The Essentials

New Cruise Ships and Premium Prices

Icon of the Seas, @royalcaribbean

Cruise lines have now inaugurated many new ships in the last six months, and more will start sailing later this year.

But the fares on these new ships are very expensive.

In fact, most inaugural seasons on cruise ships sell out, at much higher fares.

But a growing number of travelers are opting to take their cruises on ships that are three years old — or older.

The reason is the ships are just as luxurious. And while they may not have all the theme park bells and whistles of the newer ships, the price is right, and in most cases, the fare difference is significant.

A cruise on Royal Caribbean’s new Icon of the Seas — with 7,000 passengers — might cost $500- $700 more than a cabin on Vision of the Seas, an older, smaller ship that offers a similar itinerary.

If you want to be first on your block to sail a new ship, be prepared to pay a premium.