How Much Does it Cost To Go on a Cruise: A Budgeting Guide

How Much Does it Cost To Go on a Cruise: A Budgeting Guide

One of the world's most popular and well-loved types of vacation today is a cruise vacation. Especially if you're someone who lives far away from the ocean, going on a cruise is a fantastic way to unwind and relax with your family, friends, and loved ones.

Here we will explore the basics of how much it costs to go on a cruise so that you can decide if taking one is right for you.

Read on for all the information you need when budgeting for a cruise. As long as you have a good amount of knowledge about budgeting and recreation, you should have everything you need to be financially educated about cruises with this article.

What Is a Cruise? 

A cruise vacation is a great way to spend time with the people you care about and experience new places. Cruises are popular for many reasons, including their relaxing nature, various activities and locations, and the chance to spend time at sea.

Cruise vacations come in all shapes and sizes. Some cruises focus on adventure travel while others offer more luxurious surroundings. If you don't have much time off from work or school (or are retired), a three-day weekend cruise may be right for you. 

If you have more freedom in your schedule, consider booking a weeklong adventure aboard an ocean liner or riverboat.

Whatever kind of adventure floats your boat — literally or figuratively — you'll find plenty of options available when booking your dream vacation aboard one of these beautiful vessels. 

On a cruise ship, you'll find yourself surrounded by fantastic food and top-notch service in an environment that feels like home. You can also relax with spa treatments or spend time exploring deck activities such as shuffleboard or biking around the boardwalk. The possibilities are endless.

How Much Do Cruises Cost? 

The cruise price depends on a few factors, including the trip length and the ship you're sailing on. Generally speaking, longer cruises are more expensive than shorter ones. You must also consider whether there's an option for you to fly out to your destination.

The final price tag will also depend on what type of accommodation suits your needs. If all you need is someplace to sleep and eat three meals every day, you can save money by opting for an inside cabin that doesn't have a balcony. 

On the other hand, if having a view from your window sounds nice (and why wouldn't it?), then go ahead and splurge for one with that extra amenity included in its price tag.

The cruise cost includes port fees, taxes (these vary widely), and excursions. All in all, it's a reasonably competitive industry. That is, if you want to take a vacation on an upscale boat with plenty of amenities, there are plenty of options for this kind of experience.

There is no set price on any cruise. It will always come down to however much money you want to spend on it. That is an option if you wish for a more spartan experience for less money. 

Alternatively, if you want to spend lots of money and have the most luxurious experience possible, that is also definitely doable.

What Are Some Cruise Expenses? 

  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Excursions
  • Food
  • Gratuity
  • Spa treatments

Breaking down how much a cruise will cost often means looking at the various aspects of the cruise and how much you will be charged for them. While some cruises are all-inclusive, most cruises will charge you money for each specific thing you purchase or choose to experience. Because of that, it's essential to consider all of these various expenses that may come up.

Alcoholic Drinks

Alcoholic drinks and soda are usually not included in the cruise price. The cost of these depends on the cruise line and the type of cruise you choose. For example, many cruises charge $2 per drink for beer and wine and around $6 per cocktail or margarita.

These prices vary widely, so research ahead of time to know how much to budget. If you love drinking a little extra while on vacation, adding a few hundred extra dollars is always a good idea. 


The most popular excursion is the snorkeling trip, which generally costs anywhere from $25 to $100 per person. This tour takes you to a private island where you can observe tropical fish and coral reefs. Other popular excursions include shopping trips to nearby towns, nature walks through rainforests, horseback rides through meadows and beaches, and scenic helicopter tours of volcanoes or wildlife preserves.

You can book these tours online before your cruise or at the embarkation port on board your ship. If you've never been on a cruise before, consider visiting a travel agent ahead of time. They can help ensure all details regarding booking the excursion are accurate (including if there's an additional service fee).


One thing that nobody can live without is food. While almost all cruises will include food as a built-in expense, countless shops and restaurants will still be on board the cruise liner, full of enticing food and ways to spend your money.

If you want to stick to the built-in dining plan, your costs will likely be much lower and more affordable. However, if you want to indulge in snacks, other deserts, and various kinds of food, you should budget a couple of hundred dollars into your cruise expenses. 


Another thing to consider is that while tipping is not required, leaving a gratuity for your service providers during your vacation is customary. Tipping isn't included in the price of a cruise — it's at your discretion, and you can choose how much you want to give.

A significant aspect of tipping is related to the culture that you are in. In some cultures, tipping is considered rude. So if you go on a cruise, do a little research first to see if the staff will want or expect tips for their services.

Spa Treatments

Spa treatments are a great option if you're looking for a way to unwind and indulge yourself. Most cruises have an onboard spa, so if you have any kinks or knots in your muscles that need working out, this is the perfect place to go.

Spa treatments can be pricey depending on what kind of treatment you get, but it's worth considering how much better they make you feel afterward.

Why Are Cruises Fun?

The central concept of a cruise is that it allows you to relax to the maximum capacity for the entire trip duration. Gone are all your responsibilities, frustrations, and distractions from the people and things you care about the most. Instead of dealing with obligations, you must sit back, relax, and let your body and mind be at peace.

Cruises are a fantastic vacation option, but they can also be expensive. The good news is that you can find cruises for various budgets and needs.


Cruises can be a great way to see the world, relax and enjoy yourself, or even meet new people. However, cruises are also a great way to have fun — that's important. The cost of your cruise can vary greatly depending on what you'll do on your trip. Knowing how much you'll need for any activity is essential so you don't overspend at the last minute.

We hope this guide has helped you feel more confident about planning a cruise vacation. Cruises are a great way to experience the world without worrying about any logistics, and they can be affordable if you do your research.

If you're looking to take your next cruise vacation in the vicinity of Europe, the odds are good that you'll need some additional information and help to figure out all of the traveling aspects of your cruise. It's not always easy to travel in Europe, and that's why ETIAS exists — to make traveling in Europe as easy and accessible as possible.

Whether you're looking to just pass through an airport in the EU or are looking to spend a considerable amount of time there, we have everything you need. Feel free to check out our articles and blog posts about some of the most confusing questions relating to European travel today.

It's not always easy to be a world traveler, but with ETIAS, you don't have to do it alone. No matter where you're going, this is one of the best ways to ensure you're doing it right. Check out some of our latest and greatest articles



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