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What all is included and excluded in cruise fare?

There are a few hidden charges in cruises that may come as a shock in the final bill. So, read about the things included & excluded from a cruise fare.

By Cruise Booking Team

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Most of the cruises claim to be all-inclusive vacations, but there are services that you have to pay for additionally. Though the cruise fare will cover most of the basic amenities of your vacation, there are certain things that some cruises charge extra money for.

What all is included and excluded in cruise fare?

With so many unforeseen and additional costs, it can seem tough to determine what a cruise fare includes and what it does not. Scroll through this piece to know about the facilities included in a cruise package and the ones that need extra payment.

Different Amenities Included and Excluded in Major Cruise Lines

There are several facilities that some cruise lines will include in their fares, and others will charge as extras. Here are some of the basic amenities that you should expect your cruise package to cover, along with those that may carry possible extra charges.


  • Included Drinks on Cruises: Usually, the drinks that are available in the cruise buffet, breakfast, or any other meals are present in your cruise fare. These typically include drinks like regular tea or coffee, selected juices, tap water, etc. Some cruise lines include sparkling wine in their packages at special events like cocktail parties. Some luxury cruises even offer free alcoholic beverages or an open bar to their guests.
  • Drinks That are Not Included in the Cruise Fare: Drinks that will cost you extra on a cruise include bottled water, freshly squeezed juices, customized smoothies, specialty coffee and tea you order at bars, blended fruit drinks, etc. Chargeable drinks also include all kinds of alcoholic beverages and sodas which you order from a bar or through room service. 


  • Included Food on Cruises: Meals are free of charge in the main dining rooms of a cruise. You can also get free food that comes under your fare in the buffets and specialty venues such as Norwegian’s O’ Sheehan’s, Uptown Bar & Grill, Carnival’s Guy’s Burger Joint, and Royal Caribbean's Windjammer Marketplace. Some appetizers and desserts are also available with the buffets.
  • Food Which Requires Extra Cost on Cruises: The food not included in the cruise fare, is mostly of the specialty restaurants which offer additional dining menus at an extra cost. Cover charges for these restaurants depend on the cruise line and the liner.

Also, some cruises include items in the main dining room or buffet menu which are chargeable. Be sure to check the menu properly before ordering if you want to avoid extra costs.

Also Read: How to Pick the Cruise that's Right For You?

Shows and Entertainment

  • Free Entertainment on Cruises: Mainly, the theater performances are there in the cruise fare. Apart from that, there are many more entertainment segments to satisfy your vacation that come free of charge. For example, a Norwegian cruise features more than 22 bars and lounges. You can enjoy it without paying any additional charges.
  • Entertainment Features That Require Additional Cost: Though most of the cruise entertainment comes free of charge, there are some shows on certain cruise lines that need their guests to pay a fee for participating. Sometimes dinner theater shows also require a cover charge.


  • Activities That are Included With the Cruise Fare: Generally, there are many free activities cruises offer. The free activities include movie streaming, pool games, cooking classes, dance workshops, board games, and sports like basketball, mini golf, etc. For instance, Disney Cruise Lines offer special activities like "Sailing Away Deck Party" and "Pixar Pals" included in the packages.
  • Onboard Activities That You Have to Pay Separately: Several activities like casino play, arcade games, and bingo need extra fees on most cruises. Also, some other activities like expert cooking classes and wine tasting may require extra charges on some cruises.

Final Thought

It is desirable that there is a minimum value on the final bill of your cruise vacation as people already pay a considerable amount as the fare. To ensure that you do not get any shock seeing the final bill, you must know what it includes before you start sailing. There are a few additional expenses you may have to incur like spa treatments, shore excursions, and more. So, make sure to watch out for those.

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