How much does a sea cruise cost. How to get a lot and pay little
Let’s find out what is included in the cost of the cruise and how much you can estimate all these components. I’m telling you how much our sea cruise cost.
Most recently, I fulfilled a long-time dream of mine and sailed from Europe to America. I spent 16 beautiful days cruising the Mediterranean and the endless blue waters of the Atlantic on the liner Costa Favolosa.
I enjoyed the cruise very much. While aboard, I became eerily curious to calculate how much the services that the cruise company provided to tourists cost. I decided to estimate them, and then compare that amount to the cost of our cruise. I will calculate by the average European standards, since the cruise company Costa comes from Italy.
So, all the components of the cost of a sea cruise I would estimate as follows (prices for two people).
Accommodation – 50€.
Room without a window, but perfectly comfortable, thoughtful in detail, clean. There is a safe, desk, hairdryer, TV, animation, access to the pool, fitness room, sauna and jacuzzi, but no free internet. This is about the level of 4 stars in Europe.
Как бронировать отели дешевле >>
Our inside cabin. The lack of a window does not embarrass at all, there is enough space, clean, comfortable and cozy.
Dinner – 70€.
For dinner cruisers go primarily to the restaurant. I have already sung about it in another post. Let me remind you that on Costa liners every evening they cook dishes of one of Italian regions – everything is insanely delicious. You will be served an appetizer, first, second and dessert, and you can order each item more than once. Drinks for dinner are charged: either a liter of mineral water for 3 € or a bottle of wine from 20 € but you can do without it if you want. The level of service in the restaurant is also high – you feel if not a count, then at least a bourgeois. We’ve never been in such restaurants on shore, so it’s difficult to give an accurate estimate of the dinner in money, but let it be 35 € (10 € for an appetizer, first, second and 5 € for dessert) – certainly not less.
Как получить шенген сразу на 1-5 лет >>
Our table in the restaurant on the cruise liner.
The food on the liner is simply unparalleled! Every evening meal is a feast.
The fare to the country you`re going to – 500 €.
Our cruise was not roundabout: we landed in Italy, and got off in Dominica. We gladly took advantage of this situation and began our journey through the Caribbean islands after the cruise. Essentially the cruise was our transportation to the Caribbean from Europe, it took away our need to buy airline tickets, which, you know, are expensive. We would have bought the cheapest tickets for 18,000 rubles, or 250€, per person, so let’s include another 500€ in our sea cruise cost calculations.
Как покупать авиабилеты дешевле >>
On the beach in the Dominican Republic. Instead of buying expensive airfare here, we combined a trip to the Caribbean with a cruise and saved a lot.
Bonus: new cities and countries
Another cool bonus that can’t be converted to money, but is worth mentioning, is visiting many cities and islands as part of a sea cruise. An interesting and enjoyable experience. And without the cruise you would hardly visit these places.
This is me in the jungle on the island of Guadeloupe. Our sea cruise provided the perfect opportunity to visit this and other curious places.
Popular destinations and favorite tourist routes
So, the first city that comes to mind of a traveler intending to make a sea cruise from Moscow is Rome, the legendary harbor of ships, located in the heart of Italy. Tourist route with call at the port of Civitavecchia will allow getting acquainted with local sights in details, visiting archeological complex with ruins of this ancient city, and plunging into the atmosphere of bygone eras. A cruise on the Mediterranean Sea with a call in Rome is recommended to those who are not indifferent to the Renaissance, and for whom historical values are more than just empty words.
A cruise from Barcelona to the Mediterranean Sea with local sightseeing deserves special attention. After all, Barcelona, now the capital of Catalonia, is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. This is largely due to a rich architectural heritage, which came to life during the Middle Ages and the rapid development of European culture. The architectural look of the city organically combines the most popular styles, allowing you to endlessly enjoy the creations of the ancient masters. If you are interested to know how much it costs to go on a Mediterranean cruise with the departure point or a stopover point situated in Barcelona, the representatives of Via Maris travel agency will be glad to help you to understand this question.
