If you have always traveled to all-inclusive resorts and are about to embark on your first cruise, you may be shocked to learn that cruises are not all-inclusive. While there is lots of entertainment and food options on boards, many drinks and some specialty restaurants are not included with the cost of your cruise fare. And with cruise ships being a “cashless society” it is easy to get caught up in spending!
What IS Included? – LOTS! There is plenty to do once you step on the cruise ship. Your daily newsletter will have all the information about your free dining venues and activities!
– Food – the main dining room and buffets are included
– Drink – basic coffee, tea and juices are also included. Coffee, tea and juices are generally located in the buffet, so you can pop by and grab one 24 hours a day.
– Activities – there are lots of activities going on around the ship every day! These will be clearly marked in your ships “Daily Newsletter”. If an activity does have an additional fee (such as some gym classes or enrichment classes/tours) they will be marked.
What IS NOT included? –
– Food – many ships have specialty restaurants that have a surcharge. These restaurants can include steakhouses, Italian restaurant, sushi a la carte, burger joints and so much more! If you are a foodie these dining experiences are not to be missed.
– Drink – alcohol based drinks, soda pop, bottled water, fresh squeezed juices, etc are also an additional charge.
– Activities – there may be some activities that have an additional fee such as fitness classes and art/enrichment classes. Plus, the spa, casino and your shore excursions are also not included
Are These Extras Worth It? – A lot of it is personal preference. Do you feel that the offerings included in your cruise fare are all you need? If so, then great! You are all set! Do you want or need a bit more to add to your vacation and make it the perfect vacation? Or perhaps you are celebrating a special occasion or a milestone? Then adding a drink package, whether it is one that includes alcohol or is simply a soda package may be the right choice! Or heading out for to one of the specialty restaurants may be worth it.
Are These Ever Included? Wait Did You Say Included? – Many cruise lines offering booked incentives where you can pick from different perks when you are booking your cruise fare. These perks often include drink packages, dining packages or on-board credit (which can be used for virtually anything charged to your seapass account)! If you are someone who likes a drink package or a dinner or two in a specialty restaurant, these incentives are something to watch out for! As well, there are often discounts for pre-purchasing your packages before you get onboard – check with your cruise line before your sail date!
Whatever you decide, your cruise will be an amazing vacation experience. Packages are designed to streamline your vacation but are not necessary. Do your research to make sure you are making the right decision for you and remember that you will always have the option to add a package once you are on board!