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ilikeanswers

What is your biggest expenditure while on a cruise ship?

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I consider gratuities a part of the cruise fare and not extra.

 

We spend the most on booking excursions, which totals around $300 to $400 per cruise for two people.  That is followed by alcohol, which runs around $200 to $250 per cruise for two people.

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57 minutes ago, ilikeanswers said:

 

My question is really out of curiosity because I noticed a lot of comments on threads about getting great deals with OBC so it makes me wonder what people are spending on board that makes OBC such a desired perk. 

 

On board credits are applied against any purchase made on board that is charged against your stateroom account. Most cruise lines have gratuities charged separately, alcoholic and other beverages charged individually or as a package, internet charges, fees for specialty restaurants, shore excursions, etc.  All of these would be charged to your stateroom account with an OBC applied against as credit to those charges.  That is what makes an OBC desirable.

 

Those cruise lines that include those at no charge would have those costs included in a higher cruise fare.  So while they are still being paid for as included in the fare, an OBC would have little or no value, except for other miscellaneous on board purchases at the ship's stores.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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Varies based on cruise line. Since our next cruise is virtually all-inclusive, the only significant cost is the base fare, as even excursions are included or covered by ship provided OBC.

 

Back in the days we used a mainstream line the biggest cost was tour costs ashore.

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Definitely specialty dining.  Don’t drink.  Don’t buy jewelry.  Don't buy watches.  Don’t buy art.  Gratuities are generally taken care of with OBC.  I have been known to throw down on the dice table but usually I come out OK.  

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On HAL, our preferred line, for a 28-day cruise with LOTS of sea days:

two Signature Beverage Plans: $2895

HSC for two: $812 + extra we will no doubt add

Ship's Excursions: $480 + tips to guides/drivers

Private Excursions: $300 (this may go up, even on the spot) + tips to guides/drivers

one Premium Wifi: $264

 

This is the Hawaii-Tahiti So.Pacific that has had no specials (since I found it), so I am just happy I got the cabin we want, when I got it. Also what with all those expenses, we will make 4* with this cruise!

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While on the ship: drinks, additional gratuities (varies), and specialty dining (varies). We usually prepay basic gratuities and consider them part of the cost of the cruise.  A small amount is spent in the gift shops (scarfs/wraps) and last cruise we paid for some room service.

 

As part of the total cruise cost, but "optional": transportation to the pier (including parking or shuttle) and shore excursions (private or cruise line purchased) are often bigger amounts.

 

 

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These days I typically cruise Crystal, which is virtually all inclusive, so my only real extra expenditure is an extra gratuity to their crew fund.  If I have OBC from my travel agent, I do use it for other things as well, things that I likely wouldn't if I didn't have that OBC gift.....having them do my laundry for me, gifts from the on-board shop, maybe an excursion, .

 

On a different line that wasn't all-inclusive, my extra expenditures would be food (i.e. specialty restaurants). 

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I just went back and looked at the spreadsheets for the last three trips. I prepay almost everything (DSC, excursions, booze packages). Therefore, as for expenses "on board a cruise" cash tips, room service (when not included) and gift shop (for nephews) are it.

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I buy the drink packages and excursions ahead of time. Usually my biggest expense is the spa. They dont really offer many deals beforehand. The ones on board are usually better.

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If it were not limited to on-board spending, then excursions would be our top expense.  If limited to on-board spending then it would vary by ship & itinerary.  Might be excursions one time, might be gratuities another time (though these are mostly prepaid).  

 

I can see how the beverage expense could be high.   On a typical day we may purchase one or two beverages beyond those that are comped.  So while that expense is always there, it wouldn't be the biggest.  

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On 12/7/2019 at 9:20 PM, crystalspin said:

On HAL, our preferred line, for a 28-day cruise with LOTS of sea days:

two Signature Beverage Plans: $2895

HSC for two: $812 + extra we will no doubt add

Ship's Excursions: $480 + tips to guides/drivers

Private Excursions: $300 (this may go up, even on the spot) + tips to guides/drivers

one Premium Wifi: $264

 

These will all be paid in advance. I took the original question to be the expenditures, not where the payment took place.

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1 hour ago, crystalspin said:

 

These will all be paid in advance. I took the original question to be the expenditures, not where the payment took place.

