|One of the most important terms you should be aware of before booking a cruise is “all – inclusive.” You should know what this is and the questions you should ask. You don’t want any surprises and unexpected out of pocket expenses.
“All – Inclusive” basically means that you pay a ticket price and get a list of services and products. This price usually gets you a room, travel to destination, meals, activities, entertainment, and staff services. Each company has an additional list of extras and services.
There are some basic steps you need to perform. The best place to start is the brochure. You will need to find out what is and is not covered by the price you are going to pay. You will also want to read the fine print carefully.
Shore Excursions - One of the primary topics covered in the brochure is shore excursions. Usually, this is not covered by the ticket price. If you choose to do some sightseeing at one of the ports, you need to be aware that food, souvenirs, and tours are additional costs.
Port Taxes – Your travel budget can be affected by port taxes. Look in the fine print for this one. A port tax is paid by passengers to each destination the ships stops. Port taxes vary so it is a good idea to inquire about this tax for all ports on your trip.
Tipping - Tipping is another cost you need to consider. Many passengers are confused as to how much or when to tip. Usually the brochure and pamphlets onboard a ship will have some information pertaining to tipping. It is important to know that each cruise line has its own tipping policy that may vary from the general industry.
Usually, you will need to be aware that the stateroom attendant, headwaiter, assistant waiter, room service, and dining manager get a tip. Sometimes you can pay for tips before a cruise. Yet there are some cruises that automatically deduct tips and add it to an account that you will need to pay at the end of the trip. Tipping is very confusing because there isn’t a standard for the cruise industry.
Although it is rare that any type vacation is hassle free. Being aware of industry terms and costs help reduce the frustrations. And budgeting for these costs will help you to have a fun, exciting, and happy vacation that will bring lifelong memories.