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dobball23 July 3rd, 2007 08:27 AM

Cost of an average cruise
Generally speaking, how much does an average (middle of the road) cruise to the Caribbean (7 or 10 days) cost? Additionally, how many cruises are all-inclusive?

My wife and I (28 and 26 years old) are thinking of going on a cruise in the future and I am curious about the costs as I begin my research. I fell like the quotes listed on cruise web sites don't include everything or are not quite accurate.



LisaK July 3rd, 2007 09:32 AM

Todd, there really isn't any true average cost. There are just too many variables to take into account. You need to read the fine print on any and all advertised prices to see what they include. The majority of them include the cost of your cruise fare and port taxes. It will say in the ad. What your cruise fare includes is your sea transportation, your stateroom, meals in the main dining rooms and buffets,entertainment in the bars, and lounges, daily activites, coffee, tea, juice and tap water are included in most cruises. Whats not included: spa/beauty treatments, specialized classes, alcoholic beverages, sodas, pictures taken by professional staff, casinos, boutiques, specialty restaurants, shore excursions

Mike M July 3rd, 2007 09:52 AM


When receiving a quote, make sure that the quote INCLUDES everything. Port Charges, taxes and fees. Don't just go by the "flash" price on the front of an add. Sometimes this requires you to go through part of the online booking process. ALWAYS COMPARE THE TOTAL COST.

Other things to know is that you will also have $10 per/day per/person added to your onboard account for gratuities. This is divided among your cabin steward, waiter, asst. waiter, head waiter and maitre 'd. This totals to $70 per/person for the cruise.

You will also be required to purchase your own liquor and soda. All other beverages and almost all other food is included. There are a few specialty restaurants that have a $20 to $30 service charge.

There are true "all inclusive" or almost "all inclusive" cruises. These are the luxury lines such as Seabourn and Regent Seven Seas. These lines, while giving you a larger cabin, Regent is almost all balconies, their price is almost double or triple what you will pay for an outside cabin on a Premium line. If you book suites on a Premium line then they may be an alternative.

Take care,

NanaShrek July 3rd, 2007 09:18 PM

The time of year you cruise makes a difference in price too. As much as I love cruising in the spring, it's usually quite a bit more expensive than in the fall (hurricane season). I know lots of people won't cruise during hurricane season, but we've done so several times, and it worked out well for us. My rule of thumb is if I can get a 7 night for $600 (including port charges/taxes), it's not too bad. Have had them cheaper, and have had them more expensive. The thing to consider when booking in hurricane season is that you need to be flexible as your ports may change due to weather. (Actually, ports can change anytime for any reason the cruiseline deems necessary.)

Do lots of research, get some quotes (they do vary considerably). Other costs not included in the price: tips, alcohol, soda, bottled water, spa, casino, excursions, photos, oh, and don't forget SHOPPING! We've come back with a final bill as little as $300 including tips. We don't gamble, drink some, but not all day/night long. Probably a few per day, which is more than we drink at home. Figure $5-7 per drink.

Bobby_G July 6th, 2007 03:30 PM

and don't forget nor not use TRIP INSURANCE.

Paul Motter July 6th, 2007 06:41 PM

I suggest this article here:

Which is all about understanding what you are seeing in a cruise line ad.

First of all - understand that most prices you see that say "from $...." are giving what is called the "lead" (or lead-in") price; the cheapest price on the ship for the smallest inside cabin.

However, it is important to remember that every cabin gets essentially the same access to everything on the ship as anyone else. The days of first-class, second-class, etc cruising are pretty much gone. There are exceptions to this rule, but this is accurate 99% of the time.

The average cruise (everything but the top luxury lines) quotes a price that includes the cruise and basic additional fees (formerly called port-fees, but now just known as non-commissionable fees or NCFs). The only thing NOT included in the quoted and/or advertised price is the taxes, which are usually under 10% of the fare.

Every cruise includes your stateroom, all meals (unless you choose to go to an alternative special restaurant on any given night), access to all entertainment venues on the ship, swimming pools, movie theaters, lounges, the fitness center, etc.

Things that will cost additional on a ship include: drinks (alcohol and sodas, but not coffee, tea or juices in most cases). Shore excursions are extra, spa services (massage) are extra. And on most ships everyone will have to pay about $10+ per day in tips (charged to your account at the end of the cruise).

Airfare to the ship, and transfers from the airport to the ship are extras, not included.

Keep everything I said above in mind as the average cruise. And then you will start to see ads that say things like:

Airfare included
or "All-inclusive"

These cruise lines: Silversea, Regent, Seabourn are "all-inclusive" in that you do NOT pay extra for alcohol or gratuities on the ship.

River cruises usually include the shore excursions in the price of the cruise, and the prices are often quoted with airfare and transfers from the airport to the riverboat.

So, bottom line - when reading a cruise ad, understand the price shown is for the basic cruise but without tax added. Airfare & transfers are additional.

If the price shown deviates from that, the ad will "usually" say so, but not necessarily because most luxury lines (above) already assume you know what they include.

There are also near-luxury cruise lines: Crystal, Windstar, Oceania where the food quality and amenities are of the quality of luxury lines, but the price is not all-inclusive.

See, wasn't that easy?

One thing I do not like to see is cruise agencies that give you a price quote, and then include the additional fees (NCFs) in small print. It looks like this

7-day Cruise $349
(port fees of $251 per person and taxes of $29 per person add.)

That cruise should be quoted as simply "$600 per person plus tax"

I know of one agency that does this all the time, and unfortunately I have seen a few well-known "travel specialists" recommend this agency as having the lowest prices when in fact they are usually higher when everything is added together.

ready2gonow July 6th, 2007 08:08 PM

Paul, you spell it out so well! LOL I knew all that, but there is no way I could have said it in less than 20,000 words!

Bobby_G July 6th, 2007 09:10 PM

average price is relative to what you want and where you purchase it.

I would like to see all the services start including 'free' insurance also.

Paul Motter July 6th, 2007 09:17 PM

A lot of agencies give free insurance, and some agencies always in clude insurance in the quote, but not every agency sells cruises with free insurance, so if you want you have to look for the agencies that specialize in it.

Bobby_G July 7th, 2007 02:14 PM


Originally Posted by Paul Motter
A lot of agencies give free insurance, and some agencies always in clude insurance in the quote, but not every agency sells cruises with free insurance, so if you want you have to look for the agencies that specialize in it.

I know, but if one can do it, all should be able to. Plus, NO ONE should go on a cruise WITHOUT valid insurance IMHO. That would take that out of the equation and everyone would be protected.

Paul Motter July 10th, 2007 12:36 PM

I agree, and here is an in-depth article aboiut cruyise insurance

Bobby_G July 10th, 2007 05:08 PM

Good article.
I still think, at least, the major TA's, online or whatever, should include it.
I have read numerous posts on here that people actually believe their health insurance covers them abroad. I have federal employee BCBS and it doesn't and I seriously doubt there are any 'normal' plans that do.
Besides, on the extremely slim chance it did cover you, it wouldn't pay for all the other things like airlifts, cancellations, etc.

Brian and Phyllis in Ohio August 4th, 2007 09:18 AM

Ok, here is our breakdown for our upcoming 7-day cruise aboard the Summit.

$1455 - or $727.50 per person for the cruise, including insurance, taxes, fees, etc. (inside cabin)

$600 - or $300 each per person for round trip tickets (coach) from CMH to SJU (including insurance)

$100 - for long term airport parking

$200 budgeted for tips

$250 budgeted for drinks (2 drinks each per day at $7.50 per drink)

$200 limit on casino gamling

$200 on t-shits, trinkets, etc.

$3000 total cost.

Our last 7-day cruise cost us about $2500. So figure at least that much.

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