Why a luxury cruise might not be as expensive as you first think
Luxury cruises sound like the absolute dream but for many Britons, they can seem way out of their budget - but such holidays might not be as expensive as you think.
Luxury cruise holidays come with all manner of glorious perks, from top-notch cuisine and fine service to wonderful shore excursions and fascinating onboard activities.
The price tag can often seem galling though.
However, when you weigh up what's included in a luxury cruise it might not be as costly as you first thought.
World of Cruising spoke to Graham Sadler, Senior Vice President and Managing Director at Regent Seven Seas Cruises, about how luxury cruises don't have to be out of your budget range.
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A huge advantage of booking a luxury sailing is that "nearly everything is included," Graham pointed out. This means "you won’t have those surprise extra costs at the end of your trip."
"A luxury cruise which may cost a bit more initially, may, in fact, be a similar price to a premium cruise once everything such as drinks, speciality dining and shore excursions are added up," the cruise pro explained.
With all-inclusive lines, "you know the majority of your trip is paid for before you even get on board with flights, transfers, premium drinks, fine dining and, uniquely, shore excursions already included."
"There’s a very good chance you won’t be spending anything on board," Graham added.
Such "comprehensive inclusions" mean you don't need to spend your cruise holiday worrying about budgeting and can just enjoy the moment.
This results "in a very special, relaxed social atmosphere," said Graham.
With high-quality cruise lines - such as Regent - you also get all the benefits of sailing from "impeccable, personalised service" to "unrivalled space at sea."
Top tip? The MD recommends considering what you pay to get off the cruise rather than the cost to get on when choosing a cruise.
As everything is included on an all-inclusive cruise, "guests can rest assured that they can leave with a zero balance on their onboard account - unless they want to splurge on luxurious treats such as spa treatment or a flutter in the casino," said Graham.
On non-all-inclusive cruises, you might end up racking up quite the bill if you're not careful.
"Most cruise lines charge extra for drinks, and sometimes with the drinks packages, they come with specific terms such as only being able to drink certain brands, or you can’t buy anyone else a drink," the expert explained.
- READ MORE: Regent Seven Seas launches 2024 World Cruise -
"There can also be extras for speciality dining, excursions and gratuities so having these included in the total price of a luxury cruise can make a huge difference."
All this serves to make the experience "extremely convenient and stress-free," he added.
Of course, sometimes the occasion really does call for a blow-out holiday when you want to be truly pampered - and a luxury cruise can definitely deliver the five-star service you want.
Heck, we all deserve a bit of TLC after the past year and a half!
"A major differentiator in booking a luxury cruise is all the associated benefits that come with it, such as spacious, lavish suites, expansive social areas and multiple gourmet dining venues," said Graham.
"Also, fewer guests onboard means an abundance of personal space with rarely a crowd or queue, and attentive and personalised service, for example, the chef knowing how they like their steak cooked or being served your favourite night-cap before asking.
"These are just some of the reasons why we welcome back Regent guests time and again," he concluded.
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