The Essentials

Is Your Cruise Really That Price?

Recently, I noticed a 17-day Panama canal cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles, advertising cabins at just $460. That works out to an absurdly cheap $28 a day, including your meals.


Does it remind you a little bit about airline ticket pricing?


It should because the real price you’ll pay might include all sorts of ancillary fees, ranging from delivery fees, automatic tipping and room service charges that add up to 40% to the cost of your trip. There can be 20% tips, even on free drinks packages.


As with any other kind of travel transaction, you should insist upon full disclosure of all the extra charges before buying the ticket. At least then you’ll be able to budget the real cost of your vacation.