A cruise can be the ultimate vacation. Unlike traditional vacations, cruising is often stress-free. Sit back, relax and enjoy having everything provided to you, while you visit different countries and locations. With everything being included, how much does a cruise cost?

First, there is no exact figure. Just like buying anything else, there will be different price points depending on the experience and the level you are looking for. There are plenty of cheap cruises and ways to keep your cruise costs low, just as there are plenty of more expensive cruises and way to really splurge on your next cruise.

There are many factors that go into cruise prices and determining if a cruise is worth it for you. Some key factors that will affect the cost of a cruise in 2024 include:

  • Cruise Line
  • Specific Ship
  • Cabin Type
  • Trip Length
  • Date/Season of the Cruise
  • How Many Sailors in your Party
  • Drink & Dining Packages

What You’ll Be Spending Money on for a Cruise

Similar to any vacation, there are various expenses to factor in when planning for your upcoming cruise, and it’s not limited to just the cost of the cruise itself. Let’s examine the areas where you will need to allocate funds for your cruise getaway.

Cruise Fare with Port Fees and Taxes

Yes, this is typically where cruise planning and budgeting starts. You look up the average price of a cruise and then find the perfect sailing that fits your budget and timeframe. This fare will get you onto the ship, include most meals (buffet and main dining room), entertainment, pools, lounges, clubs, many activities and a cabin to head back to at the end of the night. 

However, the cruise fare does not cover everything you will want as a cruiser. In addition to the basic fare, you will have the ability to purchase drink packages, speciality restaurants, shore excursions, certain on-board activities, spa services and many other things. A cruise ship, just like a theme park, has many additional optional purchase choices.

We will dive in more below on the how much a cruise costs, and provide examples of the average cost for different types of cruises. A shorter cruise on a budget cruise line can be a great choice for those looking to spend just a couple hundred of dollars, or you can splurge and take a luxury cruise and spend thousands of dollars or more.

Cabin and Accommodations

Cruise lines including Carnival Cruise, Royal Caribbean Group, Disney Cruise Line, and luxury cruise lines such as Regent Seven Seas all include accommodations in the base fare. When you book a cruise, you will need to consider the cost of the cabin and accommodations as part of your cruise fare. Interior rooms will be your budget friendly option and the price will typically go up from there. However, cruise lines use demand pricing which means that if demand is higher for certain room types you might be able to get a better room for less. You might just find a balcony for less than the price of an ocean view room. Working with a travel agent will allow you to get the best rate, in the best room, for the dates you are looking at. 

How Much Does a Cruise Cost in 2024? Find Out Here! 2

It is important to consider how many people will be in the room, how much time you plan to spend in the room and even if you get sea sick at all when picking your room. Most cruise lines have value priced options called guarantees where the cruise line chooses your room instead of you picking a room. This allows them to put you in the best room left available after everyone has chosen their room. This is a great way to save a little money and still have the category of room you are looking for.

Transportation, Parking and Hotel for Getting To The Ship

Another cost of cruising often forgotten is the cost to get to the ship. If you are lucky enough to live near a popular cruise port, this cost can be minimal. Often, you will need to travel to the port which will involve flights, Uber/taxi, and parking (cruise terminal or airport). Parking can range in price depending on the owner of the lot. Most ports also have just off port parking that provides shuttles to and from the port for cheaper parking fees than parking directly at the port.

How Much Does a Cruise Cost in 2024? Find Out Here! 3
Young man and woman stand outside airport and wait for taxi cab. Guy wave with hand. After vacation or travel. Georgian woman hold his hand and smile. Sunset outside. Evening

We recommend if you are flying in, you arrive at least a day early to make sure you can account for any flight delays or canceled flights as the ship will not wait for you. This means you will need to add at least one night at a nearby hotel to your bill. If you are flying into a port that has new exploring to do you can also use this time to treat your first day like a port day and sight-see before the cruise.

