Yesterday I posted about our week on the Disney Wonder (it was great!). But now is the time for the hard-crunching numbers…how much did a week of fantasy life really cost? Here’s the breakdown:
|Before the Cruise|
|Voyage Fare (2 adults, children sailed free on this cruise):||$2,226.00|
|Vacation Protection Plan:||$207.08|
|Government Taxes & Fees:||$100.74|
|Total Initial Cruise Costs:||$2,533.82|
|On the Ship|
|Port Adventure – Puerto Vallarta Tequila Making (2 people)||$100.00|
|Port Adventure – Cabo San Lucas Canopy Zip Line (1 person)||$99.00|
|Spa (couples massage, anniversary tradition)||$268.00|
|Dining – brunch||$50.00|
|Dining – anniversary dinner||$60.00|
|Merchandise – Nemo bucket||$5.95|
|Merchandise – lip balm||$1.95|
|Merchandise – funny light-up cup||$5.46|
|Merchandise - birthday gift for friend’s son||$14.95|
|Merchandise – pirate hat for daddy/son||$24.95|
|Beverages – mocha||$5.54|
|Head server, maitre d||$15.00|
|Total on Cruise Costs||$929.80|
|American Airlines check bag fee (used miles for the airfare)||$25.00|
|American Airlines check bag fee||$25.00|
|Prime Time Shuttle to and from airport||$137.45|
|Total Trip Costs||$3,651.07|
|Additional expenses (tips for drivers, Starbucks, food at airport, cash used in Mexico, spare diapers, Cabo boats and bikes…things like that – an average.)||$148.93|
|Total Total Trip Costs||$3,800.00|
We used miles to pay for the airfare because it was $600 per person to get from Hawaii to LA. If we had paid out of pocket, our total anniversary trip would have been $5k. As it was, $3800 is a lot more than the initial $2500 that the cruise actually cost. Incidentals cost a ton. When our boys are bigger and we go on a cruise, they (and I) will want to do the fun adventures like the zip-line canopy/rock-climbing thing that my husband did. Obviously our costs will go up a ton, even if we were to find the kids-cruise-free deal like we did this time. I’d anticipate another $2-3K.
how will we pay for it all?!?
Needless to say, this is a lot of money. We put aside $100 every month for our anniversary trip (every 4 years, go go Leap Day anniversaries!), and I saved all the money we got from Christmas to use for incidentals. My husband saved a portion of his bonus for it too, and his parents gave us $100 to celebrate our first real anniversary. We could’ve shaved off $100 if we hadn’t gone to dinner at the fancy restaurant, but it was our anniversary and we really wanted to.
tip me! tip me!
The unexpected large expense was, of course, the gratuities for all the crew members. That was $252 I wasn’t expecting. We also had to tip the fine dining server ($30) and the massage therapists ($40), plus the room service guy ($3, wasn’t expecting that because on the Norweigan Cruise Line we didn’t have to), so that all being said and done was an additional $325 we weren’t adding into the budget. Everyone was trying to sell us something – the spa girls had a list of things they used on us and wanted us to buy, when we bought the flashing lit cup for our son an automatic gratuity was added onto it (he refused to drink milk, so we tried every possible beverage vessel we could find). Plus, oh man, the tips that are expected everywhere in Mexico. The guy who held out his hand to help me off the boat wanted a tip, the kid who told me where to find the bathroom wanted a tip, the bathroom cost money to use; everyone wanted money.
paying for it all
The cost was doled out slowly over the course of a few months which made it very manageable. The deposit for the cruise was paid for 6 months ago, the remainder was paid for in December. This credit card bill will have the rest of it, but really, parceled out into three payments does make paying for a large vacation expense much, much easier.
how we could have saved money, by Captain Hindsight
Captain Hindsight tells me that we would have forgone the balcony and shaved off $200-400 of the trip (we thought we would be spending a lot of time out there while our son napped…I napped instead.). He also says that we wouldn’t have spent $20 on groceries for the boat since we lost on the shuttle when the driver drove off with them (organic milk, bottles, snacks to keep kid occupied). Captain Hindsight also thought that the vacation insurance could’ve been avoided ($200) but seriously I’m pregnant and we have a toddler. There was a chance I was put on bed rest or something, and the entire amount would’ve been gone. But I guess we could’ve done without those expenses, saving us $600.
but really, Captain Hindsight is a South Park character and not to be taken seriously
Anyway, that is the breakdown for the trip itself. I may have forgotten a small cash something here or there (my husband spent $20 on carne asada tacos for our lunch on his way back from the zip-line tour, but it was confiscated on the ship. Did you know you can’t bring food from Mexico onto the cruise ship? Weird.) but that’s really about what we spent in total.
What do you think? Too much? Too little? Just right?
obviously i’ve been reading too much goldilocks…