I am planning to go on a cruise in OCT 03 and am trying to get an Idea of how much it will actually cost me. It will be a 5 day cruise to the Western Caribbean on Carnival.
I have an Idea how much airfare and cruise will cost me but I wondered what an average bill is at the end of the cruise with a few of shore event and drinks. I know its a hard question but if anyone can give me a rough idea it would help.
Like Mike said, the actually amount of cash you will spend varies greatly, also take into fact that you will need cash for the casino onboard, while everything else except tips will be on your sign and sail card. If you order soft drinks or alchol drinks they will automatically at a 15% tip onto it, so no need to tip them any extra in cash. If you want to do any shopping at the ports, you can use cash or credit cards, most are accepted along with US dollars :-)
We usually budget $100 per day, depending on what we are doing, sea day or port day and always bring back some cash, always to take more than you will need than to not have enough. Hope you have a great time!
We always have a decent bottle of wine at dinner. We don't do the spa thing. We take tours less than half of the ports, probably close to one out of three ports. In general we do not like tours unless they seem necessary for a particular port.
Days at sea, We go to the art auctions for free champagne but rarely find anything worth buying. We gamble very little, maybe $25 each all week long.
My dh and I were just talking tonight about prices of excursions. This will be my 3rd cruise (5 day to west car on carnival but in Feb) and dh's 2nd. We have never done shor e excursions. We usually just do our own thing. My kids will be going for their 1st cruise and we probably will only get off ship at Cozumel..too much bother with tenders and short time on Grand Cayman. We are going to enjoy the ship not the islands.(is that weird???)
As for tips, we too put aside. It is already coming from home in seperate envelope. We aren't big drinkers but am planning on picking up some drink coupons and picture coupons before we go. I may do the spa. I never have depends on time. It all depends on your lifestyle I guess. We are a family with young kids so our cruise priorities are different. Have a great time.
I have an aunt & uncle who only get a bill of about $100 at the end of the cruise.. I on the other hand am NOT the cheapskate of the family. My bill has varied from $700 to $1500. for 2 people. Then there is the big joke about getting a bill so thick it looks like the phone book. Some folks can really put away the drinks.
Depending on the islands you visit you may or may not want to take tours. On a first cruise I would recommend one tour. Or if you are going with experienced cruisers, let them show you how to get around. Pretty much all you need to do is ask a cabbie how much it costs to got whereever you want to go. They tell in advance (always find out how much in advance) get in the cab and go. Some of our best times have been in the company of cabbies. I have a wild story about a man and a monkey in St Martin but thats for another time. Just be sure to use caution.
The important thing is no matter what budget you are on you will have a blast. I can't imagine the people in the "Owners Suite" are having any better time than me in an inside cabin. They just have more room to spread out.
1) $3.75 for standard brand beer, $5.50 - $6.75 for mixed drinks. Fancy drinks are the more expensive.
2) $10 per person, per day for tips.
3) Cheapest shore excursions around $25, most expensive around $90. Some exotic things may cost even more.
4) Massages in the neighborhood of $100 without the extras.
5) $1.00 per bag for the curbside porters.
6) If you're parking a car, $8.00 per day for the lot.
7) $25 - $40 for a haircut.
8) A 15% tip is added to all drinks.
9) A $2.00 tip for room service deliveries.
10) Photos around $25
Don't count on this:
1) Dropping a quarter in the slot machine the first night and hitting a $3000 jackpot ! !
We average about $700 on a 7 nighter so $100 per night/day. We have about $300 on the ship account and about $400 cash for on shore and tips. This really varies though. In Hawaii on 11 nights I think we spent a total of $400 cash and card. We split a rental car with another couple we met on board and then all the tours with the car were free - no fee for Volcanoes National PArk etc. This was the cheapest cruise for expenses. Usually the Western Carib is the highest as we go scuba diving. That can run about $60-$100 per person each stop depending on how many dives and tip to the dive master. This particular trip is stopping in Belize and all the tours are about $100 per person for even snorkeling and with the distance to the snorkel spots even doing it on our own would be more expensive. We have cruised on next to nothing - our first cruises 10 years ago we were lucky to get on the boat - we had nothing left and did what we could but we still cruised! Debbie