Cruises tend to bring out The Opinions in people. Especially among the travel blog crew. For the most part, it’s the corniest damn thing you could possibly do, aside from hanging around Disney World every year.
No lie, one woman on a Facebook page I’m part of was all, “I just don’t get how you could possibly have an authentic experience when you’re going back to the same group of people every night.”
It’s a weird form of travel shaming, for sure. I try not to roll my eyes at certain experiences, and have even been a willing participant in many places deemed “tourist traps.” If I think something is overhyped, I try to explain why so people can decide if it’s for them. And if it is, no sweat.
I’m also maybe not the best person to write this, seeing as I went to Disney prior to hopping on the cruise. C’est la vie.
For those of us who would happily cruise away, this post is for you. The rest of you can enjoy your three months living in the remote caves of Laos and only subsisting on fish you caught by hand… or whatever it is you authentic travelers do.
My first cruise was a Holland America Lines passage to Alaska with my family. I was… 8. I think. So my fondness for the trip is for wildly different reasons than they’d be if I were to go back now. Like, our last night there, our waiter brought my brother and I each our own banana split sundae.
Actually, screw that, I’d still go bananas (pun intended) at 25 if a waiter did that for me. But you know what I mean.
So this vacation was a smaller scale way of seeing if cruises still held any magic for me. I’ve also been wanting to go on a girl’s trip with my friend Katelyn for years. And in December of 2018, our vacation schedules and finances aligned. I was thrilled.
I booked the 3 Night Bahamas Cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas ship. You can get an overview of this itinerary here. They have a view variations of this plan for different ports of call. We left out of Orlando in Port Canaveral. Our timeline was December 21st – December 24th. Here’s what I spent and what that money went to for a three-night cruise for two.
The first expense was the down payment. It was $200. What I liked about Royal Caribbean’s payment system is once you’ve made the deposit, you can pay as much as you like when you like, as long as it’s completely paid off before the set deadline. For example, you could make $150 a week payments leading up to your departure. That really helped me out as opposed to paying it all in one fell swoop.
Katelyn and I split the costs, but the total for the cruise itself was $742.60. Keep in mind, it was purchased during a sale. There was a buy one, get 50% your guest promotion. But RC runs these deals quite a bit, so hold out for one if you can.
These next three expenses are a bit frivolous and unnecessary, but I included it in, just in case it appeals to you.
The cost of WiFi for one device during the trip amounted to $10.99 per day, when purchased before boarding. I decided it was worth it for me if I needed to call home or anything came up unexpectedly. So I bought the package on RC’s website for $32.97.
I also looked at shore excursions, since I was interested in snorkeling while in the Bahamas. RC offered quite a few options, and I selected one for the day Katelyn and I would be in CocoCay. For two people, the cost was $106.00 booked in advance before boarding.
And sometimes, when I didn’t feel like fighting the buffet crowds, I’d pay for a coffee and a snack at one of the cafes on the ship. You’re more than welcome to judge these purchases, it’s pure laziness on my part. Coffee, ice cream, sandwiches and the like, totaled to $25.08.
When we arrived at Port Canaveral, there’s a parking garage for RC customers. You’ll scan your Set Sail Pass (which you’ll also need to board the ship) and it totals your amount automatically. My total came to $68.00.
Finally, there is a $14.50 tax per night while on the cruise. This totalled to $43.50, which they charge to the card that you save on file. There’s an additional option to add tips for the staff, at your own discretion.
When all was said and done, I discovered that cruises are still a fun and special way to travel for me. There’s just something about relaxing in a hot tub, without a care in the world, knowing that the logistics of getting to your next destination are taken care of. I don’t know that I’ll go out of my way for another one anytime soon, but it was an enjoyable experience nonetheless.
- Deposit: $200.00
- Cruise: $742.60
- WiFi Plan: $32.97
- Shore Excursion: $106.00
- Parking: $68.00
- Taxes and extra food: $68.58
Something to note is that we stayed in an interior stateroom, which can fit up to 4 people. Meaning, if you split the costs equally, a 3-night Bahamas cruise could cost less than $300 per person!
Would you be down to pay this much for a cruise for two? Why or why not? Let’s chat below!
Pin this guide on the real cost of a Royal Caribbean cruise!