Cruise vacations are a great value for a vacation, but make sure you know the hidden costs of cruising that can cost you big bucks so that you can plan your vacation budget. I can tell you that I have found some amazing cheap cruises and I would have had an incredibly cheap vacation if I just stayed on the ship. But while cruise cruise is one of the best values around since all major expenses (leasing, meals, snacks, activities and entertainment) are indeed included in the fare, there are many items and accidents that could break the bank for you.
The Top Five Hidden Costs of Cruises:
1. Port Fees and Taxes.
Did you know that the advertised price of cruise vacations is not the total price? Experienced cruisers know this to be one of the hidden costs of cruises but if you've never taken a cruise before, you're in for some sticker shock at check out. What most people think of as "port charges" are itemized separately on the cruise bill. Port fees and taxes are the taxes that foreign jurisdictions imposes on arriving passengers to support the facility where the ship is docking or leasing, security, the longshoremen that tie up and release the vessel and related charges. Passengers must pay these nominal charges over and above the published cruise fare and it can add up to 5% to 8% of your entire fare unless you purchased your cruise at a deep discount at which point you will pay your fees based on the published fare of your cruise.
2. Drinks on Board the Cruise Ship (Sodas and Alcohol).
On cruise vacations, most cruise ships only provide water, ice tea, lemonade and coffee, for the price of their cruise. You have to pay extra for bottled water, alcoholic beverages, wine, and even sodas since they are not included in the cruise fare on most lines (with the exception of some ultra-deluxe lines). And your bar tab can add up quickly since the cost of Hard liquor, cocktails and wine ranges from $ 3.50 to $ 8.00 a piece or more, depending on cruise line (higher-end lines tend to charge more for drinks); soft drinks will run $ 1.50 – $ 2.00; and you will pay extra for specialty coffee drinks like cappuccino or lattes.
• Most cruise vacations have advertised "daily drink specials" on the ship that you may want to taste as they can be rather fun. You can also purchase wine by the bottle in the dining room and your waiter will keep it stored for you to serve at your next dinner. This can save you money over the purchase price of wine by the glass.
• Find out if your ship offers "soda packages" that feature unlimited sodas during the cruise for about $ 15 – $ 20.
• You can bring-your-own bottled water on board or you can pick up soda six-packs of soda in port before you board, but …