Continuing a trend in upscale cruising, luxury yacht cruise line Compagnie du Ponant has ditched the pay-as-you-go model for onboard amenities in favor of a single price tag for the entire cruise. Effective immediately, pricing for all new bookings will now include meals, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (both from the in-room mini-bars and onboard restaurants), welcome cocktail party, 24-hour room service, scheduled onboard entertainment, gratuities, port charges, and taxes and fees.
All-inclusive pricing has become the standard on luxury small ship lines like Seabourn, Silversea, and Regent Seven Seas, where the base price also includes shore excursions, round-trip airfare, and ground transfers. Crystal Cruises also began the transition to all-inclusive earlier this year with free alcoholic beverages and pre-paid gratuities.
Other cruise lines that aren’t yet ready to go the all-inclusive route have introduced daily packages that make sense for those who tend to indulge in alcoholic beverages at lunch and dinner. Launched in December 2011, Oceania’s beverage packages offer two tiers of pricing, with unlimited house wine and beer by the glass available for $29.95 per day and premium wines and liquors going for $49.95 per day. Costa Cruises offers a similar deal on house wine and beer for about $24 a day (as well as a non-alcoholic beverage package for the kiddos), while Celebrity passengers can reserve Wine & Dine packages that include a set number of reservations at specialty restaurants as well as bottles of wine with your meals.