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Jlandeen

First time cruise price expectations - question

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I would estimate $1200 to $1500  for a 10 day cruise. In a single occupancy cabin. Including taxes and fees. all inclusive alcohol package would be $700 to $1000. Some beverage package have a limit of about 15 alcoholic beverages per day. 

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57 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

The purpose of using this community is not to do your homework for you- that is the job for a travel agent. As others have said, your questions are too broad and there are too many variables. A 14 day cruise can cost anywhere from from $1500 to many times that. Variables include the cruise port, cruise line, the ship, the dates of the cruise, the cabin category,  the amount of the singles surcharge, the cost of the beverage package,  the amount of the automatic gratuities, whether or not any perks are offered for that sailing, whether or not there is a sale on the cabin price for that sailing. There are probably others. You can't really expect a forum like this one to magically pull an answer, even a ballpark one, out of a hat when all these factors have to be looked at. THIS is the reason so many have recommended a travel agent; preferably one who is a cruise specialist. OR, if you have the time, you can do it yourself by doing a mock booking on each of the mass market cruiselines websites. As suggested, start with NCL and Carnival. And visit the solo cruiser forum. 

 

Once you've narrowed down your hunt and have specific questions, this forum will likely be of more help.

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If you want alcohol included at a decent price or free, look into Princess' Sip and Sail promotion and NCL's beverage package perk promotion. If you get a "free beverage package" with NCL, be aware of the 20% tips they will charge you per day based on their $99 per day drink package.

 

Other than that, we found that traveling outside of school breaks was the cheapest (we usually went during the first 2 weeks of December). A couple of times we even got a $258 pp per week on Royal Caribbean, and it was available to mere mortals and not some Diamond class members.

 

Any sailings out of FL would include beach destinations. Try to avoid Cozumel, MX, Falmouth, Jamaica, and Nassau, Bahamas, though. Underwhelming they are. :)

 

I always have a budget in mind, and will not pay more than $2,500 per cruise for the 3 of us. Don't forget that this is usually a pre-tip price. We are going on an NCL cruise next week, for which I paid $2,000 for the 3 of us, pre-tip ($450 total) guarantee inside. My mom is joining us as a solo cruiser (double occupancy inside cabin) and her cruise was $1,036 pre-tip (tips are $150 pp for this sailing). NCL prices usually drop significantly just after the final payment is due. We are new to NCL, so this is just my observation.

Princess prices are unpredictable, but if you see a lower price prior to the final payment, you can always rebook at a lower price.

 

https://www.ncl.com/vacations/5-to-8-days-miami-florida-feb-1-guest-?embarkationport=4294953464&duration=8052&sailmonths=4294953366&cruise=1&cruiseTour=1&cruiseHotel=1&cruiseHotelAir=1&numberOfGuests=4294953450&state=undefined&pageSize=10&currentPage=1&sortBy=Featured&autoPopulate=f&from=resultPage

 

There is an NCL sailing on Jade in February, total for 1 person $ 942 75 including the drink package. 5 day cruise. Includes $20 per day tip for the drink package.

 

But do shop around and you will find a great option for you.

 

 

Edited by Itchy&Scratchy

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2 hours 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 )

Go to the top of this page, select "Find a Cruise" put in the variables you know about and see what comes up.

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4 hours ago, mef_57 said:

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. 

 

 

4 hours ago, mef_57 said:

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. 

 

 

For NCL ... travelling solo you do NOT have to buy 2 drink packages.  BUT as an adult travelling solo, you do HAVE to purchase the UBP ... Ultimate Beverage Package.  Just FYI.  

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4 hours 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 )

 

Cheaper lines will I have less included.  Alcohol will cost you extra.  So will gratuities.  Taxes and port fees.   You can look for an inside guarantee cabin, which will be the least expensive. But that usually means you have to pay out of pocket for everything else.  

 

If you have a tight budget than you should adjust your expectations as to what you can afford on board 

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5 hours 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 )

 

OK - specifics. MSC Seaside, 7 days, from Miami, Feb. 16.  Single occupancy inside cabin $819,  minimum drink package $47 per day - $329; taxes and port fees likely $50.

