All-Inclusive Cruises

What’s the Deal with All-Inclusive Cruises?

Vacations can be expensive. From hotels to dining and entertainment, costs add up quickly, especially when it’s a family trip. Back in 2013, American Express estimated the average cost of a vacation totaled more than $1,000 per person. Five years later, costs have generally gone up, not down. For those looking to vacation on a budget, all-inclusive cruises are a great way to fix the price of your trip beforehand to avoid any unexpected expenses.

All-Inclusive Cruises

A family vacation could cost thousands

What are All-Inclusive Cruises?

The base cost of a cruise vacation often features extras like meals or shore excursions included in the price. Many cruise lines have seen the rising prices associated with taking a vacation and moved towards offering even more beyond the basics with their all-inclusive cruises. Some are even factoring airfare into their packages and thanks to synergy with airlines, they generally get a cheaper flight than you would on your own.

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In the past, it was pretty easy to rack up a big bill on a cruise ship after paying for the initial ticket thanks to things like alcohol sales, souvenirs, gratuities etc. Newer cruise packages factor these prices into the overall cost, meaning you don’t have to pay for much once you get on board. While these packages may be more expensive initially, the savings come quickly when you aren’t reaching for your wallet a few times per day.

Are All-Inclusive Cruises a Better Deal?

All-Inclusive Cruises

Food & drink are often included in all-inclusive cruises

When determining if all-inclusive cruises are a good deal, it really depends on the person or family taking the trip. If you know you’re going to have a few cocktails each day, then springing for the all-inclusive package which includes alcohol is a smart decision. If you’re more likely to spend the week lounging on deck rather than taking advantage of the many amenities or services, then perhaps it’s a more cost-effective measure to pay as you go.

For those vacationing with kids, an all-inclusive cruise is often the best deal as it includes all of the entertainment and amenities so there’s plenty to do at no extra cost. Keeping the kids happy and occupied for free while Mom and Dad relax is literally priceless!

If you’re looking for the best all-inclusive cruises, make sure you think about what kind of experience you’re looking to have and do plenty of research! It makes a big difference when finding the best cruise deals available.

-Evan Gove

Now in its 25th year, Porthole Cruise and Travel Magazine is published bi-monthly and available worldwide through digital subscription. It offers the latest news in cruise and travel, with in-depth features on voyages, new ships, the best destinations, readers' picks, onboard cuisine, entertainment, and more!