Tips to booking a Cruise Holiday & Understanding the Hidden costs
We are two weeks away from going on our 1st cruise holiday and we could not be more excited. Having made the decision to book a cruise holiday and discovering all the hidden costs along the way, not is the time to share with you all the things we have made mistakes with discovered along the way.
Our cruise is a 14 nights, sailing around the Mediterranean with Royal Caribbean. We spent a a few weekends watching YouTube video’s and reading reviews before picking up the phone to call Royal Caribbean.
When initially booking check the Irish and the UK websites, we discovered the pounds to euro conversation did not work in our favor so we booked royalcaribbean.co.uk website and not the .ie site as it worked out almost €500 cheaper to do this, the same cruise, the same cabin, the same dates etc etc just €500 cheaper!
Just take a look at the comparison below , from the UK & Irish website , on today’s exchange rate this is €100 per person cheaper to book on the UK website, so be sure to check the rates the day you book. SEE .co.uk HERE
If you are used to a €299 per person sun holiday deal then cruising will seem really expensive but when you consider what you are getting for the cost of the holiday it really is not so bad.
So what is included in the cost of your cruise holiday?
- All your meals
- All your snacks
- Port taxes and charges
- Full entertainments program
- Kids club
- Broadway style shows
- Rock climbing
- Flo rida
- Ice skating
- Room service (continental breakfast + tea/coffee/water) Small Tray charge for other items)
- Visit 4, 5, 6 or more countries during one holiday
- Drinks – Tea / coffee / filtered water/ Squash
What is not included and really bumps the cost of cruising?
- Beers / wines / cocktails / fruit juice / luxury coffee’s (this costs about £50 per person per day, on a two week holiday this adds up to £700 / €769 per person
- Wifi is another expensive add on, we have paid an additional £44 per day for this for the 4 of us, costing £616 / €677 for the two weeks
- Shore excursions really add up, especially if you book direct with your cruise company, now there are pro’s and con’s t this, the major one being the ship will never leave without you if you book direct. We took recommendations from cruise forums on facebook, trip advisor etc to choose the companies we booked with.
- Laundry service can add up and as iron’s are not allowed on board and you have a fair few fancy nights on a cruise then this will add up to, starting at $3 a piece
- Specialty Dining there are many dining options, from buffet to fine dining and it is all free but they also have specialty restaurants you can pay to dine in too, I shall report back on weather I feel these are worth it or not in the coming weeks.
Total cost of our Cruise (we are a family of four and all costs are total not per person)
- Flights into Southampton €1,100
- Airport Parking €60
- Hotel night before cruise €120
- Cruise Fare €6000
- Drinks Packages (we only had 3 because one under 18 travelling) €2,300
- Wifi €677
- Excursions €1200
- Total cost €11,457
- Not included yet are tips, spa, extra dining etc
So yes this is a hefty total but I can not imagine we will spend much more on top of this.
We have two cabins for the four of us, you could do this cheaper if you placed all four into one room, you do not need to buy a drinks package, nor wifi, these are costs we have opted for and they are not compulsory.
When we booked this, we did not factor in all the extra’s and were quiet surprised at the cost of some especially the drinks but I keep telling myself if we were to pay for each drink for each person over the two weeks we would probably end up with a large bill at the end so it works out ok.