All cruises are inclusive to a certain extent. That is, you pay for your accommodation, your basic meals, excursions, and travel from port to port. But in true all inclusive cruises, you really don’t need to take any money with you, as everything is paid for. The idea is that you just relax and enjoy it. So the question is, are all inclusive cruises a really good deal?
If you are looking for all inclusive cruises, you have to be very careful. A lot of cruises do promote themselves as all inclusive, as this is a big trend nowadays and really attracts customers. However, if you look at the fine print, which they hope you won’t do until after you’ve booked, they actually exclude quite a lot of things. They may only include drinks with meals, with all other drinks having to be paid for, or ‘including drinks’ may turn out to refer to soft drinks only but not alcoholic drinks. Other so-called all inclusive cruises may include eating in the boat’s main dining-room, but the fine print says that meals in any of the other on-board restaurants must be paid for.
Entertainment is another source of confusion. Cruises do of course vary a lot in the type of on-board activities they offer. Some go for lectures and classical chamber music, whereas Travel agent deals others prefer to provide movies, pop concerts and competitions. True all inclusive cruises will not charge for admission to any of these, but you do have to check carefully whether all, or some of them, actually are included. This also goes for facilities like gyms and spas.
So are all inclusive cruises a good idea? Well, of course, the answer is that it all depends what you are looking for in a cruise. The big advantage is that you don’t have to worry about anything at all, and you can eat and drink as much as you like and enjoy all the activities without worrying about what anything costs. This can certainly be very liberating on a holiday, and it is certainly especially pleasant for people who particularly want to be worry-free, like honeymooners or pensioners. But is it right for everyone?
The big thing to remember, of course, is that in truly all inclusive cruises the amount you pay initially will be greater. This means that you are actually paying up front for all the alcohol you might drink and all the activities you might take part in when you are on the cruise. So it is only good value if you really want to drink huge amounts of alcohol, or spend all your spare time sitting through lectures or listening to concerts. If you are a total abstainer, or prefer to spend your time reading in your cabin or leaning over the side looking at the water, you have wasted a lot of money.
So the answer is, your own preferences decide whether all inclusive cruises are good value. If you find you have paid for aerobic sessions or Arabic classes you never attend, you have wasted that much money. But if you go for everything that’s offered, enjoy your cruise!