Originally posted by Cruise Fanatic:
It's amusing those that want to keep the basic cruise cost down because they don't think they should subsidize someone elses child care, cocktail parties, etc. When the truth is the low cruise rates are being subsidized by the onboard charges. Where on a land vacation could you go seven days for $399/$499 and have all your hotel, meals, and entertainment?
If the cruiselines don't raise the basic fares eveything onboard will soon be ala carte. If that happens, then we all lose because the great cruising experience as we know it, will be no longer.
I am a great cruise fan and it is probably my favorite type of get-a-way, but it is not(IMHO)as inexpensive as your numbers indicate.
The $399/$499 for a small inside cabin (and very few cruises are at that low rate for 7 days) needs to be doubled because you are usually traveling with a spouse/friend. So that number becomes (rounded) $800/$900. Add in the taxes of about $100 each and you are now at $900/$1000. Add in mandatory tips at a minimum of $10/day and you are at $970/$1070.
Most people do not live near a port and have to fly. Assume $400 roundtrip each(including taxes) and you are at $1770/$1870. Assume a friend drives you to the airport so we won't include the airport parking fee (or taxi fare).
Lets assume you don't pay for any extras - no shore excursions, specialty restaurants, etc -you are at about $1,900 for a family of two to take a 7 day vacation.
I can drive to the beach (mountains/lake, desert), rent a condo, and pay for gas, meals and entertainment well below $1,900 for two people.
As you upgrade your room to oceanview, balcony, or suite, then the savings becomes even greater.
All that said, I much prefer a cruise, but I realize I am paying a premium in order to eat three times as much as I normally do and to enjoy the ambiance of being at sea.
But there are much cheaper US vacation alternatives.Anyway, thats my take on it