One of the best things about cruising is that everything is included. Well, not exactly everything. But most of the things most certainly are. Nevertheless, it’s very important to know what your package includes and what you’ll be charged extra in order to be able to determine how much money to take on-board and how much the cruise will actually cost you.
Things included in the cruise fare vary greatly from one cruise line to another. But generally, expect not to be charged extra for:
This, however, counts only for meals served in the main dining room and select venues. If you choose to dine in alternative or speciality restaurants, you’ll be charged a full price for your meal.
It’s good to know that you won’t be charged for every glass of water, especially if you’re cruising with children. But please note that drinks that aren’t free are quite expensive, especially alcoholic beverages. Some cruise lines allow passengers to bring a certain amount of drinks including alcoholic ones on-board but be sure to check with your cruise’s bring-on-board policies to avoid unpleasant surprises.
Some cruise liners, however, charge for room-service deliveries after midnight.
Generally, cruise lines don’t charge for the use of on-board facilities and amenities such as deck pool, water slides, fitness room, sauna, … But you’ll be charged for spa and salon treatments, casino play, bingo and similar ‘pleasures’.
Cruise passengers usually don’t have to pay a fee for theatre performances, dances, sports activities, group entertainment, pool games, port lectures, etc.
Not included are services such as laundry and dry cleaning, in-cabin and late-night babysitting, photo, Internet access, hair cutting and styling, tuxedo rentals, etc. Also not included are shore excursions although some cruise lines offer the possibility to pay for shore excursions in advance.
Disclaimer: The list of things included in cruise packages is only a general overview of things included in most fares. To determine what’s free and what’s for fee, ask your travel agent or cruise line.