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Why does my $349 cruise cost $1400?

Updated: May 16

Cruise fare marketing doesn’t tell the whole story.  

The advertised cruise price can be vastly different from the actual cost when it is time to complete your cruise booking.  

Here is a look at some of the things that make up the final price of a cruise.

man at computer confused and frustrated

Many cruisers are aware that the advertised price a cruise line will put on their website is the most inexpensive cabin on the ship.   

However, before you even look at staterooms, you may find that the cheapest fare is a sail date that doesn’t work for you.   

Summer and holiday sailings will cost more than off-season sailings. 

Before you even begin, you could be looking at an increase in your cruise price.


As we mentioned earlier, the advertised price is the least expensive cabin on the ship.  

You may be surprised to find that you may pay more if you want to choose the location of your room.  

Many of the sale fares are ‘guaranteed’ rooms, meaning the cruise line selects your room.  

When it comes to guaranteed rooms, Storyline Travel recommends caution.  

The cruise line typically waits until several days before sailing to assign the guaranteed rooms, meaning your room will be selected from the “leftovers”.  

In recent years, some guests have had their cruise canceled because the cruise line became oversold and it turned out that the guaranteed rooms were NOT guaranteed.  

cruise ship inside stateroom

The least expensive cabin onboard is the inside stateroom.  

There are plenty of cruisers who do not mind sailing in these small rooms that have no windows or balconies.  

While they can offer a comfortable place to sleep, they may not offer a comfortable place to sit and relax during the day.  

Upgrading your room, in most cases, will increase the cruise fare. 

Taxes and Fees

The advertised cruise price is per person and does not include taxes and fees. 

In most cases the advertised price is based on double occupancy, which means there must be 2 passengers in the room.

The base fare means that taxes and port fees have not been included, Yet!  

Waiter offering pastries for breakfast


Once you have settled on your room and added the taxes and fees you will now have options on how to pay gratuities.  

Many cruise lines offer a pre-paid option.  

If you decide not to pre-pay the gratuities, they will be added to your cruise account

each day and they will be paid when you check out at the end of your cruise.

This list covers most of the typical costs of a basic cruise fare.  

Your cruise fare provides you a comfortable stateroom, dining options and entertainment.  

There are other options that you may feel are

‘musts’ that can add to the cruise fare total.

Cruising has become increasingly popular over the last few years and these days, the best cruise fares are usually found a year or more in advance.  

As the sailing date approaches, more cruisers are finding ships sold out, so planning ahead has become important! 

At Storyline Travel, we do our best to create trip proposals that include all the fees and options so that our clients know the full cost of their vacation.  

The only surprises we want our clients to have are memorable experiences with their loved ones!  

Bon Voyage


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