Hands up to all experienced cruisers out there, have you ever experienced severe bill shock on the last night of a cruise when that final bill is shoved under your door on the last night?
Old sea dogs all know how easy it is on your first few cruises to get caught up in the moment and indulge in lots of fluffy drinks with umbrellas or spa treatments, specialty dining, or shore excursions.
Heck, you're on holiday, you want to unwind and enjoy the moment, and well, bugger the expenses. That is all well and good until that last night when you gaze at all the itemized expenses and you think, how the hell did we spend all of that much money?
It's something I think everyone has done on their first couple of cruises and I'll be making a post here shortly about some key ways to avoid overspending on your holiday at sea.
But for those of you who might still be paying off your last bill, how much did you blow your budget by? Was it $500, $1000, or even more?
If you answered in the affirmative, and have done so on more than one cruise, we need to have a serious intervention here. That money you spent could have been, should have been spent to secure you on an all-inclusive cruise that would see almost everything included for less than that bill you still lose sleep over.
Let's do the sums.
Two 10-night cruises.
One for $1500 on say Royal or Princess and another $2500 on Azamara.
Azamara includes beer/wine/spirits, barista coffee, juices and water, wifi, and even gratuities in their fare. So provided you avoid the spa and top-shelf cocktails and excursions you can walk off paying very little more.
With mid-range brands such as Royal and Princess you will have to budget for:
Gratuities of $18 p/p day
Wifi of $25 p/p day
Drinks $89 p/p day
That ends up being approximately $130 p/p day or $1300 for the ten-day cruise.
And equated to $300 p/p or $600 more per cabin than Azamara. That is a huge difference and it effectively turns what appears at first to be a bargain cruise at $1500 into a high-cost one at $2800.
But even more than that, the Azamara product is boutique, it is on s ship with only 700 people distinct from the mid-range brands that are now routinely 3000-5000 people. To me, it's a no-brainer.
I will be doing a feature on drink packages and if they are right for you shortly.
Read the next post in this series.
FAB - Step by step guide to find your perfect cruise
FAB Last Minute and Interline Cruises