How much are the extras on a cruise?

Many people like cruising because accommodation, meals and travel are included in the one payment, so that when you do go on a cruise the only money you need to take is your spending money. But what are some of the extras that you will need to fork out for whilst onboard?

Firstly, there are the gratuities, the tips, for staff.  Many cruise lines these days ask you to pre-pay your tips, or else they charge you a set standard rate which you still have to pay.  The cost of tis varies depending on the cruise lines, and where you are cruising (ships sailing from American ports are the worst), but they start at about $15 per day.  Before you go on a cruise, always find out about that cruise line’s gratuity policy (they don’t give it such a crass term as tipping).

It may be that cruise staff do deserve a tip.  In fact, I’m quite happy to give a tip for good service, but in my opinion a tip should not be compulsory, it should be a reward for excellent service.  If tips are compulsory then service suffers.  Besides, why aren’t the cruise lines paying staff a liveable wage? Why do passengers have to pay extra for services such as housekeeping, table service, etc?  Surely if you have booked to travel on a floating hotel, which is what a cruise ship is, you should expect those services to be included in the fare.

I recently saw some charges that cruise lines charge passengers for various services, and the prices are quite frightening.

For instance, if you wish to use the internet on the Queen Mary 2 they will charge you up to USD167.95 per day.  Yes, that’s right.  Because you are somewhere on the ocean, the cruise line can suddenly indulge in an act of piracy on those who just want to update their Facebook account.

If you wish to have a beer on board ship, here are some charges for the various cruise lines in both USD and Pounds:

Cruise Line…….Bar $ price (33cl)…Total £ inc tip

Royal Caribbean…..$5.50 plus 15% tip…..£3.95

NCL…………………..$4.95 plus 17% tip…..£3.61

Celebrity Cruises…..$5 plus 15% tip……….£3.59

Cunard Cruises……..$4.75 plus 15%……….£3.41

Costa Cruises……….$4.25 plus 15% tip……£3.05

Holland America……$4.25 plus 15% tip……£3.05

Ocean Village……….£2.65

Princess……………..$3.50 plus 15% tip……£2.51

P&O Cruises…………£2.35


So much for the concept of duty free prices on board, these are more like conscience free prices from the management of the cruise lines.

Cruising can be a lot of fun – but that fun comes at a price.  If you do want to go on a cruise, it may end up costing you a lot more than you first anticipate.

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