The True Cost Of A Cruise Might Leave You In Bumpy Waters

Going on cruises is a great way to travel the world without the boredom of flying or taking the train. The journey is the vacation, and everything else is just a bonus! When you book your ticket, that’s what you probably expect, anyway. Some parts of the cruise are included with the ticket. Other things, tragically, will cost you extra. A lot extra. In a few slides, you’ll find out how much Wi-Fi costs and see what we mean.

Alcohol Is Not Included With The Price Of Your Ticket

Photo Credit: Anthony Weller/View Pictures/UIG via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Anthony Weller/View Pictures/UIG via Getty Images

Booze isn’t cheap at a bar on a Friday night, so it better be free on an expensive cruise, right? Wrong. Even if you buy an “all-inclusive” ticket, you’re probably still paying for your poison. Most “all-inclusive” tickets only include tap water (not bottled), milk, coffee, and juice.

If you know you’re going to go broke at the bar, some ships offer an extra package for unlimited drinks. This “per-day” fee usually costs around $50 and will let you drink mai tais and piña colada to your heart’s content.

Don’t Charge Everything To Your Cabin

Photo Credit: James D. Morgan/Getty Images
Photo Credit: James D. Morgan/Getty Images

The last thing you want to do on a cruise is to keep track of how much money you’re spending. It’s easier to charge everything to your cabin. Sadly, it’s also not very smart. Purchases add up fast. If you charge a $20 meal and four $15 cocktails, that’s $80 that you’re telling yourself you’ll deal with later.

Question, though; can your checkbook deal with it later? It’s not fun advice, but it really is smart to budget yourself and pay as you go, making sure you’re staying close to your budget. It’s okay to go over a little bit, though. You are there to have fun, after all! Coming up, “fun” with hidden charges!

Port Fees Are A Thing Cruise Lines Don’t Tell You About

Photo Credit: Geography Photos/UIG via Getty Image
Photo Credit: Geography Photos/UIG via Getty Image

To keep your mind free from worry, Cruise lines take care of payments they never tell you about. They still charge you for them, however. Port fees cover all tolls you might have to pay at every location. They include immigration and naturalization costs, baggage handling, ship inspections, and other things.

Once the cruise is booked up and ready to sail, they’ll split the overall cost of these fees among the passengers. Sometimes they’ll include the fee when you buy the ticket. Other times you’ll get a second bill for your cruise weeks before you depart, making it impossible to back out of your vacation.

Travelling Alone Costs Extra

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Light Yagami/Pinterest
Light Yagami/Pinterest

Most cruise dorms are designed to hold two people at a time. This means that when you book a cruise by yourself, you’re hurting your bank account. The cruise line will charge you an extra “supplement charge.” This can cost you twice as much as a ticket bought with a friend!

For those who can afford this, cruising solo is an excellent opportunity to make friends and be social. If you spend all year saving money for your vacation, though, make sure you read the fine print to see what you’re really paying for. Next, if you’re addicted to the internet, maybe a cruise isn’t right for you.

There’s No Such Thing As Free Wi-Fi On Board

Photo Credit: GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
Photo Credit: GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images

The best thing you can do with all the pictures you take on a cruise is waiting until you’re back home to post them to social media. If you can’t wait then be warned, because some ships will charge you $45 an hour to use their Wi-Fi.

If you absolutely need the internet, pay for the unlimited day fee. It’s usually between $15 and $25. If you don’t, you’ll be charged upward of 75 cents a minute, which adds up to the price you see above. Yikes! Did we mention the internet is pretty slow on open water also, so you’ll be waiting for that picture to upload for a while.

Even If You Don’t Think You Aren’t, You’re Tipping The Staff

If you’re trying to save an extra penny by not tipping your cruise staff, you might want to think again. Most lines charge up to $12 a day in gratuity for room cleaning fees and 18 percent gratuity on drinks. You’re only being cheap in your head.

Paying gratuity or to shouldn’t bother you. Just be aware that the price is already included in everything. The staff works hard to keep you happy, and they deserve a little happiness too. At the end of the trip, the pot gets split evenly between all the workers. Still ahead, how much extra bringing your own booze aboard will cost you.

Coffee Is Free, Not A Latte Or Espresso

Photo Credit: Francis Dean/Corbis via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Francis Dean/Corbis via Getty Images

If you want caffeine on a cruise, coffee and milk are free. When you start asking for lattes, however, you start getting charged for your wake up call. With coffee, milk, and a few sugar packets you can sweeten up your coffee. It just won’t be gourmet.

Fancy coffee isn’t the only thing you’ll pay an arm and a leg for. A bottle of water costs about five dollars and a can of soda costs half that. If you have an addiction to carbonated beverages, you can pay an unlimited daily fee, just as you would for alcohol.

If You Bring Your Own Wine, Expect A Corkage Fee

Photo Credit: Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images

If you’ve never heard of a corkage fee, then you’ll probably be upset when your captain charges you to open your bottle of wine on board. You brought the wine, why should you have to pay to open it? Those are the rules.

Like everything we’ve talked about, though, a corkage fee on a cruise will cost you significantly more than it will at a restaurant. The charge could be $25, or it could be more. Here’s a tip. If the corkage fee is flat, bring a lot of wine on board. Then you’ll save money by paying only for corkage and not alcohol.

