There is no vacation available today that can compete with the value offered by the cruise lines. Dollar for dollar you just can’t compare a cruise to a land vacation.
On your typical land vacation you will spend around $150 per night to $300 per night for a nice standard hotel room for two people. A rental car will run you around $35 to $50 per day for a cheap car. Breakfast will average you around $15 per person, Lunch will run you around $20 per person and dinner will run you around $30 per person after taxes and tips. For a one week trip, two people will be spending somewhere between $2,200 and $3,400 before you factor in any airfare, entertainment or attractions. These figures are conservative for a budget vacation.
If you look at some of the recent cruise deals, particularly some of the last-minute cruise deals available, you can cruise for as low as $50 per day per person. Generally, that low price is going to offer you an inside cabin (no port windows). However, if you upgrade and pay around $100 per person per day, you can get an outside stateroom and possibly a balcony if you shop around. Peter B. Diaz, President and CEO of VoyageMonkey.com Online Travel says “I’ve recently seen 7-day Alaska and Caribbean cruises going for under $350 per person. A value like that is hard to beat. The ships simply can’t go out with empty cabins. They must fill them in the last few weeks prior to sailing or they lose money.”
Your typical cruise price will include all of your meals and entertainment. Your meals will generally consist of three daily sit down full course meals, three daily cafeteria style buffet meals and various other dining venues throughout the day including room service. There is no shortage of good food. Sit down dinners often include steak, lobster, prime rib as well as some ethnic theme nights. You’ll also find late night buffets and 24-hour pizza and snacks on many ships.
Your entertainment will generally consist of nightly Las Vegas style musical & dance shows, stand-up comedy, magic shows and various lounge & dance club performers. Other ship amenities generally include swimming pools, Jacuzzis, fitness center & day spa and gambling casino complete with slot machines and gaming tables. Not included in the price of your cruise is cocktails, spa treatments, gambling, shopping and shore excursions.
The nice feature of a cruise is that you’ll get to see exotic ports of call along the way. Most 7-day cruises will generally visit three or more ports. Just hop off the ship at each port and enjoy the day. It doesn’t cost you any money to leave the ship and walk around town. Most ports of call are safe to venture on foot and sight see. On your typical land vacation you will visit one destination and stay for the duration. On a cruise you get multiple destinations without packing and unpacking between destinations. There is also no need to worry about making dinner reservations. Cruise life is easy.
Your time on the ship between ports is anything but boring. Today’s ships are large floating resorts and entertainment facilities with plenty of elbow room. Spend the day at the pool or spa, dance each night away or enjoy the evening stars on deck. You’ll meet plenty of really nice interesting people from all over. It’s hard to find such a great value vacation today. But thanks to the cruise lines, it’s easy to get away and have an affordable trip and a great time.
Peter B. Diaz is President & CEO of VoyageMonkey.com Online Travel. VoyageMonkey offers discount travel deals, cheap cruises, hotels, flights, vacation packages and more.