Prices on a cruise ship: Drinks, internet, spa, excursions and more

MSCDivinaAs cruising has become more popular around the world, most people are now aware that it can be a fantastic bargain because your meals and much of the entertainment on board are all included in the base price. It’s still true, but like in so many other industries, cruise ships have started to charge extra for almost everything they can.

It’s not that everything used to be included and now many things have separate fees, it’s more that each new thing added seems to come with a la carte pricing. You can still stuff yourself at the buffet for no additional cost, it’s just the new “specialty restaurants” that are available as premium alternatives for guests who choose them. Of course, internet, spa services, and shore excursions aren’t free either, nor are alcoholic drinks and some other extras.

Prices of nearly most extras on the MSC Divina in spring 2014

A friend of mine and fellow travel writer was recently wrapping up her second 7-month contract as an employee for MSC Cruises on the MSC Divina. She sent me all the price lists she could find, which cover shore excursions, spa services, internet charges, as well as specialty food items and drink prices of all kinds.

I’ve compiled and typed out everything from the price lists, and you’ll find the results below. She told me that she frequently hears from guests that MSC’s alcoholic drink prices felt unusually low compared to other cruise lines in the same price category. In other words, if you like to drink a lot, MSC could be a good choice to keep costs down, especially with their Drink More, Spend Less packages.

About the MSC Divina, in brief

MSC Cruises is an Italian-Swiss cruise line with 12 ships at the moment. The MSC Divina can hold 3,959 passengers plus a crew of 1,325. This was an Eastern Caribbean cruise with the following 7-night itinerary:

Miami, Florida – At Sea – At Sea – Philipsburg (St. Maarten), Netherlands Antilles – San Juan, Puerto Rico – At Sea – Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas – Miami, Florida

As of now, you can book this same cruise in March, 2015 for only US$499 per person, which puts it firmly into the budget category, among the cheaper Caribbean cruises available.

>>>
Check current deals on Caribbean cruises

The price list, with shore excursions at the bottom

Spa and salon services

An additional 15% service charge is added to every order

  • Hair cut: US$24
  • Hair set: $27

Weekly pass to sauna, steam room, relax room: $99

MSCaquacycleFitness classes

  • Stretching and abdominals: free
  • Aqua cycling: $19
  • Group cycling or spinning: $10
  • Pilates: $10
  • Yoga: $10

Massages

  • 50-minute Candle massage: $110
  • 60-minute Bali massage: $126
  • 45-minute Bali Hot Lava Stones massage: $110

Thermal area for 1 hour: $12

Internet and wi-fi

  • 10 minutes at internet cafe: US$6
  • Each additional minute per session: US$0.60
  • 60 minutes of wi-fi: US$29.90
  • 100 minutes of wi-fi: $44.90
  • 300 minutes of wi-fi: $99.90
  • 480 minutes of wi-fi: $149.90
  • 1,440 minutes of wi-fi: $299.90

DVDs

These look to be generic videos that are pre-produced to allow guests to remember the boat and any shore excursions they might have done.

  1. My Cruise
  2. My Excursion
  3. My Ship
  • 1 for US$34.90
  • All 3 for $59.80

Alcohol, beer, and wine

According to my friend who works on the ship, MSC has some of the most reasonable prices for alcohol of any cruise line. Guests frequently comment that they are used to higher alcohol prices, even on other cruise lines in a similar price range for everything else. But don’t forget that all drink prices below DO NOT include the 15% service charge.

An additional 15% service charge is added to every order

MSCwineWine by the glass

  • Most are US$5.50 to $8, averaging about $7
  • Premium wines: US$8 to $12.75 per glass

Wine by the bottle

  • Most are US$27 to $37, averaging about $33
  • Premium wines: US$39 to $99, with most under $50

Small wine tasting

  • Tasting of 3 wines plus finger food: US$9.90

Sparkling wine/Champagne

  • US$29 to US$49 per bottle

Beers

Draft beer (Heineken, Miller Lite, Murphey’s Red, Newcastle Brown Ale)

  • 7 ounces: US$2.75
  • 14 ounces: $5.25
  • 16 ounces: $6.00

MSCdivinabarBottled beer

Bud, Bud Light, Miller, Sam Adams, Beck’s, Heineken, Heineken Light, Corona, Corona Light, Dos Equis, Red Stripe and more: US$5 for a 12 ounce bottle

Guinness, Newcastle, Pilsner Urquell, Bass Ale, Boddingtons, Goslings: US$6 for a 12 ounce bottle (15 ounces on Guinness and Boddingtons)

O’Douls or Buckler non-alcoholic beer: US$4.50 for a 12 ounce bottle

Bucket of beers: 4 ice-cold beers of your choice for US$17

One meter of beer: ten 10-ounce glasses of draft beer for US$22

Cocktails

  • Spritzers: US$6.75
  • Bellini, Kir Royal, Mimosa etc: US$6.25

Liqueurs & cordials: US$4.75 to $6.50 for 2 ounces

Mixed drinks: A very long list with all between US$7.25 and $7.75 each

Spirits: Many name brands at US$5.25 to $6 per shot

Premium shots: Johnnie Walker Black, Chivas Regal, Dewars, Glenfiddich, Laphroaig for US$6.75 per shot

Ultra-premium shots: Johnnie Walker Blue for US$22, Remy Martin XO for US$15.75, many others from $8.25 to $10.75 per shot

Drink More, Pay Less! plans

These packages are only available if everyone in your group gets the same package. In other words, you can’t have one person get a package and then have that person share all the drinks with their partner or group.

