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Old 12-31-2012, 02:22 PM   #1
tiawolfe
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Smile Cost of cruise "extras" (tipping, drinks, etc.)?

After several trips to the World, I am thinking about something different for my family next year. We have never cruised, and I am afraid that all of the extra cruise costs will add up and blow my budget out of the water. Can someone help my with Disney cruise costs for:

Tipping
Beverages
Excursions
Any other extras I'm not thinking about???

Thanks!
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:25 PM   #2
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Tipping, depends on how long the cruise is and how many in the party.

Beverages - expect to pay between $4 and $10 for single alcoholic beverages plus at least 15% tip. You can get some non-alcoholic beverages at no extra cost if you get them from the beverage stations on the upper deck, or order them in the dining rooms. If you order them from a bar you will pay for them. There are also charges for specialty beverages (fancy coffees, teas or smoothies).

Excursions - the cost will depend on which ports, how many people, whether you choose short or all-day excursions, and whether you book through DCL or privately.

Photographs - I never buy them so I can't say how much they cost.

Souvenirs - you're probably going to want some of these.
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:43 PM   #3
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Tipping: figure $12 per person per day. Many people add more for excellent service.

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Old 12-31-2012, 02:44 PM   #4
tiawolfe
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Thanks for the response.

We are looking at a 7 day cruise. From what I understand, we have to tip our waiters and housekeeping, and it is about $200 each.

Does that sound right?
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiawolfe View Post
Thanks for the response.

We are looking at a 7 day cruise. From what I understand, we have to tip our waiters and housekeeping, and it is about $200 each.

Does that sound right?
Family of 4 on a 7-night cruise:

$12 x 4 x 7 = $336 total

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Old 12-31-2012, 02:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiawolfe View Post
Thanks for the response.

We are looking at a 7 day cruise. From what I understand, we have to tip our waiters and housekeeping, and it is about $200 each.

Does that sound right?
The "regular" tipping (which DCL will add to your onboard account) is $12 per guest in your room per day. It breaks out to $4 per guest per day to your server; $3 per guest per day to your assistant server; $1 per guet per day to your head server; and $4 per guest per day to your room host.

Additonal tips would be for spa services, porters, excursions.

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Old 12-31-2012, 02:55 PM   #7
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The suggested tips to the standard positions on a 7 night cruise would be $84 per guest. Then remember to budget a bit for the porters at the terminal (if used) and for room service.

Many people add additional gratuity to Palo/Remy reservations and bar tickets. These already include some gratuity--bar items are 15%, adult dining DCL never releases the exact amount included.

Other "extras" are totally at your discretion. You can do a great cruise and not spend a penny beyond the cruise ticket and the tip, or you can literally spend thousands on spa and excursions, gift shops, and photos. It is your choice. We honestly haven't found that the amount we spend has a huge impact on enjoyment of the cruise. If I choose to not go to the spa, I'm busy with other things, for example.
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:02 PM   #8
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You will see many discussions regarding this so costs can vary but sometimes a cruise comes out about the same as a trip to the world. It all depends on what kind of vacation you take. Let's discuss a few things first. So for example the cruise is pretty all inclusive so let's think about your question what are the extras:

Transportation - looks like you are from MI so likely you are going to fly into Orlando. So you should know that there is no magical express for the cruise line, you have to get to port canaveral which is 45 minutes away. You have several options here:
  • $70pp for disney transportation round trip 4 people = $280
  • $300 approx for private car transportation for 4 people
  • Rent a car - pricing will vary but many people rent a car and drop it off at port canaveral before the cruise.

Tipping - On the cruise it is $12 per person per day. So for 4 people on a 7 night cruise it is $336. This is a recommendation you can change this at guest services up or down. Room service is a separate tip.

Beverages - as stated before that is up to you, we don't drink alcohol in general so we don't have this extra cost. Also soda is free in the dining rooms and at the self serve drink stations. A good rule of thumb is if it is prepackaged it is extra. Candy, cans of soda, drinks made by a CM (alcohol or smoothies), etc. Bring candy if you want it, its cheaper.

