Wondering what is included in your all-inclusive cruise package? Know your all-inclusive cruise fare to avoid surprises later onboard.
One of the main benefits of booking an all-inclusive cruise vacation is knowing your total cost upfront and not budgeting for essential amenities later. Many people have the misconception that everything on board is included in the fare. But the truth is that apart from certain premium cruise lines, you will be charged for almost everything except the main food course and accommodation. Use of extras such as bars, fitness classes, shore excursions, specialty dining, and spa treatments can cause you to end your journey with a massive bill. When you decide on your next cruise, you can research the number of cruise ships and lines, as each has different offerings catering to the niche market.
Before you book, you must understand what constitutes your cruise fare and what you are getting for your money.
All cruise fares will cover the cost of your accommodation for the entire voyage. You will also have a room attendant to make up the room. Cruise lines may offer different room options depending on the price, including studio cabins for lone travelers, medium-range cabins, and luxurious suites. The choice of your cabin type will be a deciding factor in your cruise package cost.
Irrespective of the chosen cruise line, several complimentary meal options will be offered. There will be a buffet with a variety of menu items in the morning, noon, and night. Most ships will also have casual food options such as cafes, pubs, and burger and pizza stand. Additionally, all cruise ships will have the main dining area that will offer 3-course gourmet meals for dinner and occasionally for breakfast and lunch.
Typically, basic drinks such as water, tea, coffee, and juices are included in your cruise cost.
A cruise ship is a hub of entertainment and activities for all ages, and you will always find many things to do without paying a dime. You can have access to the gym, sports court, outdoor jogging track, pool deck, and many more. You can also participate in activities such as game shows, trivia events, demonstrations, and dance classes for no fee. Some cruises also offer exclusive sports activities such as rock climbing, water slides, rope courses, and zipline included in your cruise fare.
On most cruise vacations, nightly entertainment is a part of the cruise fare. Some cruise packages offer Broadway shows, guitar/piano concerts, comedy club shows, theatre shows with singers, dancers, and other exclusive activities. Sometimes, there may also be themed parties, karaoke, bands, and DJ music to keep you entertained through the night.
Another great feature of cruise vacations is the kids’ activities that are included in the fare. There are several activities for children between ages 3 and 17, supervised and trained by staff. Grouped by age, young kids can learn and make new friends along the way through these educational activities. For teens, there are video games, sports tournaments, dance zones, and some family games such as scavenger hunts and movie nights.
Shore excursions, organized by the cruise line, are trips you take in the ports, and most cruise packages do not include these excursions. To look at ports, you can follow the map to do an individual or a group walking tour or book excursions through a third party.
To visit a restaurant for specialty dining, you will need to pay a pre-determined amount per person. These fancy dining packages are usually available when you book the cruise, letting you eat in certain restaurants a few times. Most cruise lines only offer a basic soft drinks package or an alcoholic package, and you will have to purchase any other additional drinks.
Internet package and Wi-Fi are usually not included in your cruise fare, and you will need to purchase packages offered by the cruise line.
Although ships have fully equipped medical centers with staff, any consultation or medical treatment is not included in most cruise packages. It is wise to take travel insurance, especially for an extended cruise vacation.
You can also expect to pay gratuities while onboard. These are charges that can be pre-paid prior to sailing, but if not, will be added to your onboard bill. These are service charges to the onboard staff including your cabin steward, dining room staff, and others. This is assessed per person per day.
Understand what your all-inclusive cruise package offers to maximize your options. All-inclusive almost always means “basics included,” along with add-on packages to fit your budget and needs.
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