Figure bare-bones minimum of $1,198.

 

Tips likely automatically added to drink package -say $50.  Auto-tips for staff of about $56 likely to be added, but you might be able to cancel them.

 

You are unlikely to get away with less than $1,200 for the 7 days. If you want to gamble and risk higher cost of getting to the port, you can wait until last minute to see if unsold cabins go cheap - but February is a popular cruising month.

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One of the variables is whether you need to pin down the dates in advance vs waiting to book when a good last minute deal comes up. If you have the flexibility to wait to book when they are trying to finish filling the ship, you can get very good prices - sometimes even with no solo supplement. That flexibility might include being willing to not sail if the prices don't come down enough. 

 

Browsing through the thread that mef_57 linked to in the first reply to you will answer your question.  That thread has cruises with the lowest solo prices. They often are last minute deals. When it says the cruise includes a "perk" it means you can select from a list of perks and usually a drink package is one of the options so some of the prices include drinks.

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I agree, too many variables for specific answers.  For us, as a couple, our standard max is $100pp for a balcony; sometimes we can do this, sometimes not.  We have to take into consideration other perks included.

 

My best advice is too search the internet for something like, "Cruise Bargains".  A bunch of websites will come up.  I wish we could recommend, but not allowed here.  Pick a few and add all your information to their search area and see what comes up.  You can pick length of cruise, destination, cabin type, cruise line, etc.  

 

So maybe choose Carribean, 10 days, inside, etc.  You will get a ton of cruises  to look at then, especially if you don't specify a cruise line.  To find out single pricing, you will have to go a step farther into the process.

 

One particular site that I use often has a separate area for single cruisers; sometimes there are cruises for less than double.

 

We always use a travel agent because they give us great perks; usually free grats and onboard credit.  

 

Another great site is one which lets you put in the parameters of what you want and then agents compete by sending you offers.   We use this site a lot.  

 

All kinds of food is included on a cruise and you would never have to buy anything additional unless you want to.  

 

IMO almost every major cruise line provides a good product;  we gave been on 7 or more cruise lines and always had a good cruise.  

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J--

The person who suggested that you use the Find a Cruise button at the top of the screen, had a good idea! The list will not be exhaustive but will give you a place to start. Your quest is perfect for researching as choices include "All Caribbean" and "All Florida"! See below.

 

It does look like you are looking at (starting at) $200 per day (remember to double the price pp), plus port fees, drink package, and gratuities. Which you should NOT remove no matter what someone above said. Your finances are no tighter than the people who work 12 hour days spread over more hours than that, with rare days off.

 

Drink packages range from $39/day (RCI on sale) to $45/day (HAL pre-cruise price) to $60/day (Princess); those prices will have 15% (some 18%) added to them on purchase; you are not expected to tip more. The housekeeping service charge AKA gratuities, is usually $13.50/day for an inside, and covers your room stewards and the eating-area stewards as well as people behind the scenes that you never see. Once you have paid those things, you are paid in full, excepting if the port(s) requires a taxi to get to the beach! 

erase me.JPG

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$100 pp pd dual occupancy?  Gosh, I've never paid that much for the past 5 main line cruise line cruises (a little bit less to a lot less).  My next all-inclusive cruise is considered a semi-luxury line and is spendy for me.  $180 pp pd but it includes drinks and service charge.

 

OP:  Drinks packages usually run $60 /day by the time you include service charge (which is in addition to the $12-14/per person / per day hotel service charge for the cabin).

 

For a Florida departure, I'd wait until the cruise you're interested in is within the "final payment" (usually 60-75 days pre-cruise) where all booked guests have to pay up.  Rates usually drop after that, sometimes sharply.

 

If you get it (drinks package) packaged in, they'll charge you for it in the price.

 

IIRC, Holland America charges only a 50% premium for single occupancy for oceanview and lower categories.

