Nickels and Dimes

Nickels and Dimes

Cruise vacations are great vacations because they are all-inclusive

– – Or are they?


It is true that cruises are basically all-inclusive, however, that refers to the basic cruise cost on most cruise lines. It is the incidental items that are not included and these nickels and dimes add up. Luxury cruise lines such as Crystal, Regent, Silverseas, Seabourn, Paul Gauguin, Seadream Yacht, Oceania, Azamara, Hapag-Lloyd, Ponant Cruises and others are all-inclusive and there are no extra charges for alcohol, shore excursions, specialty restaurants, soft drinks, bottled water, etc.

Therefore, when comparing the relative cost between Standard, Premium And Luxury cruise lines is very important to consider what is actually included in the ”all-inclusive” cruise fare. Standard & Premium cruise lines will charge extra for alcohol, soft drinks, bottled water, shore excursions, dining in specialty restaurants, etc. The staterooms on luxury vessels will be larger, have more amenities, will have luxurious baths and will have balconies without paying an up charge from a standard ocean view stateroom to a balcony stateroom. In fact the balcony stateroom on a luxury cruise line may be comparable to a suite on the Standard or Premium cruise line.

Avoid a shock on the last day of your cruise when the bill is slipped on to your stateroom door. You may find that what you have spent for alcohol, soft drinks, water, specialty restaurants, shore excursions and have spent in the casino and spa totals as much as you paid for the cruise itself. If you know you will drink a lot, purchase the unlimited alcohol package. Purchase the soft drink package and bottled water package rather than paying as you go if you know that you will consume a fair amount.

Shore excursions can now be purchased in advance by going on the cruise line website, selecting and booking the excursions you want. However, shore excursions can also be purchased in advance by clicking on the shore excursion link on this website. You will find that the cost for the same excursions with the same tour operators is considerably less expensive than purchasing the tours through the cruise line.

When not purchasing a luxury cruise, the basic price of your cruise includes accommodations, room service, food and beverage, taxes and fees, nightly entertainment, use of the fitness center, etc. There may be 7-10 restaurants on a ship, but you may only eat in some of them without a surcharge. Shops are a great value because they are duty free, but those nickels & dimes still add up. And then there are the art auctions, the casinos, massages, spa treatments, Bingo, wine tastings and gratuities.

Pre-pay your gratuities so you have a fixed rate usually less than $10.00 per person per day. You will pay a lot more if you pay the gratuities on the ship. Select the cruise line that is your best fit.  Read “Cruises #101” and then the “Questions to Ask” and you will be well prepared to select the right vessel for you.

Now that you we’ve shown you where to look to decide which cruise line is best for you and you now know the what to look for when deciding on your best cruise vacation; why would you delay in booking?

Call us today at 561-625-8807  to book your best cruise vacation for Individuals or Groups.

Cruise News – All New Wind Star Renovation Completed


Luxury Cruises on Award Winning Sailing Ships

There’s a fresh new breeze at sea. The four-masted sailing yacht, Wind Star, is now completely renovated and under sail. The Wind Star is one three Windstar sailing yachts being renovated to complete what will be an $18 million full renovation of the fleet.

Cruise Sailing Ship - The Wind Star

Cruise Sailing Ship – The Wind Star

This landmark renovation brings Windstar’s fleet to the pinnacle of luxurious contemporary style, just what you’d expect from the world’s best private yachts, and perfectly suited to provide an incentive experience that is 180 degrees from ordinary – intimate, elegant, relaxed, unique.

Get ready to see an entirely new level of Windstar Style. Soft, seascape tones provide a beautifully soothing color palate. All new teak decking and brilliant white canvas sails – custom-designed upholstery – stunning artwork and design. From furnishings to finishes. From headboards to hand rails. Everything is new, everything is complete – ready to welcome your meeting or incentive group on board.

Having both chartered and sailed on Windstar vessels in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, I was amazed at the quality of food and service. These three vessels range from a capacity of 148 – 312 passengers and are the perfect size for a full ship charters. Even the smaller ships offer the ultimate in a cruise experience.  In addition to luxury food and service levels, small ships such as this offer itineraries to small islands that are inaccessible to larger vessels. If you want both luxury and a good value, I strongly recommend that you consider Windstar for a future cruise.  Contact me at Corporate Cruise Consultants with your questions about this and other types of cruise experiences for your next corporate event.


George Gehl, President
Corporate Cruise Consultants, Inc.

Corporate Meetings at Sea


corporate meeting Benefits and Value of Cruise Meetings

If you are planning a corporate event, your guests will need a setting where they can perform their best to get the most value from the event. As the host, several factors including comfort, convenience and your meeting or event budget, will affect your decision about the venue you choose.

It may surprise you that more and more corporate events today are being held at the sea. Cruise ships are successfully competing with hotels and other corporate event venues due to a variety of reasons. There are many aspects that persuade hosts to choose cruise ships as their meeting venue for their corporate event and we’ve outlined some of the top reasons as follows:

1. The Ambiance – Attending an event on a cruise ship is exciting for the guest. Since one of the prime objectives of a corporate event is to impress guests, choosing a cruise ship is an option to make the corporate hosts and guests enthusiastic about the event.

2. The Facilities – Most cruise ships are now equipped with everything that any other corporate event venue has. From conference and presentation halls to small rooms where executives can meet in a cozy setting – they have it all. And the technology your guests will require for personal as well as business activities is also available.

3. The Cost – Costs incurred by the host is one of the biggest reasons why conducting a corporate event on a cruise ship is a growing trend. The program at sea lets guests enjoy a thrilling cruise experience while having all the comfort and amenities they desire, with a considerable final cost savings than those of comparable land venues and destinations.corporate meeting at sea

When hosting a corporate event at a hotel or any other place on land, different parts of the event are charged separately. For example, if the event is seven days long, accommodation, food and beverages, event space and entertainment, all are separately charged, depending on the number of guests. A rough estimate shows that the cost of having a single corporate guest for one day can is around $390. On the other hand, the cost of a corporate event on a cruise ship includes everything such as lodging, food, entertainment and event space. A rough estimate of the cost of a having a single corporate guest for one day aboard is $190.

A cost savings of up to 50% or more can be realized by conducting the corporate event at sea as opposed to hosting the same event on land. If you are planning your next corporate meeting event, consider a corporate meeting at sea!