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All-Inclusive Cruises: Comprehensive Guide

The great thing about all-inclusive cruises is that most of these things are, in fact, all inclusive! What does all-inclusive cruising mean, exactly?

In this article I am going to go in-depth into what is included in all-inclusive cruising, down to the last area of what could be included depending on your specific cruise line.

all-inclusive cruises

What are All-Inclusive Cruises? Included vs. Not Included

All-inclusive cruises truly bring the ideas of luxury and comfort to the next level.

During the optimal all-inclusive cruises, you will typically receive a spacious stateroom, unlimited food, countless amounts of entertainment, activity venues, unlimited drinks, Wi-Fi, and daily gratuities– all included within your original cruise fare.

You may have many questions about cruising, specifically about all-inclusive cruising, but the concept is as simple as it sounds.

While this definitely varies depending on the cruise line you are cruising with, most cruise lines include the vast majority of activities, venues, and food in the upfront cruise fare.

all-inclusive cruising food


What’s included:

Any all-inclusive cruise you may book should include the majority of their on-ship restaurants in your all-inclusive cruise fare.

This means that the pool side bar, cruise buffet, and more formal options like the formal dining rooms are all included!

Not only can you dine out however many times you want to on your all-inclusive cruising adventure, but you can order practically anything you see or want at sea.

This means that if you want 4 appetizers, no entrée, and 3 desserts, that’s exactly what you will get!

Plus, your friendly server will be more than happy to bring you anything you need, want, or are craving (even if it is not at the restaurant you are currently at!).

Japanese cruise food

Also, you can order what you want in whatever order you’d like. If you are craving chocolate when you arrive back from port, no one is going to stop you from ordering the delicious mousse chocolate cake as your appetizer!

This also means you can order some warm mozzarella sticks after you thought you finished your meal if you find yourself still craving the delicious cruise food.

Snacks are also included in your all-inclusive cruise fare (thankfully!), which means if you see any snack station or want to head over to the ship’s buffet for a quick bite, go for it. I guarantee that no one is going to stop you!

You can also order unlimited food from room service during all-inclusive cruises (I know, amazing right!). Just remember that it is customary to tip the crew member who delivers your food to your stateroom once they arrive.

Victoria BC food
What’s not Included:

While the majority of food you stumble upon on your all-inclusive cruises will be included in your fare, there are a couple exceptions depending on your cruise line.

Most cruise lines have specialty dining facilities in addition to their main dining options. These are typically fancier dining venues that offer 3, 4, or 5-course meals to passengers willing to fork over extra money to truly foster the all-inclusive cruising environment.

Most specialty dining options on all-inclusive cruises are offered at a 20$ or higher surcharge, which will grant you access to the onboard restaurant’s complete menu. Other specialty dining spots may boast an all-a-cart experience where you can pick and choose which appetizers, entrees, and desserts you will be paying out of pocket for.

To make these cruise specialty dining spots more accessible for guests, cruise lines offer specialty dining packages for guests to pre-pay for a certain amount of reservations at the onboard specialty dining venues.

Other onboard food that typically won’t be included in your fare will be outlined by your cruise line. These foods can vary greatly, whether the Mickey bars on Disney cruises or the fancy pastries offered at the cafes on Royal Caribbean cruises.

all-inclusive cruising drinks


What’s included:

Most, if not all, cruise lines offer water, coffee, tea, and juice at no extra cost when booking your all-inclusive cruises. Just make sure to bring a reusable water bottle or container to carry your drinks as any bottled beverage will usually come with an extra fee.

You can then easily bring your water bottle up to any cruise ship bar and ask the bartender to refill your container with water to carry around onboard.

You may also be surprised when you initially arrive to your cruise stateroom with a bottle of champagne or wine.

Many cruise lines, like Norwegian Cruise Line, will treat their past guests or those staying in suites with these complimentary bottles of alcohol for guests to start off their cruise vacation right! Just make sure to double check with your room steward to confirm that these bottles come free of charge.

sunset drinks Royal Caribbean

Now, where it gets pretty complicated is the packages or promotions going on either by your cruise line or travel agency at the time of booking.

