Many people are concerned with cost when planning a vacation. Cost is important no matter what social class you consider yourself to be in. There are a number of things to take into account, if you are planning on spending your next vacation aboard a cruise ship. You can estimate the total cost of your trip in many different ways.
Pick a Cruise Line and Cruise Ship
Your cruise ship selection is a crucial step in calculating your costs. Most ships offer all-inclusive packages. These packages seem pricey but in most cases you won’t have to worry about having extra spending money so it balances out, or tips in your favour at the end.
Check the ports
Pay close attention to the departure and landing ports. If the ports aren’t near your home, you will need to factor in the cost of getting to port and getting back home after your vacation ends. Some cruises start and end at the same port and others don’t.
If you’re on a tight budget your mode of transport could have a significant impact on the cost. Long distance travellers would want to compare air, bus and train fares. Air travel is often preferred but it’s often the most expensive. If it’s possible, you should consider the cost of driving your own vehicle or using a car rental service.
Food and Activities
All-inclusive cruise ship packages help to cut down the cost of food and entertainment. If you’re not able to snag an all-inclusive cruise, you’ll need to factor in the money needed to spend on board. This is important in ensuring you bring enough spending money for living expenses and optional extras.
This is the easiest part. Check out the cruise liner’s website for the entertainment facilities on board the cruise ship you’ve selected. Most cruise liners have detailed information about the various activities, including schedules and pricing. You may find that many cruise ships charge their passengers to watch a movie, view performances, or participate in on-board activities. These on-board activities may include, but are not limited to, rock climbing, on-board surfing, gambling lessons, dance lessons, swimming lessons and child care. List all the facilities you’re keen on and add the costs to your estimate.
Speaking of gambling
If you are interested in gambling on-board the cruise ship, you better add some crazy cash to your fun-time budget. Like most land-based casinos, you can gamble with different amounts of money. Since estimating money spent on gambling is difficult, you will want to aim your estimate high.
Don’t Forget the Drinks
Some packages don’t include drinks or have a drinks limit. You will need to add an estimate for additional drinks. This part will be tough because it’s almost impossible to find cruise ship menus online. It’s best to overestimate the costs of drinks and maybe add a little bit extra for food or snacks too.
Consider the cost of gifts bought on-board or at the ports your ship plans on docking at. Add this to your estimate and as with the drinks, food and gambling; overestimate the amount. You wouldn’t want to spend the entire trip pinching pennies because you didn’t bring enough money along, would you?
There are a number of ways to figure out whether you can afford a cruise ship vacation or not. These are just a few things to consider when trying to see where your money will be going and deciding what needs to be prioritised or cut out altogether.
Are you planning, or have you been on a cruise ship vacation?
Please share your ideas and experiences in the comment section below.