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Old October 19th, 2006, 09:17 AM
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Default Money Question

My boyfriend and I are looking into a cruise next fall. However, in doing research it appears that the cruise fare for our carefully budgeted vacation is merely a smoke screen. What exactly should we anticipate this "vacation" costing us in the end? I mean between all the "expected" tipping and extra charges for almost everything, what is the bottom line and how much extra should we anticipate paying for a six or seven day cruise?
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Old October 19th, 2006, 10:26 AM
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actually the only out-of-pocket expenses aside from the tipping you can have on a cruise are things that you choose to buy.Things you buy on the islands, cab fare, anything in the shops, Alcoholic drinks, bottled water, soda, professional photographs, gambling, shore excursions, spa and salon services, and the speciality restaurants that you can choose or not choose to dine at.
We usually figure on spending $50-100 per person per day on extra goodies, but we like to splurge.
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Old October 19th, 2006, 10:45 AM
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Default Still unclear

That's not the information I need. I guess there is no general information that comes close to applying to all the various cruise lines. I've been given a lot of conflicting information, i.e., you are suppose to tip this odd assortment of people every day; a can of Coke can cost up to $2.50 each; if you eat a meal that is not your specific dining assigning it can be as much as $50 per person per meal; anything served to you outside the dining room is an extra charge; just to get off the ship at any stop, even if not taking a "tour," you pay an additional charge; etc., etc., etc.

The bottom line is we know what the cost per person is for the cruise, i.e., they say you pay $x of dollars per person and that gets us on the ship. We are just trying to budget and plan so we don't arrive, get on the ship and then learn that without spending any additional money on anything in the gift shop or for any of the lessons or classes (that tell you what the charge is) that on the day we return to port we don't suddenly find ourselves facing a bill we didn't expect.
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Old October 19th, 2006, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
I've been given a lot of conflicting information, i.e., you are suppose to tip this odd assortment of people every day; a can of Coke can cost up to $2.50 each; if you eat a meal that is not your specific dining assigning it can be as much as $50 per person per meal; anything served to you outside the dining room is an extra charge; just to get off the ship at any stop, even if not taking a "tour," you pay an additional charge; etc., etc., etc.
You certainly have been getting alot of MISINFORMATION.
There are unfortunately no standards which will apply to every cruise line. However there are some general items which do.

There's never an extra charge to leave a ship in a port of call, unless you're heading to countries which require visas (like Turkey for example), where you'd have to purchase a visa. In the Caribbean, no visas are required.... so no extra costs.

In some port stops, the pier is a fair distance from any beaches or attractions, so even without doing tours you'd need to budget some money for taxis or buses.

Other than some ships "alternate restaurants", which may have an extra service charge, every ship has dining rooms and buffets where you can enjoy EVERY meal throughout the cruise at no extra cost. The vast majority of ships also offer 24 hr room service at no additional cost.

If you don't consume alcohol, don't gamble, don't use spa services, don't do tours, don't shop, and can be satisfied with non bottled water, iced tea, coffee, and juice ... rather than sodas, and eat in the cost included restaurants... you can go on a cruise with very little added expense over the cost of the cruise ticket, and $10 per day for each of you for tips.
So.. for example on a 7 day cruise.. your cruise fare PLUS $70 per person.

That said, it's probably not realistic that you aren't going to do ANY of the things listed above. So the question really becomes HOW MUCH of the extra cost items you chose to indulge in, and to budget for those.

Items included in the cost : all meals (avoiding the surcharge restaurant (or restaurants depending on the ship), all entertainment (showrooms, and lounges), poolside games and activities.

There are NO shore side activities included in the cruise fare.

Hope that helps. Any more specific questions, feel free to ask.
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Old October 19th, 2006, 01:43 PM
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LadyRae - you are on information overload, with alot of misinformation.
Kuki clarified it very well.
Tipping- on most cruise lines you have the option of tips being automatically added to your onboard ship account, the tips are figured per person per day, but it is a one-time charge of usually $10.00 per person per day- this tipping covers your room steward and your dining room wait team. You have the option of tipping in person at the end of the cruise if you choose not to opt into the automatic tipping.If you purchase alcoholic drinks on any ship a 15% gratuity is automatically added onto your bar bill. There is no extra charge for room service except if you order soda or alcoholic beverages. You should tip room service a couple of bucks as they are not included in the automatic tipping pool.
Also you can always check your daily on board account balance on the ship,so that there will be no surprises at the end of the cruise. You can also make payments to your onboard account during the cruise if you wish to.
The general rule when on board is that if you have to sign for it, you will have to pay for it.
The soda information you have is correct, most cruise lines charge ridiculous prices for soda,($2.50) but if you drink alot of soda, most lines do offer some sort of soda card where you pay a flat rate for the entire cruise, for example on our last Princess cruise we paid $25.00 for unlimited glasses of soda for a 7 day cruise. Bottled water is also very expensive, don't buy it. Drink the water from the tap it is just as good, if not better than the bottled water.
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