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If you want your 2018 cruise to be a thoroughly relaxing affair, you should consider going all-inclusive.
All-inclusive cruises offer the whole package for one fee, so you can focus on having the trip of a lifetime without having to worry about paying for individual items on board, such as alcoholic drinks and gratuities. Everything is taken care of, and there should be no hidden surprises on your final bill – meaning there’s little need to exercise too much self-control!
Don’t relax just yet though – to get the most out of the all-inclusive experience you still need to be savvy. For a good chance of bagging the best deal, compare prices on TravelSupermarket and book your 2018 all-inclusive cruise well ahead of time.
Another word of advice before you book is to make sure you have a good read through the terms and conditions to see what is and isn’t included in the package. As a rule of thumb, basic all-inclusive cruises include your room, port stops (but not necessarily shore tours), food (in some but not all onboard restaurants), basic drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), kids’ activities and use of the pool. Major cruise companies tend also to include world-class entertainment as part of the all-inclusive deal, but some companies may choose not to include premium alcoholic beverages in the package.
If you’re clear on what you’re paying for, you can avoid racking up extra costs during your trip – and you could add even more value by pre-purchasing a few choice add-ons.
Depending on your cruise line and ship, items that may or may not be included in your all-inclusive cruise are flights, room service (especially late-night service), Wi-Fi, speciality restaurants, expensive meal options such as steak and lobster in the main dining rooms, fancy coffees such as lattes and cappuccinos, and use of the spa facilities. Onboard activities are usually free, but some, such as wine tasting, yoga or cooking classes, may carry extra costs.
Naturally, luxury cruises are more likely to have a wider, more flexible definition of all inclusive. If you can shell out for a luxury all-inclusive cruise, you’re likely to get amazing value for money, as the savings on drinks, food, shore excursions and so on soon add up. Plus, the service is usually fantastic.
If luxury is not an option, emulate that luxurious all-inclusive feel by adding on one or more pre-paid bundles. These can include anything from tips and laundry to onboard credit and food packages.
It’s especially worth checking out all-inclusive drinks packages if you plan to hit the bar when you’re on board. Drinks packages vary from soft drinks only to premium options that cover the gamut of beer, spirits, wines and cocktails. Some lines even offer water packages. Whatever you do, always check the fine print for clauses that might catch you out, such as ordering more than one drink at a time.