AS WITH AIRLINES THESE DAYS, the list of extra charges on a cruise can be quite staggering — tips, drinks, specialty dining, laundry, fitness classes, shore excursions and more. The bill for so-called “extras” on a cruise can add up to a second fare. Little wonder many cruise passengers, weary of this nickel-and-dime approach, prefer to pay an up-front, all-inclusive fare.
Luxury cruise lines primarily offer all-inclusive fares, but even these fares don’t include everything. Spa services and most shore excursions will probably still cost you extra. But an all-inclusive fare should waive staff gratuities and provide a daily selection of complimentary sodas, beers and wines — major expenses that add up quickly and mightily on non-inclusive cruises. And all-inclusive fares can cover much more than basic tips and drinks.
Silversea Cruises’ all-inclusive fare, for example, covers staff gratuities and a selection of beers, wines and spirits but also kicks in butler service, at least one free hour of internet service, water sports gear and, depending on the region sailed, some shore excursions. Crystal Cruises’ all-inclusive fare extends to tips, a selection of drinks, butler service, fitness courses and one evening in a specialty restaurant. Seabourn Cruise Line’s fare includes gratuities, drinks at the open bar, specialty restaurant dining and some shore excursions.
Viking Ocean Cruises’ version of an all-inclusive fare levies no extra charge for select wine, beer and soft drinks at lunch and dinner, dining at all restaurants, participation in fitness classes, a shore excursion in every port and, what’s rare, unlimited WiFi hookup. Meanwhile, a Paul Gauguin Cruises’ all-inclusive option includes round-trip airfare from Los Angeles; resort hotel day rooms on both ends; tips; most drinks anywhere, any time; daily craft classes; and dining at its specialty restaurants.
The most inclusive of the all-inclusive cruise lines could well be Regent Seven Seas Cruises. While Regent, like its rivals, doesn’t cover spa services, it does include round-trip air fare, gratuities, all restaurants, open bars, butler service, transfers and hotel packages, as well as two more unusual perks: unlimited WiFi and basic shore excursions.
What’s included in these and other all-inclusive fares varies widely, and nearly any cruise line might include these extras in the fare for its most expensive staterooms. Moreover, cruise lines are not in the business of losing money, meaning all-inclusive fares ultimately cover their costs. What all-inclusive fares really confer is convenience while casting a spell of enhanced luxury on unburdened travelers. The annoyance of dealing with a horde of mounting surcharges disappears, and life at sea becomes a carefree buffet, one price covers all.
I had just taken off my sandals, stepping onto the white-sand beach for a late-morning walk to a secluded spot I heard about from a front desk clerk, when I glanced down and saw the time on my phone. It had just turned 11 a.m., which meant it was only 7 am back home, the perfect time to call and say good morning to by husband before he left for work. Not quite ready to head back to my room, I decided I’d test the WiFi signal and made the call as I continued walking toward the shoreline.
San Antonio celebrated 300 years of progress in May 2018. With a clear vision following that anniversary year, the Texan city set its sights firmly on 300 more. While commemorating this milestone, the city underwent a major overhaul to prepare for the next phase in its history.
Step right up to the greatest show on Earth as FXExpress Publications, Global Traveler, trazeetravel.com and whereverfamily.com celebrate their 2020 award winners! Join the big top on Dec. 14 as we virtually award the winners of the 17th annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards, including the Airline and Hotel of the Year; the 17th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Survey; the eighth annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards; the sixth annual The Trazees; and the third annual Wherever Awards.
When you think of a relaxing spa day, mountains, rivers and view of gorgeous landscapes pop in your head; a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of any city’s booming music and honking taxis. SoJo Spa Club and Hotel gives you the relaxing feeling of being away while still staying close to the busy center of Manhattan.
Dance the night away with Grand Hotel’s Ballroom Dance offer, available May 16–18. Dancers of all skill levels will experience a diverse range of ballroom dance styles, alongside daily breakfast and dinner, a welcome reception and complimentary golf green fees.
Though air travel slowed as airports temporarily closed and borders shuttered to stifle the spread of coronavirus, the airline industry — led by oneworld alliance member airlines — enacted enhanced protective measures to reduce risk and protect passengers.