Nearly all cruise lines offer cruise alcoholic beverage packages either as a promotion or at an extra cost. Some cruise lines, like Norwegian Cruise Line, will frequently offer this as a perk when you are booking your cruise.

You will have to watch out for extra hidden fees like taxes and gratuities when opting into these packages, however, they are more than likely worth it!

Other cruise lines and cruise travel agencies will offer non-alcoholic beverage packages that include bottled water, soda, and non-alcoholic cocktails as another package (this may also be included with your all-inclusive cruise fare, you will have to check!).

Most cruises in the North American cruise market do not typically include either the alcoholic or nonalcoholic drink package in the fare, but European cruises frequently do.

Café Select Coffee Card
What’s not included:

Specialty coffees on most cruise lines are not included in the all-inclusive cruising fare. Most all-inclusive cruises will include American coffees in your fare, which you can typically find at the buffet, order at the dining facilities, request from room service, or even find within your cruise stateroom.

Like I stated earlier, more than likely, alcoholic beverages are not included. This means you should definitely check out your cruise line’s all-inclusive drink packages before you sail the high seas!

If you are already imagining yourself sipping on margaritas as you sail away and enjoying wine at dinner, these all-inclusive cruise drink packages can save you from massive headaches and a lot of money.

Anyone who has stayed in a hotel before can attest to the mini-fridge filled with tempting alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Well, cruise lines have also picked up on this strategic method and have filled each stateroom’s fridge with plenty of cold beverages to tempt their guests.

Do not touch these! I can almost guarantee that these tempting beverages are not free, and are more than likely extremely expensive for what you ultimately get. Instead, either opt in for the all-inclusive cruising drink packages or stick to drinking while you are in port.

all-inclusive cruise venue


What’s included:

Once you fork over the money for your cruise, you are granted access to nearly every passenger area onboard.

This includes (on most cruise ships) the refreshing, top deck pools! These pools are open from dusk until far past dawn for eager cruisers looking for relaxation to enjoy.

Other facilities onboard you will have access to include any libraries, the atrium, lounges, theaters, restaurants, the buffet, and any other exciting features of your cruise ship.

While it is completely free to access these areas, there may be extra charges when it comes to experiencing all the perks of the venues. This could include bingo, arcade, casino, and other costs that add up quickly.

If you would like to stay in shape during your all-inclusive cruises, you are in luck! Most cruise lines boast amazing gyms that are open most hours of the day, free of charge.

If you are cruising with toddlers, you are also in luck! All childcare facilities are also included in your all-inclusive cruise fare, with all youth programs and child care for ages 2 and up being completely complimentary.

What’s not included:

While there are plenty of venues onboard cruise ships for you to spend your entire vacation entertained, there are specific areas on some cruise ships that are off limits or come at an extra charge.

The off limit areas for guests during all-inclusive cruises obviously include the crew area. This means you should not wander past the “crew access only” doors, sneak behind the scenes during shows and meals, and seek out the ship navigation section of the ship.

Besides that, while you won’t have access to public areas while they are not open (duh!), most other areas onboard can be explored either for free or with an extra fee.

Some areas that may charge a fee include some private classes onboard, special childcare, the spa, and any exclusive club areas.

If you would like to leave your kids to enjoy a romantic dinner with your loved one, of course that is included! However, if you are looking for an extensive babysitting service for care during your all-inclusive cruise, there will be an extra cost.

The cruise ship spas are typically offered to all-inclusive cruising passengers via a spa pass (check out Norwegian Cruise Line’s Thermal Suite Pass), or by paid treatment only. This means you will only have access to this relaxing area if you have a spa package included in your fair or if you pay extra after you book your cruise.

There may also be areas of the ship that are reserved for your cruise line’s loyalty members or suite guests. Obviously, these areas are only accessible to those who are eligible, and are there for not included in an all-inclusive cruise fare.

all-inclusive cruising gratuities


What’s included:

Now, the gratuities all-inclusive cruises area can be tricky to navigate.

Most all-inclusive cruises leaving from the United States will NOT cover gratuities, unless explicitly stated when booking your cruise.

Now, that doesn’t mean you should worry, but I highly suggest double checking what your cruise line policy is when it comes to gratuities and tips.

