Bargain vacationer's dream or added-fee nightmare? A cruise can go either way.
Accommodations, most meals and snacks and tons of activities are included in typical cruise fares, and if you stick to the included attractions, you can get a helluva deal on a vacation. But on most modern cruise ships, your budget could go down the drain once you start indulging in those tempting for-fee amenities and activities, like spa treatments, shore excursions and wine tastings. Sure one $7 pina colada isn't going to break the bank, but when one of your sea days gets rained out and you find yourself looking for fun in every corner of the ship, you might be surprised to discover how quickly an exercise class here and a round of bingo there can add up.
To give you a head start on figuring out how much you might actually spend on a cruise vacation, we've culled and tallied the prices of common a la carte extras on weeklong Caribbean cruises departing from Florida on seven popular -- and amenity-laden -- cruise ships. We've also added in the daily gratuities for each passenger in a standard cabin (tips for suite guests may be higher).
Read on to find out if that all-inclusive, at-sea vacation you've been dreaming about is still a good value once you throw in a few umbrella drinks by the pool, a massage and a souvenir photo.
Editor's Note: Prices may vary by ships within the same cruise line as well as by itinerary and are subject to change at any time, without notice. We realize that travelers will not rack up every one of these charges every day, but have presented both the prices and a sample a la carte cost for one day to make the point that onboard charges can accumulate quickly.
Holland America's Nieuw Amsterdam
Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas