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Jlandeen

First time cruise price expectations - question

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Hello I am a first-time potential cruiser.  When browsing many sides including this one I am having difficulty answering questions. Please help :

 

what is the lowest total cost I can expect to pay for a cruise with the following items:

 

1. Any room will do, like seriously I’ll sleep on the deck...

2. Just 1 travler (me)

3. I want unlimited drinks and food.

4. I don't want any other extras (I will pay for excursions or events “day of” if I have spending cash.

5. I would like to go for 10-14 days.

 

leaving: anywhere near flordia

going: anywhere with beaches

 

 Ballpark what is the absolute cheapest I’m looking at? Thanks for the hep 

 

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I can't answer it all, but you might want to do some lurking over on the Solo traveler forum on Cruise Critic. 

Often one traveler is charged a single supplement and it could be as much as 100% 

Cheapest is an inside guarantee room, but you won't be able to choose the room and it might come with no benefits - so 'unlimited drinks' and cheapest price is not always compatible.  You can choose to buy the drinks package but every line has different rules. For at least one, even if traveling solo, you had to pay the package as if 2 in the room....very expensive.

If you go over to the Solo board, there is a post that lists good deals for solo travelers. They are usually with short notice, so if you are near Florida ports, then these will work for you. Here's the link. 

 

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First, you must understand that must ships do not have cabins for single cruisers.  They are sold 'double occupancy' - that means they will quote a fare that looks reasonable, and qualify it as 'per person, double occupancy', and charge you the two fares, although you would only be paying one set of port charges and taxes/fees.  

   Unlimited food is available on all cruise lines, although most have a restaurant or three that charge extra.  But there are plenty of venues that are included.    There are unlimited drinks such as coffee, tea, juices, lemonade, water...But if you want adult beverages and sodas, you have to pay extra and/or buy  a beverage package.  Those packages can be expensive if you don't drink a lot.  

   Every itinerary out of Florida will have beaches.  Most itineraries will be 7 days, but if you want longer you can take cruises back to back on the same ship (B2B) and the second cruise often has different ports.  

   Cost will depend on cruise line, sometimes itinerary.    Suggest you visit www.cruisetimetables.com and check out cruises departing from Florida ports.  When you have found some that sound interesting, go to the websites of those cruise lines and start dummy bookings to check out price.  EM

   

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Time of year will also affect the price...summer and holidays are always more expensive than "off" seasons.

 

You may want to contact a local travel agency...they can look for acceptable prices much faster than can you!  Also, they have brochures that can really help with info on each line..

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To clarify a few points, I understand most crew ships  charge for two people. I am simply asking what is the lowest cost  with adult beverages and food included I can expect to pay  All taxes and fees included. I’m interested in the ball park figure here, not necessarily a specific booking. For example, is there an option where I could expect to pay $1000 all included? Keeping in mind I’m asking mostly about all the extra fees, charges and other things that are not typically listed

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cruises start at $100 per person per day.    Single cruises  will pay anywhere from 150-200% because cabins are sold  as doubles.  only a few cruise lines./ships have cabins designed for one person.  

 

if you want unlimited alcoholic drinks you must either sail an ultra premium line( where the per day cost will be closer to $300+)  or purchase a drinks package.. you can expect those to run $100-125  a day in most cases.    otherwise,  drinks that do not cost extra  are things like  juice from concentrate, iced tea, lemonade and maybe a flavored water.   plain brewed coffee and tea.  tap water./  

 

you can  do a back to back cruise of 2 7 day voyages and still end up with different ports( say Western Caribbean one leg, then Eastern)  

 

most expensive times of year are the summer, and the Christmas holiday season through New Years.  

 

you'd be better off deciding on a total budget you can afford then booking a cruise based on that.  the mainstream lines are really more alike than different.  

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So many variables - you even state you want to cruise 10-14 days.  Those (potential) extra 4 days will make the cost go up, of course.  I suggest you go to a cruise line website - a line that sails out of Florida - and pick an itinerary, date, etc. and see what you come up with instead of getting guesses from this forum.

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Too many variables. Sounds like you should be working with a travel agent.

