A cheaper cruise fare may not be the best value.
Most cruise lines quote a low lead rate that is the launch fare only. But once you add in all the extra charges and fees, it may cost much more than anticipated. In addition to the launch fare there are taxes & Govt. fees, fuel charges, gratuities, transfers, shore excursions, and specialty dining charges…not to mention air fare and hotel accommodations before you board the ship!
Several premium and luxury ships offer more amenities and services included in their packages that can be a better value in terms of the total cost of your trip. Always compare total value and not just the launch price when choosing a cruise vacation.
Inclusive Packages are the Best Value in Luxury Cruising
If you prefer staying at a Marriott or a Ritz Carlton hotel, you will probably prefer a premium or luxury cruise ship. When shopping for premium cruises look for an “all-inclusive” cruise package for the best value. Many luxury cruise lines offer inclusive packages with free airfare, free pre & post hotel stays, unlimited shore excursions, no extra charges for specialty dining, etc.
Comparing Apples to Apples
So don’t succumb to sticker shock until you are sure you are comparing “apples to apples.” A luxury cruise may not be as expensive as you think when you look at the total vacation expense. For example, when I compared Regent Seven Seas Baltic cruise to similar Holland America, Celebrity and Princess shows there is only about a $100 per person difference in pricing per day. Read more to see my side by side comparison…