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breaking down what we spent on a 7 day cruise

For a while now we have been toying with the idea of going on a cruise, when we came across Carnival Cruise at that price we couldn’t miss it.

Let’s start this cruise blog series with the breakdown of costs for a cruise.

Cruising is definitely something I always thought was a ‘rich’ persons holiday but there is lots of affordable options.


We booked an interior cabin which meant we had no window to see outside – these rooms are obviously cheaper for this reason. For a 7 Day South Pacific Cruise, we paid A$1594 which works out at roughly €960 for 2 people.

The cost of the cabin isn’t just for your room it also includes your ticket on the boat, dining in multiple locations across the ship, entertainment and access to pool areas.



Unfortunately, most cruise ships still don’t include free wifi on board so this is an added cost. The cruise had different tiers on internet plans depending on what you wanted to use it for.

The 3 plans were:

  • Social Plan for A$17 per person, per day
  • Value Plan for A$22.95 per person, per day
  • Premium Plan for A$25.50 per person, per day.

We weren’t planning on working online on the ship so we opted for the Social Plan as we would only really want access to our social media, although we found we could still access google through the chrome app.

This came to A$238/€143 for the both of us.



We decided to cut back on alcohol in 2024 and actually decided we weren’t going to drink on this cruise.

They have multiple drink packages – the 2 main ones are their alcohol package called CHEERS and their soft drink package called BUBBLES

The Cheers packages cost – A$111 per person per day – this is roughly €67, you are limited to 15 alcoholic drinks on this package per day. The cheers package also gets you your bubbles package and access to specialty coffee.

I think if you are going to be taking full advantage of the 15 drinks per day then this is definitely the package for you. If not I recommend just buying the drinks on board.

The bubbles package cost – A$9.95 per person, per day – which is around €6. We decided to go for this as we didn’t know what the charge for drinks on board would be.

The drinks on board were only A$2.95 – This means you had to be drinking 3-4 soft drinks per day to get value from the package. We don’t drink that much fizzy drinks so felt we were nearly just drinking drinks because we paid for the package.

This total came to A$139.30/€84 for the week.

The value of this is still pretty good as it would be unusual to receive a can of soft drink in a pub for $2.95 as they are usually prices around the $5 mark.

I remember reading somewhere that you had to opt for 1 package but can’t find the information again. For this reason I would factor in the price of the bubbles package at least to the cruise cost.


Cruise expenses

Lets add it up. This obviously doesn’t include our spending money but it is all ‘necessary’ expenses for us.


The cruise cost at $1594 – this would be higher if you chose to book a balcony room or any of their other rooms available. I was definitely surprised which the size of the interior room. The room and the toilet were much larger than I had expected.


The internet cost of $238 – again this could be higher if you opted for a more expensive plan or it is a cost you can get rid of completely but living life off grid for the week.


If we purchased the alcohol ‘CHEERS’ package, it would have cost us $1554. Instead the total came to $139.30 by only buying the soft drink package – I like to see this as a saving of $1414.70 by not drinking on board.

Our total cruise expenses came to A$1971.30/€1170 based on 2 people. Now lets get into the spending money.

Spending Money

Before you get onboard you input your card details to the ship to use on board and they put a hold of $200 on it.

You key card becomes you new bank card and you will use it for everything on board. Here’s some examples below:

  • buy something in the gift shop
  • buy professional photos
  • take part in any paid activities like bingo
  • play the arcade games
  • buy alcohol if you haven’t got alcohol package
  • to purchase speciality coffee from the coffee shop.

The only time cash is used on board is to play in the casino whether thats on the tables or the pokies (slot machines).

You can also use your key card here and they’ll charge the card you put on the room. The only place you will use you actual bank card if if you want to take cash from the ATM.

Will I need spending money?

Technically no, If you have already got your drink package you won’t really need to spend any money if you’re on a budget. Your food is all included and there is plenty of entertainment from shows, nightclub, pools, games etc. You will be busy with out needing to spend money.

However, I wouldn’t recommend bringing no spending money – remember chances are you will get off on the islands and need bus or taxi fair. You might also decide you’d like to join In on some of the paid activities.

What we spend money on:

We had a total spend of A$870 on the card plus A$400 cash. Because ou itinerary was changed last minute due to the weather the cruise gave each room A$200 to spend. Our total spend being – A$1470 for 2 people for the week. But only A$1270/€890 of this was our own money.

We spent $298 for the both of us to have full access to the spa for the week – I would highly recommend booking this especially if you want a relaxing holiday. It is an adults only area, has a hydrotherapy pool – which was indoors so was nice when the rain came. A sauna, a steam room and a few other areas. Was definitely worth the price for the week and would book this again.

We spent $400 cash – This was between the island and in the casino.

The remaining money of $372 was spent on paid activities on the ship like playing bingo, coffees/hot chocolates and playing some of the arcade games.

You could definitely reduce this cost almost completely by not going to the spa, not playing at the casino tables or doing any paid activities

Total cost:

The total cost for 2 people on a week cruise totalled to $3441.30/€2060. We definitely could have budgeted the spending money and spent a lot less but I don’t think the total spend including the cruise ticket, all food and beverages, entertainment for a week holiday is too bad.


Hi Im Ana, I’ve created the blog to share all my travel experiences. Im currently in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa. 

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