Luxury cruises are considered to be something that belongs to the rich or celebrity class. Not any more if you know the tricks of the game and plan properly well in advance.
Before understanding how much does a cruise cost, let me explain the typical expenses involved before, during and after a cruise vacation.
Things that attribute to the cruise cost
- Person Per Day charges (PPD) for your chosen cabin type. PPD typically include all meals, room service etc
- Applicable taxes on the above – Check if the PPD include taxes
- Duration of the cruise (7 nights, 10 nights, two weeks etc)
- Airfare from your home town to the port city
- Any hotel stay that may be required the night before in the port city before boarding
- Number of ports visited during the cruise and inland excursions and other activities
- On-board additional paid entertainment, cocktails, special dining place reservation etc
- On-board additional services (spa, salon etc)
- On-board shopping, souvenirs etc
- On-board tips to the attendants
- Other related expenses such as costumes shopping for the cruise – there is dress code applicable for the dinner on certain cruise classes
Most of the expenses boil down to the type of the cabin chosen and the duration. There are 15 or 20 variations cabins based on the 4 basic cabin types (Inside, Outside, Balcony, Suite). It is possible to get an inside cabin (no window) for 150 dollars a night upwards but if you want an ocean view cabin it may be 50% more and a balcony cabin almost double the price as the inside cabin. Further it gets even more expensive with suites.
Please note that for a 7 day cruise, there may be times when you need relaxing just looking around and hence an Outside cabin (i.e. a cabin with a window/hole) is probably what you need as a minimum. And if you want to enjoy the sea the most, probably a Veranda/Balcony is the right choice.
Let us talk about a $200/day deal per person on mid-range cruise lines. You are talking about $1400 per a seven night cruise here. Add the air fare from your home town to your pickup destination to that plus any hotel charges for overnight stay. A few of hundred dollars for your onboard cocktails, hundred dollars or so for all the tips and gratuity together and you may be talking about $2500 to $3000 per person for basic cabin types and services mentioned above. Now, it can vary hugely if you go for higher grade cabin types. Please note that we are talking about inbound air travel. If you need an international air travel to board the cruise vessel to your favorite destination, it gets really expensive due to the air fare involved.
Please note that if you go for specialty luxury cruise vessels, the starting range could be around $2500 per person for 7 nights for most basic cabins (talking about cabin rates alone)
Tips for getting the best Cruise deals
In order to get the best cruise vacation deals, you may want to note the following important tips.
- Decide whether you want to be on a luxury cruise or semi-luxury – the prices go up big time on those star and celebrity category vessels
- The best deals can come to you only when you book well in advance – We are talking about one year or 18 months advance booking here
- When you read about the cruise deals on those travel sites or magazines, check out for multiple offers with the agents who deal with that cruise line or directly ring up
- Make sure that you know the cabin type and what is covered in the PPD charges. Also make sure that taxes are all included in his final quote
- Always cruise with cruise line that has good reputation and several years of quality service under its credit
- Once you know your cruise date, book your hotel room and airline in advance so that you save money there
- If there is any dress code applicable, shop for the same during offer sales without waiting for the last minute shopping
Have a great time!