What are the cheapest cruise add-ons?

You found a cruise price that sounds almost unbelievable – $200 per person. person for a 4 night cruise?! That’s about $50 per person, per night for lodging, transportation between ports, entertainment, and select food and beverages!

Don’t get ahead of yourself – the cheapest cruise lines that offer the cheapest fares have to find a way to make money on every guest. You can expect to pay for everything outside of the base fare, including alcoholic beverages, specialty restaurants, Wi-Fi, spa treatments, excursions and some onboard activities.

So is that base price as good a deal as you thought?

We’ll dive into which cruise lines offer the cheapest add-ons. However, remember that you can sometimes find lower prices through promotions and sales, and these prices are subject to change at any time.

Cheapest beverage package

At $38 and $49 per day, MSC Cruises’ Easy and Easy Plus beverage packages are the cheapest alcoholic beverages at sea.

The runner-up is Carnival’s Cruise Line’s Cheers! Beverage package, which costs $59.95 per day. If you buy in advance, you’ll also receive a 10% discount, making it $53.95 each. person, per day. However, unlike other packages, it’s not really “unlimited”. There is a maximum of 15 alcoholic beverages per day. Don’t forget, you will be charged an automatic gratuity of 18% when you purchase the package.

Wireless Internet

Carnival Cruise Line offers the cheapest plan for social media. For only $10.20 per day, you will be able to access popular social media networks including Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Whatsapp and Snapchat. Beyond that, it doesn’t include access to much else.

If you want or need premium internet during your cruise, Carnival still has the cheapest compared to other mainstream cruise lines at only $17.00 per day. In addition to everything included in the social media plan, you’ll be able to access email, news, sports, weather, banking and financial information, and video calling.

Plus, if you order in advance, you can save up to 15%.

Specialty restaurants

Steak House

Carnival’s steakhouse is the cheapest fixed price at $48 for adults and $13 for children under 11 (and don’t worry, they serve more than just steak!).

However, Norwegian Cruise Line’s steak house, Cagney’s, is a-la-carte, so if all you want is a filet mignon or ribeye and single side, you’ll be paying about $40 a pop. person.


Carnival Cruise Line’s Cucina del Capitano is the cheapest Italian specialty restaurant at sea, costing just $18 per person. adult and $6 for children under 11.


The cheapest teppanyaki experience at sea is on Carnival Horizon, Carnival Panorama and Mardi Gras. It’s only $38 per person for dinner and $35 per person for lunch.

It will also be at the carnival party and the anniversary.

If you’re sailing on Norwegian or Royal Caribbean, expect to pay at least $10 more per cruise. person.

The chef’s table

On Royal Caribbean, the built-in price for the Chef’s Table is $99.00; However, if you book in advance through the cruise planner, you may be able to get it for around $85.00 per ship. person.

Similarly, on Carnival, prices range from $80.00-$99.00, depending on the ship and itinerary.

Excursions on the coast

Shore excursions can vary greatly depending on the cruise line and port of call. Are you content with a simple day at the beach, or are you hoping to do something more adventurous? Here are some of the cheapest excursions to popular cruise destinations around the world.

Nassau, Bahamas

In Nassau, the cheapest excursion you will find through cruise lines is most likely the walking tour.

Royal Caribbean has the cheapest, at just $34.99 per adult. You can often find it for even less if you book in advance through Cruise Planner.

Cozumel, Mexico

If you’re looking for a cheap beach getaway, Carnival’s Beach Escape: Islands Beach Club & Pool is just $39.99 per adult and $34.99 per child. This is a good offer if you choose not to buy internet on board, as it is included in the price of the excursion.

Ketchikan, Alaska

Lumberjack in Alaska

Alaska excursions tend to be more expensive due to their activity level and duration.

However, if you are sailing to Ketchikan, the cheapest excursion among all the regular cruise lines is the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show. Carnival costs just $51.99 per adult, while Norwegian costs almost $20 more, or $69.00 per adult.

Naples, Italy

Pompeii from the NCL website

Like Alaskan excursions, those in Europe tend to be more expensive than those in the Bahamas or the Caribbean due to their duration. Most of the time you leave the port early and return late at night. However, there are some exceptions.

If you are sailing to Naples, you might be interested in visiting Pompeii. Norwegian charges just $49.00 per adult for transfers to Pompeii, allowing you to explore the archaeological site on your own.

Look for cruise line promotions and sales

Norwegian’s “Free at Sea”

Norwegian’s “Free at Sea” allows passengers to enjoy an unlimited open bar, Wi-Fi, specialty restaurants and excursion credits, depending on which cabin you book.

Right now they are even offering buy one get one free on the airfare. If you pay the full fare for one, you automatically get return flights for two.

So even though the starting price of a Norwegian cruise can be more than Carnival or Royal Caribbean, if you want to pay for a drink and internet package, specialty restaurants and plane ticket, you can end up saving money through the “Free at Sea” promotion!

Celebrity Cruises are always included

If you book a cruise with Celebrity Cruises, you’ll have three amenities included in your base fare: tips, basic Wi-Fi, and a classic beverage package.

Unlike Norwegian, Always Included applies to every cabin category on board. However, it is not available for sailings to the Galapagos.

If you would like to upgrade from the included basic facilities, you can do so for an additional fee. The cost to upgrade from basic to premium Wi-Fi is $15 per day, but if you book no later than two days before your cruise, you can save 13%. Similarly, the cost to upgrade from Classic to Premium Drink Package is $18 per person, per day. If you order no later than two days before sailing, you can save 5% on the additional supplement.

