As you plan for your next vacation getaway, you might be wondering just how much does a cruise cost?

With summer travel season in full swing, there is no better time to start dreaming up your next trip. Take to the seas with a cruise this summer and experience the thrill of a maritime adventure. Disney Cruises, river cruises, luxury cruises, and adventure cruises are just a few of the many options available out there. If you do your research, you can easily find an affordable cruise that is personalized just for you. So with all this, you might be wondering how much does a cruise cost?

Of course with any travel, there are a number of factors that affect the total cost of your trip. It can be easy to miss a lot of the hidden prices before and during your travels. By properly preparing for your cruise you can help to avoid any extra fees that affect your travel budget.

How to Narrow Down the Total Cost for Your Cruise

1. What is the Average Fare Pricing?

Of course, when researching cruises, the initial question is what is the average price of a cruise. How much does a cruise actually cost? According to Cruise Market Watch’s 2018 report, the average price of a cruise per passenger each day is $212.80 total. The base fare is a $161.26 ticket price, with an average of $62.12 on board spending. This is not a bad price, considering that the average hotel price alone is $133.

2. Transportation to and From Your Cruise

When you book your cruise, keep in mind that there are extra fees that go into actually getting to the cruise ship. If you have to fly to the port, an airline ticket easily adds $50-$300 to your trip cost. Also any uber or taxi to and from port is an additional factor to consider.

3. Keep in Mind Where Your Cruise Destination is Located

Cruise Destination

A large factor in cruise pricing is the destination. Typically the location demand and limited window of opportunity both affect the cruise cost. Cruises to places like Alaska generally cost up to $100 more per person due to the seasonal travel necessarily. How much does an affordable cruise cost? If you are looking for an affordable getaway, consider a Caribbean cruise. The high accessibility and numerous offerings make the Caribbean one of the best places to search for cruise deals.

4. Timing is Everything

How much does a cruise cost throughout the year? If you are looking to budget your trip, keep in mind that when you travel matters. Busy travel seasons include major holidays like July 4th or Christmas. Spring break is another popular vacation week. If you can, skip the higher prices and opt for an off-season vacation week. Early fall is an ideal time to go on a cruise, and an opportune way to score a cheaper trip.

5. What Exactly Does All-Inclusive Mean?

How much does a cruise cost - Inclusive

Perhaps you are wondering if every cruise is all-inclusive. Unfortunately, this is not true. If your cruise ticket says all-inclusive, then you are in luck. These types of cruises often include all alcoholic beverages, shore excursions, and occasionally airfare. How much does a cruise cost if it is not all-inclusive? Of course with that, not every cruise is all-inclusive. Typically this kind of cruise falls under the luxury category. The higher-quality travel package means that the cruise is certainly going to cost more.

Most cruises include a general three meal plan in the main dining room or cruise ship buffet. Any other specialty venues on the ship will be an additional cost for you. It is also good to check whether or not your package includes drinks.

What about how much does a solo cruise cost? If you are traveling solo, it is also good to remember that rooms generally require the purchase of a minimum of two tickets. This means that if you want or need a room to yourself, your single ticket price will increase by up to 150-200%.

6. Don’t Forget to Tip While Traveling

How much does food on a cruise cost? Don't forget that as with any food service experience, the employees on the cruise ship expect a tip. When you map out your meal plan, make sure you also consider a generous tip amount. Your server will thank you.

7. Factor in Any Off-Ship Activities

Off-Ship Activities

Of course, when the cruise ship stops at a port, all-inclusive doesn’t matter anymore. Any on shore activities you choose to participate in will be an added cost for you. Be sure to factor in any restaurants or activities you want to do at each port ahead of time. This also includes transportation, whether via uber or public transport.

How much does a cruise cost when you factor in on-shore activities? Choose from walking tours to epic outdoor adventures like zip lining during your time on shore. Generally on shore excursions can add anywhere from $100-$1,000 to your bill, depending on how elaborate your plans are.

8. Don’t Forget the Drinks

As you enjoy the cruise ship night life, keep your eye on the tab. Maybe you are wondering how much does drinking on cruise cost? The cost of alcoholic drinks usually adds up quickly. If you plan on drinking a lot during your trip, consider adding an alcohol package to your ticket. These average at about an extra $49.95, but certainly pay off if you usually spend a lot when you are out.

9. How to Find the Best Cruise Deals

Best Cruise Deals

Being a great cruise finder sometimes requires expert super sleuth skills, but it’s worth it. Looking online helps when you are trying to figure out how much does a cruise cost. By utilizing travel deal sites, you can stay up to date on the latest happening in the travel world. Sometimes searching for deals on a specific cruise line’s website also turns up good results.

Carnival Cruise Line often has awesome deals available on their website. This line also happens to rank as the number one most affordable cruise option. The summer deals include free room upgrades and cruises starting as low as $259 per person. Their military deals and senior savings help ensure a guaranteed good discount for those who deserve it.

Royal Caribbean is another popular and affordable cruise line. You can literally take a cruise anywhere around the world. Popular destinations include the Bahamas, Asia, Europe, and Alaska. Right now they are offering cruises from Baltimore beginning at $462. If you like the idea of taking advantage of off-season travel, Royal Caribbean’s fall and winter cruises start at $229.

Lastly, check out Norwegian Cruise Line for an excellent all-inclusive experience. Their “Take 5 Free” option includes five amazing features at no cost to you. This means an unlimited open bar, specialty dining, shore excursions, WiFi, and friends and family can sale for free. The deal applies to select trips throughout the Caribbean, Cuba, Bermuda, Alaska, and Canada & New England. This specialty offer is as low as $399 for a Western Caribbean adventure.

10. Now for the fun part – going on a cruise.

Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to book your cruise. With so many options to choose from, you will certainly find the right fit for you. Whether you are looking for a fun family getaway or a honeymoon, there are endless options in the travel world. Doing your research helps you to save money and also ensures that you get the exact trip you want.

Related Article: ​10 Best Cruise Ships for Every Kind of Traveler