Tag Archives: Travel

Hidden Cruise Fees

So you are going to book a cruise and you want to know what kinds of hidden fees to expect?  When booking online, there are often very low advertised prices, and it can be hard to predict how much it will actually cost without practically going through the entire booking process.

Here is a breakdown on some additional charges you may incur while booking your cruise and during travel.

Taxes and Port Charges

Expect to pay a good amount of taxes when booking a cruise in the US.  Travel type activities always find ways to become more heavily taxed.  Port fees are also added onto the bill as well, to cover charges for the docking of the boat at certain ports.  Also note, when purchasing items on the ship while at port, you may end up paying an additional tax or port fee on those items.  Waiting until the ship sets sail from a port is the best way to avoid the additional charges.  Taxes and port charges up front vary greatly when booking the cruise, but you should probably figure a few hundred dollars per person more at the time of booking than the list price.

Travel Insurance

The online booking companies really push travel insurance, to help cover expenses under certain conditions that would hinder or prevent the travel from occurring.  It is up to the buyer whether they would like to purchase this or not and they would need to read the coverage information and determine their own risks involved in traveling.  Assume a few hundred dollars though when booking your cruise to add on travel insurance.

Processing Fees

Booking through an online agent, such as cruises.com?  Assume a processing fee.  Recently, cruises.com charge $24.99 for the booking.

On-board Service Charges

Many cruise lines require a daily service charge per cruiser per day for tipping the various service members on the ship.  It can be $10 to $15 per day per person.  On longer cruises, this can really add up.  At one time, this was an optional charge in lieu of tipping during each transaction, but don’t count on it being optional anymore.

Highly Inflated Prices

Items on-board are expensive.  From drinks to food.  All inclusive only goes so far, and depending on what cruise line you are on, can vary quite a bit.  A lower cost cruise line like Costa charges for certain things like room service and actually charges for the food when ordered through room service where other cruise lines do not.  Every cruise line varies, so it’s difficult to predict.  If you like to enjoy freely indulging on board, plan on $20 per person per day.  Often, there is an unlimited drink package available for about $25 per person per day.

Foreign Fees

Using your credit card on board or at ports?  If a cruise ship is registered internationally instead of being US based, plan on the on board transactions showing up as foreign transactions on your credit card.  Costa, for example is an Italian cruise line.  If you embark on a Costa cruise in Miama, FL and return to Miami, FL at the end, all transactions on board will still register as foreign transactions on your credit card.  If you pay a fee for this, it can really add up.  Look for a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees to avoid this.

That’s about it.  Hopefully it gives you a better picture of what to expect.  Happy Cruising!

Cruises are Great for Honeymoons

A honeymoon is an important time for newlyweds.  A time to relax after a potentially stressful journey leading up to the wedding.  A time to peacefully connect one on one.  A time to start of their marriage with some fun, adventure and a chance for a little spice!

There are a number of options for the honeymoon, and no option is the best fit for everyone. Factors such as finances, mutual desires and time constraints will all play into the decision for the honeymoon.  The most important factor is whether or not you will enjoy the time together.

A cruise would make a great option for many couples on their honeymoon for many reasons.  One of those is the flexibility to just relax or to take part in adventures or activities.  Often, cruises stop at many different ports of call and have numerous excursions available at each from high action such as zip lines and ATV adventures, to learning about local culture in a laid back tour.  Don’t want to get off the ship or even leave your room?  Skip the excursions and even the port and order in room service.

Cruises can be very affordable.  Since food, lodging and many activities are all included in the price, once your board, you can keep almost all additional expenses down.  If you would like specialty foods or drinks on board though, note that it can become quite expensive.

A cruise can provide a great deal of isolation as well.  Communication off of the ship is usually very expensive, forcing couples to not make as many unnecessary contacts with family, friends or work they’ve left behind for a reason.  This helps to maintain intimacy with each other during the honeymoon.

Overall cruises give the greatest flexibility for activity or down time.  This flexibility allows the couple to avoid feeling like they have to do as much as possible to get their full value out of the vacation.  Another good option, if a couple will most likely not partake in many activities, or dislikes the idea of being at sea, is an all inclusive resort.  These often provide the same amenities without the sea travel or ports.

No matter the choice, the importance is that the honeymoon fits the couple and caters to what they would like to get out of their honeymoon.  Some don’t want to leave a private room while others love to add in some adventure.  Make it fit yourself!