Additional Cruise Costs Onboard Ship

Knowing that there are additional cruise costs onboard your ship before you set sail is a good thing. You will not be caught off guard.

While your cruise ticket includes your cabin, meals, activities and entertainment, there are some things that can cost you more if you are not careful.

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Additional Cruise Costs Onboard

Dining & Drinking Related Items

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

Alcohol & Soda Charges

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

Good news! Some cruise lines, like Carnival, allow you to bring your own alcohol (probably 1 bottle of wine) onboard. Some even allow you to bring soda. Check with your Travel Agent to learn what you can bring.

Also, many cruise lines now allow you to buy beverage packages that will cut down on costs - depending on how much you plan to drink onboard 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 ship can cost anywhere from $2.00 up per bottle. Good news! Some cruise lines allow you to bring some amount of water onboard. Check with your Travel Agent.

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

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 onboard 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.

Additional Cruise Costs Onboard

Convenient & Fun Items

Spa & Salon Treatments

A spa treatment onboard ship can cost you big. Do not waste money on things that you can get for a lot less at home. However, it is fun to enjoy a specialty massage or facial onboard, so budget well. 


There are many fun shops and offerings onboard. Before leaving home, budget how much money will go to shopping on the ship. 

Note: Do not buy any item the first couple of days onboard. Hold onto your money and wait for when the same items go on sale later during the cruise.

By the way, many of the same items can be found for less in a port of call or on the Internet.

Internet & Telephone

Internet usage can cost from $.75 cents to $1.00 per minute. Phone service can cost $2.00 or more per minute. 

Plan on avoiding such services onboard as much as possible. You can wait until you get to a port of call or check with your phone company for a package that will cost you less for the duration of your cruise vacation.

If you must have access to the Internet while at sea, cruise ships now offer Wi-Fi packages that are more reasonable than prior cruise ship internet offerings.

Foreign Exchange

Depending on where you are traveling from or to, you may need to change money. Note that exchange fees onboard ship are somewhat higher than on land. 

Change some money in the airport when you land or wait until you get to a port of call. Foreign exchange fees will be less on land.

Additional Cruise Costs Onboard

Miscellaneous Item


Cruise ship photos are beautifully done. 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.

By the way, you may be interested in further learning how to get other cruise discounts. Click here to learn how to save on your cruise vacation.

Happy sailing!

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