Post # 1
My FI wants to go on a cruise for our honeymoon but I’m trying to find an all inclusive resort. We are looking for August so it seems like hurricane season is our big concern. However, we did find some southern Caribbean options that might be promising.
For those who have cruised, I’m wondering how much do you end up spending? I know tips aren’t included, excursions, plus beverages. When you get a price estimate on the website, how much should you add?
Also, is it better to book through a travel agent?
Post # 3
I LOVE cruises! How much you spend can vary a lot. With the lines I have been on (Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Costa), you can buy soft drink cards for like $50 (that may have changed – it’s been 2 years sinc eI have been on a cruise), but that is for unlimted soft drinks the whole cruise. Lemonade, coffee, iced tea, water, juices, and hot chocolate are all free. Alcoholic drinks can really rack up your bill though. FI and I aren’t big drinkers but if you are like my sister and her husband, you could add up to $1000 in drinks alone (this is why all-inclusives are so much more expensive per night). Most boats have casinos so you may lose money (or gain it I guess…) there. As far as excursions, I would suggest not buying through the ship. There are tons of people with the same excursion offers on the peir when you port that offer the same things (sometime it is the EXACT same excursion) for 1/2 or 1/4 of the price. You can also jump in a taxi and just have them take you to a close resort and spend the day on the beach – there are usually people renting kayaks, jet skis, and parasailing trips there too. My parents average spending about $300 extra for a 7 day cruise, and my sister averages about $1500 over the price of rooms. Where are you thinking of cruising to?
Post # 4
As long as you consider all the costs, you’ll be fine. Crusing can be really reasonable. You have ot consider: -The cruise fare -The taxes/fees/etc -Tips for people onboard (most lines are requiring this or doing it automatically -additional tips for room service, or if someone did an outstanding job -transportation to the port city, and to the boat -drinks on board (I recently went on a cruise and the drinks were standard prices for around here, $6-8 for a mixed drink, but it all depends on the cruise line). -excursions, suveniers, etc.
I would suggest that you check out the Cruise Critic website. You can look up price lists for drinks on your particular cruise line and get better idea of costs on the trip. A lot of the costs are variable. If you buy tons and tons of drinks, then it will be more. On shore you can do your own thing or go through the cruise line. It might be easier if you know more in depth what you want to do in port, because that’s where you spend the most money. On sea days, the only thing I would spend money on was alcohol.
Post # 5
I love cruises and I think they make particularly great honeymoons! DH and I did a 7-day Alaskan cruise for our honeymoon. You book one thing and you lodging, travel, entertainment, and food are all paid for and planned – super easy when you’re already dealing with planning wedding. Plus, during the cruise, everything you need is always right at your fingertips so it’s really low key and relaxing.
Most cruise lines (from my experience anyway) actually automatically include tips so you’ll only need to pay extra for those if you think someone did an outstanding, over-and-above job for you. I definitely recommend the untilited pop cards – they’re usually about $6-$8 a day.
Alcohol can be really expensive if you drink alot but the prices are relatively comperable to going out to a bar so you can kind of calculate that based on how much you and your FI drink alcohol. It’s hard for what anyone else spends on that to benefit your calculations though as everyone is a different level of drinker. Same goes for gambling in the casino – only you and your FI can estimate how much/likely you are to take part in that.
Unless you live near the port you’ll be leaving from, don’t forget travel to the port city and a possible 1 night stay before the cruise (you should have plenty of time to fly home the day the cruise returns without staying overnight).
Shore excursions range from about $30-$200 a person depending on what you are doing although you can usually find them for cheaper through places other than the cruise line. You also don’t have to do excursions at every port. Sometimes it’s just nice to explore the town or relax on the beach without some scheduled activity so you can play with your budget/expenses a lot that way too.
Post # 6
besides the price of tickets – i think FI and i spent about 800 dollars on shopping/excursions – gambling and alcohol
cruises are worth it though, especially during hurricane season because if your port is hit they will usually detour and go somewhere else.
ps. i dont know how she gets away with it but my mother always smuggles alcohol in her suitcase when she goes on a cruise – not advocating this in anyway but….just putting it out there
Post # 7
We did a Southern Caribbean cruise out of San Juan for our honeymoon. Our on board costs – tips, one of the “fancy” dinners, some shopping – ended up at $500. We stopped at 5 different ports and each day I had an excursion planned, the cheapest was $70 for both of us and the most expensive was $300 for both us. Cheapest day was just a tour around the island, where mostly he dropped us off to shop for a while, took us sightseeing, then dropped us off at the beach for a while. Most expensive took us to a cave tour, a wildlife reserve, lunch and then snorkeling with the turtles and snorkeling at a shipwreck. All other days were around $100 to $150 for the tours we did and we loved every single one. If you’re get up and go kind of people like us, then it can get kind of expensive to do all those excursions. But if you’re lay on the beach people then it wouldn’t be hard to just get a taxi to take you to a beach to relax all day.
Post # 8
Anyone have a specific cruise-line they recommend? I’ve been on Royal Caribbean and Carnival when I was growing up. We didn’t have a pleasant Carnival experience but I’m interested in learning more about Princess, Celebrity, and NCL. Any tips?
Post # 9
We went on Princess and enjoyed it, but we like an older more subdued crowd. We never made it to any of the shows and whatnot at night, but we loved dinner, the food was great. I know some of the younger couples we met said they like Carnival better since it was the “party” line.
Post # 10
We’re cruising to Bermuda through Royal Caribbean for our honeymoon. We’ve budgeted about $3500 for the whole shebang. I’m kind of a research/planning/budget nazi so I’ve done my homework! Heres our budget breakdown…
- Cruise fare for 2 passengers in a “Superior Balcony Stateroom”: $2040.00 (includes taxes and fees)
- Limo transportation to and from pier (3.5 hours away): $450 (including tip)
- Gratuities on board: $100
- Spending money while on board: $500 (we don’t drink all that much so this figure may be inflated)
- Spending money while in Bermuda (excursions, shopping, food, etc): $500
As for the travel agent, we will be booking through one for the added protection and so we don’t have to pay the full amount upfront.
Post # 11
It sounds like you know what you’re in for as far as costs, I just wanted to add my two cents. I love cruises, have been on several, but I’m not sure it would be my ideal honeymoon. Most cruises kind of force you to be social – breakfasts in a huge, crowded buffet, days sitting by the pool with a bajillion other people, possibly being seated with strangers at dinner, etc. I (and a lot of other people) love the experience, but I think that on my honeymoon I’m gonna want a little more alone time. Totally up to you though!
Definitely check out the forums on Cruise Critic – those people are seriously experts!!