Cruise tips you can trust
Average cruise rate
The rate you pay depends on many variables. These include:
The average per diem rate based on double occupancy is $250 to $450. This range assumes:
Itinerary, season, ship quality.
and cabin quality are average
Airfare is not included
You did not get a discount (see my
"Booking advice" page for details)
And, the above rate range does not include the standard extras (see the "Extra costs" section below).
To put average rates in perspective, consider that the total cost per person, per diem, double occupancy rate for some cabins on some luxury cruises can run about $1000 per diem per person.
Cabin cost factors
Outside cabins are more expensive than inside ones. Ditto for upper deck versus lower deck cabins. Other rate increasers include private balconies or verandas, convenient locations, more square footage, and freedom from external noises (see my "Cabin Selection" web page for details).
The following are normally included in a large-ship package cruise price:
Admission to Vegas-style cabaret shows and lounge acts, Broadway musicals, dancing, and movies.
They include poolside lounging, deck sports, how-to lessons, craft and aerobic classes, lectures by experts, card tournaments, and TV-style audience participation games.
On most cruise ships, the following items are not included in the cruise rate you pay for them):
Unless you purchased a bundled air/ship fare, you pay for your going and returning transportation to the ship (but any boat service shuttling you between ship and shore is free).
Both alcohol and soft drinks.
It is entrenched on virtually all cruise ships. Some use the staff pool tipping method, others suggest how much to give various staffers. You will receive printed guidelines. Typically, it runs about $20 to $25 a day per person for everything, though on luxury cruises, the figure is higher.
Money for your gambling chips.
See my Shore excursion web page for details.
Phone, fax & internet
See my Staying in touch web page for details.
Although many are gratis, amenities like laundry, spa treatments, beauty salon visits, and medical care are extra.
Other cruise cost
tips & insights
Take these into consideration:
Quickest selling fares
The most and least expensive cabins tend to sell out first.
After taking your first cruise, the line will send you special discount offers for future cruises.
Protect your investment
Buy insurance that covers trip cancellation, interruption, emergency medical evacuation.
To have your own cabin, you normally pay somewhere between 140 to 175% of the per-person double-occupancy fare. Or, you can save money by having the cruise line match you with another single traveler of the same sex (though you face the incompatibility risk).
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