What’s not included:

Most cruise lines will either offer the option to pre-pay your cruise gratuities or charge a flat rate (around $15 a day) at the end of your cruise that covers your stateroom steward, waiters, and other interactions with staff onboard. 

Of course, you can always adjust this after your vacation to whatever you believe is fair, but just remember, cruise line employees often make very little and depend on these tips for the majority of their income.

You will also have to pay extra gratuities (usually a nominal fee) for any room service you order onboard.

There are extra gratuities added to many of the cruise packages you may add to your cruise, whether as a seemingly “free” perk or at an extra cost. This includes gratuities added for any drink packages, specialty dining packages, and other packages you purchase depending on your specific cruise line for your all-inclusive cruising adventure.

all-inclusive cruising entertainment


What’s included:

Most entertainment should be included in your all-inclusive cruises when you book your cruising adventure. This means that any Broadway-caliber shows, karaoke sessions, live bands, and other entertainment will be free of charge.

Now, even though the onboard cruise entertainment may be complimentary when booking your all-inclusive cruise, that does not mean that you will immediately have access to all entertainment.

Many cruise lines, like Royal Caribbean, actually require passengers to plan out their cruise and book tickets to their shows to avoid overcrowding. Therefore, you should double check with your cruise line to see what is required when it comes to having access to the onboard entertainment.

Art auctions and other classes can also be free and sometimes offer free refreshments, so make sure to check with your all-inclusive cruise line to check out their cruise deals!

What’s not included:

Other areas of entertainment can be found throughout most of the all-inclusive cruises.

While many classes onboard outlined in your daily itinerary guide may be free, I can almost guarantee that there will be a couple that are not. These could be fitness classes, cooking classes, or other ones ones that are more intensive or require expensive resources.

There may also be fees to use all the forms of personal entertainment onboard all-inclusive cruises. For example, there is an extra fee to play bingo on Norwegian Cruise Line. Another example is that you will have to pay extra for the ice bar on NCL’s other ships.

all inclusive cruise perks

Other Perks


While most cruise lines do indeed offer WiFi on their all-inclusive cruises, most access will come at an extra cost. 

If you book your cruise during your cruise line’s or travel agency’s promotional period, you may be granted a WiFi package, free of charge.

Otherwise, you are, unfortunately, out of luck and will need to fork over extra money to cover internet at sea. WiFi tends to be fairly expensive on cruise ships, and the speed is not always the greatest, so I recommend only purchasing if you absolutely need it.

Plus, this way, you can truly relax away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life on your all-inclusive cruises.


Again, unless you purchase or receive a photos package, the professional photos taken onboard will not be included in your all-inclusive cruise fare.

However, most of the friendly crew onboard will be more than happy to snap a picture of you and your travel companions with your phone or camera at no extra cost.

The photos taken when boarding the ship (most all-inclusive cruises have a fun backdrop), during formal nights, and any other time where a professional photographer is taking pictures will be free to take part in.

You will typically be able to browse all the photos taken for free as well, usually in an area around the cruise ship’s shops.

The extra fee comes into play when you try to obtain the photos afterwards. Unless you purchased or were granted a photo package before your all-inclusive cruise, you will be charged for any professional photos that you are looking to collect.


Flights are more than likely not included in your all-inclusive cruise fare.

Of course, there are some exceptions, like when cruise lines or travel agencies are running promotions, but a general rule is that flights are not included when booking all-inclusive cruises.

Daily Activities

Anything listed on your all-inclusive cruises daily itinerary (Freestyle Daily for NCL, Cruise Compass for Royal Caribbean, etc.) is more than likely included in your all-inclusive cruise fare.

This usually includes any physical, educational, entertainment, and family activities onboard.

Of course, there may be a couple events listed on the daily list of cruise activities that are offered at an extra charge (bingo, wine tastings, etc), but these will often be denoted with a note clearly labeling whether it is complimentary or costs extra.


While some of the more expensive and luxurious cruise lines may include shore excursions on their all-inclusive cruises, most main stream cruise lines will not.

