How Much Will I Spend On a 7 Night Cruise?

 Setting Sail on a 7-Night Cruise: A Budgeting Guide for Your Dream Vacation.

If you’re reading this, you’ve likely caught the cruising bug and are daydreaming about setting sail on a glorious 7 Night cruise adventure and how much you need to save to spend. But before you let your imagination take you too far, it’s essential to know just how much you’ll be spending on this oceanic escape. In this blog post, we’re diving deep into the world of cruise budgeting. We’ll explore the average cost of a 7-night cruise, break down expenses for sea days versus port days, and ensure you’re prepared for a fantastic voyage without breaking the bank. So, buckle up (or rather, anchor down), and let’s embark on this journey together!

This is Camana Bay in Grand Cayman a gorgeous relaxed luxurious shopping location outside the hustle and bustle of Grand Cayman port area.

Chapter 1: Navigating the Costs of Getting to Your Cruise Ship

Your journey to paradise begins long before you step aboard the cruise ship. Traveling to your departure port is an integral part of your cruise vacation, and understanding the costs involved is essential for effective budgeting. In this chapter, we’ll explore the various expenses associated with getting to your cruise ship.

1. Flights:

For many cruisers, the first step is booking a flight to the departure port. The cost of airfare can vary widely based on factors such as your departure city, the time of year, and how far in advance you book. Here are some tips to manage flight costs:
  • Book Early: Flights tend to be cheaper when booked well in advance. Keep an eye out for sales and deals from airlines.
  • Flexible Dates: If possible, be flexible with your travel dates. Midweek flights are often cheaper than weekend departures.
  • Use Points or Miles: If you’re a frequent traveler, consider using your frequent flyer miles or credit card points to offset the cost of your flight.

Flights landing in Maho Beach, St. Maarten, Caribbean.

2. Ground Transportation:

Once you arrive at your destination city, you’ll need a way to get to the cruise port. The cost of ground transportation can vary depending on the distance between the airport and the port. Here are some common options:
  • Shuttle Service: Some cruise lines offer shuttle services from the airport to the port for a fee. This can be convenient but may come at a premium.
  • Taxi or Ride-Sharing: Taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft are widely available in most cities. Compare prices and choose the option that suits your budget.
  • Public Transportation: In some cities, public transportation is a cost-effective way to reach the port. Research the local transit options in advance.

Using public transport to travel to a ship either by Train, Coach, or Taxi.

3. Pre-Cruise Accommodations:

Many cruisers choose to arrive at the departure port a day or two before the cruise sets sail to allow for any travel delays and to explore the city. The cost of pre-cruise accommodations can vary depending on the city and the type of lodging you choose:
  • Hotels: Research hotels near the cruise port and compare prices. Some hotels offer packages that include transportation to the port.
  • Vacation Rentals: If you’re traveling with a group or desire more space, consider booking a vacation rental through platforms like Airbnb or Vrbo.

4. Parking:

If you’re driving to the cruise port, you’ll need to factor in the cost of parking. Cruise ports typically offer both short-term and long-term parking options, each with its own daily rate. Be sure to check the cruise line’s recommendations for parking facilities.

5. Travel Insurance:

Travel insurance is an essential consideration for any trip, including a cruise vacation. While it adds to your upfront costs, it can provide peace of mind in case of unexpected cancellations, delays, or emergencies during your journey.  So important to have Travel Insurance I have researched quite a few and here are my recommendations.

Also don't forget to calculate the fuel to drive to the embarkation port your ship is sailing from.

6. Miscellaneous Expenses:

Don’t forget about smaller expenses that can add up, such as meals and snacks while traveling, luggage fees, and airport transfers. These costs may seem minor individually but can impact your overall budget.

7. Planning your cruise vacation:

It’s crucial to account for the costs associated with traveling to the cruise ship’s departure port. Flights, ground transportation, accommodations, parking, and travel insurance are all factors that can affect your budget.
To manage these costs effectively:
  • Plan and book your flights well in advance.
  • Compare transportation options to and from the port.
  • Consider pre-cruise accommodations to ease your travel experience.
  • Budget for parking fees or alternative transportation if driving.
  • Protect your investment with travel insurance.