Celebrity Cruise fares are often more expensive than mainstream counterparts, such as Norwegian, Carnival and Royal Caribbean. If you are looking for a more luxurious cruising experience, you may be able to save money through their “Always Included” program than if you were to sail on Princess Cruises or Holland America Line.

MSC Cruises’ “All In” offer

MSC Cruises’ “All In” offer includes the Easy Plus Drink Package as well as the browse wi-fi package. It is available on selected sailings to the Caribbean, Mediterranean and Northern Europe. It cannot be combined with other offers such as free balcony upgrades.

Loyalty benefits

Staying local on a cruise line will unlock some great benefits that will make your cruise experience feel more spacious and luxurious. But which line should you sail with to unlock the most benefits?

If you’re striving to reach top tier status quickly, you should probably stick with Carnival Cruise Line. The highest level, Diamond, can be reached after only 200 nights, unlike Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, which both require 700 nights. However, this means that Carnival’s Diamond level does not include as many benefits as the upper levels of other mainstream cruise lines.

That said, reaching 700 nights is quite difficult. For that reason, we compared the benefits of Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian’s loyalty levels around 200 nights.

Karneval VIFP’s diamond status (200 nights)

  • Offer for members only
  • The member’s e-newsletter
  • Free 1.5 liter bottle of water
  • Priority check-in and boarding
  • VIFP party on 5+ day sailings with free drinks
  • Free drinks for Seaday Brunch
  • “Chocolate Delight” on 5+ day cruises (must call room service to schedule delivery)
  • Unique pin received on each sailing
  • Priority spa reservations
  • Priority water shuttle boarding (ship to shore only)
  • Casino: Buy-one-get-one-free tournament entry (Blackjack or Slot only)**
  • $5 worth of free arcade credits (under 18 guests only)
  • Carnival logo gift on every sailing
  • Priority Guest Services assistance by phone
  • Priority line at the guest service desk on board
  • Priority disembarkation
  • Priority reservations at specialty restaurants
  • Guaranteed dinner time requested in the main dining room
  • Unlimited free wash and fold
  • Special event invitation from the captain of each sailing
  • One-time free cabin upgrade OR third and fourth guests sail free
  • One-time donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • One-time free meal for two at specialty restaurant of your choice
  • VIFP Club luggage tag set
  • Dedicated toll-free number for sales and service

Royal Caribbean’s Crown and Anchor Society’s Diamond Plus status (175 nights)

  • Crown & Anchor onboard offers loaded onto SeaPass cards
  • Crown & Anchor exclusive pricing, email offers and newsletter
  • Crown & Anchor Society Desk for member enquiries
  • Priority notification of special offers, new ships and itineraries
  • Discounts on balcony and suite cabins
  • Matching Celebrity Cruises Captain’s Club status
  • Priority waiting list places in the main dining room
  • Additional cruise points for purchase of suite accommodations and/or single fare
  • Member Cruises (if available)
  • Seapass card recognition
  • Private departure lounge with continental breakfast
  • Exclusive event at the highest level
  • Coats for use on board
  • Signature lapel pin
  • Welcome water and snacks + selection of drinks (5 drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, per day at any location except Starbucks)
  • Milestone recognition
  • Chef’s choice gift
  • Priority waiting list for excursions and spa services
  • Diamond Lounge (on selected ships)
  • Exclusive Nightly Diamond Event
  • Entertainment tour
  • Same membership status as the parent after your child’s first completed cruise
  • The youth program’s memorial gift
  • Personal gift/facilities per household
  • Priority access and seating at theatre, ice show and AquaTheatre events
  • Access to the Concierge Lounge
  • After Diamond Plus, guests will jump from 175 cruise points to 700, so there are a few benefits members can achieve while still maintaining Diamond Plus status along the way:
  • Cheers to an Officer for members with 340+ cruise points
  • Upgraded toiletries for members with 340+ Cruise Points
  • Bonus gift (for members with 340+ or ​​525+ cruise points per household)

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Latitudes Sapphire Status (150 nights)

  • Key card recognition
  • Signature tier pins
  • Exclusive offers for members only
  • Dedicated pre-cruise service desk
  • Early booking for entertainment, dining and activities onboard for 125 days
  • Latitudes Rewards insider offer on selected sailings
  • Early access to new production information
  • Onboard Latitude’s Rewards representative
  • Free art for participating in art auctions
  • 45% discount on an Unlimited Open Bar package
  • 15% discount in duty-free shops on board
  • 15% discount on shore excursions
  • 30% discount on pictures
  • 25% discount on signature spa treatments while the ship is in port
  • 25% discount on internet packages
  • Exclusive cocktail party
  • 1 free bag of laundry
  • Priority check-in/boarding
  • Priority tender tickets
  • Priority disembarkation available for US citizens (benefit varies for international guests)
  • Priority restaurant and entertainment spaces
  • 2 Flow water cartons
  • Chocolate covered strawberries (per cabin)
  • Special dinner for two with a bottle of wine (per cabin) on sailings 5+ days
  • Dinner with officers
  • Wine tasting all over the world
  • The ship’s behind-the-scenes tour
  • Concierge service
  • Latitude’s digital magazine
  • Members’ cruises
  • Exclusive offers from Caesars Entertainment

Which cruise line has the cheapest add-ons?

If you want to book an inexpensive base fare to have the flexibility to purchase a wide variety of add-ons, you should sail with Carnival Cruise Line. But thanks to loyalty programs and cruise promotions, you may find yourself booking a more expensive ticket to offset the value of benefits you’ll receive on board.

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