This again depends on any all-inclusive cruise packages you may have received or opted-in for while booking your cruise with your travel agent or the cruise line, but most of the time, you will have to plan and pay for your trips in port separately.

Onboard Credits

In rare, and I mean very rare, situations, you may have an onboard credit included on your all-inclusive cruises.

This is typically offered to past guests on specific cruise lines or as another add-on package when booking your all-inclusive cruising experience.

Again, cruise lines and travel agencies may also run promotions where they will offer an onboard cruise credit (depending on the type of stateroom you are in) when booking your all-inclusive cruises.

NCL things onboard

Common “Gotchas”

All-inclusive cruises offer a tantalizing promise of a hassle-free vacation, where everything is covered in one upfront cost. However, while many aspects of your holiday are typically covered, there are potential “gotchas” that can catch travelers off guard. Here are some common pitfalls and unexpected costs that you might encounter:

1. Not Everything is “All-Inclusive”

Despite the term, not all services and amenities are covered. Specialty dining venues, certain beverages (like premium liquors or wines), spa treatments, and private fitness classes might come with additional fees.

2. Shore Excursions

While your cruise might make stops at exotic ports, the shore excursions (like guided tours, activities, or experiences) often aren’t included in the all-inclusive rate and can be quite pricey.

3. Gratuities

Some cruise lines automatically add a daily gratuity to your account, which goes toward the crew’s service. While some all-inclusive packages cover this, others don’t, so you might end up with an unexpected bill at the end of your trip.

4. Wi-Fi and Connectivity

Many cruise lines charge for internet connectivity, and the prices can be steep. Even if a package provides “free Wi-Fi,” it might have data limitations or slow speeds, prompting you to upgrade for an additional fee.

5. Photography

Onboard photographers might snap your picture during the trip, especially during formal nights or when disembarking at ports. Purchasing these photos can be expensive.

6. Specialty Beverages

Your all-inclusive package might come with free beverages, but this often covers just basic drinks. Premium liquors, specialty cocktails, and certain bottled waters can cost extra.

7. Onboard Shops & Services

While shopping might be duty-free, it’s not free. Likewise, services like laundry or medical services will likely have added costs.

8. Babysitting and Kids’ Activities

While many cruises offer free kids’ clubs during the day, evening babysitting or certain specialized children’s programs might come with a fee.

9. Travel to the Departure Port

Unless specified, your cruise fare typically doesn’t include transportation to the port of departure. This means you’ll need to account for flight, hotel, and any other travel costs.

10. Cancellation and Change Fees

If your plans change, altering or canceling your cruise can come with hefty fees, depending on how close it is to the departure date.

11. Spa and Beauty Treatments

Most all-inclusive cruises do not include spa treatments like massages, facials, or hair and nail services. If they offer a spa credit, it’s often minimal and can only cover a small fraction of the cost.

norwegian cruise line vs. Royal Caribbean

Top All-Inclusive Cruise Lines

Embarking on a cruise adventure doesn’t always have to break the bank. With a surge in affordable all-inclusive cruise lines, like Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean, more travelers than ever can indulge in a stress-free voyage where the price covers just about everything. Below are some of the most popular and wallet-friendly all-inclusive cruise lines:

Carnival Cruise Line

Highlight: Fun for the entire family.

Often termed “The Fun Ships,” Carnival offers a vast range of onboard activities suitable for all ages. With its budget-friendly packages, passengers can enjoy a plethora of dining options, entertainment, and comfortable accommodations without overspending.

Royal Caribbean International

Highlight: Adventure at every turn.

From rock climbing walls to surf simulators, Royal Caribbean’s ships are floating adventure parks. The all-inclusive packages are competitively priced and encompass diverse entertainment, dining choices, and even kids’ clubs for family travelers.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Highlight: Freestyle cruising.

Norwegian stands out for its “Freestyle Cruising” concept, letting guests choose where to eat, play, and relax without strict schedules. While not entirely all-inclusive, their Free at Sea promotions often include drink packages, specialty dining, and shore excursions, adding immense value.

MSC Cruises

Highlight: Mediterranean charm.

Originally rooted in the Mediterranean, MSC brings European elegance to the seas. Their inclusive packages cover a range of entertainment, world-class theater shows, and diverse dining options. Plus, kids often sail free on certain itineraries.

