For years, cruises have claimed to have all the necessities as well as the niceties you’d ever need right at your fingertips. However, some of these came at an extra cost, such as alcoholic beverages and access to the internet, making all-inclusive resorts much more appealing to the budget-conscious traveller. It was the one thing that separated cruise vacations from those offered by all-inclusives. While most of the all-inclusive hotels included drinks and gratuities in their package prices, cruises often charged for these individually. But not anymore, said Sean Flynn, franchise owner at Expedia CruiseShipCenters, Montreal. “By giving people the option of having free gratuities and free drinks, you’re taking a lot of the on-board expenses away,” he explained. “This makes it a lot easier to budget. While this was the appeal of the all-inclusives, it’s more so now with the cruise industry.”

Not only are cruise companies offering drink and gratuity inclusions, but they are touting other free services on board too, like Wi-Fi for every person in the cabin. “This is a trend we’ve been seeing for awhile where people’s added amenities are providing a great value,” Flynn said. “The idea behind it is to counter some of the negative perceptions of people who have been booking their all-inclusive vacations.”

Another upgrade cruises have been working at integrating is improving upon basic things that are available on-board, such as coffee choices. “Coffee on cruises used to be terrible, however many of the cruise companies today own private coffee shops and some even have their own Starbucks-style cafes,” Flynn said. Whether you like a basic dark roast or a jazzed-up cappuccino, the options have expanded tremendously. “This is all part of the advantages of cruising.” You have everything you’d ever need at your disposal on the ship, right down to your perfect cup of Joe.

Consider a cruise for your next vacation. With more “extras” included in your cruise packages than ever before, a cruise is the perfect option for the cost-savvy traveler who is looking to get the most bang for their buck. Expedia works with all the major international cruise lines and is the perfect starting point for planning your dream cruise.

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