A world of temptations awaits you.
Although the price of a cruise includes accommodation, meals, entertainment and activities, cruise lines know how to get you to spend even more.
On-board expenses are a big part of their profits.
You may have an idea of how much you'll spend on drinks (pre-booked drink packages are for the heavy drinkers) and your casino budget, but don't underestimate the other carefully crafted enticements.
Now let's look at the general differences between cruise ship cruises and Victoria Cruises residential boat services.
You can enjoy a good or even great meal in the ship's main dining room, the buffet and other casual dining places such as hamburger or pizza parlors.
However, you will have to pay extra for special meals on most ships. Cruise ships have intimate, specialized restaurants, typically based on a culinary theme — Italian, French, steakhouse, Asian, Brazilian, sushi — for which you pay extra (or, as cruise lines like to call it, a 'cover charge').
Prices range from a reasonable $15 per person to over $100 — the latter for a multi-course chef's tasting menu. Some restaurants' prices are a la carte, so you pay for each choice as you would on the mainland.
If you're a foodie who wants to experience the best a ship has to offer on the culinary front, it's well worth the expense.
On VCL ships, there is also the option to dine in special restaurants. As space in these restaurants is limited, reservations are always required.
Prices in the special restaurants are the same as those on the mainland.
Although some ships provide free Wi-Fi (Virgin Voyages, Viking, ultra-luxury lines), most do not. So if you need to stay connected on social media or otherwise, you'll have to pay extra.
Basic Wi-Fi, with just enough power to send and receive emails, can cost less than $10 per day.
If you want to send photos or post videos, it's worth upgrading to a high-speed plan. You can buy streaming service for a day or two, but end up frustrated on days when you don't have it.
A better option is to upgrade to a streaming package for the length of the cruise - this can cost $150 or more for a seven-day cruise (for two devices). Look for discount offers before the cruise and on board.
Internet access on VCL ships is FREE! On board and in all staterooms/suites.
Of all the cruise perks out there, cooking classes are one of our favorites, but with this caveat: find a class where you can really get your hands dirty and not just listen to a lecture.
On a Royal Caribbean ship, you can take a sushi class ($35) and learn how to make a hand-rolled lunch.
On some Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises ships, you can learn cooking skills in a professional kitchen with stove-top workstations and master chefs leading the classes.
One of Oceania's favorite courses focuses on learning knife skills ($69).
VCL ships offer several cooking classes each week. These courses when the boat is on the high seas. We also organize courses where passengers shop with the chef at the local market and then use these ingredients to prepare meals.
Don't underestimate the luxury of a morning in bed — or admiring the sea from your cabin balcony.
On most cruise ships, coffee and a basket of pastries are brought free, but if you want eggs, pancakes, breakfast sandwiches and other items, you may have to pay extra, either a flat $5-$10 fee or a separate charge for each item.
It's worth it, though if you want to get out of your pajamas and grab what you want to bring to your cabin from the buffet, that's an option too.
On VCL ships, you don't have to pay extra for room service. You can order anything from the menu and we don't charge extra for it. Not just for breakfast, but main meals can also be received with room service (with a limited choice of meals).
On most ships you can bring your own bottle or two (or sometimes more) of wine or champagne onboard.
This allows you to select your favorites, whether you go with something standard or a fine vintage that you’ve been saving, and not have to worry about marked-up cruise ship prices.
If you bring your bottle to a restaurant or bar, you will likely have to pay a corkage fee of $10 to $30, but it may be worth it.
VCL ships do not allow you to bring wine or other drinks on board. But if you have a favorite wine you would like to enjoy, you can order it from the restaurant manager and it will be provided for you. And later, when you want to enjoy the wine you ordered, we will serve it to you (there is a minimum and a maximum quantity when ordering wine).
For those fussy about coffee, be forewarned that you may not like what’s served at the buffet.
It’s typically a generic brand and some will find it too strong, others too weak.
For coffee snobs, better coffee will be available at the ship’s coffee shop, for a fee. You’ll find drip coffee and baristas making espressos, lattes and cappuccinos.
On select Royal Caribbean ships, you can even get Starbucks. Norwegian Cruise Line ships will all have Starbucks outlets by the end of 2022, with prices comparable to coffee on land.
VCL ships will also offer specialty coffees. Of course, if you consume specialty coffees, it will cost extra, but we will ensure normal land prices.
Author: VCL team