Costa Cruises

Highlight: Italian flair on the seas.

Offering an authentic Italian experience, Costa Cruises provides a blend of delicious cuisine, lively entertainment, and genuine hospitality. Their inclusive pricing ensures guests get the most out of their vacation budget.

Princess Cruises

Highlight: A relaxed escape.

Princess Cruises provides a more relaxed and refined atmosphere, perfect for couples and older travelers. Their value-packed deals often include dining, entertainment, and a selection of onboard activities in the package.

Holland America Line

Highlight: Tradition meets modern.

Known for its timeless traditions, Holland America has been sailing for over 145 years. Today, they combine classic with contemporary, offering inclusive packages that often feature culinary workshops, musical entertainment, and enlightening lectures.

cruise travel tips

Top Destinations for All-Inclusive Cruising

From the glistening waters of the Caribbean to the icy allure of Antarctica, here’s a round-up of the top all-inclusive cruise destinations you should consider for your next voyage.

1. The Caribbean

Highlight: Tropical Paradise

The Caribbean, with its turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, and warm climate, remains a top choice for cruisers. Popular stops include Jamaica, Barbados, and the Bahamas. These cruises often encompass water sports, beach lounges, and tropical cocktails, ensuring a perfect sun-soaked holiday.

2. Mediterranean Europe

Highlight: Rich History and Culture

Sailing through the Mediterranean means stepping back in time. Countries like Italy, Greece, Spain, and Croatia offer a mix of ancient history, delicious cuisine, and breathtaking coastlines. From the ruins of Rome to the beaches of Santorini, there’s something for everyone.

3. Alaska

Highlight: Nature’s Drama

For those seeking cooler climates and dramatic landscapes, Alaska cruises offer stunning vistas of glaciers, mountains, and wildlife. Excursions might include wildlife watching, glacier tours, and local indigenous cultural experiences.

4. The Galápagos Islands

Highlight: Biodiversity Wonder

The Galápagos offer a unique cruising experience, teeming with wildlife that can’t be found anywhere else on the planet. All-inclusive packages here often come with expert-guided tours, ensuring you get the most out of this unique ecological destination.

5. The South Pacific

Highlight: Island Bliss

Areas like Tahiti, Fiji, and Bora Bora in the South Pacific are synonymous with paradise. Cruisers can look forward to vibrant coral reefs, overwater bungalows, and rich Polynesian culture.

6. Antarctica

Highlight: The Final Frontier

Arguably the most unique of cruise destinations, Antarctica offers otherworldly landscapes of icebergs and untouched terrains. These cruises are often all-inclusive due to the remote nature of the destination, and they promise a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.

7. The Norwegian Fjords

Highlight: Majestic Scenery

Cruising through Norway’s fjords feels like navigating through a living postcard. Towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and charming coastal towns make this a top pick for those seeking both beauty and tranquility.

8. The Amazon River

Highlight: Jungle Adventure

Sailing the world’s second-longest river, cruisers get a firsthand experience of the Amazon rainforest’s biodiversity. From pink dolphins to canopy walks, it’s an adventure like no other.

Packing for an All-Inclusive Cruise vs. a Regular Cruise

Whether you opt for an all-inclusive cruise or a regular cruise, there’s no doubt that you’re in for a memorable journey. But when it comes to packing, these two types of cruises have some distinct differences. In this section, we’ll break down what you need to bring for each to ensure smooth sailing.

All-Inclusive Cruises: What to Pack

1. Important Documentation: This includes passports, tickets, boarding passes, and any pre-booked excursion information. With all-inclusive packages, you often get a broader range of included shore excursions, so keep those details handy.

2. Evening Wear: Many all-inclusive cruise lines have a luxury element. This often translates to more formal nights, so bring suitable attire like cocktail dresses, formal wear, and smart shoes.

3. Standard Vacation Essentials: Sunscreen, swimsuits, casual wear, sunglasses, and comfortable walking shoes for excursions.

4. Specialty Items: All-inclusive cruises may offer unique amenities, such as spa services, specialty restaurants, or themed nights. Bring any specific attire or items you might need for these.