 

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When my aunt couldn't go last summer, we paid 100% more for my mom to keep the (Obstructed OceanView) cabin by herself, on the HAL Zaandam. So as of last August, no "only 50%" at least not across the board. They might have specials after final payment day, but not on popular sailings like Alaska...

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Also, if you can travel on short notice (typically also living within driving distance of the port), you can get last minute deals.

 

Royal Carib publishes a PDF file of deals that are on sailings typically within the next month or so.  Sometimes within a week.

 

But $100 per person per day is a typically a very good deal.  Unlimited drink packages run $42 - $70 per person per day.  Some lines have daily limits of numbers of drinks, others do not.  I have not heard on any line that makes you buy two drink packages for a solo cruiser, but Royal does require all adults in a cabin to purchase the drink package if one person does.

 

Again, most lines do not have solo cabins.  Norwegian is the exception.  On most lines, expect to pay double for one person (but they also give you double credit for their loyalty program).  But sometimes the charge is less or no charge.

 

The other fee to be aware of is the daily gratuity.  Each day on board, you will be charged a gratuity around $10 - 15 per person per day.  This goes to cabin steward, servers, buspersons, laundry, etc.  It is really a resort fee.  While you can remove it, you are shorting the crew pay, and most people considering doing so in poor taste.

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$100 pp per day--or less--is the amount we use as our base max.  Quite often we pay a lot less--sometimes a little more, mostly for more exotic locations.  

 

We leave in 8 days for a 12 day Caribbean cruise with Celebrity.  We are paying $1249pp including all taxes and fees, gratuities and $310 OBC.  To us that is a good deal.  Not a great deal, but good.  Especially since it is over Thanksgiving.  We basically don't drink, so that is not a consideration for us.  

 

It takes a lot of research and flexibility to find great deals.  We seem to find the best bargains within a couple of months of a cruise, and of course in off season or shoulder season.  

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Look at Cruise Plum section for solo cruises and you might find some good deals......then go to the actual cruise website and look up how much unlimited alcohol and gratuities/hotel surcharge will be.   Cruise Plum is an information site, not a travel agent, and they show information from a bunch (but not all) cruise lines - you'll see solo prices from just over $100/day to just over $1000/day for different lines, different dates, different itineraries.

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On 11/8/2018 at 9:44 AM, 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 )

 

A few things to consider with alcohol, depending on your drinking style:

-fares with alcohol included tend to be higher than fares without

-you will likely pay gratuities on the value of the package even if the package is included in the fare

-some lines allow you to carry on wine to be consumed in cabin (rules vary on the amount) but you can drink it out of the cabin without a fee if you have already poured it into your own glass/container.

-in your 7 day example if you think you will drink around 45 drinks on the cruise (average 6-7 per day) you will come out ahead.  If you think you will be a lot less then you should probably purchase as you go

-some lines allow you to purchase a bottle for your room - you wouldn't have much variety, but if you only drink Jack & Coke or other single alcohol drinks that you can mix your own that would be a savings too

 

I've never looked at them myself, but I think there is a bargain line sailing from FL to Bahamas that uses older ships (look like old Carnival based on shape).

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These type of threads remind me of: "Going on ______ ship, tell me everything I need to know. GO!"

 

It's a privilege to have experienced travelers help. Not a given right.

OP take some time and look at the generous replies and answers given. Even if you do go with a travel agent (you should), it's good to have a healthy understanding of what you are getting into.

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Not sure why this was so hard to answer???  Did a quick search for a Sept 2019 out of Miami inside cabin 7 day with a drink package $1488 Pay out of pocket for excursions  and tips and everything else is include...Hope you make it on your cruise and have fun!!!!!!

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On 11/8/2018 at 10:11 AM, Jlandeen said:

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

It’s hard to determine what the “absolute lowest price” should be because there are so many variables. Prices will change wildly based on departure date, cruise line, specific ship, itinerary,  category available, promotions available on a specific sailing, and special discounts that you may personally qualify for (military, interline, resident, etc.)

 

The information that you’re requesting takes considerable and time consuming research, and that’s why several people here have recommended that you speak to a travel agent who will get paid to conduct the research for you, and it won’t cost you a dime. 

