All-inclusives aren’t always worth the extra spending, but these all-inclusive cruises are worth checking out.

April 23, 2013

For some lines, the term all-inclusive cruise goes well beyond transfers, meals, classes, and entertainment to include airfare and even shore excursions. Here, we chart itineraries from three cruise companies that are pushing the definition of all-inclusive and the value of their additional offerings. The savings are significant.

Crystal Cruises

The Cruise: A seven-day Pacific coast cruise on the Crystal Symphony, round-trip from Los Angeles. (From $2,650 per person, double occupancy.)

Included Items
Airfare:
Free from 23 North American cities; surcharge for other North American cities. ($2,650 per person, double occupancy.)
Beverages:
All nonalcoholic drinks; two complimentary cocktail parties. ($180)
Onboard Credit:
“As You Wish” shipboard credit, which can be applied to stores, spa treatments, excursions, gratuities, etc. ($1,080)

Total value of inclusions, per person: $1,080
Percentage of total cost of cruise:
41

Regent Seven Seas

The Cruise: A seven-day Caribbean cruise on the Seven Seas Navigator, round-trip from Fort Lauderdale. (From $3,799 per person, double occupancy.)

Included Items
Airfare:
Free from 20 U.S. cities; surcharge for other U.S. cities. ($500)
Beverages:
All alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks ($490)
Gratuities:
$105
Shore Excursions:
One at each of five ports of call ($500)
Hotel Stay:
One pre-cruise night at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66, in Fort Lauderdale ($80)

Total value of inclusions, per person: $1,675
Percentage of total cost of cruise:
44

Silversea Cruises

The Cruise: A seven-day Caribbean cruise on the Silver Cloud, round-trip from Barbados. (From $2,798 per person, double occupancy.)

Included Items
Airfare:
Free from 20 U.S. cities; surcharge for other U.S. cities. ($200)
Beverages:
All alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks ($490)
Gratuities:
$105

Total value of inclusions, per person: $795
Percentage of total cost of cruise:
28

Airfare value based on the refund each cruise line offers to passengers who opt out of the free airfare. Beverages based on an estimate of four $5 nonalcoholic drinks per person per day and $50 worth of alcohol per day or $20 worth of drinks at a cocktail party. Gratuities are estimated at $15 per person per day. Shore excursions are estimated at $100 per person per day.

Crystal Cruises

The 1,070-passenger Crystal Serenity and 922-passenger Crystal Symphony appeal to those who like a big ship without the crowds and their luxury slightly over-the-top. You get the glitzy casino, the lavish spa, and plenty of indoor and outdoor spaces to explore. Plus, there are dedicated facilities for kids. The experience is first class all the way. The educational programming is especially impressive (you can even take piano lessons on board). Nobu Matsuhisa (of Nobu fame) has restaurants on each ship, and penthouse guests can even order Nobu room service.

New and Newsworthy: The Crystal Symphony underwent major refurbishment in September 2009, including a completely redesigned pool deck.

Price: Weeklong cruises from $2,480 (plus a $500 shipboard credit) per person.

Geographic Areas: Africa, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Caribbean, South Pacific, South America, Mediterranean, Canada/New England, Middle East, Mexican Riviera, Northern Europe, Central America, Transoceanic, World Cruise, Antarctica.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Country-club casual is the mantra of this upscale, midsize ship line that succeeds in being fancy without being fussy. Accommodations are spacious; the 490-passenger Navigator is all-suite, and the 700-passenger Voyager and Mariner are the cruise world’s only all-suite, all-balcony ships. Wine and spirits are complimentary. Regent is affiliated with Le Cordon Bleu (the Voyager and Mariner have LCB-operated restaurants) and oceanographer/environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau, who is on board select sailings. Creative theme cruises range from the arts to chocolate.
New and Newsworthy: The cost of all Regent cruises will include airfare and shore excursions in 2010.
Price: Weeklong Caribbean cruises from $2,495 per person, including air and shore excursions.
Geographic Areas: Africa, India, Alaska, Asia, Australia and South Pacific, Bermuda, Caribbean and Mexico, Europe, Mediterranean, Central America, Baltic, World Cruises.
Type: Premium/luxury.

Silversea Cruises

Silversea’s fancy, pampering experience is delivered on six sleek, 132- to 540-passenger ships, done up in contemporary décor, with gourmet cuisine, spacious ocean-view suites, free booze, and top-notch service—the solicitous crew even shines your shoes and brings room service, course by course. Steaks are prepared the way you like them. And yes, the bartender knows your name. An impressive guest lecture series includes famous chefs. The line also operates the upscale 132-passenger soft adventure ship Prince Albert II.
New and Newsworthy: The 540-passenger Silver Spirit debuted in 2009; it’s the line’s first new ship in eight years. Silver Wind recently had a multimillion refurbishment including a new observation lounge and spa.
Price: Weeklong cruises from $2,638 (plus air–inclusive offer).
Geographic Areas: Mediterranean, Northern Europe and Baltics, Africa and Indian Ocean, Far East, South Pacific, Caribbean, South America, Central America, New England/Canada,
Type: Luxury.

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