Extra fees while onboard a cruise can make a huge dent in your pocketbook if you're not careful. YNN's Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.
When it comes to spending, cruising can be one big floating package. But these days, passengers can have more and more options to spend as little or as much as they like.
In some cases, it's $40 for a steak on the grill and $12 to work it off in the gym. So what happened to the idea that cruising is all-inclusive?
"It’s a common misconception about the cruise industry," says Celebrity Silhouette Onboard Marketing Manager Brad Pavlik.
With the advent of megaliners such as Celebrity Silhouette, on which I recently cruised as a media guest, there’s a boatload of ways to part with your cash.
"There’s 25 different revenue centers onboard the ship: The bars, the casino, shore excursions department, the spa, gift shop and photos," notes Pavlik.
Extra fees can bust your vacation budget, especially when your cabin key doubles as a charge card.
"I think you have to be careful, because you easily could wander into supplemental charges that can really add up," says cruise passenger David Zweifler.
Christopher Elliott, a consumer advocate and author of "Scammed", says these add-ons are as calculated as the course the ship is charting.
"In some cases the ancillary revenue accounts for 20 to 30 percent of what a ship makes when it's out at sea," says Elliott.
Being tight-fisted just doesn’t register with everyone though.
"I knew coming in that I was gonna spend the extra charges, because I sort of just look at
vacation like, 'I'm on vacation and I wanna try a little bit of everything,'" says cruise passenger Krista Brunson.
Honest to goodness all-inclusives still exist, but they will most certainly cost you.
"They’ll throw in the liquor, they'll throw in the wine. They're be all kinds of things and you won't have to pay tips; tips won’t be added to your account, all included. And you’re paying three times as much," says cruise passenger Roberta Zweifler.
Whichever cruise you choose, caveat emptor.
"Make sure you are fully aware of what it is you are paying for, what is included and what you are not paying for," Elliott suggests.*