchases they make on board.

It is much more complicated when you are cruising with friends, or a group
of friends.

Many cruise lines are now offering drink packages, or wine packages, which
in essence make your drinking free (outside of the cost of the package).
However, in the case of shots of liquor, to make it entirely equitable everyone
in your group of friends must purchase the package.

Though, if one person buys the package, they can simply order their own
drinks, and leave those who did not to sort out their own fair solutions for
their drink tabs.

Wine packages are different, in that once you get a bottle of wine, you can
share it or not, as you choose. Of course, awkward moments can arise, if your
friends or table-mates are waiting for you to share the wine you’ve chosen from
the package you’ve paid for.

One of the easiest ways to deal with these financial issues of traveling with friends or a group is to book on all-inclusive cruise lines.  In fact, when you speak with people who regularly do book all-inclusive cruise lines this is one of the big positive they speak of…eliminating those awkward moments.. aside from the fact these are all generally luxury brands as well.

But, they are right when they say the all-inclusive does eliminate all those awkward moments, of who’s buying what; who’s drinking more; and who’s turn it is to buy. Everyone is paying their fair share when they pay for their cruise.

Yet, it’s likely not financially feasible for everyone to book luxury cruises.

Other than the all-inclusive, there are no simple solutions to make sure no one feels taken advantage of financially, or leaves with ill feelings towards a friend who never seems to reach for their “sail and spend card”.

To avoid this, I suggest planning and agreeing on some of  these things in advance of your trip if you’re cruising with friends.

Other than everyone paying for their own drinks throughout the cruise, there are no simple solutions (that I can see) to assure fairness, and avoid trouble.

In this Blog, I am having trouble identifying workable solutions.

I’ve identified a problem. I’m relying on you, all of our experienced readers, to post solutions that you’e found have worked for you and your cruisemates.

None of us mind buying a friend a drink or two. But when it gets to 10-12 it gets expensive.

– A View From The Kuki Side of Cruising –

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Comment from Mike Mastellar
Time May 8, 2013 at 10:32 am

You still owe me $2 for a Caffeine Free Diet Coke. 😉

Take care,

Comment from Paul Motter
Time May 8, 2013 at 11:25 am

No one has done more for the CruiseMates community than Kuki – I have seen him make T-shirts, key chains, door sign (magnetic so they don’t gum up the interior of the ship) and more.

He has thrown parties, and even paid to fly to Miami to meet with corporate executives.

He gets my vote as the most under-acknowledged CruiseMates contributor.

Mike M is also a very close second.

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