What is the Average Cost of a Cruise per Person?

When planning your next dream vacation on the open seas, knowing the average cost of a cruise per person can help you budget effectively and make the most of your adventure. Cruising offers an incredible value with meals, entertainment, and accommodation often bundled together. While prices can vary depending on factors like cruise line, destination, and time of year, you can generally expect to spend anywhere from $100 to $250 per day, per person. Factor in additional costs such as excursions, tips, and special activities, and you’ll have a clearer picture of your overall expenses. By understanding these costs, you can set sail with confidence and fully enjoy your cruise experience.

What is the Average Cost of a Cruise per Person?

Have you ever wondered what it really costs to set sail on a luxurious cruise liner? Sure, the idea of sunbathing aboard a ship, exploring new destinations, and enjoying endless buffets sounds appealing. However, the nagging question remains: What is the average cost of a cruise per person?

What is the Average Cost of a Cruise per Person?

Understanding Cruise Pricing

Cruise pricing can be quite complex, as it involves multiple layers of costs and a variety of factors. Let’s break down the essential elements that contribute to the overall cost of a cruise.

The Basics of Cruise Fares

The base fare for a cruise usually covers your accommodation, basic meals, and entertainment on board. This is often the advertised price you see in commercials or online promotions.

Beyond the Base Fare

While the base fare might be enticing, it’s important to consider what’s not included. Extras such as specialty dining, shore excursions, gratuities, and alcoholic beverages can significantly increase your final bill.

Here’s a simple breakdown of what is typically covered and what’s not:

Cost Component Typically Included Typically Not Included
Accommodation Yes Upgrades
Basic Meals Yes Specialty Dining
Onboard Entertainment Yes Private/Special Events
Shore Excursions No Yes
Alcoholic Beverages No Yes
Gratuities No Yes
Spa Services No Yes

Average Cruise Costs per Person

It’s essential to get a figure in your mind about what a cruise might cost. Keep in mind that prices can range widely depending on various factors. As a rule of thumb, the average cost of a cruise can range from $70 to $135 per person per day.

Differentiating by Destination

Cruises to certain destinations can be more expensive than others. For example:

  • Caribbean Cruises: Typically range from $80 to $100 per person, per day.
  • Mediterranean Cruises: Average around $120 to $180 per person, per day.
  • Alaskan Cruises: You can expect to pay between $100 and $140 per person, per day.

Seasonal Price Fluctuations

Just like any other travel-related expenses, the cost of cruises can vary depending on the season. Peak seasons usually command higher prices, whereas off-peak times can offer significantly lower rates.

Season Price Influence
Peak Season Higher Prices
Shoulder Season Moderate Prices
Off-Peak Season Lower Prices

Breaking Down Additional Costs

To help you better prepare for the overall expenditure, let’s dive deeper into some of the additional costs you might incur during your cruise.

Shore Excursions

Shore excursions can be one of the most exciting parts of a cruise, allowing you to explore new destinations. However, these outings often come at a cost.

  • Guided Tours: Usually range from $30 to $150 per person, depending on the activity and location.
  • Adventure Activities: Can cost anywhere from $100 to $400 per person for activities like zip-lining or scuba diving.

Specialty Dining and Beverages

While basic meals are generally included, specialty dining experiences and alcoholic beverages are not.

  • Specialty Restaurants: Meals in specialty restaurants often range from $20 to $50 per person.
  • Alcoholic Beverages: Cocktails usually cost around $8 to $12 each, or you might opt for a drink package that can be upwards of $50 per day.


Gratuities can add up over the course of your cruise. Many cruise lines automatically add gratuities to your bill, typically ranging from $12 to $16 per person, per day.

Onboard Activities and Spa Services

Luxury comes at a price, especially when it involves pampering yourself.

  • Spa Services: Treatments can range from $50 for a basic massage to several hundred dollars for specialty services.
  • Onboard Activities: Certain activities, like fitness classes or specialty workshops, often carry an additional fee, usually between $10 and $30 per session.

