Essentially all cruise lines offer all-inclusive cruises, at least if you define “all-inclusive” in the most minimal way possible, where this term only means that room and (basic) board is covered by your cruise fair. If you define all-inclusive cruises extremely robustly, such that every cost associated with the cruise is included in the fare price, then there are practically no all-inclusive cruises. This much we covered in our overview of all-inclusive cruises. In the present article we list the cruise lines that offer something like an all-inclusive cruise. The cruise line needn’t cover every expense to warrant inclusion in our list, but they can’t merely give you a room on board the ship and a free meal and count themselves as all-inclusive cruises. With this guiding principle in mind, which cruise lines offer all-inclusive cruises?
We should begin by outlining the scope of this article. Our research centered on determining which of the major cruise lines offer some version of an all-inclusive cruise. For this reason, we of course have not identified every all-inclusive cruise in the world, as many of these cruises, if they can even be properly called “cruises,” are run by small companies, not the major cruise lines. For instance, there are all-inclusive booze cruises in NYC, but these last only a few hours. They are not the multiple-day journeys that only full-blown cruise lines offer, which are the only types of voyages that concern us at the moment.
We feel obligated to start our list with Regent Seven Seas Cruises, which is probably the most all-inclusive cruise line in the world. Regent covers not only your food and alcohol, but also your flights to and from the port of the departure, as well as any shore excursion you take during your voyage. The other luxury cruise lines also tend to be fairly all-inclusive. Silversea Cruises, for instance, essentially has the same all-inclusive policy as Regent, but doesn’t include the cost of transportation to and from the port of departure. Azamara Club Cruises and Cyrstal Cruises, both luxury lines, also offers a host of complimentary amenities (alcohol, shuttle services at most ports, etc.), although neither offers free shore excursions like Silversea and Regent. So, most luxury cruise lines offer all-inclusive cruises, but they aren’t all-inclusive in the same way or to the same degree. Each offers their own package of freebies that will appeal to different types of travelers. Regent stands above the pack as far as all-inclusiveness is concerned, but we wouldn’t want to rank the other luxury cruise lines because, again, they offer different services and amenities for free, making them hard to compare.
All-inclusive cruises are not only offered by luxury or upscale lines, however. Carnival, the world’s largest cruise line, doesn’t charge extra for many of the food and entertainment options they offer, and hence bills itself as offering an all-inclusive cruise experience. Carnival, along with a number of other cruise lines, also offers all-you-can-drink packages for an extra fee, and in fact this is the form most of the non-luxury lines’ all-inclusive cruises take. Cruise lines that offer these deals include Celebrity, Costa, MSC, Norwegian, Princess, and Royal Caribbean, in addition to the aforementioned Carnival. Basically, these packages, which generally cost between $40-$50 per day, are for people who want to drink a lot, but don’t want to pay the price of a luxury cruise. However, it is worth noting that Oceania offers all-you-can-drink packages that are comparable to the ones offered by the discount cruise lines, even though Oceania is a luxury cruise line. (A luxury cruise line is of course not only made luxurious by the amount of stuff they give away for free.) Azamara also offers packages for a fairly modest extra charge that broadens the selection of free alcohol at your disposal. Again, though, Azamara does offer certain alcohols at no extra charge.
Lots of cruise lines offer all-inclusive cruises, but they take many different forms. If you want to spend money on your fare and not much else, you’ll have to look at luxury cruises, which of course are expensive. If you want to take a cheaper cruise, but ensure that your bar tab isn’t totally out of control at the end of your trip, you might consider getting an all-you-can-drink package. In any case, keep in mind that an all-inclusive cruise may or may not be worth the cost. If you don’t plan on drinking like Hemingway on your trip, a cruise with unlimited free alcohol might not be worth the extra cost, and you won’t be attracted to free shore excursions if you don’t plan to take any. Some people will find all-inclusive cruises absolutely worth the cost, though, and we hope that this article can guide them toward the appropriate cruise line with whom to book.