 

I did take a few minutes and researched NCL, which often offers unlimited drink packages for free as well as solo staterooms. For a 7 night itinerary in February 2019, inside cabin, solo traveler, the price with port charges and all taxes comes up to $1,440. However, there’s a “sail away” reduced rate which will bring your total down $400 but it won’t include the unlimited drink package. Sometimes you’re better off skipping some promotions which end up costing you more. 

This is an example why it will be good to have a good TA helping you compare different itineraries, dates, cruise lines, ships, and promotions to find the best deal for you. 

 

Good luck with your research!

Edited by Tapi

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21 minutes ago, Loanrngr said:

Not sure why this was so hard to answer???  Did a quick search for a Sept 2019 out of Miami inside cabin 7 day with a drink package $1488 Pay out of pocket for excursions  and tips and everything else is include...Hope you make it on your cruise and have fun!!!!!!

Because the OP doesn’t want to know what a sample fare for Sept 2019 is. He wants to know what the absolute lowest price will be, which as we all know, can vary. We don’t even know what promotions or special discounts the OP qualifies for. Also, he posted that he wants to sail in February, so your quote for September doesn’t help him much. 

 

Something as simple as being eligible for an interline rate can make a huge difference in what that “lowest price” will be. For me, I sailed on a 5 night cruise for $220 as a solo traveler using an interline discount. Even after adding taxes and my alcohol consumption, My total was around $500. This is just one tiny example why answering the OP’s question requires a bit more research than picking a random date, ship, and itinerary. 

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LOL actually this reminds me of that commercial, where the guy is sitting on his couch with his buddy wanting him to search out the remodel of his man cave!!!!! Not sure why I even responded to this tread, just caught my attention.  I believe he originaly didnt give a specific month of departure???  But I have already spent too much time on this!!  LOL :classic_biggrin:

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26 minutes ago, Tapi said:

Because the OP doesn’t want to know what a sample fare for Sept 2019 is. He wants to know what the absolute lowest price will be, which as we all know, can vary. We don’t even know what promotions or special discounts the OP qualifies for. Also, he posted that he wants to sail in February, so your quote for September doesn’t help him much. 

 

Something as simple as being eligible for an interline rate can make a huge difference in what that “lowest price” will be. For me, I sailed on a 5 night cruise for $220 as a solo traveler using an interline discount. Even after adding taxes and my alcohol consumption, My total was around $500. This is just one tiny example why answering the OP’s question requires a bit more research than picking a random date, ship, and itinerary. 

 

Hi 

 

I understand your point, but I would also agree that a "ballpark" number of $1500 for a one week cruise from a Florida port for a solo cruiser, that included all beverages as well as alcohol, would not be far off the mark. Your example is for a past cruise, so, they may or may not find something comparable. If they do, great, otherwise the "ballpark" number is something to measure what they find in comparison. 

 

Certainly before choosing anything, the OP should make sure there is an understand of what is wanted, beyond what was stated. What ship amenities, the various choices for ports of call, time of sailing. These affect price, the OP needs to understand that two cruises with the same price may not be comparable. That's what the OP need to spend some time investigating, on sites like this

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If you want included booze, I'd go with Crystal.  You're not charged for excursions or flights AND you'll get a specialty restaurant or two thrown in. http://www.crystalcruises.com/voyage-finder/results?region=CAR&type=ocean&range=2

 

In the link above you'll see Crystal has several cruises out of Miami that are affordable for a single cruiser.  Enjoy!

 

P.S.  If you don't want to spend that much, pick an inside cabin on any mass market cruise line. I'd expect to pay around $450 x2 (double occupancy) plus gratuities and your booze package.

Edited by fyree39

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Do mock bookings on all the mass mass market lines like Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norweigian, Princess.  Sometimes Carnival is a little e cheaper than the others.  You should be able to get what you state above for around $2000..maybe a little less.  Keep in mind that alcohol packages are expensive unless you can get it as a perk from the cruise line or travel agent.  Good Luck!

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