Cruise Travel or Land Vacation

Compare the daily cost of cruise travel to a land vacation, and (surprise!) you will discover a great, great value. Some argue that cruising (easily) offers a greater value because of the quality, variety and quantity of both food and entertainment offered aboard ship.

Land vacation refers primarily to a destination involving the booking, and the associated cost, of air travel, hotel, and entertainment. Once at your location, there are cost for food and perhaps transportation.

There are a variety of inclusive land vacations. You find them for the most part at resort locations.

Inclusive land vacations may or may not include air travel. Some may not include meals, even though they include air. Actually, you can customize inclusive land vacations to meet your particular needs.

Cruise and inclusive (most cost included) land vacations are somewhat comparable.

When all is "said and done", both types of travel arrangements include the following important essentials:

  • Destination where you spend your nights (accommodations)
  • Transportation to and from your destination
  • Entertainment
  • Food

The above is true regardless of how you pay for these essentials, as part of your package or separate.

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The Four Basics of
Cruise Travel vs. Land Travel

Accommodations - During your cruise you have the benefit of 24/7 room service, including meal service at no additional cost.

On the other hand, hotel or resort rooms are more comfortable than cruise cabins.

Generally, hotel and resort rooms are larger and have in-room amenities. Bathroom accommodations are definitely better at hotels.

However, a cruise takes you to different locations (ports of call) that you may not otherwise visit.

By-the-way, who goes on vacation to stay in their room, (well, perhaps on your honeymoon - but that's another story). Let's give cruising a plus score. (Also, take a look at our webpage about Timeshares).

Transportation - Let us say that the cost of transportation for a land package or a cruise package is roughly the same. (There are too many variables to judge).

Air travel to an international destination generally cost more. Whereas, you may find significant savings when air is included as part of a package.

Entertainment - For the money, the value of entertainment enjoyed while cruising has no equal. A land package simply does not come close to providing the quantity and variety of entertainment.

But, let's say that the quality of entertainment is about equal.

Food - You can have breakfast in bed. You can eat anytime, day or evening. You can enjoy a midnight buffet. The quantity and variety of food you enjoy during your cruise travel is nothing short of astounding.

Arguably, the quality of food aboard many ships, especially upscale cruise ships, is as good as you find anywhere.

Overall, for both entertainment and food, many people would consider cruise travel a definite plus over land packages.

Here is the bottom line.

Perform the following simple test...

Assume you go across town or to the next town and spend five nights in a nice hotel.

  • How much will you pay per person, per night for hotel?
  • How much per person, per day will you pay for three meals?
  • How much per person, per day will entertainment cost? (Assume a different type of entertainment each evening, which is what you get with cruise travel.)

Exclude potential transportation cost to and from your destination.

Add the three cost (hotel, meal and entertainment) to get your per person land cost.


Call a cruise travel agent (or use your computer) to find the per person cost of a five day Caribbean cruise.

Exclude air travel, but don't forget to add approximate port charges, taxes and transfer vouchers.

Compare your per person cruise cost to the per person land base cost.

You will find the cost of a per day cruise is equal to, but more likely, less than the cost of a per day land based vacation.

In addition, do not forget a major advantage of cruising is that you go to (multiple) locations you may not otherwise visit.

During a week-long cruise, you may visit as many as four or five destinations.

If you fall in love with a location, you can always go back to spend a full week (or weekend get-a-way).

Look, Compare, and Set Sail.

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Cruise vs. Land

General Comment: It is important to know that you should have cause for concern if your agent does not ask you certain types of profile questions.

You should wonder if the commitment is there to meet your needs and to solve potential problems (hassles), you might encounter.

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