Also, any Mediterranean cruise without a visit to Palma de Mallorca would be a waste of time. The same can be said of cruises that are served by roomy ocean liners. It is an extraordinarily beautiful ancient town, which is located on the shores of the largest bay. Here tourists are waiting for the unique beaches, amazing architecture and preserved to this day monuments of bygone eras.
Before you go on a fascinating tour, you need to decide another, perhaps the most important question. Namely: what is the price, or how much will have to pay for a trip to the Mediterranean Sea? The answer to this depends on several factors: the chosen season, the destination, as well as the duration of the sea cruise. Detailed information relating to the cost of tours on the Mediterranean Sea, you can get from our catalog. In addition, representatives of the agency “Via Maris” will readily answer any questions that interest you.
There is only one item on which a cruise is not advantageous – drinks. Wine, cocktails, espresso and other delights are more expensive than in stores on land, but not more expensive than in the most ordinary café or bar. A glass of wine or a cocktail from 5 €, a bottle of wine from 20 € and so on. Although taking the latter into account there is no disadvantage and discrimination here, the prices are fair, because the company could really slam them. So we will not consider it a minus.
We can not resist and bought a package of wine on the cruise liner, so every meal at the restaurant was even more festive and enjoyable.
Where to look for cheap cruises
As with package tours, cruise companies occasionally have specials. They are especially common during the low season, from mid-November through April and May.
You can “catch” hot cruises on the official websites of cruise companies, such as Costa or MSC. You can subscribe to a newsletter popular general travel agencies, which are also, sometimes, notify about various promotions and discounts.
However, it is much more convenient to keep track of special offers on aggregator sites specializing in cruises, which accumulate the proposals of numerous cruise companies.
Calculating the cost of the cruise
Now let’s calculate everything!
For 16 days, the cost of accommodation, food and entertainment, I estimated at 3040€ for two! Wow, this figure has already turned my head, and we still have to add 500€ for a trip to the Caribbean. In total, we received a package of services for the not-insane sum of 3540 €, or 251 000 rubles. Hail Mary, a quarter of a million! Thank God we paid off a much smaller amount.
Как купить тур дешевле >>
The cost of our cruise
How much did we pay for our 16-day transatlantic cruise for two on the Costa Favolosa?
- We gave 67400 rubles to the travel agency. Our cruise cost 898 €, but taking into account the unfavorable currency conversion at their rate of 950 €.
- 320 € is the tip, which is obligatory and charged daily from your card 10 € per person.
- Another €150 we spent on 7 bottles of wine, it was an additional option, we will not count it.
- We had visas and health insurance too, so no expenses.
Also on the boat, I caught a cold and spent money on doctor visits, medicine and internet access to contact my insurance. All of these expenses were reimbursed by my policy – it was free from Tinkoff.
In total, our cruise cost 1270€ , or 90,000 rubles for two people. It turns out that we paid for it almost three times less than we got the benefits from it. In my opinion, it is an extremely good deal. Do you agree?
I know two very reliable and convenient services for buying cruises: Mcruises.ru and Dreamlines – both allow you to find cruises at any price. I bought my tour on the first site.
Walking the upper deck of a cruise liner.
Traveling from cities in Europe and North America
Residents of European countries, as well as the Russians, are not alien to the craving for exciting travel. Many of them have even more developed craving than us. That is why the starting points of cruise lines are many famous cities of Europe:
- Barcelona, Nice and Genoa;
- Rome, Venice and Piraeus;
- London, Southampton, Dover, etc.
These are all port cities from which tourists have access to popular European itineraries. Cruise liners from Spanish Barcelona often depart on Mediterranean cruises.
You can cruise around the coast of North America from cities located only on that continent: Boston, Quebec, Los Angeles, etc.
You can learn more about all the destinations, as well as the cities that are the starting points for travel, in the cruise itinerary search section of our website. Here you can familiarize yourself with the travel destinations, find out their price with regard to the level of service and choose the most acceptable variant for you and your family. The tour operator Via Maris offers over 14,000 cruise lines. Among them, everyone will find the destination that suits them best.
