Norwegian Cruise Line is the latest company to offer passengers all-inclusive cruises, so will other cruise lines follow suit? Is all-inclusive the future of cruising?
What is ‘all-inclusive’?
Generally, the price of a cruise includes your accommodation, food, entertainment, on-board activities, ice-cream and certain drinks e.g. coffee, tea, water at meal times. There is an option with most cruise lines to pay for an additional drinks package to include alcoholic beverages, specialty coffees and soft drinks, effectively making your trip all-inclusive but there are now some cruise lines that are including drinks in the price of your cruise (Thomson, Azamara, Regent Seven Seas, NCL).
Norwegian’s Premium All Inclusive
Norwegian has just announced that from 6th April 2017, all new bookings for UK passengers will now enjoy Premium All Inclusive, worth more than £1,200 per stateroom. So what’s Premium All Inclusive?
- Premium alcoholic beverages
- Soft drinks and bottled water
- Service charge and gratuities
Thomson Tui Discovery and Tui Discovery 2
From summer 2017, passengers on Thomson’s two cruise ships Tui Discovery and Tui Discovery 2 will get All Inclusive as standard.
Azamara Club Cruises
All passengers with Azamara enjoy selected spirits, international beers, wines, bottles water, specialty coffees and teas.
Crystal’s all-inclusive experience includes drinks, European flights and transfers, one specialty dinning visit and WiFi and boasts of being ‘all-exclusive’.
Regent Seven Seas takes all-inclusive to another level
This luxury cruise line does all-inclusive to the max with the cruise fare including everything! Expect to enjoy unlimited beverages including premium fine wines and spirits plus in-suite mini bar, which is replenished daily. Not only are drinks included in the cruise price, passengers enjoy:
- Free transfers
- Free WiFi
- Free pre-paid gratuities
- Free specialty restaurants
- Free unlimited shore excursions
- Free transfers
- Free air travel
This keeps Regent Seven Seas head and shoulders above the the other all-inclusive offerings but will others follow?
The Future of ‘all-inclusive’
Cruising is becoming more and more popular, according to the CLIA, a record 1.9 million British holidaymakers and over 11 million Americans took an ocean cruise last year. Cruise lines must keep up with the growing market by attracting customers and developing brand loyalty so what better way than promising passengers an all-inclusive experience?
Personally, I’ve never experienced an all-inclusive cruise and have always had to pay for additional drinks packages. I can definitely see the appeal of paying one price for everything, it keeps things simple and avoids hidden costs. The price you see is the actual price – no extra charge for gratuities, drinks, excursions, specialty dining.
I don’t believe that some cruise lines will ever be completely all-inclusive like the luxury Regent Seven Seas but this bold new move by NCL will surely make other large ocean cruise lines take note. We will have to wait and see if others follow suit in the future.
Let me know your thoughts on all-inclusive cruising by leaving a comment.