The Value of Cruises Compared to Other Vacation Options

Everything seems more expensive today. The airlines suffered during the pandemic. You might imagine they are trying to make up all that lost revenue as quickly as possible. The cost of staying in a New York hotel in Midtown Manhattan can easily cost $500/night. These are merely the basic expenses. Does cruising offer good value?

The answer is yes. Consider these elements of a vacation and how they compare to cruising.

  1. Although you can find inexpensive fares to Europe, they often involve connecting somewhere or buying a basic economy ticket, charging you extra for each piece of checked luggage.

Cruises:  If you live in a home port city, getting to your “resort” does not involve flying. The ship is your resort, moving to destinations under its own power.

  1. This has become more expensive. Parking at JFK airport is $80 per 24 hours, but $48 per day if you prebook.

Cruises:  If you live in your home port city, a friend is likely driving you to the pier. If not, you are taking a taxi or Uber.

  1. Hotel accommodation. A NYC hotel in Manhattan can easily cost $300-500 per night. This might not include the hotel taxes.

Cruises:  You might find cruise cabins on sale starting around $100/night per person.

  1. We recently had two lunches in Manhattan (at two different restaurants). Prices were $42 and $28/pp respectively. Dinner at another restaurant was $55 for three courses or $95 for the four-course menu.

Cruises:  Although ships have specialty dining restaurants, meals in the main dining room, buffet restaurant and room service are included in your cruise fare.

  1. Wine and Liquor. On our recent visit to NYC, wine in midtown was about $18-$22/glass. Cocktails were in the low $20’s.

Cruises:  Alcohol tends to be cheaper at sea. Drinks are often in the $12-$15 range.

  1. Average Broadway theater ticket prices are $128/pp. Disney recently advertised four-night Disney resort passes at $99/per person per day. ($396).

Cruises:  Generally speaking, entertainment on your cruise ship is included in your cabin price.

  1. Getting around Manhattan involves taxi rides in the $20 range in Midtown. Although the distances might be short, the traffic is heavy.

Cruises:  Onboard your ship, your cabin, bars, sun loungers, shows and meals are all within walking distance.

When you travel on vacation, the initial low price of the flight or hotel can get your attention, but the additional charges add up quickly. At sea on a cruise, most of your additional expenses are included in your cruise fare.

Browse Cruise Ships and Cruise Lines

Ed. Notes: CruiseCompete and its member travel advisors provide many curated cruise and land deals, offers and amenities on over 50 cruise lines with over 500 cruise ships sailing all around the world.

Sea Tales 2023 Family Cruise Travel Planner

Shore Excursions – Ports, Day & Weekend Trips

cover photo: Glacier Bay, Alaska, cruise ship passengers observing Johns Hopkins Glacier, ©Dennis Cox/WorldViews


Leave a Comment

Trusted by over 1.5 million cruisers since 2003.
Get FREE access to members-only pricing.
There is a highly acclaimed way to receive multiple quotes from a site called CruiseCompete, where cruise specialists compete to offer you the best deal. The media sums it up for CruiseCompete:
Score Luxury Cruises at Bargain Prices” (The Street)
Best site for cruise deals” (The Wall Street Journal)
28 Best Travel Sites” (Kiplinger's) Multiple annual mentions
36 Web Addresses You Should Know” (The Washington Post)