Budgeting for a Cruise: A Step-by-Step Guide

Planning and budgeting for your cruise will help you avoid any unpleasant surprises when it’s time to settle the bill. Here’s a straightforward approach to help you budget effectively.

Step 1: Identify the Base Fare

Your first step should always be identifying the base fare for the cruise itself. Remember, this is the foundational cost and typically includes accommodation and basic meals.

Step 2: Add in Required Fees

Include mandatory fees like taxes and port fees. These can add anywhere from $100 to $300 to your total cost.

Step 3: Estimate Variable Costs

Next, estimate the variable costs such as:

  • Shore Excursions: Allocate a budget based on your interests and the destinations.
  • Specialty Dining and Drinks: Decide whether you’ll dine in specialty restaurants or purchase a drink package.
  • Gratuities and Tips: Calculate based on the cruise line’s policy.

Step 4: Consider Optional Extras

Finally, consider optional extras like spa services, souvenir shopping, and onboard activities. These can add up quickly, so be sure to plan accordingly.

A Sample Budget Breakdown

Here’s a sample budget for a 7-day caribbean cruise for two people to give you an idea:

Item Cost per Person per Day Total Cost for Two
Base Fare $90 $1,260
Taxes and Port Fees $20 $280
Gratuities $15 $210
Shore Excursions $50 $700
Specialty Dining and Drinks $30 $420
Onboard Activities and Spa $10 $140
Total $3,010

Note that the actual costs can vary, but this gives you a rough idea of what to expect.

What is the Average Cost of a Cruise per Person?

Cost-Saving Tips

Cruising doesn’t have to break the bank. With some strategic planning, you can enjoy all the perks without overspending. Here are a few cost-saving tips to consider:

Book Early or Last-Minute

Booking early often guarantees you lower rates and better stateroom choices. On the flip side, last-minute deals can also offer significant savings if you’re flexible with your travel dates.

Look for All-Inclusive Packages

Some cruise lines offer all-inclusive packages that cover meals, drinks, and even some excursions. These packages can sometimes save you money compared to paying for everything separately.

Avoid Peak Seasons

Traveling during the off-peak season can result in major savings. Not only will your cruise fare be lower, but you might also find discounts on shore excursions and other activities.

Be Mindful of Onboard Spending

It’s easy to get carried away with all the exciting options available on board. Set a daily budget for onboard activities and stick to it.

Choosing the Right Cruise Line

Different cruise lines offer varying levels of luxury, amenities, and pricing. Here’s a brief overview of some popular options along with their general price ranges:

Budget-Friendly Options

  • Carnival Cruise Line: Known for its affordable rates and family-friendly atmosphere, Carnival cruises generally cost around $80 to $120 per person per day.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line: With a wide array of options and flexible dining, expect to pay between $100 to $150 per person per day.

Mid-Range Options

  • Royal Caribbean International: Offers extensive entertainment and dining options, with prices ranging from $120 to $180 per person per day.
  • Celebrity Cruises: Known for a more refined experience, anticipate costs of $150 to $200 per person per day.

Luxury Options

  • Regent Seven Seas Cruises: Almost all-inclusive, it offers luxury at a price. Costs can range from $500 to $800 per person per day.
  • Crystal Cruises: Known for its high-end experience, expect to pay between $400 to $700 per person per day.

Booking Your Cruise: What to Look For

When booking your cruise, there are several factors to keep in mind to ensure you get the best value for your money.

Research and Compare

Always compare multiple cruise lines and itineraries. Websites like CruiseCritic and TripAdvisor offer user reviews and comparisons.

Look for Promotions

Cruise lines often run promotions that can include anything from free drinks packages to reduced rates on shore excursions.

Consider an Agent

Travel agents sometimes have access to exclusive deals or packages that aren’t available to the general public. Consulting with an agent can also help simplify the booking process.


So, what is the average cost of a cruise per person? While the base fare can start at around $70 per day, the total cost can vary widely depending on a plethora of factors including destination, season, and your personal spending habits. By understanding the different components of cruise pricing and planning accordingly, you can ensure that your dream vacation stays within your budget.

Happy sailing! 🌊🚢