I love to cruise, so my friends and family often come to me when they have questions about them.  I am mostly asked about hidden cruise fees.  So, I thought I’d tell you about them.

The very first time I ever went on a cruise, I booked it online and never spoke to a travel agent or cruise representative.  I paid for the fare, the taxes, and the port fees.  I thought that included everything.  WRONG!

I read everything I could to prepare for the trip.  I learned AFTER I booked the trip that beverages weren’t included in the cost– not even fountain soda.  I started looking at the prices for drinks.  They had three packages available- alcohol beverages, wine and beer, and a soda package.  I chose to skip all of them and drink water on the ship.  The prices on all of those packages went up as soon as I boarded the ship.  If you purchase one online before the cruise, the price is cheaper.

I read about excursions before the trip too.  It’s not enough that I’m taking a cruise, which I thought of as a floating resort, they wanted me to purchase excursions too.  Excursions are activities you can do in each port.  There is everything from snorkeling to riding horses, to swimming with dolphins, and a whole lot more.  Some of them are costly.  Very costly.  Plan your excursions before you go because the slots fill up fast.

The one cost I did NOT read about before my first cruise was the tips and gratuities.  I received a bill slipped under my door on the last day of the cruise for the gratuities.  They had been charged to my credit card.  That was quite the shock, especially since they were almost $200.  After a relaxing cruise, I felt like I had been slapped back to reality.  Make sure you know your fees for tips and gratuities.  They charge a set amount per person, per night to get your total.  They are different for each cruise line.  Some cruise lines have them listed as service charges.

Cruises are incredible.  There is nothing like the ocean breeze to put the mind at ease.  Just make sure you know everything so you don’t get hit with what you would consider hidden cruise fees.