 

Basically a single cruisers pays a premium - most cabins are sold as doubles - there are very few solo cabins.

 

Cruises include food and nonalcoholic drinks. You do not have to pay for special restaurants unless you want to.  Some lines include soda; others do not; again how much alcohol do you plan to drink. You can buy a package to include alcoholic drinks or pay as you go.

 

When checking prices make sure you are comparing “apples to apples.”  When you see a price check to see that port fees and taxes are included: otherwise you will have to pay.

 

Also budget for gratuities. Gratuities can be prepaid or they will be automatically added to the account daily.  Approximately $14.00 per person per day. 

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The newest and biggest ships will be the most expensive.  If you are not in a hurry to cruise, go to the websites of each of the cruise lines sailing from FL and sign up for their email specials.  EM

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A 5 night cruise on Celebrity Infinity leaving from Ft. Lauderdale on Dec 3 in an inside cabin is $518 for a solo cruiser, + $100 in port fees and taxes.  Food is included, except for specialty restaurants, but bottled water, alcohol and specialty coffee is not.  This is one of their last minute exciting deals.

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No one is really answering your question and it's hard due to pricing changes on all cruises each year/ship and season. However I will say I did a 10 day Celebrity cruise last year solo in an Oceanview (so I could get the perks) and received the beverage package, $300 OBC and gratuities paid for by my TA and was just under $2500 so for a 10-14 days you may be looking at ballpark of $2500-$3500 but that is subjective. When you are pricing them out on whatever site you are on just change the number of people to 1 and you'll get more accurate prices (usually the same as 2 but omits the 2nd person taxes and fees).

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Thank you everyone for the help. How about if I talk some specifics. What about a 7 day leaving anywhere in flordia, alcohol included, any room, single travler. Any dates in Feb 2019. Where should I start lookin for that? Are there cruise lines I should avoid? (Cheaper the better, I’m on a tight budget hence me researching )

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I would suggest you contact a local travel agent and let them make reservations.   Before you take their recommendation, go home, look up the same cruise on the same cruise line and compare pricing.  Using a travel agent probably won't cost you anything over the cruise line price and the agent can probably give better recommendations than you'll get here due to the many variables.

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OK let’s try this, Everyone above, or nearly everyone, it’s saying there’s too many variables. Please list out some of the variables, because in my mind it seems like a pretty straightforward question

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Well, to start with:

1.  Number of days

2.  Departure point

3.  Departure date

4.  Availability of single cabins on the ship

 

As other have suggested, contact a travel agent.  There are many cruise-specializing agents online who offer perks such as OBC, gratuities.  I think you have to do some legwork rather than relying on estimates and guesswork from the folks on this forum

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3 minutes ago, LDVinNC said:

Well, to start with:

1.  Number of days

2.  Departure point

3.  Departure date

4.  Availability of single cabins on the ship

 

As other have suggested, contact a travel agent.  There are many cruise-specializing agents online who offer perks such as OBC, gratuities.  I think you have to do some legwork rather than relying on estimates and guesswork from the folks on this forum

 

 My apologies I thought this form was a good starting place for these types of questions. I would’ve never guessed appropriate answer to general ballpark questions would be contact the travel agent . I guess that kind of defeats the purpose of using this community

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You DID get some ballpark suggestions.  One responder said $100/day.  Another suggested $2500-$3000 for a 10-14 day cruise.  So, you can see there is a fairly wide difference in ideas and the only way to get specifics is to go to a travel agent or cruise line website.  I am not sure why this is a problem.

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You could go to any cruise line you like (maybe start with Royal Caribbean) and do a mock booking.  That will answer all your questions.  Be advised that the cost of an alcohol package will increase the price by several hundred dollars. You will also see a variable in the cruise price when you book refundable vs. non-refundable fares. There is also a price variable if you cruise in January vs. June. A January 2020 7-night Oasis of the Seas trip to the Western Caribbean for 7 nights starts at $643 per person, double occupancy.  That doesn't include tips or a beverage package. A June 2019 7-night cruise on Allure of the Seas runs $1069 per person, double occupancy, also without tips or a beverage package.  