5. Personal Medications and Toiletries: While many toiletries might be provided, always pack any personal or specialized items.

6. Minimal Cash: Since most things are covered, you’ll primarily need cash for tips (unless they’re included) and personal shopping on excursions.

cruise packing tips

Regular Cruises: What to Pack

1. Important Documentation: As with all-inclusive cruises, always bring your passport, boarding pass, tickets, and any pre-purchased excursion details.

2. Onboard Spending Money: Unlike all-inclusive cruises, regular cruises have many additional costs, including specialty dining, certain drinks, and some onboard activities. Bring a credit card or allocate a budget for onboard spending.

3. Dining Options Attire: Regular cruises usually have a mix of casual dining options and formal nights. Pack accordingly.

4. Drinks and Snacks: If the cruise line allows, you might want to bring some of your own drinks (like a bottle of wine) or snacks, especially if you have specific preferences or dietary restrictions.

5. Standard Vacation Essentials: Just as with all-inclusive cruises, don’t forget your sunscreen, casual clothes, swimsuits, and excursion gear.

6. Personal Medications and Toiletries: While some toiletries might be provided, specialized items are best brought from home.

7. Pre-purchased Beverage or Dining Packages: If you’ve purchased any specialty dining or beverage packages, bring the relevant documentation or vouchers.

Common Essentials for Both Cruise Types

Regardless of the cruise type, certain items are universally essential:

  • Travel insurance details.
  • Adaptors and chargers.
  • Entertainment for downtime, such as books, tablets, or e-readers.
  • A day bag for excursions.
  • First aid basics like pain relievers, motion sickness pills, and band-aids.
NCL tips

Money Saving Tricks While Onboard

Cruises can offer a luxurious escape, but if you’re not careful, onboard spending can quickly add up. Here are some tried-and-true strategies to help you save money while onboard a cruise ship:

1. Set a Budget

Before embarking, determine how much you’re willing to spend on extras. This will help you stay within your means and make you think twice about impulsive purchases.

2. Skip the Soda

Most cruise lines charge for soda. Instead of purchasing a soda package, stick to water, tea, coffee, or other complimentary beverages. If you really enjoy soda, consider bringing a limited quantity onboard if the cruise line’s policy allows it.

3. Limit Alcoholic Beverages

Alcoholic drinks can be expensive. If you do plan to drink, consider buying a drink package if you think you’ll get your money’s worth. Alternatively, some cruise lines allow you to bring a bottle of wine or champagne onboard.

4. Avoid Specialty Dining

While specialty restaurants can offer a unique dining experience, the main dining room and buffet offer plenty of delicious options at no extra cost.

5. Make Use of Free Entertainment

Cruise ships are known for their entertainment. From shows and live music to trivia and dance classes, there’s usually no shortage of complimentary activities. Opt for these rather than paid attractions.

6. Limit Spa Treatments

Spa treatments onboard can be pricier than on land. If you really want a spa experience, look for specials during port days when the ship is emptier and prices might be reduced.

7. Be Wary of Onboard Shopping

Sales and promotions in onboard shops can be tempting, but remember, you might find better deals on similar items ashore or at home. Also, remember that “duty-free” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best deal.

8. Limit Wi-Fi Usage

Internet packages onboard can be expensive. If you don’t need to be connected constantly, take a digital detox, or connect when in port where you might find free Wi-Fi spots.

9. Pre-Book Excursions Independently

While booking through the cruise line can offer convenience, it’s often more affordable to book directly with tour operators or plan independent activities.

10. Attend Onboard Seminars

Some cruise ships offer informational seminars about the ports you’ll be visiting. Attend these to get ideas for free or affordable activities when you disembark.

11. Decline Professional Photos

Professional photographers are often on hand to snap photos during the cruise, especially during formal nights. While it’s fine to let them take your photo, you’re under no obligation to purchase the prints.

12. Use Onboard Credit Wisely

If you received onboard credit as part of your cruise package, use it for things you’d genuinely enjoy rather than splurging on random items.

