Why a four night cruise just might be the perfect, cheap way to spend Spring Break
When people typically think of cruising, several images come to mind: motorized scooters roaming long hallways decorated in 80’s décor, midnight buffets lined by tacky ice sculptures and horrible food, ports of call filled with vendors hawking overpriced junk and motor coaches giving tourists only a small glimpse of a foreign country.
Cruising today is anything but the scenario outlined above. The average cruiser expects the cruise line to deliver more than a land vacation would. Spring break is the perfect time to try out cruising on a four-night Caribbean itinerary. These itineraries tend to draw the younger crowd, thanks to their rock bottom prices, and the boat turns into more of a booze cruise than a snooze fest.
Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Celebrity all run four-night itineraries out of the Ports of Miami, Tampa, New Orleans, and Galveston, with prices starting at $199 per person for an inside cabin (not including air fare) – where else can you get a vacation that includes your food, lodging, entertainment, and transportation for $50 a day? Ports of call include Key West (where you can stroll Duval Street) and Cozumel, Mexico (where you can see Mayan ruins… or join the constant on beach party).
Before you book, it’s important to know one important factor in what’s not included in the price: alcohol. On a spring break cruise, where hanging out with friends and consuming adult beverages may be a priority, your alcohol bill can easily cost more than the cruise itself. There are a few ways to get around this, including watching for daily drink and “bucket of beer” specials, and bringing your own booze on board. Both Carnival and Celebrity allow adults to bring one unopened bottle of wine (not liquor or beer) on-board with them at the beginning of the trip – here’s a helpful guide to the different cruise lines policies. Another good tip is to set a strict budget (once you hit it, the alcohol and on-board purchasing stops). Don’t bother trying to sneak alcohol on board – you’ll be caught almost every time, and do you really want to start your vacation by having your liquor confiscated?
Royal Caribbean and Celebrity do not allow you to bring non-alcoholic beverages, like soda and bottled water, on board (Carnival allows each person to bring up to 12 cans or bottles under 20 oz on-board on embarkation day). If you’re a big soda drinker, run the numbers and see if it makes sense to purchase a soda package. Water, iced tea, and lemonade are free on board, but if you drink a few Cokes a day, they could add up quickly.
So, is a Spring Break Caribbean Cruise right for you? If your spring break priorities include getting plenty of sun (don’t forget the sunscreen though, since the sun is much stronger in the Caribbean than on U.S. beaches), visiting one or two interesting places, relaxing, and hanging out with friends in a casual atmosphere, then a four-night Caribbean cruise just might be the perfect Spring Break trip for you!