While all-inclusive resorts have been around for years, the cruise industry has been a little slower to adopt the all-inclusive concept. For travelers who enjoy cruising but not a stunning bill the night before you disembark, all-inclusive cruises could be just what you’ve been looking for. While not every cruise line offers them yet, here are some of the perks that all-inclusive cruising can offer.
Even though passengers who know up front that they’re going to want to drink on board the ship can purchase a drink package, paying for an all-inclusive cruise can lower the overall cost of alcoholic drinks for the week. Booking this kind of cruise can also deliver premium beer, wine, and spirits instead of house brands. For guests to whom this is really important, it can make difference between the all-inclusive and the regular fare worth it.
For passengers who’d rather not figure out any extra gratuities at the end of the trip, choosing an all-inclusive cruise can minimize that stress. It can also reduce the chances that someone who deserves a tip will be overlooked (hey, some of us get very relaxed on vacation!). In the event that you feel a member of the staff has gone above and beyond expected service, you can usually tip someone directly or add to the total gratuity, even on all-inclusive cruises.
Gourmet or Premium Dining
Typically, all meals enjoyed in the dining room or at the buffet services are included in the price of a cruise. The cost of meals at premium and specialty dining restaurants are added to the final bill. To enjoy the freedom of dining anywhere on board the ship, at any time, consider signing up for an all-inclusive cruise. You may be tempted to try a cuisine or style of dining that’s new to you.
Most cruise ships offer Internet packages for sale that are measured by the minute. After buying one, passengers need to stay on top of how much Internet time they’re using, and in many cases, really limit themselves or family members when it comes to sharing vacation photos or downloading content. An all-inclusive plan generally offers passengers a set bucket of minutes to use, roughly equal to at least the highest level Internet package for sale to all passengers.
In most cases, any additional activity costs, like for classes, are not included in the cost of the cruise. Instead of paying individually for classes, programs, and any special on-board events, an all-inclusive fare generally waives these fees. This way, passengers can choose to join in as much or as little as they like without having to sit and figure out if it’s something they can afford to do first.
As all-inclusive cruises become more common, passengers will need to decide if the extra fees are worth it. For some travelers, especially those who enjoy regular drinks on board the ship, this type of cruise option is quite economical when compared with adding up the individual costs of all the extras a family is likely to purchase.