Drink Packages

 Your cruise fare typically includes water, lemonade, juices and tea. Sodas may not be included and alcohol is almost always an additional package that you must purchase. Alcohol and other drink packages are not cheap, and you will want to make sure you budget correctly.

Note: Make sure you read the fine print on any drinking packages. Most lines will require you to purchase any drink package for everyone in the cabin. If you have minors in the cabin, you may be required to order a soda or non-alcoholic drink package for them as well. Some lines also have limits on the drink package. For example, Carnival limited the number of drinks and MSC Cruises has price per drink caps on the various packages. 

Colorful holiday cocktails on cruise ship drink package should be considered in how much does a cruise cost

Did you know that some cruise lines will allow 18 year olds to drink onboard. In addition, the drinking age in the Caribbean is typically 18 and older for drinking while in port.

Dining Packages

Dining Packages are a popular option on mainstream cruise lines for passengers looking to enhance their dining experience while on board. When you take a cruise, the average cost of a cruise typically includes your accommodations, meals, and entertainment. However, if you want to enjoy specialty dining options, you may need to pay extra. Depending on the cruise line’s offerings, dining packages can be a great way to elevate your culinary experience without breaking the bank. 

For example, a 7 day cruise may have different dining packages available than a shorter cruise. Before booking, be sure to check what’s included in your cruise to see if dining packages are an option for you. Royal Caribbean offers various packages so take a look at what is available. It may make sense to do an Unlimited Dining package if available. This usually includes lunch on sea days and dinner every night at a specialty restaurant. This is a great way to enjoy the best the ships have to offer.

Onboard Spending

Onboard spending refers to additional expenses incurred during a cruise that are not included in your cruise fare. These costs can vary depending on the amenities you choose to indulge in. For example, on a longer cruise, you may find that the price can vary drastically compared to a short cruise for items like spa treatments or even the onboard shops. The suggested amount to bring for extra on board and even off board spending is $50-100 per day for your family.

One other thing to consider is that some sales offer additional on board credits to go towards these other miscellaneous items you may want to buy onboard. When working with a travel agent ask if there are any credits available to you as some agents have access to special on board credit programs.

Make sure you don’t forget to pack anything, as buying these items at the onboard shop can get expensive. We recommend checking out our printable cruise packing checklist to ensure you don’t forget any must have items.


Gratuities on major cruise lines are typically charged per person per day and can cost anywhere from $10 to $20. It’s important to find out how much your cruise line charges for gratuities before you embark on your trip. These charges cover tipping for service staff onboard, such as room attendants, waiters, and other crew members.

It’s always a good idea to budget for these other costs when planning your cruise vacation to avoid any unexpected expenses during your trip. Most cruise lines will let you pay for these at time of booking. Either add them to your reservation or ask your travel agent to so that you don’t have to worry about them when onboard.

Cruise Travel Insurance Cost

Cruise travel insurance costs can vary depending on the price of the cruise and the level of coverage you choose. When planning a cruise vacation, it’s important to factor in the cost of insurance to protect against unforeseen circumstances.

The average cruise can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, so adding a travel insurance policy can provide peace of mind. Many cruise lines offer insurance options when you book your cruise, but these extras may cost extra. It’s important to research the cost of the cruise and the insurance options available to determine the best cruise deal for your needs.

Travel insurance is typically offered through your cruise line, travel agent or via third-party. We have used both RoamRight and Allianz and find their pricing to be comparable.

Wi-Fi and Staying Connected

Wi-Fi has become an essential part of staying connected while on vacation, especially for cruise passengers. When you go on a cruise, you may wonder about the average cost of a cruise and whether Wi-Fi is included in the cruise line’s fare.

Royal Caribbean is a popular cruise line known for its innovative onboard activities and amenities, including high-speed Wi-Fi. Depending on which cruise line you choose, Wi-Fi might be included in the cruise fare or available for purchase as an add-on. Some cruise lines like Royal Caribbean International offer Wi-Fi packages that are automatically added to your cruise account, ensuring you stay connected throughout your total cruise.