Chapter 2: The Price of Paradise – Average Cost of a 7-Night Cruise

First things first, let’s talk numbers. The cost of a 7-night cruise can vary significantly based on several factors:
  1. Cruise Line: Different cruise lines offer varying levels of luxury and entertainment, and this can greatly impact the price. You’ll find options for budget-conscious travelers as well as those seeking a more lavish experience.
  2. Cabin Type: The type of cabin you choose plays a big role in the overall cost. Inside cabins are generally more affordable than ocean-view or balcony cabins, while suites come with a higher price tag.
  3. Destination: The cruise itinerary heavily influences costs. Caribbean cruises tend to be more budget-friendly, while cruises to exotic or remote destinations may be pricier.
  4. Time of Year: Cruise prices can fluctuate based on the season. Peak vacation times, such as summer and holidays, usually come with higher rates.
  5. Amenities and Excursions: Shore excursions, specialty dining, and onboard activities can add up. Knowing which extras you want to indulge in is essential for budgeting.
On average, you can expect to spend anywhere from $600 to $2,000 per person for a 7-night cruise. Mid-range cruise lines usually fall around the $1,000 to $1,500 range, including taxes and fees. For a more specific estimate, visit the websites of popular cruise lines or use online booking platforms to explore current offers.

Check what is included in your cruise package many cruise lines have deal with $$$ onboard spend, complimentary tours or all drinks are included etc. So read the small print.

Chapter 3: Smooth Sailing or Splashy Spending? Sea Days vs. Port Days

Now that we’ve set a ballpark figure, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of budgeting for your cruise adventure. One key aspect is understanding how your expenses may differ between sea days and port days.

Sea Days what things will you spend your money on:

Sea days are the ones when you’ll spend the entire day sailing the open waters. Here’s a breakdown of potential expenses on a sea day:
  1. Onboard Activities: Most cruise ships offer a plethora of free activities, from lounging by the pool to trivia contests. Budget-conscious travelers can enjoy these without extra cost.
  2. Spa and Fitness Center: While the ship’s fitness center is usually free, spa services come at an additional charge. Massages, facials, and other treatments can be indulgent but pricey.
  3. Specialty Dining: If you’re looking for a more exclusive dining experience, some cruise lines offer specialty restaurants for an extra fee. However, the main dining rooms and buffets are typically included in your cruise fare.
  4. Alcoholic Beverages: Cruise ships often have bars and lounges where you can purchase cocktails, beer, and wine. Some cruise lines offer beverage packages for unlimited drinks at a fixed daily rate.  Do your research though because some packages are not worth it and it is better to just buy drinks as you go.  Also you can take a cheeky bottle of something with you and have a couple of drinks in the cabin while you are getting ready on an evening.
  5. Shopping: Onboard shops sell everything from souvenirs to luxury items. Set a shopping budget to avoid overspending on impulse purchases.  Everything onboard is Tax & Duty-Free just like in airports.  You can stock up on your favorite beauty products, fragrances, ships logo souvenirs, they even have branded watches such as Tag Heuer, Omega and Rolex.  Also take time time to look at the beautiful jewelry.
  6. Seminars and Enrichment Programs:  One of the many delightful aspects of cruising is the opportunity for personal growth and enrichment. Cruise ships often offer a diverse range of seminars and enrichment programs to engage guests intellectually and creatively. Whether it’s a captivating lecture by a renowned guest speaker, a cooking class with a celebrity chef, or an art workshop with a talented artist, these onboard offerings provide a chance for passengers to expand their knowledge and skills while sailing to breathtaking destinations. Whether you’re passionate about history, art, cooking, or any other subject, these programs add an enriching dimension to your cruise experience, making it a truly immersive and fulfilling journey.

Sea Days can be what ever you want them to be. Relaxing, a packed schedule with loads of things to do with a whole day planned of free events.

Port Day – How much you will spend ashore:

Port days are when the ship docks at various destinations, allowing you to explore. Here’s what you might spend on a port day:
  1. Shore Excursions: Excursions are a fantastic way to explore the local culture and attractions. Prices vary, so research and book in advance to save.  Check out my Viator shop, which is full of recommended tours for your cruise.
  2. Dining Ashore: If you choose to dine at a local restaurant during your port visit, budget for meals. Some cruise lines offer shore excursion packages that include meals.
  3. Souvenirs: Souvenir shopping is irresistible for many travelers. Plan a souvenir budget to avoid overspending.
  4. Transportation: Depending on the port, you might need to budget for transportation to reach attractions or explore the area.