Excursions - well that is also up to you, excursions are not necessary. In fact some people like to explore ports on their own. Also some people book cheaper through local vendors directly instead of DCL, there is risk with this though.

Photographs - there are packages for these, they are more expensive in general than the photo-pass at the park. On the cruise a third party runs this aspect, on the ship it is named Shutters. Here are some examples from a 7 day Fantasy, $149 for 10 photos print or digital, $249 for 20 photos, and $349 for a cd with all the photos or $399 for everything digital and print.

Souvenirs - we do a lot of specialty cruises so we go nuts on this. A lot of gifts we give out come from Disney or are cruise related so we spend a lot here, But one good thing, if you have the same item in the parks for example a Mickey Plush it is the same price on the ship. The only downside is no annual pass discount if you rely on that. So the budget you would have for your first trip to WDW should be approx the same as for your first cruise.

Ship activities - most are free. The cruise cost is your park ticket cost. movies and shows are free, riding the aquaduck, pools, arts and crafts, all included. There is no casino so the only gambling is bingo, it is not free but obviously your choice if you want to play it. Other than that nursery time for the under 3 crowd is our other big expenditure. The kids clubs and teen clubs are free.

Dining - Here is the big thing. All of the main dining room food, the counter services (smoothies are the exception), and room service are free. Only the adult only restaurants are an up-charge if you want to try them out, if it is your first cruise I would skip it.

The service is something totally different than what you would experience on a WDW vacation.

Accommodations - if you stay off property for cheap, or value resorts with free dining then the cruise is likely going to be more expensive. If you stay moderate or deluxe and eat a table service a day then you are coming closer to the cruise price. For example we mainly eat table services and we generally stay in deluxe on property hotels so the cruise is a good deal for us.

A cruise is a nice vacation that can be all inclusive aside from tips without sacrificing much. Read the sticky FAQ at the top. If you can watch for a Guarantee or GTY rate - these are good deals if you can be flexible with your vacation. If not then pretty soon they will be releasing the last half of the 2014 dates and with Disney the best day to book is opening day because that is when the price will be the lowest.

Good luck planning
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcashner View Post
...

Other "extras" are totally at your discretion. You can do a great cruise and not spend a penny beyond the cruise ticket and the tip, or you can literally spend thousands on spa and excursions, gift shops, and photos. It is your choice. ...

We have done this as well. Several cruises we spent money just to use up our onboard credit. Also we have have several where we spent over our cruise fare.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:45 PM   #10
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You can do what we have done. We have bought over $1000 in Disney gift cards slowly over time so that we can apply the to our on-board credit. That way, we can pay Our tips, get a massage, drink what we want and not worry about how much we spend. Trust me we are going to use it all. We bought the gift cards from our local grocery store when they were offering 4X the fuel points so we got $$ off a tank of gas. Our cruise is not till Aug but we will only have to bring enough $$ to spend on shore.
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:40 PM   #11
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You also can't forget about if you order room service. We tip at least $1 each time we order room service. Sometimes more depending on how much we order. We usually don't go down for breakfast and order in. So that right off the bat for our family is at least $7-10 for a 7 day cruise
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:57 PM   #12
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$3 - $5 each room service order, depending on how much food is brought.

We were at $168 pp for our tips on the 14 night Panama Canal Cruise, but we gave extra to our room steward and server, as they were exceptional.

Souvenirs we spent around $250, and we did not buy that much.

Drinks - you can bring your own alcohol, and we did. We bought the beer mug for $15 and you can get 22 oz refills for the price of the 16 oz beer. Also, you can refill your mug in your cabin too.

Many people just enjoy the ship the first time around. If you feel like you can't do it on your budget, excursions are too expensive, don't go on them. There are many, many things to enjoy on the ships when they are in port.
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