Haven’t heard much about cruises during the pandemic, until recently coming across these December Disney Antarctica cruises costing — ouch — about $1,000 per day, per person.
Prices for the December Antarctica cruise start around $11,500 for children and $12,800 for adults for a 200-square-foot “deluxe stateroom” with a private deck. Prices more than double to stay in the “owner’s suite,” which is nearly $27,500 per adult. Airfare to and from Buenos Aires is not included in the price. A second cruise, departing on Jan. 30, 2022, is slightly cheaper with rates starting at $11,200How much are Disney’s cruises to Antarctica and Galapagos Islands?
For a family of four, you can buy a brand new car, perhaps a smaller truck for the cost of this 12-day crew. $50,000+ is nothing to sneeze at — for entertainment. This isn’t discretionary income for most people, let’s face it. This is safe up for one big gigantic family trip for a lifetime money for most people. Heck, get yourself a trailer and truck (used, but in good condition) and take the family on multiple trips for maybe even less money.
It would be exciting to book a cruise like this, but I think our cruise-related price range is more like $5,000, which is still a lot of cheddar. And we have only been on one cruise in our lives to date: a Carnival cruise from Los Angeles to Mexico, with a stop at Catalina Island.
It was fun, but that trip was won in a sales contest and still cost us around $1,000 for charges aboard the ship (drinks and some other things weren’t free aboard that ship). That was in the 90s, so like 25+ years ago. Probably be 2-3 grand today, if they do the same “sail and sign” charge cards when you board the ships. All the food you can eat was free — and they had some amazing food on the ship, but if you weren’t drinking water, you had to pony up for beverages.
We’ve talked about an Alaskan cruise, because those leave out of Seattle and some are more reasonably priced, but in all honesty, we have visions of people trapped aboard the ship at the start of the pandemic. It’s not the place we would feel safe going to any time soon.
What about movie theaters aboard ships? Good question. They do show movies on ships and have Wi-Fi, although that can be an additional charge scenario. I did some digging to see if this $12,000 price tag includes free wi-fi.
The answer is, see (bolding is mine):
Through Connect@Sea, Disney Cruise Line offers a variety of on board Internet packages to suit your needs. Depending on how much you use your wireless devices, you can choose from a variety of plans.
Once you’ve boarded, access our DCL-GUEST Wi-Fi network to learn about the different offerings and specific pricing for your cruise. You can use your data plan on as many devices as you want. Your Wi-Fi plan will be charged to your stateroom folio.Disney Help Center – FAQ
So, you pay almost $50,000 for a family of 4 vacation and still have to pay for Wi-Fi aboard the ship? Sigh. This is the kind of thing that just rubs me all kinds of wrong ways. This is 2021, wi-fi should not be charged anywhere in travel services. I’m talking airplanes, trains, boats, whatever. Include that cost in your freaking $1,000/day boarding pass. Make it $1,010/day if that includes Wi-Fi.
And then there’s mandatory tipping
Don’t even get me started on the whole business of mandatory gratuities. Tipping should never be mandatory. Pay your help better. If the help does a great job, we’ll tip them directly, but don’t put it on the bill at the end of the cruise, slip it under our door and tell us we are forced to tip various workers. I realize if you don’t do that, some people (maybe a lot of people, I don’t know) won’t tip, and those people are idiots. Should always, always, always tip good service. Bad service? You either tip lower or not at all. I’m OK with that practice. I guess maybe the people who don’t tip ever are the same people who have never worked a minimum wage job plus tips.
Back to the wi-fi and other unnecessary extra fees and charges/
This is the type of cruise fees nonsense that has kept us away from booking more cruises since the one we went on in our life. We still might do an Alaskan one, but this Disney cruise probably never happens for us. And I don’t like saying never because watching the video it looks like all kinds of fun … just not $50,000 for 12 days fun. Again, if you’re Bill Gates family or Jeff Bezos or win the lottery (or hit some mega huge multi-million jackpot), $50,000 is like pennies between seat cushions. These cruises are for the wealthy and super wealthy, I guess, not for middle income America, maybe not even for upper middle income — unless they win them in contests or are gifted some other way.
Do you enjoy taking cruises? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.