Make Sure You Don’t Miss Your Ship At Port

Photo Credit: George Rose/Getty Images
Photo Credit: George Rose/Getty Images

Honestly, if you miss your ship at port, you deserve the torture you’re going to put yourself through. Once you find a port agent, they could give you two options. You could pay them to ferry you to the next port to meet your ship, or you could go home.

Remember, if you choose to go home, you still have to figure out how to recover all your baggage. The best strategy here is to make sure you know where your ship is at all times so it can’t leave without you. Ahead, did you ever wonder how much a laundromat costs in the open water?

Pack Enough Clothes For Your Trip Or Pay The Piper

Photo Credit: RAFA RIVAS/AFP/Getty Images
Photo Credit: RAFA RIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

Before going on your cruise, know how many days worth of outfits you need. If you get caught needing to do laundry on board, you’ll be charged an arm and a leg. Seriously, if you thought the laundromat was expensive, you’re not going to want to pay the six dollars per load the ship demands.

If you don’t want to bring enough clothes with you and don’t want to pay cleaning fees, then be prepared to smell for the last few days of your journey. You can pay $109 for unlimited service, but that still seems like a ripoff to us.

The Special Restaurants

Passengers eat lunch in the Brittania restaurant of the Cunard cruise liner RMS Queen Mary 2 sailing in the Atlantic ocean during the Bridge 2017, a transatlantic race between the cruise liner and the world's fastest Ultim trimarans from Saint-Nazaire, France, to New York City, USA on June 26, 2017-812331916
LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images
LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images

One of the main reasons people enjoy going on cruises is for their food, and that’s because they’re famous for it, especially the buffets. Sadly, the cream of the crop foods has gotten moved into “specialty restaurants.”

You can bet your bottom dollar that these restaurants cost extra as well. Travel agent Grainne Kelly says, “the cost is nominal compared to a restaurant at home, but needless to say some of the better selections now cost a bit more.”

The Premium Choices Will Get You

Breakfast setting on a cruise ship-489741250
John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images
John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images

Just as they moved all the great dining choices into restaurants that make you pay more, cruise lines treat the food options the same in the main dining room. If you’re in the mood for a healthy lobster, be ready to break bread.

Yes, we all love to indulge in a steak every once in a while, but that steak in the main room can cause an upcharge on your bill. Be careful about what you order or ask questions beforehand to be safe.

Don’t Forget Your Toiletries

The bathroom in one of the luxury suites onboard the cruise ship Oasis of the Seas. The ship, currently the largest in the world, is owned by Royal Carribean Cruise Line-600002748
Orjan F. Ellingvag/Dagbladet/Corbis via Getty Images
Orjan F. Ellingvag/Dagbladet/Corbis via Getty Images

Just as the headline says, please don’t forget your toiletries. It’s imparitive that you don’t unless you’re prepared to pay the ridiculous prices that the cruise line makes their toothpaste.

Without Amazon Prime (until Jeff Bezos creates ocean delivery) you’re pretty much stuck to abide by their pricing. “Amazon Prime is not available, so they can name their own price,” one expert says. Your best bet is to wait until you port, where things will be cheaper.

Fun At The Port

A cruise ship sails into Kralendijk harbour on February 3, 2011 on the island of Bonaire. Bonaire has earned a reputation for being one of the most environmentally conscious islands in the Caribbean. Extensive areas of rural land are protected by law-115793353
Michel Porro/Getty Images
Michel Porro/Getty Images

When it’s time to port during a cruise, people usually partake in a few shore activities and tours as they await the next departure. Remember, you always need to be aware of where the ship is, and don’t assume any port ventures are part of your fare like a river cruise.

No matter where you choose to book, be ready to pay extra to do more. “Don’t however, assume that prices are always higher when booking tours through the cruise line,” an expert said. “While they often inflate prices a bit, on occasion they get such good volume discounts that they may be cheaper than booking independently.”

Watch Your Health Out There

Evelyn Hamann (re.), Daniela Strietzel, ZDF-Serie
Peter Bischoff/Getty Images
Peter Bischoff/Getty Images

Before traveling abroad, one thing you need to do is check with your health insurance. We say that because if you happen to fall ill while cruising in another country without the proper coverage, you might get hit with unexpected vacation fees.

Sure, no one plans on getting sick while trying to have a good time, but it can happen to anyone. “It can be very expensive to fly home during a medical emergency,” says one expert.

Working Out With The Class

Guests are seen during a spin class using Stages Cycling bicycles at Life Time Athletic At Sky during its Grand Opening on June 1, 2016 in New York City-537492064
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Sometimes, working out alone doesn’t cut it. It would help if you had some of that extra energy that comes with a crowd. Don’t worry; cruise lines have group exercise classes for you to break a sweat in. You might need it after all the food you’re going to eat.

The sad part is that you’re going to fork up some extra money probably. Not all lines charge extra, but many will cost $10 or $15 more for a yoga or spin class.

Ready For Spa Privileges? Not So Fast…

A massage onboard the Four Season's Explorer. The Explorer is a luxury upmarket catamaran that cruises the Maldivian archipelago, an all island country off the coast of southern India-461711880
Leisa Tyler/LightRocket via Getty Images
Leisa Tyler/LightRocket via Getty Images

Of course, basic amenities on the ship spa are free such as the steam room and saunas, but if you’re feeling a little fancier, you can expect to have some funds depleted. We’re sorry to break the news to you, but that’s how it is.

If you’re interested in hydrotherapy areas, thermal suites, or thalassotherapy pools, then get ready to pay between $20 and $40 for daily use or hundreds of dollars for a week-long.