Cruising is promoted as all-inclusive, because cruise fares include all the necessities for a great vacation. However, your cruise fare won’t cover everything you could possibly do onboard – all cruises feature optional extras that carry additional fees. Let’s look at what is generally included in your fare, and what is not.
Stateroom. Your accommodation is included in your cruise fare; in fact, your fare is largely determined by the category of stateroom you choose, from an inside cabin to a spacious suite. You’ll also have the services of a cabin steward, who will clean and tidy your stateroom at least once a day. Some suite accommodations also include butler and concierge service.
Beverages. Most ships provide tap water, regular coffee and tea, iced tea, and some juices at no additional charge. You will probably need to pay extra for bottled or sparkling water, soda, specialty coffees and teas, smoothies and alcoholic drinks. However, most cruise lines offer discounted beverage packages, and some allow you to bring some bottled water, soda, or wine onboard.
Dining. Your fare includes dining in the ship’s main dining room, buffets, and even some specialty restaurants (although some menu items, such as prime steaks and lobster, may have a small extra fee). Alternative restaurants serving gourmet fare usually have cover charges, generally $25 to $50 per person. Many ships also offer a limited, complimentary room service menu, though specialty items and late-night deliveries may carry a small fee.
Fitness Center. Use of the fitness center and some classes are usually included in the fare, while personal training, fitness assessments and intensive classes usually carry a fee.
Entertainment. Most onboard entertainment is included in your fare, including shows in the main theater.
Activities. Many cruise lines have kids’ clubs that provide activities for toddlers, kids, tweens and teens at no extra charge. If you need actual child-sitting services, though, there will be a fee (the cost can be well worth it so you can have an onboard date night).
Spa. Spa and salon services are not included in your fare, although steam and sauna rooms may be open to all at no extra charge.
To find out exactly what’s included in the fare for the next cruise you’re planning to take, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor. And, keep in mind that luxury cruise lines generally include more than mainstream lines – your travel to and from the port may even be included.
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