Many cruise lines offer a variety of internet packages that accommodate different needs and budgets. The cost of Wi-Fi on a 7-day cruise can vary depending on the cruise line and the type of package you choose. However, it’s important to note that the total cost of a cruise includes more than just the Wi-Fi, such as the cost of transportation to and from the cruise port.

Breakdown of Average 7 Day Cruise Costs

So how much is a 7 day cruise? Below is a break down of an average cruise for a family of 4 in peak season (June-July) on Royal Caribbean on a newer ship. This is based on a 7 day cruise out of Florida ports and for this example includes specialty dining, drinks and insurance. 

– 7 night cruise on a newer Royal Caribbean ship: $1,575 per person x 4 = $6,300
– Specialty Dining package for 4: $400 per person x 4 = $1,600
– Drink package for 2 adults and 2 kids: $400 per person x 4 = $1,600
– Travel insurance for 4: $100 per person x 4 = $400
Total cost for the cruise: $6,300 + $1,600 + $1,600 + $400 = $16,400

Additional costs to consider:
– Gratuities: typically around $14-17 per person per day, so for a 7-night cruise this would be approximately $400-$500
– Shore excursions: budget around $50-$150 per person per excursion
– Souvenirs, photos, spa treatments, etc.

Overall, a 7-day cruise for a family of 4 on a newer Royal Caribbean ship in peak season with specialty dining, drinks and insurance could cost around $10,000 not including additional costs for gratuities, excursions, and onboard expenses. It’s always a good idea to budget extra for these additional expenses to ensure you have an stress-free and enjoyable vacation experience. Below is an example including those extras.

Cruise Fare$6,300
Specialty Dining – Unlimited Dining ($400 each)$1,600
Drink Package $1,600
Wi-Fi for 2$335
Gratuities $500
Travel Insurance$400
On Board Expenses$700
*This is used as an example and not a real cruise quote.

The above represents the cost of turning a peak 7 day cruise on a brand new ship into an all-inclusive trip that is protected with proper travel insurance. 

Cost Breakdown by Cruise Line

Q: How much does a cruise cost, typically?

A: The cost of a cruise can vary depending on various factors such as the cruise line, destination, time of year, duration, cabin type, and any extra amenities you choose. On average, a cruise can cost anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars per person.

Q: How can I save money on a cruise?

A: To save money on a cruise, consider booking during off-peak seasons, looking out for deals and promotions, booking in advance, opting for interior cabins instead of suites, and being mindful of additional expenses such as excursions and onboard activities.

Q: What is the average price of a Caribbean cruise?

A: The cost of a Caribbean cruise can vary depending on the cruise line, duration, and amenities included. On average, a 7-day Caribbean cruise can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 per person, excluding additional expenses.

Q: How much do luxury cruises typically cost?

A: Luxury cruises tend to be more expensive compared to mainstream cruises due to the premium services and amenities offered. Prices for luxury cruises can range from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars per person, depending on the cruise line and itinerary.

Q: Are there any extra costs involved in a cruise?

A: Yes, there can be additional costs associated with a cruise such as gratuities, specialty dining, alcoholic beverages, shore excursions, spa treatments, Wi-Fi access, and souvenirs. It’s essential to budget for these extras to avoid unexpected expenses.

Q: How can I find out the total cost of my cruise?

A: To determine the total cost of your cruise, you should consider the base fare, port fees, taxes, gratuities, any onboard expenses, as well as additional costs for excursions or upgrades. Booking directly with the cruise line can provide a breakdown of these expenses or ask your travel agent for a breakdown.

Q: What are some tips for budgeting for a cruise vacation?

A: When budgeting for a cruise vacation, consider all potential expenses, look for packaged deals, set a spending limit for onboard activities, prioritize your must-have amenities, and plan ahead to avoid impulse spending. Researching and comparing prices from different cruise lines can also help you find the best value for your money.

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