How Much Does a Cruise Cost?

Before booking your cruise, you should know how much it would cost. Knowing the details of the cost would save you headaches later on.

So, how much does a cruise cost? An average cruise would cost $79 to $212 per day for each person, with a $79-charge for passengers booked in a shared cabin for four. On the other hand, the $212 is a total of the cruise ticket and the onboard expenses for a day. This cost does not include offshore tours and related fees.

If you want to obtain the total cruise cost, you have to include all the expenses that would incur during the cruise. Read on to learn more about these other expenses.

How Much Does a Cruise Cost?

The cost of a cruise would depend on the type of cabin, destination, size of the cruise, and cruise fare. Also, the cruise fare is computed per person per day and typically in double-occupancy rooms. Here’s a detailed projection of the various costs you could incur during a cruise.

1. Type of Cabin

Luxury cabins or balcony staterooms in a Caribbean cruise are pricey with a minimum of $200 per day, while an inside cabin could cost around $50 per day. So, if you plan to stay for a week, it would cost you approximately $1,400 and $350 per person, respectively.

If the room is for two people, but you want to be alone, you will have to pay extra. There are cabins for single occupants, but it would be more expensive. The price mentioned is for the cabin fees only.

2. Transfer Costs

You must consider transfer costs from the airport to the ship through taxis or buses. If you have a car, you still have to pay for parking fees, which would cost from $20 up to $120.

If you’re flying to go to the cruise ship, expect a higher cost of around $300 to $500. Naturally, the farther you are, the higher the airfare would be.

3. Port Taxes

Port taxes are not included in some cruise fares, so you have to set aside money for this. Port taxes can cost from $200 to $500 per person for the duration of the trip. You could inquire from the staff if port taxes are included in your cruise fare.

4. Tips or Gratuities

The cost of tips or gratuities is not included in cruise costs. However, some luxury cruises already include tips, so you have to be aware of this before you board the ship. Around 10-15% of the total cost of your food or drinks often serves as a reasonable tip. Thus, you can prepare $10 to $15 per day for tips.

5. Special Classes

On cruises, the amenities may be free to use. However, if you decide to take classes, such as swimming lessons, sports lessons, or fitness classes, then you have to pay for them because they are not free. They could cost from $60 to $150 per person for every session.

6. Fun and Entertainment

The casino, bingo, and other games are not free. You will have to pay first to be able to play. The cost can be around $50 to $100 for the duration of your cruise. You could even spend millions in a casino if you are not careful. Make it a point to stop when you lose $100. It can be addictive, so you may want to stay out of high-stake rolling games.

7. Photos

There are photographers on cruise ships that would take pictures, and it’s your option to buy them or not. Of course, these photos would be precious mementos for you. You can allot around $80 to $100 to purchase your photos. But if I were you, I’d instead use the camera of my mobile phone and take pictures to my heart’s content.

8. Specialty Dining

Customarily, meals on a cruise are included in the ticket fare. However, when you go fine dining in specialty restaurants, you will have to pay for it. It could cost you around $50 to $200 per day, depending on the number of times you eat.

9. Beverages

In some cruise ships, drinks are provided free on a particular deck or service provider. Keep in mind that you can bring your drinks to bars and lounges, but you have to pay a corkage fee. Should you decide to drink from the bar, you would have to buy your drinks.

The cost would also depend on how often you drink and the type of beverage you regularly purchase. Roughly, it would cost around $30 to $120 per person. You can budget this amount for a week.

Nonetheless, if you’re a drinker, you could avail of the cruise’s unlimited drinking packages at a lesser cost than individually buying each can/bottle every time you drink.

10. Internet

You can use the Internet during the cruise, but you have to pay for it. It’s cheaper to purchase a pre-boarding Internet package because of discounted rates. There are also 24-hour or unlimited access packages to choose from that can cost from $50 to $100.

11. Other Services

Other services such as spa treatment, laundry, and butler services are not commonly included in your cruise fare. These services would cost you $60 to $150 per week.

Individual Cost for a 7-Day Cruise

cost of cruise per person

Below is an itemized list of costs for one person on a 7-day cruise:

  • Cabin – Balcony cabins at $1,400 (for 7 days) or inside cabins worth $350 (for 7 days)
  • Transfer Costs – Bus or taxi at $20 to $120 (for 7 days) and flights worth $200 to $500 (for 7 days)
  • Port Taxes – $200 to $500 (for the duration of the trip)
  • Tips – $10 to $15 x 7 = $70 to $105 (for 7 days)
  • Special Classes – $60 to $150 (for 7 days)
  • Fun and Entertainment $50 to $100 (for 7 days)
  • Photos – $80 to $100 (for 7 days)
  • Specialty Dining – $50 to $200 (for the duration of the trip)
  • Beverages $30 to $120 x 7 = $210 to $840 (for 7 days)
  • Internet – $50 to $100
  • Other Services – $60 to $120

Let’s assume that the above costs are for a week. The total cruise cost would be $990 to $3,735 per person.

