New to cruises, looking for help | Debbie's Caribbean Resort Reviews Forums

Good morning I was wondering if anyone has taken a Caribbean cruise lately threw Carnival Cruises.I am wondering about the costs besides the actual cost of the cruise – Port charges and Tips Are these paid before you leave or while your on the ship?Is there any way of finding out what aprox , these charges would be?? Any help would be great thank you


Hello Halle,We took a 4 night cruise aboard the Carnival Sensation in January. The ship departed from Port Canaveral and had two stops, one in Freeport and one in Nassau Bahamas. On board the ship all purchases go on your Sail and Sign Card. You settle the account at the end of the trip. We used our Amex and they automatically charged it. There was a $10/day/person tip added automatically. All of your meals are included and there’s no lack of food to be eaten. You could also have free coffee/tea/lemonaide/ice tea and fruit punch. You pay for alcoholic beverages and fountain pop and bottles of water. Every purchase has a 15% gratuity added onto it. We did not pay for port charges. If you want to go on shore excursions you can arrange them on the ship and they go on your account. We could leave the ship and return without paying any charges.

If you want a good place to get more information go to

Hope this helps.


halle, check out this website based out of Vancouver for some general information about cruising.

I know several people who have recently been on Caribbean cruises. They tell me that the port charges are included in the taxes you pay…..the more ports you visit, the higher the taxes but generally run under $200. Drinks are not usually included in a package and cost in the neighbourhood of $4.00 US for bottled water & pop, $6.00 US for beer/spirits. You can pay as you go or put it on a tab. Some cruise lines have the convenience of a drink card which you pay around $60 for non-alcoholic drinks. Any purchases you make onboard against your room number will be invoiced and presented to you on the last day of your cruise. The bill will be slipped under your door about 4 a.m. and charged against the credit card you gave. You then have about 3 hours to dispute anything on the bill. Other charges on your final bill include the mandatory tipping (average $10 per day per person), so a 7 day cruise would be $140 US for the tip portion. You can also charge shore excursions, on-board shopping, and your drinks. A couple of friends who just returned from an 11 day cruise from New York City and stopped at three ports had a final bill of $600 US for excursions, drinks, onboard purchases/spa treatments and tips.

Thank you very much ‘I will be checking the link you sentDo you often do 4 day cruises? if so PM Me , I have a few offers I dont use as they are only 4 days ( too far to go for just a short time from here)Thank you again


Took a cruise a year ago through RC, so I don’t know if this helps but these cruise lines generally work the same unless they are all-inclusive. We didn’t have an AI but we also didn’t have to worry about port charges and airport fees. That was included. Took a 7 nighter to eastern caribbean. Extra charges, for us, were drinks of various sorts and purchases made in ship boutiques and stores and any purchases (of course) made in port. Excursions were extra if you hadn’t already booked through the cruise line. We booked two of these….one was cancelled because of poor weather and we immediately got reimbursed for them. The refund showed up on our Sea Pass account the same day. It was great because the account was starting to get a liitle high because of drinks (and not many) and water and soda. There were a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream shop on board, you pay for that and they just debit your Sea Pass account for it. Same for other ammenities on board. No money exchanged hands on board. Just tips if you want (and they expect it) to tip your drink waiter. Stateroom attendants generally get a hefty tip at the end of the trip. They give you envelopes for each attendant/waiter you want to tip. They give you guideslines………………..but in the spirit of "Pirates"………they’re just guidelines. I could go on but as I said, our trip was with Royal Caribbean and they are a crack outfit. They made the horror of getting to Tampa well worth the cruise.

Carnival cruise lines doesn’t have mandotory tipping as someone else suggested.The do suggest $10 per person per day–and for convience they automaticly chage your account this amount–BUT–if you do not want to tip this amount you simple go to the purser’s desk and adjust up or down as you like.This was the only charge on our account–we did not buy drinks or shore excursions.

In September we will try our second cruise.

thank you for the infoI am checking all links out and debating on a cruise for Christmas or all inclusive beach vacation


Deputy ;D ;D ;D

In my opinion, the cruise package may seem a reasonable price but, if you are used to AI vacations, it’s the "add-ons" you had best be prepared for. As mentioned, drinks and tours are not included and are pricey and don’t forget to factor in the "tipping" both on and off the ship. Our last cruise was to welcome in the new Millenium and we travelled with a family group. At the end of the 7 days we (hubby & I) faced a bar bill (including wine with dinner) of $700.00 USD (the Cdn.$ was quite low back then, also) and we put out another $200 USD in touring (we hire our own mini van taxis) and add, I’m guessing, another $300 USD in tips :o. On all our cruises, we’ve found the bar bill to be very high due to the cost of the drinks…all in US$ and the tipping. That’s why we prefer AIs as it is far easier to budget, IMO.Also, when looking at cruise lines….check them out, carefully, to make sure they cater to what you like. Just like AI resorts, they are not all created equal. Ask yourself, what demographics does the cruise line and/or ship attract? If you are looking for a romantic getaway with that special someone, do you want to be surrounded by screaming kids or hormone loaded singles strutting their stuff around the ship?

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