Great all-inclusive cruises
(Photo: Courtesy of Paul Gauguin Cruises)
On most cruise ships, your accommodations, standard meals, entertainment, and daytime activities are included in your fare. Then the nickel-and-diming begins.
Want a soda? Add it to your tab. Take a Pilates class? Expect a fee. Indulge at one of the fancy specialty restaurants? There’s a charge for that, too. The extras quickly add up, often sinking hearts when the bill arrives at the vacation’s end.
But there are cruises that thankfully buck this trend, with out-of-pocket expenses that are truly minimal. Alcoholic drinks, crew gratuities, and sometimes even airfare, shore excursions, and pre- or post-cruise hotel stays are included in the advertised price.
While these truly all-inclusive cruises are mostly in the luxury category, many other lines also offer all-inclusive options, too. It's possible to quantify the perks and often find real value.
Fleet: The 322-passenger Paul Gauguin and the 90-passenger Tere Moana, two upscale small ships that cruise the Caribbean and Latin America in winter and Europe in summer.
What’s Included: Select wines, spirits, and soft drinks; in-cabin refrigerator stocked with soft drinks and beer; gratuities (for dining staff and room stewards); watersports and snorkeling equipment; specialty restaurants including celebrity chef Jean-Pierre Vigato’s La Veranda; and airfare from Los Angeles on all 2013 and 2014 sailings of the Paul Gauguin.
Sample Cruise: 7-night Tahiti and the Society Islands on the Paul Gauguin. From $4,795 per person. pgcruises.com
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
(Photo: Courtesy of Regent Seven Seas Cruises)
Fleet: With two all-suite, all-balcony, 700-passenger ships and one 490-passenger ship, Regent is the most all-inclusive of all the cruise lines. Cruising destinations include Alaska, Europe, the Caribbean, Asia/Pacific, and South America.
What’s Included: Practically everything. Round-trip air (business class for top suites); specialty dining; unlimited beverages including premium wines and spirits; in-suite mini-bar; shore excursions in every port; gratuities; pre-cruise luxury hotel package; transfers to the ship.