Cruise Fees Tip of the Day

Cruises are advertised as pretty cheap. It isn't rare to see prices below $200. I've even seen some short cruises advertised in the double digits. But as we know from cell phone companies, the advertised price isn't the price you write the check out for. Here are some of the hidden fees you can expect to pay:

Taxes and Fees:

Varies of course. But a 3 night Bahama cruise will have around $35 USD is taxes and fees

Fuel Surcharge

This was an issue in 2008 with high gas prices, but since oil prices have dropped, these fees have been dropped as well. But if oil prices climb again, be on the lookout!

Tip/Service Charge:

All cruise lines is require a service charge or recommend a tip amount. It varies slight by cruise line, but a good rule of thumb is $10 per person per day. For exact amounts based on your cruise line check out the Cruise tip Calculator

Excursions & Spa:

Sadly the onboard Spa isn't included in the price. Excursions are activities arranged by the cruiseline that you can choose to at the different ports the ship will stop at. All sorts of things are offered, from historic tours to para-sailing. These range from $10 to over $100 depending on what activities you choose to participate in (if any at all).

Transportation to Port:

If you live near the coast you can probably drive. There are ports that cruise ships leave from all up and down both sides of the you US. But you'll have to pay for parking. You'll pay even more then you would at the airport or a themepark for everyday your car is parked there. $15 a day can add up fast. If you don't drive you'll probably need to fly. You can arrange that with transportation to port with the cruise line or on your own.


Almost all cruise ships include food in the main dinning room as part of the ticket price, including water and tea. But if you want cola it'll cost ya. If you really feel the need for hundreds of empty calories, it runs around $6 a day.

Bonus: Inspection Reports. The government inspects ships, and makes the results of those inspections available online. You may want to find out what your ship scored before you book.

New to cruising? This one page gives you a good idea of what to expect.


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