My TA said that my hubby and I should expect to pay about a hundred dollars a day in expenses on board the ship. Is this about average, or do we need more or less? It's a 14 day cruise. Everything is paid for (excursions etc) and we aren't big drinkers.
We leave this coming Saturday so any advice would be helpful.
Your tips will be $10 a day for each of you, plus anything extra you want to give....Since I don't drink, my bar bill is ZERO...and if your excursions are paid for up front, you only need to worry about any extras you buy, both on and off the ship....$100 a day is a lot to me, but then if my wife buys diamonds, rubies, pearls, etc...well it can really go up....Have a wonderful cruise....
You might also want to consider any costs associated with dining in the specialty restaurants onboard. This isn't required -- the main dining rooms will not assess any fees (other than for most beverages). But, should you feel like splurging a couple of nights, you should be aware of the pricing.
One of our Members posted a recent price list here. These prices were for a different NCL ship, yet they seem to be consistent fleet-wide. Again, most beverages are additional, and going to these restaurants is not mandatory.
Things that add additional expense like Bingo,Mystery murder dinners, souvenir photographs,souvenir glasses (from those ever exotic drinks of the day) and the like quickly run up your daily cruise tab! A budget of $100/day is not unreasonable-we frequently exceed that amount on a daily basis and we usually limit ourselves to 2 drinks per day!
(Note:We don't buy the souvenir glasses)
For the first time cruiser, the so-called EXTRA's can add up fast. As many stated here already...photos, speciality restaurants, spa treatments and of course alcoholic drinks and sodas can really ad up. After our first few cruises we found ways to really save $$$$$$. We didn't buy the ship photos as they are awefully expensive. Granted the ships photographers can do a great job on formal nights or dress up nights. To be quite honest some the best photos my wife and I have taken came from a cruise ship. We are very selective on what we buy. We buy our sodas and any extra snacks that we may want in port. There is NO violation of any ships rules to bring snacks or soda back on board. There are always grocery stores near the ports for these types of items. Specialty dining is extra, but we have always found the small extra charges to be well worth every dining experience. If your budget minded just stick to the main dining rooms, the outdoor cafes on deck, the buffets and 24 hr cafes like Blue Lagoon and you will save there also. Cruising does not have to be a budget buster. Your biggest expense will be the beer or cocktails, and watch out for the souvenior glass...exotic drink...where they give you the plastic glass to take home. They are usually priced about $9.00+. There is plenty of free coffee, water, hot teas, and iced tea, hot chocolate always available somewhere on the ship. After learning the ins and outs of expensive cruising, we can spend far less than a $100 per day.
However, it's your honeymoon, and you want to enjoy. While many posters here can give you advice, I am sure you understand your own tolerence for either being a saver or spender. There are lots of good tips here so use what you think is best. You won't need cash, and remember a fee of $10.00 per person per day is charged to the account, soon to be $12.00 per day on NCL for housekeeping, waiters etc. It is NOT necessary to leave tips when dining each night. All tips are covered at the end of the cruise from each passenger and are "pooled tips" that are eventually divided upon the crew members.
Most important is to go and have a great time, and make this honeymoon vacation the best ever. You already have a great start...you going on a cruise.
The way the souvenir drinks are pushed on embarkation day is annoying. I see it every time - new cruisers get off the elevator at the pool deck and are accosted by waiters with trays of the "Welcome Aboard Special". The newbies think the drinks are free and take one, and only then do the words "let me have your cruise card" come out. Even if they didn't know it was going to cost, most sign anyway because they don't want to appear to be rookies. I have seen some hand the drink back but not many. But the law of averages reigns, and the bar staff knows it.
Just be aware - if it is offered to you on a cruise ship, in most cases it will cost you.
Dave is correct on his comments about bar staff and the "pushing" of drinks. It can be very annoying.
Remember that each drink that a bar staff member serves he gets an automatic 15% grautity. Some of the highest paid crew members are those that serve drinks (beer, wine, cocktails) because of the grautity that they receive. You will find many bar staff waiters very agressive, and espcially as Dave stated, the first few days of the cruise especially.
If anyone doubts this, try this theory, ask one of them for a glass of water. Most likely you will not see them again.