Ticket Costs of Popular Cruises

Now, let’s take a peek into the actual ticket prices of popular cruises. These prices don’t include offshore tours, specialty dining, and other services.

Caribbean Cruises

For 3 to 5 days, Caribbean cruises cost ranges from $200 to $700. The room is a double occupancy type. For balcony cabins, the cost ranges from $325 to $900 and $750 to $1,200 for luxury suites.

Celebrity Cruises

A Celebrity cruise to Mexico for four nights would cost $350 for an inner cabin and $450 and up for the suites or balcony cabins.

Carnival Cruises

For a Carnival cruise, a cabin would cost $160 to $550 for four nights. For a 1-night domestic cruise, it would cost $150 per person.

Disney Cruise Line

Disney charges $1,100 per person in a double occupancy room for an 8-night, Western Caribbean cruise from Texas to Cozumel.

Generally, cruise fares are more expensive during spring break and holiday seasons because of the demand for tickets. Also, penthouse cabins in any of the cruises can cost as high as $40,000.

What Is Included in the Cruise Fare?

The following are included in standard cruise fares:

  • All onboard meals
  • Onboard entertainment (although there are instances in which you have to pay)
  • Soft drinks available from the cruise’s free supply (you have to pay your drinks in the bars and lounges though)

Tips on Reducing Cruise Costs

how to reduce cruise cost

1. Look for Package Deals or Rewards

Drink packages and Internet packages are less expensive, so you could inquire if they are available for your cruise. Also, you can sign up for loyalty promos and rewards, which most cruise lines offer. A travel agency could help you find the cheapest and most appropriate cruise ship for you.

2. Book a Year Before Your Scheduled Cruise

You can get great discounts when you book a year before your scheduled cruise. If this is not possible, you could at least book six months before your trip. You could also schedule your cruise during off seasons for lower ticket prices and more cabin choices.

3. Avoid Drinking Alcohol

It’s costly to be drinking alcohol in bars onboard the ship. Moreover, you have to pay a corkage fee if you bring your alcoholic beverages to the bar. Save money by avoiding these extra charges. You will be saving a lot on your list of expenses if you ditch alcoholic drinks.

4. Take Your Own Pictures

You won’t be needing photos taken by photographers if you bring a camera with you. Learn how to snap pictures properly to capture momentous shots of your adventure. 

You can also take amazing selfies with your mobile phone so that you won’t spend extra money on your photos. A “selfie stick” can help you get the correct angle. Remind yourself to buy one before your trip.

5. Take Advantage of the Free Meals On Board

Unless you have money to spend on specialty dining, you have to eat what the cruise provides in the main dining room. You can save a lot by doing this. Nonetheless, you can try specialty dining at least once during the cruise. Go right ahead and savor those tasty international dishes you have been craving for.

6. Choose Free Entertainment Only

Watch only the free entertainment provided by the ship. There would be many anyway, especially with the Caribbean cruises. There is an assortment of superb shows that you can watch without paying a single cent. Find them and have a good time.

7. Book Cabins with No Balconies 

You could save a lot if you book cabins with no balconies. These rooms are significantly cheaper. You can always go on the deck to have some sunshine and air. Double occupancy rooms and inner rooms are also less expensive.

8. Keep Out of Casinos

Onboard and offshore casinos are fun but can be addicting. People could lose millions of dollars in just an hour. To be safe and to reduce costs, it’s best to stay away from these places.

Conclusion – How Much Does a Cruise Cost?

So to revisit our initial question: “How much does a cruise cost?” The cost of a cruise would depend on various factors, such as the size of the cruise, type of cabin, destination, and cruise fare. On average, it could cost you $79 to $212 per day, excluding offshore tours and other expenses.

Cruise fares also vary based on the type of cabin you have chosen. The least expensive ones are the inner cabins, while the most expensive ones are the suites and penthouses, with prices ranging from $160 to $40,000.

The approximate total cost of a 7-day cruise for one person ranges from $990 to $3,735. This cost includes all of the expenses incurred during your trip.

Therefore, if you’re planning to go on a one-week cruise, you have to prepare enough money and follow the suggested tips above to help reduce the total cost of your cruise.