Monday, October 15, 2007

No Such Thing as a Free Cruise

Have you ever received a phone call from some ad agency telling you that you have won a cruise for two in the Caribbean? Or filled out one of those forms at the local fair or other event that you forgot about until the call came in? It happens a lot and people do win. Even on a cruise itself there will be a chance or two to win a "free cruise". But is it really free? The answer is no of course. While the winner, and a companion does get the cruise fair paid for it does not include such things as taxes, port charges, airfare, drinks, souvenirs, or gratuities. On a five day cruise the taxes, base gratuities, and port charges can add up to $200 or more before you even get to buy a souvenir or a drink on board. The average person can spend $25 or more a day on board the ship adding another $250 plus for two people on that free five day cruise. Also, the cabin is usually the minimum cabin option, but they will gladly upgrade for a fee. So if you find yourself the recipient of a free cruise, just remember that free really means discounted when everything else is added in. Cruise lines are in business to make money, and they do a very good job in doing so. The base fare on a cabin is only a small portion of the income for a ship and they are willing to offer the free cruises because they usually make the money up in many other ways once you are on board. Most fans of cruising will gladly take the free cruise knowing all the added expenses because its and expense we would be paying anyway had we payed for the cruise. So if given the chance to win a free cruise, go for it, but remember what free means.

No comments: