Cruise vacations are generally good value. You get food, accommodation, multi-port transportation and shipboard entertainment all bundled up in one package price. Pay upfront and you never have to think about money on your trip, right? Wrong. The reality is that cruising is not as all-inclusive as some passengers expect. The little extras can add up if you’re not careful. Hey, you’re on holiday so splurge away if you’re prepared to treat yourself. But if you’re watching your wallet, just be aware that your final tally might involve a little sticker shock if you’re not mindful of the nickel and diming. Here are a few line items that might creep up on your bill and push that cruise bargain over your intended budget.
1. You Paid for a Cruise, Shore Excursions Aren’t Much More of a Leap
The ship will push their sanctioned shore excursions on you, but know these come at a premium price. They hook you with the line that only their tours guarantee the ship won’t leave without you if you’re running late. It’s a valid point to consider. People do literally miss the boat on cruises, and the expense of rejoining the ship at the next port of call is justifiably on you. However, most local independent tour operators aim to get you back to the dock well before departure time so it’s a minor gamble. Thrifty travelers can arrange their own shore excursions ahead of time via the internet or spontaneously at the port. Buddy-up with other passengers to share a taxi-van and cut costs further.