Ocean cruises used to be considered the height of luxury travel – if your unsinkable ship does not hit an iceberg.  However, the reality is that cruise operators make tons of money unsuspecting customers who are essentially held captive for days on end in the middle of the ocean.  So, if you are considering going on a cruise to exotic islands, you will want to read this as cruise vacations are a waste of money.

Just the Facts

A recent study by the cruise industry association, Cruise Lines International, pointed out that on average cruise customers will spend close to $2,500 per voyage.  This includes an average fare of $1,635 and then the balance on onboard coasts to day trips on shore – that’s right you need to pay to get off the boat when it docks.  

Keep in mind, this doesn’t include the cost of getting to a cruise ship in the first place.  When you add this cost, you could be looking at close to $3,000 per person or more for your dream cruise holiday.

Then there is the boredom of being on a boat in the middle of the ocean for days on end.  Sure, cruise operators will organize activities onboard but these usually include drinking or gambling.  While this might be fun for some people, it’s an awful lot of money – especially when you consider that Roco Loco was able to travel to more than 107 countries with no money.

In addition, you need to factor in that things could go wrong while you are ‘enjoying’ your cruise.  For example, if you were injured on a Royal Caribbean Cruise, then you will need to spend even more money to cover medical and associated expenses.  

Still not convinced that cruises are a waste of money?  Well, it’s probably because your credit card bill hasn’t come yet.  As such, here are a few more things to enlighten you.

Excursion Costs

Sailing is fun, but going on a cruise is essentially like checking into a floating casino for days on end.  If you are lucky enough to win at the blackjack tables, then don’t worry as the cruise operator will get their money back via the exorbitant fees the change for day trips on shore.

If you are not careful these fees will be more than the original cost of your cruise. As such, you need to plan wisely when it comes to choosing what to do when you come to port as each of these trips can cost up to $500.  Over a seven-day cruise, this can easily add another $1,000 to the cost of your trip. As such, the choice is to be bored on board or go bankrupt by going on day trips.

‘Drinks

While most cruise packages include food and water, another way the cruise operators make their money is by offering drink packages.  These cover alcoholic and soft drinks and the costs can really add up if you are not careful.

Not only do you end up overpaying for ‘bottomless’ cups but you’ll end up spending more on tips.  While this is not to say that you shouldn’t tip your waitress or waiter, it does point out the risks of spending a lot upfront for a drink package and then overdoing it as there is really nothing else to do while on board.

Even when you do get the drink package you need to be aware that to really make out, you will need to be drinking soda or alcoholic beverages almost endlessly – even in your sleep.  Unless you are a fish, then you are probably better off paying for your drinks as you go.  Not only will this make you more aware of the costs but it means you won’t end up overpaying over the course of the tour.  

By the way, if you don’t like drinking water all the time, then bring a box of tea bags in your luggage.  This can be used to flavor up the water without adding sugar.

Getting Online

Can you imagine a week without going online?  If you are reading this article, then it is a safe bet you can’t.  Cruise operators know this and such they will charge upwards of $1 per minute to connect to the internet.  

You read that right, $1 per minute.  Even if you only went online for 15 minutes per day that would be an additional $105 per week.  Increase your online time to one hour per day, then expect to pay $420 just to stay connected with the outside world.

Are cruises worth the money?  Probably not and that is a shame as being out on the open ocean can be exciting. So, if you are dead set on going on a cruise, then check out the best possible deal you can get before finding yourself bored and broke in the middle of the ocean.