Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How Much Do Cruises Cost?

When compared to other types of vacations, cruises tend to be more affordable than people think. This is because they are all-inclusive, meaning your food, lodging, and entertainment are all included in the price. You'll be responsible for your airfare and extras such as alcohol, souvenirs, and gambling at the casino, but if you want to be frugal, you can still enjoy your cruise vacation a great deal just by partaking in the included aspects.

That's all very well and good, you say, but what's the bottom line: how much do cruises cost?

First, let me say that prices vary a lot, depending on factors such as cruise line (some are more upscale than others), destination (Mexico, for example, is cheaper than Alaska or the Mediterranean), cabin type (inside cabins are cheapest while rooms with balconies or views cost more), and how good you are at finding deals. (I like to book my cruises last minute through Travelocity. If you have the flexibility, you can save a lot that way, as cruise ships don't like to sail with empty cabins, so they often lower prices as the departure date gets closer.) That said, my estimates below are very broad. I'm also only doing averages for one-week cruises (you can go for shorter or longer ones--almost anything you can imagine), since those are very popular. Okay, enough caveat emptor stuff. Here's the list:

How Much Cruises Cost by Destination:

7-night Mexico cruises for inside cabins: $400-$600 per person

7-night Alaska cruises for inside cabins: $500-$700 per person

7-night Caribbean cruises for inside cabins: $450-$600

7-night Mediterranean cruises for inside cabins: $700-$950

Don't forget...

  • Singles have to pay for the price of two, so it pays to cruise with a friend
  • Last-minute deals can save you a lot of money
  • Sometimes cheaper cruises have different departure and arrival ports, so make sure the extra non-round-trip cost of the airfare doesn't outweigh the savings of the cruise

Incredible Deals on the Best Cruises! Last-Minute Sailings from $199!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

5 Reasons Longer Cruises Rock

If you can get away for more than a week, chances are you'll love a longer cruise. I took a 10-night Mexican Riviera cruise in December, and there were several aspects that made it an even neater vacation than the 7-night Mexico cruise we took the year before (when you live on the West Coast, Mexico is a popular cruise destination).

You might think, "Of course, it was better--it was longer!" but that's only one of the 5 reasons I'm going to give you. Here's why I recommend the longer cruises (more than the usual 7 nights) if you can get away:

1. Price

When it comes to booking cruises, I'm a Travelocity junkie and I'm always surfing their site for good deals. The Mexican Riveria cruises already tend to be quite affordable, but I noticed this year that you could sometimes find 10-day cruises for the same price as 7-day cruises. That's why I originally booked it. We got a balcony room for about $1,000 ($500 a piece), which isn't bad at all for more than a week.

2. More Port Destinations

With extra days, your cruise will visit extra ports, often ports that are a little off-the-beaten path. The 7-day Mexican Riveria cruises tend to hit the same three ports: Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas, and Puerto Vallarta. With extra nights, you get to see those places but a couple more as well (we went to Ixtapa--beautiful!--and Acapulco).

3. Arriving in Ports on Off Days

This was something I really appreciated since I could compare my 10-night trip with the 7-night one from the year before. We ended up landing in the typical ports on different days than the 7-night cruises did, so the crowds were a lot smaller (there was always at least one other cruise ship in port when I was on the 7-night cruise). As a non-shopper, I appreciated that fewer people had turned out to hawk their wares on the docks.

In addition, our ship was a little smaller (fewer people can get away for 10 nights, so they don't need as big of a ship), so lines for tendering and everything seemed shorter.

4. Fewer Children (fewer people overall)

I don't have anything against kids on board, but if you find yourself grimacing because there are always a few horsing around in the hot tub, you might appreciate the longer cruises. If you sail during the school year, you'll find fewer parents willing to take their kids out of school for more than a week.

5. They're Just Longer!

Longer cruise = longer vacation = longer time to work on your tan = longer time away from work. 'Nuff said!

Book yours now:

Incredible Deals on the Best Cruises! Last-Minute Sailings from $199! (Travelocity link)