Christmas is coming and so is our Royal Caribbean Cruise

Departing Melbourne, Alex and I will head off on our 10 night cruise on our Royal Caribbean International cruise ship Radiance of the Seas.

This ship has been recently renovate and has 7 dining areas, 220ft outdoor cinema, 850 crew, 9 storey central atrium, 3 pools, rock climbing wall, mini golf course, casino, 16 bars, clubs and lounges etc, etc, etc,   This is all to cater for the 2002 odd (as in number not personal characteristic) passengers (the 2 is me and Alex).

That’s all the fancy stuff, now about the necessary stuff….  the actual cruise cost $1,725 each.  On top of this base cost is a pre-paid gratuity of $115 each.  I don’t mind paying a gratuity so long as it reaches the staff for whom it is intended so I guess you pay it in good faith.  Our fare pays for all our accommodation (in our balcony room which has the additional benefit of 24 hour room service), all onboard meals and activities and all shore transfers.  About the only additional onboard charges are drinks and any money we choose to spend at the casino.  When we booked we received a $50 each cruise credit to spend onboard.

The extras which will make up the total trip cost include:

  • flights from Melbourne to Sydney (return).  I have booked our return flights with Qantas (  A cattle class return trip for each of us cost $235 (the cruise starts and finishes in Sydney)
  • transport from Sydney airport to the cruise ship
  • onboard drinks and casino money during the cruise
  • shore excursions (if we choose to pre-book any trips but will probably just do our own thing)
  • travel insurance (yet to be organised but will organise through Southern Cross Travel Insurance (living by the motto – “if you can’t afford travel insurance you can’t afford to travel”)
  • Melbourne Airport parking (approx $90)

So there’s the boring bits.  This trip could be done for cheaper if we chose to:

  • swap our balcony cabin for an internal cabin (saving about $400 each) (..not this time)
  • fly with a cheaper domestic airline like Tiger for our return Sydney flights instead of Qantas (saving about $40 each)
  • don’t pre-book any shore excursions and just explore ourselves
  • minimise our drinks and casino spend while onboard (doubt it!)

For what its worth, changing any of these won’t make that much difference to enjoyment level (well maybe the balcony cabin – but, you don’t in reality spend a lot of time in your room anyway) its about personal choice.  I say this because I did go on a 7 night south pacific cruise a couple of years ago and shared an internal quad room with 3 friends and this was perfectly fine in this situation and we had a fantastic time on the cruise.

As it’s just me and Alex this time, the balcony room is a bit of a treat for us, but if we were looking to economise, it wouldn’t have been essential…just reeeally nice ![showmyads]