For many people, the thought of going on a cruise holiday would be like a dream come true and I know of many people who have saved long and hard to be able to afford to go on this kind of holiday, often calling it a once in a lifetime trip that they will never be able to afford to experience again.
I have also heard people come back from cruises lamenting just how much the whole thing cost, or mentioning that it cost more than they expected. The problem lies with people booking “all inclusive” cruises that cover their food and drink and give them a place to stay for the entirety of the cruise but don’t cover the extra costs that people tend to overlook when planning a holiday.
One of the biggest hidden costs of cruising is shore excursions. Many cruise ships will organise their own shore excursions and show you the sites in port for a price but even if you opt to do it yourself and make your own way around dry land, you can still expect to pay out for things like food and drink and the occasional souvenir.
Another factor is that although all your food and drinks are included in your price other activities on board aren’t and so if you want to take part in on board fitness classes, make use of the ship’s gym, enjoy the salon or spa or even watch a film, all of these things are more than likely going to cost you extra. It stands to reason that these things would cost extra just as they would if you were staying in a hotel but many people seem to forget this when they have paid for their cruise and think they are getting an “all inclusive” that covers everything on board the ship when, in reality, it doesn’t.
So how can you best prepare to make sure you enjoy your cruise and aren’t watching your wallet the entire time? Well, one obvious point would be to make sure you have saved enough to have plenty of disposable income when you are on board so you don’t need to worry.
There are many ways you can achieve this, such as saving a set amount in the months running up to your holiday or you could even look to save money on the cruise itself and be careful when choosing your cruise package and make sure it includes all the things you think it does.
You can occasionally grab a bargain when looking last minute, and you can see the prices of cruises drastically reduced just to fill the cabins before the ship sets sail – find a site with late deals like Virgin, or check the shopping channels – as long as you’ve got some spending money set aside you could easily be cruising within a couple of weeks.