Tips For Avoiding Cruise Ship Extras
Many cruise companies seem to charge extra for speciality restaurants and other services on their ships. So, the question stands: What can you expect to pay for when you get aboard and how can you avoid having to pay for such additional extras if you don’t want to? Sara Macefield, an expert in cruising has the answers.
Don't Get Shocked By The Cost Of Food
As fierce competition pushes the basic price of cruises lower, cruise lines are increasingly finding ways to tempt customers to part with more money once they step on board their ships. The rise of the speciality restaurant is one of the main routes cruise companies use to boost on-board takings. Amounts vary, but you can pay anything from a few dollars in some to an eye-watering $75 to dine in Remy, the French gourmet restaurant in Disney Cruise Line’s newer ships.
More commonly, the charges average between $A34 and $A48 per person, though once you add wine and menu supplements you can end up signing off a bill for two of $A145. The most obvious way to avoid such extras is to stick to the main dining room and self-service buffet. However, some companies, such as Celebrity Cruises, offer packages enabling passengers to dine at on-board restaurants for a set fee offering savings of up to one-third, while Norwegian Cruise Line sometimes has two-for-one promotions.
Alternatively, luxury lines such as Silversea and Seabourn have some excellent restaurants for which there is no supplement. Premium line Oceania Cruises, noted for its exquisite cuisine, is another that doesn’t charge extra for its speciality venues.
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Not Drinking Yourself Under
Drinks can be another high-cost area. Again, upmarket all-inclusive lines, including Crystal Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, include these in the package. Companies such as P&O Cruises and Royal Caribbean International offer wine packages that can work out cheaper if you drink enough to make them cost-effective. Keep an eye out for happy hours or special-rate drinks of the day but beware waiters proffering trays of tempting cocktails at sail-away parties – there’s often a price to pay.
Landing Ashore With Your Wallet Intact
Shore excursions can be another drain, so do your homework in advance to see what you can do for less by exploring independently. Check the ship’s daily program for offers, especially where spa treatments are concerned, as these are often reduced on port days. If you want to call or email home, buy an internet package or, better still, save it for when you’re ashore and find an internet cafe.
Avoid sending clothes to the laundry. If the ship has a self-service launderette, use that instead. There’s no avoiding the contentious issue of gratuities or service charges, though with each cruise line charging different amounts, this is a subject all of its own.
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This article was written by Sara Macefield from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.