How Much Will I Spend on a 3-Night Cruise?

Setting Sail on a 3-Night Cruise: How to Budget and Still Have a Blast!

Me posing in front of Iona.
Me in front of Iona during a short cruise this is in Rotterdam.
Ahoy there, fellow adventurers! Are you ready to embark on a whirlwind cruise vacation? Whether you’re a seasoned cruiser or a first-time sailor, you might be wondering, “How much will I spend on a 3-night cruise?” Fear not, as we dive headfirst into the world of cruising, budgeting, and having an unforgettable time on the high seas!

Ahoy, Budget Pirates!

Cruises are the perfect mix of relaxation and excitement, but before you hop aboard, let’s talk numbers. Your budget is your trusty compass, so let’s set sail on this financial adventure with confidence!  Think about booking an inside cabin to save money.  You are there only for 3 nights, do you need a balcony cabin?

1. Ticket to Paradise

First things first: the cruise fare. The cost of your ticket largely depends on the cruise line, ship, cabin type, and destination. It’s a bit like choosing between a cosy cabin and a swanky suite. The choice is yours!  A three-night cruise is an extremely fun weekend break.  If you are celebrating a special occasion, all you have to do is arrive.  All your food, drinks, entertainment and amazing cruise ports are at your fingertips.
Paradise Island in Nassau with the Atlantis Resort in the Background.
Budget Tip: Keep an eye out for early booking discounts, last-minute deals, or even group rates if you’re travelling with friends or family. Savings ahoy!

2. Delicious Dining

Dinning on MSC Virtuosa.
We ate in the dining room every night on MSC Virtuosa. The food and the service was amazing.  All are included in the cruise price.
Foodies, rejoice! Dining options on cruises are as diverse as the seven seas. Most ships offer inclusive dining options, meaning you can indulge in buffets, gourmet dinners, and midnight snacks without extra charges. There are also speciality restaurants for a more exclusive culinary adventure.
Budget Tip: Enjoy the free dining options and save the speciality restaurants for a special night. Bon appétit on a budget!

3. Fun and Frolic

Cruise ships are floating playgrounds, packed with entertainment options galore. From Broadway-style shows and water slides to spa treatments and casino nights, there’s never a dull moment.
Guest entertainer on Iona.
Meeting the Guest Entertainer – Vocalist – Kalon Rae. We saw both of his shows all included in the cruise fare so amazing.
Budget Tip: Check the daily schedule for free activities like dance classes, trivia, or outdoor movies. It’s all about having a blast without breaking the bank!

4. Port Adventures

Don’t forget about the exciting shore excursions! Explore tropical islands, historic cities, or adrenaline-pumping adventures like zip-lining or scuba diving.  Usually just going ashore and exploring is fun enough.  Check out all the ports on your cruise right here on the website.  Click on the Cruise Ports and check out what you can do for free.  There may be a city to explore or a beach to chill out on which doesn’t cost much.  You can also head back to the ship for lunch or if you are on a strict budget grab a few snacks from the breakfast buffet.  
Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge in Curacao.
This is the Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge in Curacao, this is such a pretty port just walk right off the ship and explore.
Budget Tip: While some excursions are worth every penny, others can be pricey. Research and prioritize the ones you can’t miss, and consider independent excursions for potential savings.  

5. Sip and Savor

Ahoy, thirsty travellers! Cruise ships offer various drink packages, from soda and alcohol packages to speciality coffee deals. Quench your thirst wisely!  There is usually a Captain’s Cocktail party on the formal night where they usually serve complimentary bubbles so get stuck in and enjoy the party.
Budget Tip: If you’re not a heavy drinker, skip the alcohol package and savour occasional cocktails. And don’t forget to drink plenty of free water!  Also, take your favourite tipple on board in your hand luggage and enjoy a few drinks in your cabin before you go out. 

6. Souvenirs and Shopping

The onboard shops are a treasure trove of duty-free goodies, from clothing and jewellery to gadgets and local crafts.  Make sure you wait until the last night of the cruise because they will usually have an end-of-cruise sale.  So do wait until the last night of the cruise for those bargains.  Also if you go ashore you can pick up some amazing deals.  Most 3-night cruises out of Florida will visit Nassau.  Check out this Blog on how to get to the Straw Market.  How far is the Straw Market from the Port in Nassau? | Cruise, Shop, Save (
Straw Market in Nassau.
Visit the Straw Market, in Nassau, Bahamas for some amazing souvenir deals.
Budget Tip: Set a shopping budget and stick to it. It’s easy to get carried away with all the fabulous finds!

7. Gratuities and Fees

Cruise lines often include daily gratuities for services, but it’s a good practice to tip your stewards, waitstaff, and other crew members who go above and beyond.  You are looking at about $10 – $15 per day if tips are not included in the cruise.
Budget Tip: Factor in these gratuities when planning your budget to avoid surprises at the end of your voyage.
Shop staff on Iona.
Shop Staff is onboard P&O Iona all the staff onboard are super helpful to the guests.

8. Stay Connected (or Disconnect)

Internet access on cruise ships can be pricey, but it’s essential for some. Decide whether you’ll need to stay connected with the outside world or embrace the digital detox.
Budget Tip: Use Wi-Fi in port if you need to check in or share envy-inducing vacation pics with your landlocked friends.

9. Budget Buffing

Now that we’ve covered the essentials, let’s put it all together:
  • Ticket: Cruises start from as little as £199/$249 depending on the cruise line and the time you book
  • Dining: Included + optional speciality dining
  • Entertainment: Mostly included
  • Excursions: Varies by activity
  • Drinks: Consider a package or a la carte
  • Shopping: Set a budget
  • Gratuities: Budget for daily tips
  • Internet: Decide if it is a necessity for just 3 nights, perhaps a tech detox.  But don’t forget to take loads of pictures to upload and show off your cruise when you get home

10. Pack Your Sense of Adventure!

paper money.In the end, the cost of your 3-night cruise adventure is entirely up to you. It’s about striking a balance between indulging in what makes your heart sing and being mindful of your budget.
Remember, a cruise isn’t just about the dollars and cents; it’s about creating memories that will last a lifetime. So, pack your sense of adventure, your sun hat, and your dancing shoes, and get ready to sail into the sunset with a smile on your face!


So, fellow explorers, “How much will I spend on a 3-night cruise?” The answer lies in your hands and your willingness to strike a balance between indulgence and fiscal responsibility. With these budget-friendly tips, you’ll be cruising the high seas with a smile and a wallet that’s still shipshape. Bon voyage and may your adventure be as boundless as the ocean!