Cruise holidays often include an incredible array of free services and benefits that other holidays simply cannot boast. Many cruise liners have fantastic, award-winning restaurants providing delicious, awe-inspiring meals entirely free of charge. However, there are some services on a number of cruises which require additional funding. Here we have listed some of the most common additional services and costs and why the justify reaching into the pocket.
Many cruise companies have gratuity plans in place for all passengers to reward the on-board staff for their dedicated work. This detailed guide to on-board tipping clarifies the tipping procedures of each cruise company and where these gratuities are going. The majority of these gratuity schemes are subject to the passengers’ discretion and can be removed or altered at will.
Many cruises offer expert-guided excursions when docking in port. These can be booked through the shore excursions desk and the cost is dependent upon the length and content of the excursion. Many cruise operators will give you the option to tour independently for a lower price or sometimes for free.
Even when traversing the seas in luxurious splendour and witnessing some of the world’s most culturally significant sights, people want to remain connected to the news of the wider world as well as their loved ones. Cyber cafes and Wi-Fi connections are available throughout the majority of cruise liners, but these often have to be paid for additionally. Providing internet connectivity on a moving vessel can be incredibly costly and this necessitates the additional cost.
Here is a breakdown of the internet costs of the major cruise companies.
Many of the top cruise ships sailing today have a seemingly limitless number of dining options on board and these are often a mixture on inclusive and ‘for-fee’ restaurants. The for-fee restaurants will be clearly specified, so if you wish to avoid paying for food, you can always dine in the inclusive restaurants.
Additionally, alcoholic beverages are not included in the price of most cruise lines so these will present an additional cost. Many ships incorporate happy hours and free alcohol events that can be enjoyed by the savvy drinker.
Spa and Salon Treatments
The expert salon and spa treatments available on many cruise liners are not included in the travel fare. The specially-trained staff provide a wide range of relaxing services for remuneration. Gym classes, such as Pilates, yoga and spin, can also come at additional costs.
If you have not packed enough changes of clothing for the duration of the holiday or have a certain propensity for spilling drinks/sauces down yourself, laundry services are available on the vast majority of cruise liners at an additional costs. A simple way to avoid this cost is to pack sufficient changes of clothing or your own washing detergent.
If you want a fantastic keepsake to remember your Cruise1st holiday, the ships are well-stocked with souvenirs of all shapes and sizes to suit all budgets. From novelty items to expensive, beautiful jewellery; most cruise liners stock exactly what you are looking for. However, these are not just subject to your interpretation of Supermarket Sweep, and must be paid for.
Additionally photograph souvenirs are provided on many cruises with photographers taking your picture and offering you the opportunity to purchase it. A better budgeted alternative is to simply bring your own camera and perform your own David Bailey impression.
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credits: Visit Finger Lakes, Dennis Jarvis