Additional Cruise Costs Onboard Ship

Being aware of additional cruise costs onboard your ship before you set sail is essential. It ensures that you won’t be caught off guard.

While your cruise ticket fare covers essentials like your cabin, meals, most activities, and entertainment, there are other expenses to consider. Being mindful can help you avoid unexpected costs.

More ways to save with Expedia coupons and offers!

What's the #1 hotel in Orlando? Read reviews & find hotel deals on TripAdvisor!

Find today's hotel deals in Miami on TripAdvisor!

Book hotels in New York for as low as $90 with

Find the Best Las Vegas Hotel - Search 100s of Hotel Sites Now - Click here

Trip cancellation, emergency medical, and flight!

Delicious looking cruise meal

Additional Cruise Costs Onboard

Dining & Drinking Related Items

Some additional cruise costs onboard ships that catch some people by surprise involve dining and drinking. Read carefully.

Alcohol & Soda Charges

An alcoholic drink can cost anywhere from $6.00 or more, while soda will cost more than $2 a pop. Like that?

Good news! Some cruise lines, like Carnival, allow you to bring some alcohol (usually one bottle of wine) onboard a ship. Some even allow you to bring soda. Check with your Travel Agent to find out what you can bring.

Also, cruise lines now allow you to buy beverage packages that may cut down on costs - depending on how much you plan to drink on board the cruise ship. 

Alternate Dining Venues

While all the meals you will need for your cruise vacation are included in your package, cruise lines still offer alternate dining options or specialty restaurants. These cost more per person.

Frankly, since there is so much great food already offered, I do not see the need to spend extra. However, that is your call. If you feel for something different, plan on the extra cost.

Bottled Water

Water onboard a ship can cost anywhere from $2.00 or more per bottle. Good news! Some cruise lines allow you to bring some amount of water on board. Check with your Travel Agent.

Also, you can simply bring a bottle and fill it up at the ship's Water fountains. The fountain water is clean.

Activity led by crew member

Additional Cruise Costs Onboard


Organized or other activities are some additional cruise costs onboard ship for which you must plan.

Specialty Classes

There are many things to do on board your ship. Some are organized by the ship's crew and some will cost. 

Note that while some classes come with a price tag, others do not. Choose wisely.

If there is a particular class or activity that you want to participate in, plan on the cost. 

Casino Gambling

Do you gamble? You could easily be taken for a spin in the ship's casino. Plan before you leave home on how much you are willing to spend in the ship's dazzling and inviting casino. 

If you must gamble, tread carefully. 

Playing Bingo

Playing Bingo is a big past-time onboard ship. A bingo card can cost $10 and you could quickly rack up a big bill trying to win.

Again, plan on how much you are willing to spend on ship bingo.

My family striking a pose onboard ship

Additional Cruise Costs Onboard

Convenient & Fun Items

1. Spa & Salon Treatments

While onboard a cruise ship, spa treatments can be delightful indulgences. However, they often come with a hefty price tag. Here’s how to make the most of your spa experience without breaking the bank:

  • Prioritize: Consider which treatments truly matter to you. Some services, like massages or facials, are worth the splurge for the unique onboard experience. Others, such as basic manicures or haircuts, might be more cost-effective to get at home.
  • Budget Wisely: Allocate a specific amount for spa treatments before your cruise. This way, you won’t overspend impulsively. Remember that you can find similar treatments for less on land.

2. Shopping

Cruise ships offer a variety of onboard shops, from duty-free boutiques to souvenir stalls. Here’s how to shop smartly:

  • Pre-Cruise Budgeting: Decide how much you’re willing to spend on shopping during your cruise. Stick to this budget to avoid overspending.
  • Wait for Sales: Avoid buying anything during the first few days onboard. Many items go on sale later in the cruise. Exercise patience and save your money for discounted prices.
  • Compare Prices: Keep in mind that some items available on board can also be found for less in port cities or online.

3. Internet & Telephone Services

Staying connected while at sea is essential for some travelers. Here’s how to manage costs:

  • Internet Charges: Cruise ship internet can be expensive, charging anywhere from $0.75 to $1.00 per minute. Limit your usage if possible. Alternatively, consider purchasing a Wi-Fi package, which may offer better value.
  • Phone Calls: Phone service onboard can cost $2.00 or more per minute. Use your phone sparingly, and explore other options. Check with your phone provider for international roaming packages or wait until you reach a port of call for more affordable communication.

4. Foreign Exchange

If your cruise involves international travel, currency exchange is crucial. Here’s what to keep in mind:

  • Exchange Fees: Exchange rates onboard ships tend to be higher than on land. If feasible, exchange some money at your bank or wait until you reach a port of call. You’ll likely find better rates there.

Remember, planning ahead and being mindful of your spending can enhance your cruise experience without draining your wallet.

Note: This section enhanced by AI.

Free Activity Onboard Ship - Slides

Additional Cruise Costs Onboard

Cruise Photos


Cruise ship photos are beautifully taken. Before you know it, you could spend $100's on pictures. 

Plan on taking most of your own photos on the ship. You should also budget about $14 - $30 per print to spend on ship's photos, determined by the size.

I have shared some additional cruise costs onboard ship that you must plan for. Do not be caught with your wallet or purse wide open.

If you are interested in further learning how to get other cruise discounts, click here to learn how to save on your cruise vacation.

Happy sailing!

Return from Additional Cruise Costs Onboard Ship to Planning a Cruise Vacation.

Return from Additional Cruise Costs Onboard Ship to Home Page

Book Cruise at Petes Travel Center Logo

Book Your Cruise with

Earn Onboard Credit.

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Custom Search

ruising Fun!

Cruise Destination Ocean Cay

Ocean Cay

Cruise Fun Beach

South Beach

Ocean Cay

Grand Cayman Tender

Tender Boat in Grand Cayman

Seven Miles Beach Grand Cayman

Seven Miles Beach

Rope Course MCS Meraviglia

Rope Course on

MSC Meraviglia

Beach at Castaway Cay

Castaway Cay

16th Birthday Celebration on Disney Dream

Birthday Celebration

Disney Dream

Feeding Birds in DR

Feeding Birds in DR

Cruise Food

Cruise Food Appetizers


Cruise Food Main Course

Main Course

From Buffet

Cruise Food Dessert


Main Dining Room

Your Cabin

MSC Seaside Balcony Cabin

Balcony Cabin

Watch Travel Videos