No matter what cruise you go on, you'll probably spend 3-days on the front end in airports and flying to your destination, spending a night in a hotel, getting to the ship, and finding your sea legs; and then 2-days packing, settling your bill, getting to the airport, and flying home. That means you've invested 5 vacation days in activities that havn't added to your cruise eexperience.
These days are also costly. On an overseas cruise for two people, You'll likely shell out at least $4,000 for your flights, hotel, night, cab rides and tips. Consider this to be "Cruise Overhead."
Using this logic, a 5-7 night cruise is hard to justify. Assuming that the cruise will cost about $4,200 for two ($300/night), this means that the overhead rate ($4000 overhead vs $4200 cruise cost) is 95 percent! In other words, you are spending as much to get somewhere as to to be there.
On a 14-night cruise @ $300 pp per night, the cruise cost is $8400 whereas the overhead remains at $4000. This drops the overhead rate to 48 percent. What you learn from this exercise is that while cruise expenses go up by the day, overhead stays about the same, regardless of the length of the cruise. Thus, from a cost standpoint, a longer cruise will beat a shorter one, even if the daily cruise rate remains the same!
The sweet spot for many veteran cruisers is 18 nights. At this point, overhead is about 37%. However, most cruises of this length will include free economy air and some other perks which are typically worth $3500 for two people. This reduces the overhead cost from $4000 to about $500, which drops the overhead rate to about 6 percent! This means that your spending nearly all of your money on pure pleasure!
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