13. Monitor Your Spending

Check your onboard account regularly at the ship’s kiosks or through its app. This will help you keep track of your spending and adjust as necessary.

all-inclusive cruise deals

All-Inclusive Cruise Deals

Vacations to Go

By far my favorite site for comparing the best all-inclusive cruise deals is Vacations to Go.

This is the simplest way to compare all the destinations, durations, time frames, and cruise lines of the top all-inclusive cruises throughout the industry.

Even if you would prefer to book through your travel agent or directly with the cruise line, Vacations to Go offers a helpful tool to compare all the all-inclusive cruises offered within your specified criteria, boasting the lowest prices offered across the internet.

all-inclusive cruise deals

Booking Through Travel Agents

I truly believe that the best way to save money on cruises is to book an all-inclusive cruise through the best travel agency!

While at first, it may seem backwards to work through some “middle man” to book your cruise, you can honestly save hundreds of dollars AND receive bonus perks for booking through cruise travel agents.

Cruise travel agents work directly with the cruise lines to provide their customers with the best all-inclusive cruises possible. 

Most will receive blocks of staterooms on each sailing dedicated specifically for their eager customers to book. Thus, if you are bummed that your dream cruise stateroom is booked out, head on over to one of the dozen cruise travel agencies, and I can almost guarantee that they will have something you would like.

all-inclusive cruise deals

Booking Through Cruise Lines

If you would prefer to go the traditional route, booking your all-inclusive cruise directly through your cruise line is always another possibility.

I highly recommend not to book your all-inclusive cruises the first time you see your dream cruise, but instead, spend a few weeks to months monitoring the price and cruise package deals to make sure you get the most bang-for-your-buck.

If you are able to book a last-minute cruise,  you may be able to find one of the cheapest all-inclusive cruises offered on the market. Cruise lines and travel agencies desperately want to fill every stateroom onboard the cruise ships, and if they notice some empty staterooms weeks before sailing, they will significantly drop the price to maximize their profits.

Additionally, you may see many deals for all-inclusive cruises around national holidays as cruise lines tend to run huge promotions where they drop their prices and tie in cruise packages that will definitely make your all-inclusive cruise 100x better.

ncl gratuities

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does “all-inclusive” actually include?

While the specifics can vary by cruise line, “all-inclusive” typically means that accommodations, meals in main dining areas, basic beverages, and onboard entertainment are included in the fare.

2. Are alcoholic beverages included in the package?

Some all-inclusive cruises include unlimited alcoholic beverages, while others might offer select wines, beers, and spirits. It’s always best to check with the specific cruise line.

3. Are shore excursions included in an all-inclusive cruise?

Some luxury all-inclusive cruise lines include shore excursions, while others may offer them at an additional cost. Always review the inclusions and exclusions carefully.

4. Is gratuity included in my cruise fare?

For many all-inclusive cruises, gratuities are included. However, some cruise lines may add a daily service charge to your onboard account, or you might want to tip for exceptional service.

5. Are specialty dining venues included?

While main dining options are included, specialty restaurants on the ship might require an additional fee.

6. What about spa treatments and onboard shopping?

Spa treatments, beauty services, and onboard shopping are typically not included in the cruise fare and come at an additional cost.

7. Can I get a refund if I don’t use all the amenities or services?

Usually, unused amenities or services are non-refundable. This includes things like prepaid excursions, drink packages, or specialty dining reservations.

8. Are flights to the departure port included in the fare?

Some luxury all-inclusive cruise packages might offer airfare as part of the package or at a discounted rate. However, in many cases, cruisers need to arrange their own transportation to the departure port.

9. Are kids’ clubs or babysitting services included?

Many cruise lines offer complimentary kids’ clubs, but babysitting services, if available, might come at an additional fee.

10. Is Wi-Fi included in my fare?

Wi-Fi policies vary widely among cruise lines. Some luxury lines include complimentary internet, while others charge daily or by data usage.

all inclusive cruising

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  1. Krista says:

    Interesting to know that even on all-inclusive cruises some things aren’t actually included!

  2. Emma says:

    I’ve never been on a cruise, and definitely not an all inclusive cruise, but I like how easy it seems that it obviously covers most of what you would want. I think I need to try a shorter cruise to start and see how I like it