  • 7 bottles of wine: US$155
  • 10 bottles of wine: $212
  • 12 cocktails: $62
  • 15 cans of soda: $30
  • 14 glasses of draft beer: $62
  • 10 milk shakes, smoothies, virgin cocktails, or juices: $31
  • 15 non-premium beers, wine glasses, or cocktails: $72

Non-alcoholic drinks from bars

Spring water: US$1.75 to $2.50 for 17 ounces, US$3.25 to $4.75 for 34 ounces

Fruit juices (orange, pineapple etc): US$2 for 7 ounces
Bottled juices: US$3.25 for a 7-ounce bottle

Soft drinks: US$2.50 for a 12-ounce can

Energy drinks: Red Bull, Gatorade etc for US$3.95 to $4.75 per can

Food and desserts

As is normal on cruise ships, all meals served in the assigned dining room and/or buffet are included in the price of the cruise. This includes desserts that come with or after meals. They also provide free pastries in the morning and free cookies in the afternoon in the bars.

The prices below are for the special coffee bar that serves premium desserts, which is considered a specialty restaurant so guests pay for whatever they get.

  • Smoothies and milkshakes: US$4.25
  • Ice cream cup or cone: $2 to $3.50
  • Ice cream sundaes: $6.75
  • Ice cream cocktails: $7.25

MSCpastryPastries

  • Tartlet: $0.75
  • Cupcakes: $1.50
  • Slice of cake: $2.50
  • Cannoli or cream puff: $1.10 to $1.30

Full cakes (anniversary or birthday): $15.50 to $18

Espresso, cappuccino, latte: US$2.25 to US$3.50

Frozen cappuccino: US$4.50

Again, pizza might be included in a buffet or from a normal restaurant for free, but there is also a stand-alone pizza place that is considered specialty dining so it costs extra.

  • Pizza: Fresh 1-person pizza for $8 to $13 depending on toppings

Things from your room if you steal or buy them

Whether you intentionally buy these things, or “accidentally” bring them home with you, the price is the same and will be charged to your room.

  • Bath towel: €17 (about US$23)
  • Pool towel: €20 (about US$27)
  • Bath robe: €50 (about US$68)
  • Blue leather folder: €50 (about US$68)

Shore excursions

These prices are all from a spring 2014 cruise on the MSC Divina through the Caribbean. These are all of the shore excursions for the specific stop in St. Maarten. Obviously there are different tours with similar themes at each stop on the cruise, so the prices below are examples of what you could expect to pay at a typical Caribbean stop.

Example prices from the St. Maarten stop

MSCDivinapoolSt. Maarten Island Tour (3 hours)

  • adults: US$59.90
  • children: $53.90

St. Maarten sightseeing, shop & beach getaway (5 hours)

  • adults: $52.90
  • children: $47.90

Panoramic tour of St. Maarten and shopping (2.5 hours)

  • adults: $52.90
  • children: $47.90

Panoramic Tour of St. Maarten & Beach tour (2.5 hours)

  • adults: $49.90
  • children: $44.90

Sea & See (3.5 hours, includes a semi-submarine coral reef trip)

  • adults: $56.90
  • children: $51.90

Harley in Paradise (3 hours, a group ride/tour of St. Maarten from the back of your own rented Harley Davidson)

  • adults: $239.90

Golden Eagle Catamaran (4 hours, first class with open bar)

  • adults: $86.90
  • children: $78.90

America’s Cup 12-meter yacht (2.5 hours, training and a short race on an actual racing yacht)

  • adults: $96.90
  • children: $87.90

Power rafting adventure, snorkel, shop & beach (4 hours)

  • adults: $81.90
  • children: $73.90

Rhino Riders (3 hours, 2-person inflatable boat rental)

  • adults: $96.90
  • children: $87.90

Historical Philipsburg by bicycle (3 hours, city tour on a rental bike)

  • adults: $59.90
  • children: $53.90

Kayak snorkel adventure (3.5 hours)

  • adults: $69.90
  • children: $62.90

Discover St. Maarten by Jeep (4 hours)

  • adults: $99.90
  • children: $89.90

Sea World Explorer (2.5 hours)

  • adults: $51.90
  • children: $46.90

Ultimate Charter (6.5 hours, rent your own luxury yacht with crew)

  • adults: $2,499 for up to 6 people

Orient Express beach break & shopping (3 hours, bus tour, beach visit and shopping)

  • adults: $56.90
  • children: $51.90

Viva Orient beach break (4.5 hours, including lunch)

  • adults: $59.90
  • children: $53.90

Afternoon beach bash (3 hours, 2 hours on a beach plus free rum drinks)

  • adults: $49.90
  • children: $44.90

Photo credits: Top by K B on Flickr, pastry, Aqua spinning, and wine bottle by Gary Bembridge on Flickr, bar, casino, and pool view by Jorge in Brazil on Flickr



2 Responses to “Prices on a cruise ship: Drinks, internet, spa, excursions and more”

jackie says:

please sent me the new prices of spa bar list and what els ?
we go on the bobby and karlien van jaarsveld cruise on desember 2016 (simfonia)

 
Sara says:

I have a cpuple of questions, how many people sleep with you in the cabin? Who receives more money: a social hostess or a guest service agent (according to the experience on the msc divina cruise)?

 

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