A cruise vacation is the most relaxing way to spend your well-earned vacation time. For confirmation, ask anybody who has been on one. The big myth about cruises is that they are too expensive. However, when you start to calculate the costs for hotel rooms, air fare, rental cars, meals, and entertainment tickets, you will quickly realize that going on a cruise for your next vacation is actually one of your most economical choices.
Cost factors should not deter you from experiencing the most relaxing and fulfilling of all vacation options. Economically speaking, a 7 night stay at a resort hotel can be more expensive than a 7 night cruise. Hidden vacation costs like meals and entertainment are all included within the cruise fare. The only expenses that a passenger is responsible for out of pocket are land excursions, personal services, and alcoholic drinks. Some all-inclusive cruises will include personal services as well. Travel agencies can also assist you by rolling even more expenses together into an affordable package deal for you and your family.
Rates vary according to departure and destination points. If you are interested in an Alaskan getaway, then booking cruises from Seattle are your best bet for an affordable fare, but you then might need to consider travel costs to Seattle as well. Some travel agencies have packages that will include airfare to your destination port. A cruise to The Bahamas will be less expensive from ports on the eastern coast of Florida than from Boston.
For a real family vacation value, there are specialty cruises that are designed to entertain both adults and children. The Disney Company has its own cruise line as well its own destination island in the Bahamas called Castaway Cay. Similarly, Norwegian Cruise Lines operates Nickelodeon cruises. Both of these options include character meet and greats on board and on shore. Children get a chance to have their pictures taken with their favorite characters, and might even have breakfast with them as well.
The best values are all-inclusive packages. These deals provide all entertainment, services, and meals for one all-inclusive fare. Budgeting for your vacation is a lot easier with these deals. One of the biggest hidden costs is meals off shore. If you choose to take all of your meals on the ship instead, you will save a great deal of money.
Another hidden cost is alcohol. Even with all-inclusive fares, alcoholic drinks are not included. The cruise industry wants you to have a good time, but they also want you to be responsible for your alcohol consumption. Tipping is also a cost that is often left out of most people’s budgets. Most of the service employees on board rely on tips for their income. It is not proper to make poor tipping a way to save money.
Contacting a travel agent is a highly recommended way to plan your trip. They can help you determine the best port to take your cruises from based on your desired destination. Agents also have access to last minute deals that you will not be able to find anywhere else.
If you have not gone on a cruise, then you shouldn’t wait any longer. Cruise ships are still doing a robust business, even in the midst of a global recession. This is because they offer an escape at an economical price. If your cruise destination is in another country, don’t forget to apply early for your passport. New custom regulations designed to protect the country from terrorists have slowed down the process. Don’t let governmental paperwork get in the way of your first cruise vacation.