Understanding All-Inclusive Cruises

Just about all cruises are considered to be all inclusive in some respect, but that term can mean something different for each cruise line. That’s why it’s important to have your travel agent or cruise representative completely lay out for you what you are getting in that all-inclusive price.

The typical cruise booked through the budget lines and on the giant 3,000-passenger ships includes:

  • Cabin
  • Food
  • Non-alcoholic drinks
  • Entertainment
  • Taxes
  • Fees in port.

Often, the price doesn’t even include drinks like sodas or an occasional snack. Plus the price can be different depending on what kind of cabin you choose and where it is located. For instance, a suite is more expensive as are cabins on the outside with a balcony.

Different types of All Inclusive Cruises

A step above this style of cruise are those that include an unlimited drinks package while onboard as well as bus fare to and from the ship. These cruises are a bit more expensive than the previously mentioned ones that include alcohol and can be found on lines like Norwegian and Royal Caribbean as well as some that offer smaller cruise ships like Seabourn and Silversea.

There are even some that wrap into the price of the cruise the shore excursions and any spa treatments you may choose to have while onboard. On these cruises, there is no need to tip the stewards and wait staff on board. What might be considered a complete all-inclusive cruise can also include airfare and even a hotel stay the night before and after your cruise.

On family-style cruises, the price can also include the cost of activities for the children as well as babysitting onboard.

All-Inclusive Cruises - Learn what they are all about

Drawbacks of All-Inclusive Cruises

There are certain things about these cruises that some people consider to be a drawback. All inclusive cruises that include everything like shore excursions are very tightly organised with an inflexible itinerary. Each trip is planned for you ahead of time and run on strict schedules.

You lose the option of taking part in things you may not have know about when you arranged your trip. Your time at each place is limited and you have no choice about when and where you have your onshore meals.

In short, each style cruise has good points and bad points but you can choose just how inclusive you want your cruise to be and how much money you want to come up with initially. If you decide on the lower-priced version you still have to pay for soft drinks, snacks, shore excursions, spa treatments, and other extras and may end up paying more than if you’d gone with the all-inclusive route.