Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The Hidden Costs of a Cruise

If you are as keen on cruising as I am, you are probably always on the lookout for your next holiday deals. But the advertised price of a cruise is just the beginning of the money to be spent on a cruise vacation. Some of the extra costs start before you walk out the door of your home.

  • Do you have pets? Add in the price of a boarding cattery or kennels for your cat or dog.
  • Does your cruise start or finish in a port away from your home town or city? Add in the cost of air fares or road travel.
  • Will you take your vehicle to a port or airport? Then allow for car parking fees for the time you're away.
  • Will you be visiting countries with different currencies? You will need to get their local money so add in exchange rates and bank fees.
  • Will you book the cruise yourself or use a travel agent? There may be agent fees to include in your budget.
  • Check carefully whether port charges and gratuities are included in the advertised fare. If they're not, these expenses can add considerably to the cost of a cruise.
  Once on the ship, you will have to pay for things over and above the standard cruise inclusions. These extras include drinks, photographs, shopping at the on-board boutiques, using the laundromat or laundry services, shore excursions and others such as wine tasting classes, cookery lessons, and speciality dining cover charges.
  Having said all that, I still believe cruise vacations are excellent value for money. When you consider the distances travelled, all the meals, great accommodation and the variety of entertainment (not to mention chocolates and a towel animal on your pillow every night!), you would be hard pressed to find a comparable land-based vacation for the same price.
  Now I'm off to Singapore with a short cruise to Malaysia. I'll report on that in my next posting.

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