Demand for cruising is climbing high in 2023 yet with rising costs in fuel, labor, food and more, cruise lines still struggle to turn a profit. What’s a cruise line to do? Raise the costs on some customer services such as drink packages, specialty dining and service (gratuity) fees.
Already several major cruise lines have abandoned the traditional twice-a-day stateroom service by day, followed by evening turn-down and tidying service. Carnival cut back to once-a-day cleaning on its ships in 2021. This year, both Royal Caribbean and Norwegian this year have followed that lead. (Back on land, most hotel groups are even phasing out daily maid service.)
With the following example for Princess Cruises, you’ll see that the lowest per-person rates are pretty bare bones although somewhat affordable if you don’t like adult beverages or enjoy day trips off of the ship to explore.
For instance, I priced out an advertised 7-Day Voyage of the Glaciers with Glacier Bay (Southbound) on Grand Princess sailing in May. The cruise begins in Anchorage (Whittier) and ends in Vancouver, Canada. The Standard base rate advertised is $349 per person but the inclusive rate is $599 per person or $1,198 for two. That includes Inside cabin accommodation (145 to 162 sq-ft.), dining, and entertainment.
If you would like to upgrade to a Plus category (in the same Inside cabin): Wi-Fi, beverage package, specialty dining (2 per guest), a photo package, unlimited desserts, unlimited fitness classes, reserved seating for some shows, prizes and a couple of additional perks – the per person rate jumps to $909. Factor in all of the various fees for a total of $2,318 for two — or nearly twice the price of a Standard cruise fare.
Other 7- and 8-day Princess cruises including Glacier Bay National Park from $549 to $599 (remember all of the extras that adds from $250 each). These per-person rates are based on off-season sailing months of May and September. For Alaska, refer to promo codes N3A, N3B or N3R.
You might also be eligible to save big bucks with Princess’ ‘Drop & Go’ last-minute cruise deals. These bargains on cruises setting sail soon start as low as $99 for a three-day Australian interior voyage, $139 for a three-day California coast cruise, $299 for a five-day Alaska sailing and many more.
Princess offers 40% off of many other 2023-2024 voyages when you book through May 2. Plus, you can reserve your spot with just a $100 deposit per guest. Book a cruise only or a cruise tour to spots such as Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean, South America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and more.
Sample per-person rates on eligible Princess cruises include:
- A 23-day Hawaii, Tahiti & South Pacific itinerary that takes you from Vancouver to Hawaii, French Polynesia and New Zealand, starting from $1,211.
- A 14-day Europe Passage cruise from Ft Lauderdale to London, stopping in the Portuguese Azores, France, Netherlands and Belgium from $749.
- A 6-day Eastern Caribbean trip from Ft Lauderdale to Princess Cays in The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos and Nassau starting from $549.
- And when you wish to see and experience more of Alaska by land, you have many choices to add a land tour pre- or post-cruise (any Alaskan cruise) for a few days. Ends March 1.
Why I Dig this Deal:Alaska cruise season runs from May to September, but you can find bargains pre- and post-peak season.