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Are You Saying You Can't Afford A Cruise? Think Again!
Gee, How Much Does A Cruise Cost?
Okay, let's say that you’ve decided to take the family on a cruise, or just you and your significant other, and now you need to figure out how much it’s going to cost. Your first glimpse at typical fares offered online has left you more than a little skeptical about the affordability of taking your vacation to the seas. But before you nix the whole cruise idea and book a stay at a dude ranch, why not take a more thorough look at cruise pricing? You may just find that you are getting a great deal and that cruises are actually cheaper than your typical run-of-the-mill vacation.
The problem with cruise pricing is that cruise lines hit you right up front with the numbers, (WHAM!) and that can be a little hard to swallow. But if you can get past your initial shock and not click off your browser, you will find that most cruises are all inclusive, meaning that the entire cost of your vacation is included in the fare price.
Far from just providing you with accommodations, your cruise fare will cover the following: meals and snacks, admission to lounges and nightclubs aboard ship, and tickets to view live bands, productions, and comedy shows. In most cruise lines, the cost of meals alone accounts for up to $75 per day of your fare. Once you subtract this amount and the amount that it would cost for daily entertainment while on a land-based vacation, you could very well be getting your accommodations aboard the ship for free. Sounds like a bargain, huh?
The price for taking a cruise varies greatly and depends on several factors. In some cases, you can book a fare for well under $1,000 per person. Others can cost up to $6,000 per person. It really just depends on your preferences and also how you go about booking your trip. Following is a list of several factors that can affect the cost of your cruise:
1. Time of year - The time of year that you plan to take your cruise will greatly affect the cost of your fare. As with most vacation destinations, the cost of a cruise fare is lower during the off season and higher during the peak season
2. Length - Obviously the length of the cruise will affect the price. If you’re looking for a cruise vacation at a great price, you may want to choose a shorter, 3-day cruise instead of a cruise that lasts 10 days or more.
3. Destination - The cruise destination will also affect the price of your ticket. Generally, the most popular cruise destinations cost more and are harder to book.
4. Type - Many cruise lines offer themed cruises or ones designed for a special group of people. These normally cost more than cruises open to the general public.
5. The cruise line - Different cruise lines have different pricing tables. If you have a favorite line that you wish to travel with, you might be limited when it comes to finding a lower fare. But if you are flexible, you might be able to find a cheaper deal to the same destination simply by choosing a different cruise line.
6. The type of ship – Cruise lines have different types of ships with different pricing tables for each. A smaller ship will likely have fewer amenities than a larger ship and will therefore be less expensive to book a passage on.
7. Accommodations – The size of your room, the view from your cabin, and how many people are staying in it will affect pricing a great deal. To save money, many people opt for an inside stateroom rather than a room that faces outward and has a terrace. The deck that your room is located on will also affect the cost.
8. Package options – Many cruise lines offer extras or upgrades that can be purchased along with your fare.
9. Promotions – If you book a cruise as part of a promotion or special offer, you can save a lot of money on your fare. You can also save money by booking in advance and paying for your fare quickly.
Other cost considerations that you will need to make when calculating the cost of your vacation include any traveling costs to get you to the location where your cruise takes off and a little bit of spending money for souvenirs and purchases made while docked.
Other than that, normally what you see is what you get in cruise pricing. But I do want to say to be sure you ask about any thing that is not included so you don't get surprised. Ask about any additional taxes, charges, surcharges and even take a look at tipping and also figure out of pocket expenses on shore excursion or the purchase of any items or services on the ship that might not be included. Some offered tours on some of the shore excursions might have their own price. If your not sure ask your travel agent, or someone you know that has been on a cruise, or look for what you think is a good cruise forum on the web and maybe post a question or two, or even write/email the cruise line itself and then you'll have something in writing. This way the budget for your cruise will be more accurate and you'll feel more confident and relaxed. And getting away to relax is the point, right?
Yes, you may pay a little more up front, but all the things already included in the costs makes a cruise vacation quite a bargain over many other types of vacations. Plus, during a cruise you can visit numerous exotic locations instead of being stuck in one place for the whole duration of your trip and you don't have to do any of the driving. And that’s the real attraction of taking a cruise, it becomes many little exotic adventures...
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