Hidden Costs Of Cruising No One Talks About

Hidden costs of cruising

Cruise expenses can often sneak up on new cruisers.

We found a whole list of Hidden costs of cruising that no one seems to talk about

It seems like we are always working on getting our next cruise planned. Without a doubt a big part of that is budgeting. It’s definitely not my favorite part of the planning process, but it has to be done. While we were planning it occurred to me that there are a lot of expenses that we often overlook.  We thought it might be helpful to share a few of the things that could be considered hidden costs we sometimes forget. Of course, this won’t apply to everyone and every situation, but if it applies to you, then hey, we’re happy to be able to help.  

In the past, we’ve talked a lot about the more obvious hidden costs.  For example gratuities, drinks, photos, wifi, and the casino. But I think those are probably more obvious by now, and perhaps easier to factor in. All the same, if you want a more thorough look at the hidden costs of cruising, then be sure to check out our original video on this topic.

These next things are 5 sneaky expenses, or hidden costs associated with cruising that we just don’t think anyone else is talking about. 

Pre Cruise Spending

We’re going to start off with one that may just apply to us, but I have a suspicion that a whole lot of you out there are just like us. Yeah, that’s right, it’s pre-cruise shopping! C’mon, raise your hand if you’re like me and just have to shop for some new cruise clothes. Okay, you can put your hands down. This is the interwebs, and I can’t really see you, but seriously, a new swimsuit, maybe a formal dress, or even one of those hats that say something silly like “Cruise hair don’t care”. Or maybe you feel the need to tell everyone where you are. Yep, you’re “on a boat” baby! Well, it’s a ship, but who cares. Say it with a shirt.

Oh, and as much as I say you should never buy new shoes for a cruise, I still do. And what about all those other things like travel size toiletries, luggage, maybe some new tech gadget, SD cards, or even batteries.  It’s all part of the fun, but the bottom line is these are hidden costs that can adds. I really love shopping, and for us this can be a big expense that often gets overlooked. So if you’re a shopping like me, don’t forget to add this to your cruise budget.

Hotel Costs

The next thing we often overlook is pre and post cruise hotel costs. Hotel costs are something that many travelers don’t take into account when budgeting for a cruise. At easily over $100 per night, these costs can decimate the ol’ budget. When flying to the embarkation port, for us, a pre-cruise hotel stay is typically unavoidable.

There are other expenses associated with this stay as well, for example meals, and drinks at the hotel, and let’s face it, those are NOT cheap. Oh, and don’t forget the parking fees at many hotels.  If you’re driving directly to your port then you probably don’t have to worry about this one, but you will have to worry about the next one.

Cruise Terminal Parking

Yes, parking at the terminal on the day of your cruise is an expensive thing, and it’s almost always worth looking for alternative solutions. Don’t get me wrong, it’s super convenient parking at the terminal, but in many cases there are ways you can save money on this one.  We usually start by checking to see if any hotels in the area offer “stay and cruise” packages with shuttle services to port. Barring that we look for cheaper parking solutions close to the terminal. 

Travel Insurance 

I feel like we’ve been talking about this next one quite a bit these days, and it’s certainly not the most fun thing we discuss, but I dunno, I just think it’s super important. I’m talking about Travel Insurance. Travel insurance makes this list because many people don’t budget for it. However it is one of our most critical investments every time we cruise.

It’s one of those things that if you don’t do it, and find yourself needing it, well… it can be devastating. Please, at least consider budgeting for this one. If you don’t know where to start, check out Travel Guard (AIG). This is an affiliate link that provides great information as well as quotes on available packages. If you book with them using our link we’ll get a small referral fee at no extra cost to you.


Okay, last one, and another one that may just apply to us, buuuuut, I’m thinking more and more of you are finding yourself tethered to the digital world. Like it or not, it’s a thing. Sometimes that THING feels like an albatross around my neck, but nevertheless, data packages are pretty much critical for our family. Data packages vary in cost from cruise line to cruise line.

We’re gladly seeing a trend for more affordable options, such as princess’s medallion class cruises, however this can definitely be something that cruisers forget to factor into their pre-cruise planning costs. And of course, there are alternatives to the ship’s data, but we’ll save that for another article. 

See more about hidden costs

Previous articleSensible Tips For Managing Your Cruise Budget
Next articleLive Cruise Questions and Answers
Sheri and her family are cruise content creators focused on providing practical tips and advice to new and seasoned cruisers. CruiseTipsTV’s audience enjoys following Sheri and her family as they travel the world by ship creating travel films. Sheri has visited destinations like Japan, Mexico, Alaska, Europe and the Caribbean, and has experienced 33 cruises on 6 cruise lines. She was named one of Porthole Cruise Magazine’s 10 Travel Influencers Changing How We Vacation in 2018 and 2019. Sheri has been quoted in the New York Times, CNBC, Forbes, Prevention, and Business Innovator Radio. Her YouTube Channel, CruiseTipsTV has over 87,000 subscribers and 17 million views.