All-Inclusive Cruises Cure the Recession Vacation Blues
by Roy Witman © 2009
If you search the Internet for recession
vacation deals, you'll find one recurring
theme: cruises. That's because all-inclusive
cruises provide value that you simply won't
find in land-based vacations that require
fees for airfare, hotels, rental cars, meals,
snacks, activities, entertainment and more.
Among other benefits, CNN points out that
"if you are considering Europe, there's no
more economical way to do it this summer
[than a cruise], since your transportation,
meals and lodging are included and you can
pay in U.S. dollars."
Praising the benefits of cruising,
eHow.com reports, “All-inclusive cruises are
the greatest way to take a luxury vacation
during an economic recession. Overall the
cost per day for the amenities you are
purchasing can be less than half of a
traditional vacation. In addition, a cruise
vacation offers many things which may not be
available on a traditional vacation at a
fraction of the cost.”
Pointing out the enormous value of
cruises, USA Today reminds readers that
cruises are not just for recessionary times.
"The cruise industry always has been
relatively resistant to economic downturns,
thanks in large part to its reputation as a
provider of good value as compared to land
How Do Cruises Provide Better Vacation
Think about booking a traditional
land-based vacation. Airfare is needed to
reach your destination. Then you pay for a
hotel room (more than one if you have older
kids). Three meals a day multiplied times
the number of people in your party adds up
quick especially when you must also include
the cost of snacks. Unless you want to spend
all day in the hotel's swimming pool, you'll
have to pay for activities and entertainment.
Then there's transportation to get where
you're going: that means a rental car.
Cruises, on the other hand, are
mostly-inclusive or all-inclusive. This
means that, rather than paying for each
element of your vacation individually, you
pay one discounted fee for everything. Three
meals a day are included as are snacks. Your
stateroom, onboard activities (which include
everything from rock climbing and bowling to
kid-specific fun and Los Vegas-style shows)
is also built into your price. And with so
many ports-of-call across the nation, it's
easy to find one you can drive to rather than
While land excursions and off-ship events
do incur additional fees, many are nominal.
Even with adding excursions, cruising
typically still provides more value for your
money than land-based vacations.
Do It Yourself or Choose a Cruise
Travel and Leisure magazine gives
this sage advice: "A good travel agent
will keep track of price drops (rebooking you
if the cruise line doesn't automatically
credit the difference), advise on whether to
buy airfare with the cruise line or
independently, and analyze deals. If an offer
seems too good to be true, it might be-does
the room look out onto a lifeboat or sit
right below the disco?"
When it's time to choose the destination
for your vacation, weigh the total cost of
cruises against land-based destinations.
You'll quickly see you get more for your
money when you set sail on the open sea.