Cruise cost

Cruise tips you can trust


What you
need to know
about cruise costs

Average cruise rate

The rate you pay depends on many variables. These include:

Ship quality
Cabin quality


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.

Extra costs

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.

Shore excursions

See my Shore excursion web page for details.

Phone, fax & internet

See my Staying in touch web page for details.

Other services

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.

Repeat passengers

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.

Single cruisers

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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SeaDream II
Regent Voyager
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Celebrity Xpedition

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