Free vs Fee Tipping – What Are You Paying for in Cruise [2018]

The price of a cruise is not a one-time fee to cover all your expenses during your vacation. It does include the significant costs such as meals and accommodation, but there are other expenses that you have to pay yourself. This article, Free vs. Fee – What are you paying for in Cruise, will provide the insights on your cruise vacation.  Before getting on your cruise, you need to set aside some cash to cover the extra expenditures so you can enjoy the full cruise experience. If you are planning a cruise vacation for you and your loved one and you are wondering about the cruise pricing for 2, you need to understand that cruise prices are more like plane tickets than a hotel room. Rather than calculating the cost per cabin, they estimate the amount per person.

Here is a breakdown of the items that are “free” and those you must pay while on your cruise.

Food and drinks

Most cruise ships will offer free dining for all passengers. Your cruise fare covers major meals; breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Passengers will get their meals served in the main dining room or the buffet venue. However, for upscale or specialty restaurants, you will have to pay extra. The extra fee can either be a flat rate or per item ordered. When it comes to drinks, different cruise lines have different policies regarding beverages. Taking the Carnival as an example, non-carbonated drinks are free during meal times, but after meal time you have to pay. Alcoholic drinks and soda are also not free on most cruises.

Gratuities or tipping

Tipping policies vary from one cruise line to the other. Most of them will charge a fixed amount per person per day. The amount is then divided equally among the crew members that offer vital services. Management also costs a 15% gratuity for bar tabs and spa services. When calculating the cruise prices for a couple on the Royal Caribbean, remember to include some extra cash for tips.

Shore excursions

Shore excursions are a crucial part of any cruise experience. Most cruise lines offer guided tours for a fee, but you can also book your own independent tours to save money.

Onboard activities

Most onboard activities such as live performances, lectures, and production shows are free, but there are some you must pay. An example is fitness classes such as yoga, Pilates, and spinning for which you incur an extra fee.

Going on a cruise is an experience like no other. However, if you want to make the most out of it, you need to carry some cash with you to pay for the extras. As you have seen, when calculating how much a 7-day cruise is, do not stick to the cruise price but instead account for the extra charges.