It’s not all included

Cruising has become widely recognised as a value-for-money holiday option, with accommodation, most food, and travelling between destinations included in the fare. For the majority of cruise guests, however, there will still be an account to settle at the end of a cruise, for extras. So what are these likely to be?

Shore Excursions

While some cruise lines include free shore excursions, most do not. There are often independent companies offering tours at a cheaper price, but these aren’t available in every port. To save money, explore on your own on foot, or make use of public transport or local taxis.

Alternative Dining

All cruises include dining options in the fare, but if you fancy hitting an alternative restaurant, such as a steakhouse, you will pay extra per person. If you’re cruising on a ship with any venues which charge, check out any dining packages on offer. Or you could plan to have lunch on a sea day instead of dinner, which can also work out to be cheaper.

Adults Only Areas

These are increasingly popular on larger ships for those seeking quiet but there is often a fee to pay to use exclusive areas. If you don’t want to pay, find another quiet spot away from busy areas of the ship, such as a deck or two above the pool, the library, or the promenade deck which often has sun loungers and shade.


Most cruise lines don’t include alcohol in the fare, and there are strict rules about what you can bring on board. Some allow a bottle of wine or sparkling wine each, but you have to drink it in your stateroom or pay corkage fees to enjoy it elsewhere. Check the daily guide for happy hours, drink-of-the-day offers, or consider buying a drinks package.

Specialty Beverages

Some non-alcoholic drinks are free, from basic teas and filter coffee, to fountain drinks such as lemon squash. A specialty herbal tea, a latté, or a bottle of mineral water, however, will cost extra on most ships. Some allow a small number of cans of soft drink to be brought on board per person, but you also have the option of purchasing a drinks package.

Other Items Not Included

Fitness Classes: the gym is free, but spin, Zumba and yoga classes usually attract fees.

Room Service: some ships charge for this luxury, particularly between midnight and breakfast.

In-Room Movies: there are often pay-per-view options on your television.

Gratuities: most ships charge these to your account daily for each person sharing your stateroom.

Activities: martini mixing, wine tasting and bingo are all activities which cost extra.

Internet Access: you will need to set up an account and either pay by the minute or buy a package.

Port Shuttles: mainstream ships often charge a fee, either one-way or return.

Laundry: this is usually an extra charge, although many ships have a guest laundry.

To find out more about cruising or to find the cruise of your dreams within your budget, visit

Written by joannaha