How is it that the cruise company gives more than it takes in? Are they working at a loss? Of course not. First of all, as a service provider (accommodation, food, entertainment) it costs less than it does to us as a consumer. Secondly, the company makes money on normal tourists, not people like us. Normal tourists, who went on a cruise to get high and have fun, book more expensive cabins (with a window, with a balcony, suites), drink more alcohol, go to the spa, buy tours, pay for the Internet, play in the casino – in general, enjoy the maximum. That’s the kind of tourists the company lives and thrives. That’s good – everyone is happy: them, us and the cruise company.
The price includes:
– Direct flight by scheduled flight of Turkish airlines. Possible variants: Moscow-Istanbul-Moscow, St.-Petersburg-Istanbul-St. Petersburg, Kazan-Istanbul-Kazan, Yekaterinburg-Istanbul-Yekaterinburg, Krasnodar-Istanbul-Krasnodar, Rostov-on-Don-Stambul-Rostov-on-Don, Sochi-Istanbul-Sochi, Ufa-Istanbul-Ufa, Samara-Istanbul-Samara;
– 1 night in the hotel Deluxe Newport, 3+*, BB in Istanbul (breakfast included);
– sightseeing in Istanbul (including national dinner) and on the cruise route;
– All transfers on the program;
– Accommodation in cabins of the chosen category;
– full board (breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner);
– “all inclusive” – locally produced alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages;
Register with one of the popular services or via Email.
Not registered yet? Register at
10 hidden fees on a cruise or how to save money on a cruise liner
The magic words “all-inclusive” on cruises have a truly magical effect on passengers. Perhaps many of you choose cruises for this very reason: after all, the food and entertainment on the liner is already paid for. But everything is not so rosy, be prepared for the fact that for some services, as it is unfortunate, you will have to pay extra. If you’re not mentally prepared to resist the enticing paid offers, your wallet on an all-inclusive cruise will be empty faster than the cruise is over.
What’s more, cruise companies know how to seduce gullible passengers with expensive spas, a variety of paid restaurants, conceptual bars and lounges. If you decide that you just vitally need a massage, without a fruit cocktail you will die of thirst, and to dine outside the main restaurant is a matter of honor, be prepared to pay for these services at the end of the trip. You’ll also have to pay extra out of your own pocket for shore excursions, use of the Internet and, of course, for the lovely trinket souvenirs you buy in the boutiques on board. If you’re going on vacation, set yourself a financial limit and ask how far you’re willing to go. For some, the limit will be a paid photo from a gala dinner, while others dream of going scuba diving or flying in a helicopter at the same time.
These days, the paid price of a cruise is more of an advance that passengers pay ashore and then choose what else they’d like to see during their vacation, as per the menu. These days, the term “all-inclusive” only fits a small number of expensive luxury cruises.
If you really want to enjoy your cruise and not sit in your cabin watching the sun go down and come up, take some money with you, or better yet, create an extra budget for cruise entertainment in advance. Especially for you we’ve not only prepared a list of things you’ll definitely have to pay for, but also show you where and how you can save money.
What you pay for. Cruise ships sell shore excursions – tours with guides, buses and sightseeing. This is all good and convenient, but the prices, compared to shore-based operators, are much higher. You can see for yourself – all the necessary information about the cost of excursions is available on the company’s website. The cost usually ranges from 20 euros for a quick run around town with shopping to 300 for a full day tour. Such programs include lunch and snacks. There are also more exotic things like helicopter rides or hot air balloon rides. It all depends on how far you are willing to go in your fantasies.
How to save money? Of course, your right to buy a cruise excursion, especially if you do not know the port, do not understand the local language, and the natives do not trust. But remember that you can go to get acquainted with the local traditions on their own, paying only for public transport or even free – if you trust your own knowledge. Local festivals and fairs of artisans will give a lot of positive emotions and all this is absolutely free. Parks, beaches, and museums often have free admission as well. Before you set sail, browse independent traveler websites for a list of sights you’ll be curious to see, don’t forget to also research the route back to port, and plan your time so you won’t miss your ship. Our site will help with that, too. Under Cruise Ports, you’ll find detailed information on what to do and see in the ports of call.
