Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Holiday Hits and Misses - costs! (2)

As I mentioned cruising holidays are not a cheap option no matter how they are advertised in the press. Cabin costs depend on where it is in the ship, if it is an internal or external, whether it has a balcony, whether you opt for one of the even more expensive mini suites or full suite with your own butler!
Brisbane - Koala

Additionally there is the cost of the bar bill for alcoholic drinks and for soft drinks (not provided in dispensers) and for wine with evening meals.  For a couple on a  3 week holiday it is not unusual for this to amount to £1000+

There is also a daily charge per person to cover tips for the really hard working cabin steward and the waiters on your evening table.

When you visit places where you have never been before most people choose to join organised excursions rather than doing their own thing. The cost depends on whether the trips are half day or full day. You can sometimes also opt for "off piste" excursions which can last several days and involve visiting places not on the usual itinerary or  involve specialist interest activities and then rejoin the ship at the next port..  Costs per person vary from approx £70 to about £200. The "off piste" activities can be hundreds if not thousands of pounds.
Brisbane - Emu

Visas in some countries can be quite punitive e.g. China charges £250 per head, others much less - Japan is approximately £38 per head.
So the costs mount up. There were 1800 passengers on board of which a third were going round the world and then the rest of us who were completing just a "leg" of the cruise. Some of the round the worlders talked about the number of times they had completed this long cruise. Many had already booked their next holiday.  One couple in their 50s told us that they had been on 5 cruises in 5 months.

I must say that even with the most expensive extras available on the cruise,  they were not short of takers.

Which brings me back to the question I posed on the last post - how can people afford this? This question is even more poignant today having watched the Budget and listened to the talk of hard times particularly for "ordinary" people and how badly austerity measures were affecting them. . It certainly wasn't evident on the ship.  Many having thrown caution to the wind. Clearly people have their priorities and they must be quite creative when it comes to managing their own budgets.

Although my husband and I enjoyed our holiday we are always say we couldn't spend any longer than the 3.5 weeks - we don't have the stamina and......we couldn't afford the time or extra costs including.... the bar bill :)

More holiday talk on next post......

Brisbane Kangaroo