Chapter 4: Money Spending Tips

Now that you have a clearer picture of cruise expenses, let’s explore some tips to optimize your spending while enjoying every moment of your cruise:
  1. Set a Budget: Before you even step on the ship, determine your budget for the entire trip, including extras like excursions and souvenirs.
  2. Book in Advance: Shore excursions, specialty dining, and beverage packages are often cheaper when booked in advance on the cruise line’s website.
  3. Use Cruise Planner Apps: Many cruise lines offer apps that allow you to track your expenses in real-time. Use them to stay on top of your spending.
  4. Avoid Over-Indulgence: While it’s tempting to enjoy all the cruise ship has to offer, be mindful of overindulging in expensive extras like spa treatments and specialty dining.
  5. Limit Alcohol Spending: Consider purchasing a beverage package if you plan to enjoy alcoholic beverages daily. It can be more cost-effective than paying for drinks individually.
  6. Shop Smart: If you’re a shopaholic, set a shopping budget and stick to it. Remember, you’ll find similar souvenirs at most ports.

You might be surprised which cruise line may seem like a bargain but when you add all the extras its the same as booking an all inclusive cruise line like Virgin Voyager.


Ensure that your journey to the cruise ship is as seamless and stress-free as the cruise itself, allowing you to embark on your 7-night adventure with excitement and financial confidence.
Embarking on a 7-night cruise is a thrilling adventure, and with proper planning and budgeting, it can be an affordable one too. On average, you can expect to spend between $600 and $2,000 per person, depending on your choices and preferences.
Remember, sea days and port days come with different spending patterns. Sea days offer plenty of free onboard activities, while port days can include expenses for excursions, dining ashore, and souvenirs. By setting a budget, booking in advance, and being mindful of your spending, you can enjoy your cruise without worrying about your wallet.
So, whether you’re sailing to the Caribbean, Alaska, or any other captivating destination, bon voyage, and may your cruise be both exciting and budget-friendly! Safe travels!


Here’s a list of potential costs involved in a 7-day cruise with approximate budget amounts in US Dollars:
  1. Cruise Fare: $600 to $2,000 per person (varies based on cruise line, cabin type, itinerary, and season).
  2. Taxes and Fees: Approximately $100 to $300 per person.
  3. Gratuities: $70 to $105 per person (estimated at $10 to $15 per day, per person).
  4. Pre-Cruise Accommodations: Varies based on hotel choice; budget at least $100 to $300 per night.
  5. Flights: Varies widely based on departure city and timing; budget $200 to $800 per person or more.
  6. Ground Transportation: Budget $20 to $100 per person (shuttle, taxi, or other means).
  7. Travel Insurance: Approximately 5% to 10% of your total trip cost.
  8. Shore Excursions: Varies widely based on activity and destination; budget $50 to $200 or more per excursion.
  9. Specialty Dining: Additional cover charge may range from $20 to $50 per person.
  10. Beverages: Budget $50 to $200 per person for beverage packages or à la carte drinks.
  11. Spa and Wellness Services: Costs for spa treatments and fitness classes vary; budget $50 to $200 or more.
  12. Onboard Shopping: Budget for souvenirs, clothing, and jewelry; amount varies based on purchases.
  13. Internet Access: Prices vary; budget $10 to $30 per day for access.
  14. Casino and Gaming: Set a budget for gambling, depending on your preference.
  15. Photos: Professional photos vary in price; budget $10 to $30 per photo.
  16. Laundry and Dry Cleaning: Costs vary; budget $3 to $10 per clothing item.
  17. Childcare and Babysitting: Fees vary; budget $6 to $12 per hour.
  18. Special Events and Shows: Prices vary; budget $10 to $30 per show.
  19. Travel Accessories: Budget for any needed items; costs vary widely.
  20. Miscellaneous: Budget for unforeseen expenses or activities not covered; varies based on personal preferences.
Please note that these budget amounts are approximate, and actual expenses may vary depending on your choices and spending habits. It’s essential to research and plan according to your specific cruise itinerary and preferences to create an accurate budget for your cruise vacation.

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