Maybe you just prefer to wander around the city, observe, check out the stores, and enjoy the local coffee shops. You can also rent a cab at the port, they offer city tours and it will cost a lot less than ship tours, especially if you’re going in a group. If you are still thinking about an organized excursion, weigh the pros and cons. Cruise companies always use third parties to organize excursions in the port, they do not have their own guides, buses, etc. Why not look for the same tour in advance on the Internet? You can contact the tour operator at the port in advance or hire your own guide. This can save you a few tens of euros.
What you’ll pay for. Cruise lines are getting more and more sophisticated in their attempts to throw you off the track and send you to eat at any other place than the main restaurant, which you will definitely have to pay for. Of course, all ships will offer you free meals – in the main restaurant and at the dining room buffet. But the new and improved ships offer more and more paying establishments that look awfully tempting. Here you can find anything from traditional enchanting Italian cuisine to dishes prepared by famous chefs right next to your table. As a rule the dinner at the alternative restaurant will cost you 15 – 40 Euros but if you order a bottle of wine the price can go up to 100 Euros. Also a lot of money is spent for desserts in paid coffee shops – all these ice cream, cupcakes and other sweet snacks not only affect your figure, but also make an impressive breach in the purse. Add to that the specials at the main restaurant – specially cooked steaks, whole lobster, night service, pizza delivery and many more ways to suck money out of you.
How to save money? Elementary – just don’t go there. You can eat for free on board seven days a week, 24 hours a day. The food in the main restaurant is good enough, with a huge variety of dishes in front of you and the desserts here are always excellent. The newest and biggest ships often have several free restaurants, and the room service is also often free. But we understand that you’d certainly like to spend a vacation without worrying about every penny. So if you are tempted by the specials, just consider how much they will fit into your cruise budget (maybe you should pass up those cocktails and wine that multiply the price of dinner). As an alternative, take a closer look at the promotional offerings. Some lines, including Norwegian, offer pay-per-view dinner packages at a discounted price; others, like Holland America, offer pay-per-view dining at a lower price than dinner.
Alcohol and other beverages.
What you’ll pay for. Alcoholic beverages and wine are not included on most cruises (except on deluxe options and river cruises). Plus a lot more will go for sodas, bottled water, juices and coffee (this is some kind of universal obsession with cappuccinos, lattes and espresso). And you will pay for all of this, not the restaurant or cafe.
How to save money? Most ships widely practice promotional “drinks of the day.” You can take advantage of this offer or order one or two martinis cheaper during so-called “happy hours,” which are practiced on some ships. Ask if there are events with free drinks, such as art auctions or captain’s cocktail receptions. Tea, milk, coffee and juices in the vending machines are free at breakfast and lunch. You can always order a bottle of wine and leave it, if you don’t finish it, for the next night. It will be cheaper than buying wine by the glass every day. Some liners sell all-inclusive packages, but they are not cheap and you have to be sure that you will be able to justify the purchase. If you can not without coffee, prefer fizzy drinks or beer, watch out for promotional offers, there are special actions where for a reduced price you can buy a large amount of your favorite drink, enough for the entire cruise (for example 21 cups of coffee).Naturally, they do not have to drink immediately, but you can take at any time bars, exchanging them for coupons. You can take a reasonable amount of soda and bottled water with you from shore. But be careful with alcohol – the ship’s security guards aren’t napping on this part!
Spa and salon treatments
What you’ll pay for. The prices at cruise spas can be compared to the most elite salons, many of which can come as a shock. A massage will cost you 100-150 euros, and the price of more exotic treatments ranges from 150 to 300 euros per session. A visit to the thermal pool and thalassotherapy costs 20-25 euros. You can buy a package for the entire cruise, it will cost less. Beware of pushy check-in consultants, many of them will go to any lengths to get you to buy something before you even set foot on the liner. And what can you do? They almost all get a commission.
How to save money? Take advantage of the discounts often offered while you’re in port. Check your cruise newspaper, you may find interesting offers, but they may be valid for a few days or a few hours. Avoid being obtrusive, and once again, do not fall for the tricks of shrewd salesmen.
Entertainment on board
What you pay for. Most of the attractions on board are free, but some come at a price. Among them are fitness classes, yoga (from 10 to 25 euros per class), cooking classes, wine tastings with a sommelier. And yes, there is also a casino and bingo. However, if you are going to the casino, it is unclear why are you reading this article?