 

I guess we are light weights when it comes to drinks on board.  Just out of curiosity, what does it take to make a $100/day package for two worthwhile -- I'm guessing 6 to 8 drinks divided between the two of you?   

 

One of my SIL's always buys a drink package so she can get Pellegrino water.   I always thought she might be better off buying it per bottle but really don't know for sure.   On the other hand, she does order several bottles at dinner for our large group.  I realize they won't do that with other beverages.   

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36 minutes ago, ldubs said:

I guess we are light weights when it comes to drinks on board.  Just out of curiosity, what does it take to make a $100/day package for two worthwhile -- I'm guessing 6 to 8 drinks divided between the two of you?   

Hi Ldubs -- 

Truth is, we have never bought it but only got it in the old Explore4 annual sale. I have, though, calculated for other trips, that we just about break even at the pre-sailing price of $44.95 (plus 15%) pppd. On a sea-day, we have one or two espresso drinks, one or two notably weak but tasty rum drinks, 2 or 3 glasses of wine with dinner if in the MDR, maybe a nightcap or some bottled water for the room. Each.

 

The dollars come out really about equal on HAL, and would probably be a negative on port-heavy cruises. But it lets dr'spin relax and not fret the individual drinks. And in this particular case, it will help push us over the 4* loyalty level!

 

On Princess, at $59.99pppd+18% -- we have never even been tempted. Although Princess is about to start the Best.Sale.Ever so we'll see on that.

 

BTW, I like and respect your posts! For years here on CC I talked down beverage packages in general, but I have come to see that each company (sometimes each cruise) needs to be researched on its own.

Edited by crystalspin

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On 12/7/2019 at 8:58 PM, Mike981 said:

If we don't have the drink package, that booze bill will be LARGE.

And how much do you spend, in total, on the drink package?

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The last two trips it was included (along with other perks) with our cruise and at a cruise rate that was less than booking directly.
The real question is, "how much would you be spending out of pocket?" And that answer is around $150 a day for the two of us.

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1 hour ago, crystalspin said:

Hi Ldubs -- 

Truth is, we have never bought it but only got it in the old Explore4 annual sale. I have, though, calculated for other trips, that we just about break even at the pre-sailing price of $44.95 (plus 15%) pppd. On a sea-day, we have one or two espresso drinks, one or two notably weak but tasty rum drinks, 2 or 3 glasses of wine with dinner if in the MDR, maybe a nightcap or some bottled water for the room. Each.

 

The dollars come out really about equal on HAL, and would probably be a negative on port-heavy cruises. But it lets dr'spin relax and not fret the individual drinks. And in this particular case, it will help push us over the 4* loyalty level!

 

On Princess, at $59.99pppd+18% -- we have never even been tempted. Although Princess is about to start the Best.Sale.Ever so we'll see on that.

 

BTW, I like and respect your posts! For years here on CC I talked down beverage packages in general, but I have come to see that each company (sometimes each cruise) needs to be researched on its own.

 

Makes sense especially when you factor in the bottled water and coffees (especially the coffee!).  

 

Anyway, I do not deserve it but thank you for the kind words.   

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It varies by cruise.  On my next cruise I can guarantee it will be our bar tab, which I expect will be $500 or so for a 10-day cruise. mostly because we will order a bottle with dinner each night.

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To answer your question explicitly, our biggest on board expense would extra gratuities to the crew. We cruise on all inclusive cruise lines.  We never do ship tours.  We don't go to the spa or gamble.  There have been times when our bill at the end of the cruise was zero.  Now of course that  does any costs for private tours, meals off the ship,  locally produced souvenirs. or locally produced handicrafts.

DON 

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So far on all our cruises... the top expense has been drinks...

 

which does bother us......   still have never manage to spend, what a drink package would cost... .

 

Having said that... on our last cruise.... blew the budget on a bucket list excursion... it was amazing

 

Cheers Don

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On 12/9/2019 at 6:39 PM, navybankerteacher said:

And how much do you spend, in total, on the drink package?

I'm just going to tack this on here.  Just cause. Reading these last few posts about drink packages it's a real wake-up to the privileges of Oceania. All the non-alcoholic drinks, including fancy-dancy coffees, are included. And I can bring on hard liquor and wine to our hearts content. Pay $25 corkage if we have it outside our cabin. Reading that "$2895" number above really got my attention. Wow.

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