If you’ve never taken a vacation on a major cruise line before, you may see the hefty price tag on some cruises and wonder what is included in a cruise without any additional charges. After all, with everything you spend money on during a vacation, it can be very easy to go overboard. What you may not know, however, is that cruises tend to actually be a very good value for vacations. Much of what you will need to enjoy your trip is already included, making it much easier to kick back and relax without having to worry about what your bank account is going to look like when you get home!
Your Stateroom of Choice
First and foremost, the primary item included in a cruise is your stateroom. These are not much different than a hotel room, except that they are usually smaller. But even with the smaller size, you will still have a place to rest your head, some storage space to keep your things, and a bathroom to wash up in. Staterooms come in a few different types, namely inside cabins, oceanview cabins, balcony cabins, or suites. To get the best value on a cruise ticket, consider going for an inside cabin. You won’t get that ocean view, but how much time are you going to spend in your room anyway? If you’re looking to get more perks, we typically recommend a balcony stateroom as there are sometimes special promotions that apply to balcony rooms or higher.
Food & Drinks Included in a Cruise
You can expect breakfast, lunch, and dinner to be included in a cruise no matter which cruise line you sail with. This doesn’t mean all food is free, as there are usually specialty restaurants that still have a charge, but you can get a better value on a cruise by sticking to complimentary services. You’ll also get free coffee, tea, lemonade, and juices. Many cruise lines, including Norwegian, Celebrity, and Princess, have packages that include alcoholic beverages in the price of the ticket as well. If your cruise doesn’t include alcoholic beverages, ask your travel agent about adding a drink package instead.
Onboard Entertainment and Activities
You can always count on onboard entertainment being included in a cruise, from Broadway style productions to death-defying acrobatic shows. The type of entertainment provided will vary depending on your cruise, but there is usually a good range available, so there is always something for everyone. Families can enjoy a magic show or interactive game show together. Adults can see a late-night comedy show in the wee hours of the night or waste away their evening in an onboard casino. You should check what is available before you book, as the smorgasbord of onboard entertainment is one of the best ways to get value on a cruise without having to pay extra.
Related: Cruise Shows You Simply Can’t Miss
Multiple Destinations Add Value on a Cruise
Probably the biggest reason you will get a better value on a cruise than other vacations is that most cruises will visit more than one destination during their voyage. To fly from the US to several different Caribbean islands would easily cost thousands upon thousands of dollars, whereas a cruise can easily take you all across the Caribbean without even breaking into a four digit price tag! Even better, taxes and port fees will always be included in a cruise, so you won’t have to worry about that as you are traveling from destination to destination.
Supervised Children’s Programs
Traveling with kids always comes with additional challenges, and will often incur additional expenses as well. Fortunately for parents, childcare for any kid over the age of 3 is included in a cruise on all major cruise lines. These childcare programs aren’t just babysitting either; they will typically have games and activities for your tiny tikes to do with other kids. This way, parents can get a break from watching their kids while the kids get to enjoy a little vacation of their own.
Other Items That May Be Included in a Cruise
A couple of things you’ll want to look out for when selecting a cruise are WiFi and shore excursions, as it depends on the company if they are included in a cruise. Most luxury cruise lines will include them in the price of the tickets, but not always. Norwegian, Celebrity, and Princess only include WiFi as part of a package, and Norwegian cruise line also has the option to include shore excursions as part of their Free at Sea promotion. Virgin Voyages on the other hand always includes WiFi in the cost of their cruise, (as well as onboard tips!) To make sure you’re getting the best value on a cruise, check to see if these essentials cost extra!
Amazing Services Included in a Cruise
Regardless of which cruise line you take, much of the value on a cruise comes from the impeccable service that you get. From the carefully prepared meals, to the endless entertainment, and even clean up services for your stateroom, everything you need to enjoy your vacation is included in a cruise. The staff on cruise ships are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet and are completely dedicated to meeting your relaxation needs. The service you get for no extra charge will likely beat anything you’ll ever get on land too. Talk about a good deal!
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