Budgeting Your Cruise Tour
Years ago when someone talked about going on a cruise they were in one of two categories – the very rich or the poor. The limited number of rich passengers would be staying in lavish, resort accommodations on the top levels of the ship, while the rest of those who wanted to secure cruise travel would be stuffed like rats in steerage. In recent decades cruising has become more and more affordable, and luckily those on almost any budget can take this style of tour today.
If a budget is very important to you when you are securing your cruise accommodation, you will need to think ahead, know exactly how much you have to spend on your trip, as well as souvenirs you may want to buy, and plan ahead to make sure you get the best return on your money.
When you are initially looking at cruise prices, don’t go right to the top of your budget when picking which travel package. In general spending your vacation with a cruise tour is a good way to conserve your money. Keep in mind you are getting accommodations, meals, entertainment and the ship’s facilities for one set price. But, often there are a number of ‘extra’ charges that are going to be added on to that low price you are seeing, so you need a little wiggle room in your budget.
Remember while your cost includes resort living, and meals, it does not include things like snacks you may want in between meals. Also, alcoholic drinks and sodas are usually not included. And, you will have to pay extra for any special tours that you want to take while at your various destinations.
Other fees that you will need to budget for are those that are added by the government from the country you left and those you will visit along the way. There may be port charges and taxes that will be added to your total. Sometimes these fees sneak up in your total as you are finalizing the payment for your trip.
While you may say you always have a couple of extra bucks on hand, these fees are a bit more than that and it’s possible that in some cases your port charges, taxes and government fees could be 0 or more a person.
In addition, not everyone lives right beside a port where cruise ships are based. If you will have to get to a port city, you must take into account your travel expenses to that city. If you are flying, make sure to do the math to know what the cost of the flight is as well as any transportation costs to get you from the airport to your cruise ship terminal. If the base port is close enough that you can drive there from your home, remember you are going to likely have to pay to leave your car in a parking lot at the cruise terminal, so take those costs into account as you prepare your trip budget.