How to save money? Focus on free entertainment. Attend various shows, workshops, live music concerts, pool games and lectures. You can have a great time on the outdoor deck reading a book or chatting with your travel companions. Many of the top attractions – theater shows, live music in the bars, pool parties, and discos – require no extra charge. If you are still interested in paid entertainment, choose only the most interesting ones.
What you pay for. As in most hotels on land, you can put your clothes in laundry bags and the steward will return them clean and ironed. But such services can be quite expensive (how about 2-3 euros for washing a t-shirt?). Find out if there is a self-service laundry on the liner and use it, it’s cheaper (for example, washing and ironing one basket will cost you 2 to 4 euros here). The problem is that not all liners have them.
How to save money? You have two options. Take more things with you and do not worry – you can wash everything at home or in the shower (you can buy powder on dry land or take some with you). There is a clothes drying rope in almost all the showers. You can also find a self-service laundromat in the port of call – that might very well qualify as a new cultural experience!
What you pay for. Tip amounts vary from ship to ship, but on average, you’ll be charged 8-10 euros per day, distributed among the main service staff – waiters in the restaurant, stewards in the cabin. If you have butler service included, you will have to pay for that as well. A 15 percent service charge is added to any order at the bar. Mandatory tips are deducted from your onboard bill, but you can always leave them in cash as well for exceptional service.
How to save money? Actually, this is not an area where you can do this. There is an option to waive the automatic tip at the front desk, or to allow it to be deducted less than the standard amount if you’re dissatisfied with the service. But we don’t approve of that. Crew members – waiters, stewards – all of these people work hard and sometimes very hard, their wages depend on your tips. But if the service was just awful, go to the front desk and complain and refuse the tip. You can also pay more for the attention and high level of service shown to you.
Buying souvenirs in port and on board
What you pay for. Most people want to keep something that will remind them of the wonderful time they spent on the cruise. That’s why they can’t get past all those expensive and sometimes completely useless things – figurines, perfumes, designer clothes, leather goods. Even key chains and cheap souvenir t-shirts can get expensive if you have a lot of friends and family, and they all want souvenirs. Prices in the stores on board vary: you can buy cute junk for 5 euros, and jewelry jewelry cost hundreds and thousands of dollars.
How to save money? Compare prices! Some things are indeed cheaper on board, but this is more of an exception to the rule. You can find good, inexpensive souvenirs at fairs, from street vendors. Local products such as coffee and sweets are best purchased in large supermarkets rather than souvenir stores. Souvenirs will also be much cheaper at the port than on board. And, of course, don’t buy any art at shipboard auctions – the value may be much lower than you think.
Photography and camera equipment.
What you’ll pay for. Naive tourists fly into the photo gallery like silly butterflies to the light of a lamp. And easily shell out 20 euros for their 8×10 photo and sometimes more. Add to that the purchase of extra batteries, memory cards and other camera parts, which will probably cost a lot more here than at home.
How do you save money? The answer is obvious! Just say no to the next ship photographer who wants to take your picture. Although, you can pose them as much as you want and for free, the money is taken later, in the photo gallery, if you want to buy back the photos you like. So do not be tempted to look at the photo gallery “just one glance,” otherwise all this beauty will definitely make you splurge. Take your own photos instead. Oh yeah, don’t forget to stock up on batteries, and that goes for other supplies too. Take more than you think you’ll need. Just in case.
What you will pay for . Whether you took your laptop and hooked up to wi-fi or are sitting in a computer center, you will be paying a lot of money for often very slow Internet. On most liners it will cost you 75 cents a minute, and in bulk at 55. Some ships are also testing new all-inclusive packages, where you can buy unlimited traffic or different plans for a flat fee, depending on how much Internet you need. And the quality of the connection, slowly but still improving.
How to save money? You can always find cheaper Internet in the port, if you can find the time. Google in advance of your trip a list of Internet cafes or outlets with free wi-fi in the port. Often cruise companies also offer a phone app that you can install to talk to your traveling companions for free on-board via the ship’s Wi-Fi. If your cruise has several ports from one country in a row, it may make sense to buy a local SIM card with mobile Internet.