All inclusive cruise deals are one of the nicest things to exist in the world of leisure and luxury traveling. There is no mess, no fuss, and all your responsibilities are done and dusted and all that is left for you is to lie back soaking in the sun, feeling the sea breeze, and sip on your favorite cocktails as you sail the sea waves. However, there is always a possibility that you might encounter a surprise you would rather not.
The hidden costs are definitely a menace with potential to ruin your mood, but if you prepare yourself beforehand, then you can avoid getting caught off guard and your trip will be much better. This article is written to prepare you for just that.
Commute to and from the cruise ship
While an all inclusive deal means no extra charges when you are on board, the time and commute that you have to make till the harbor where your journey is starting is still your responsibility. Cruise deals are a luxury and sometimes one can make the mistake of not including the cost of reaching to the ship. So unless you live really close to the port, and do not have any heavy luggage that you have to carry, you will need some commute service. It can be flight tickets, car rentals, or just the gasoline money, but when you are making plans for a cruise ride, do not miss out on these as they are not part of the all inclusive deals.
If the last point made you decide in favor of taking your own car to and from the port where your cruise ship is, that does not mean you are off the hook completely. In that case you will need to ensure a safe and secure parking space for that sweet vehicle of yours. The parking fees that you will have to incur for the length of the time of your cruise ride. To be fair, the parking facilities at the ports are ridiculously expensive, and to make matters worse this cost is not part of your all inclusive cruise package.
What if you get there early?
When we say early we don’t mean a few hours, like your grandparents do for their flights. We mean a day earlier than the departure of your cruise. It is actually a good thing. Being in rush and getting stuck in traffic or getting late in any way will be a major source of discomfort and perhaps even substantial financial losses if you miss the ship. However, there is obviously a cost attached to this precaution, because the all inclusive deal does not cover the lodging. However you can cover these costs from your previous hotel credits, and cherry on top, you might also get to save on the previous cost – parking.
The accommodation top-ups
This is a tricky one. Your lodging and accommodation are already paid for in the all inclusive package but you still got to incur some gratuities. If you haven’t already paid for your housing in advance, the set percentage of gratuities is added to your total cost in the final bill. However, if you have already paid for the accommodation in advance, then this is a cost that can safely be labeled ‘hidden’. It is difficult to estimate the exact cost of such gratuities, however as an estimate if you have a cabin for two people, on an average trip it will be approximately an addition $100. However, if you also have a little baby with you on board, he or she is exempt from these gratuities.
Additional activities that are NOT on the ship
The all inclusive packages take care of all you indulge in when you are on the cruise. But do remember that the cruise is going to stop at several places and if you really want to enjoy the destinations on your cruise’s itinerary, you better hop off from your comfortable seat and roam around. The exotic destinations are put on the plan for your benefit and unless you thoroughly take benefit, you will lose out on the experience. The catch is that all the activities you do in those areas are your responsibility, not just your private shopping. These may include a guided tour of the place, attending a carnival and so on.
On-board activities may also come out of your package
The usual activities on the cruise are a part of all inclusive packages. However, there might be something extra that the cruise company has on board but it is not free. It is completely fair because cruise companies do not advertise these activities as part of their all inclusive packages, and they vary from cruise to cruise depending on the target customers of the cruise. These may involve augmented reality gaming or a trampoline for grownups. There can be additional services too, such as day care for children, which are above and beyond the all inclusive package.
The cuisine in addition to the free cuisine
Cruises take special pride in their menus. There is no secret that most of the cruise companies, both big and small, have lavish and extraordinary meals that are one of the major attractions of the all inclusive packages. However, there is always a chance that some guests will not like the cuisine on offer. You might be one of those guests. The entire idea of taking a cruise trip is to enjoy life to its fullest and if you don’t like the food then so be it. You don’t have to eat it because the cruise ship will always have something extra and something special for cases just like this. The bad side to this story is that you will have to pay for that food on top of your all inclusive package costs.
The bottom line remains that you enjoy your experience as it is supposed to be enjoyed. Once you have incurred the major chunk of the cost buying the all inclusive package – which itself is available on massive discounts and with so many additional deals to sweeten the pot – then these additional expenses are just to make sure that you get your money’s worth without any worries. Happy voyaging!