Edited by fyree39

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Maybe this will help, if you jyst want to get on a ship to anywhere at anytime for the cheapest you can you can probably go for less than $100 a night but it may not be the experience you are looking for.

 

We have paid, double occupancy, from $400 each on a 7 night in a balcony to a little over $1500 each on a 5 night in a balcony.  As you can see ship, itinerary, time if year, and finding a good deal all can play into the cost.  One of above was on an older ship off season while the other a newer one in middle of summer.  And btw those prices are before taxes, port fees, drink packages, etc.

 

People are suggesting a travel agent because they can wade thru all those variables and direct you to what is best in your case.

Edited by akcruz

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34 minutes ago, Jlandeen said:

 

 My apologies I thought this form was a good starting place for these types of questions. I would’ve never guessed appropriate answer to general ballpark questions would be contact the travel agent . I guess that kind of defeats the purpose of using this community

We're trying to tell you that giving a ballpark answer is very difficult.  Now, if you phoned any travel agency, they could look all this information up for you and give you a good ballpark figure. Best of luck!

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Go to ncl.com, choose find a cruise, and enter your specifics, like 10-14 day duration, one traveler, time of year, inside or studio cabin, etc.  Then look at what choices come up and select a few that have "beach" ports of your liking.  Price the drink package. Retain your top three choices.

 

Next, go to carnival.com and repeat the same process.  If you wind up with something in your budget fine, if not, bring your research to a travel agent for more intense scrutiny.

 

Another  possibility is to check out on line TA's that we can't mention here.  Some promise free tips or drink pkgs., but you have to call them for specifics.

 

I would guess you are looking in the $1,500 - 2,000 range for a 2 week cruise with a drink pkg.

Edited by evandbob

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In effect, you are asking us to do what a travel agent would do.  And yes, a travel agent should not charge you anything.  However, travel agents/agencies get paid by commission, a percentage of the cruise fare.  that percentage increases for an agent/agency that does a greater volume with that line.  But that commission can be very small.  there are cruises that actually cost less than the taxes and fees.  Back in 2009, there was a Swine Flu scare and ships cancelled cruises from the west coast to Mexico.  People cancelled like crazy.  I booked two Carnival cruises (B2B) from Long Beach to Vancouver.  Solo, for one of them the commissionable fare was $88!  As has been mentioned before, price varies on the season.  If you go to a cruise line website and pull up cruises from a particular port at a particular time, you can see vastly different fare.  If there is a Monday holiday, that week the cruises will cost more than the ones before and after.  Any time the kids are out of school, the fares will be higher.   It varies by how popular the ship is.  Look at the mainstream cruise lines: Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, and look at their older/oldest ships.  They will also be the smallest.  And usually they are doing shorter cruises.  They will have the lowest prices.  The very lowest prices come from 'clubs' - don't know what else to call them ' that offer free or cheap cruises to people who gamble.  Sometimes the offers come from Shoreside casinos.  Others from the companies that run the casinos on the ships.  I don't know that much about how they work, because I don't gamble.  But I read about them, particularly on the Carnival board here. 

 

   It is also a paradox that sometimes the shorter cruise is more expensive than the longer cruise.  For instance, I have sailed from Jacksonville FL several times, and looking at prices the 4 day cruises that are over a weekend cost more than the five day Monday to Friday cruises, because kids need to take fewer days off from school, and the parents use fewer vacation days.  Thus they are more in demand.  EM

Edited by Essiesmom

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1 hour ago, Jlandeen said:

Thank you everyone for the help. How about if I talk some specifics. What about a 7 day leaving anywhere in flordia, alcohol included, any room, single travler. Any dates in Feb 2019. Where should I start lookin for that? Are there cruise lines I should avoid? (Cheaper the better, I’m on a tight budget hence me researching )

If you have a budget the suggestion of contacting a travel agent is a good one. Tell them your budget and what you are looking for. They will go out do the research of what lines/ship/itinerary fit in with your budget and wants. Also find out what the TA may give you in additional perks if you book with them. This community is good for information when you have more specifics but the general question you have is hard for people to answer since there are so many variables you haven't provided.

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