As a seasoned cruiser, a Princess sailor was planning a world voyage out of Sydney. The price for a 113-day itinerary started from $23,781 for an interior cabin. However, the base fare was just the start of the total outlay.

While some might expect that once you pay for a world cruise everything else is taken care of, this cruiser quickly found out this is not the case. 

He outlined on a cruise forum the significant cost of the WiFi and drinks package on the almost four-month Princess 2025 itinerary.

“Just had a look at the WiFi price on the world cruise out of Sydney for 2025, it will cost AUS$4221!” he said.

“I could buy a satellite for that price.”

He is not alone in being surprised at the prices. Whatever line you chose, working out how to get the best value out of a world cruise needs care and a scientific calculator.

Princess cruisers have the option to purchase the Princess Plus or Princess Premier packages. Both include WiFi but also a range of other benefits such as drinks, fitness classes and specialty dining credit.

However, as our cruiser is not a big drinker, he said this package would simply cost even more money without offering him enough additional value.

“As we don’t drink very much, there is no use buying a package as that would cost $7700. We would both have to buy it,” he said.

Calculating world cruise costs

There are some great world cruise deal around.

Queen Mary 2 at Capetown Harbour. Picture: Whitestar

Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 Grand Voyage, the longest voyage in Cunard history at 180 nights, goes through the Mediterranean, and around the Indian Ocean, visiting 61 ports. This classic voyage, priced from $41,999 per person (interior stateroom), promises an unforgettable blend of tradition and contemporary elegance and costs $233 a night.

Trish Cikes is taking part of a Cunard extended cruise from New York to Quebec City, but found the drinks and internet package added a huge sum per day.

“​​Princess is half the base cost for a plus package equivalent on my next cruise with Cunard. I’m doing Queen Mary 2 from New York City to Quebec City in September this year. The price is around AU$160 per person, per day. Suffice it to say I am purchasing our drinks and going old school on the internet.”

When you book with a more upscale cruise line, generally inclusions like WiFi and drinks are included. And sometimes even flights. However, the base fare will be more expensive.

The 2025 World Cruise aboard Seven Seas Mariner at 132 nights comes with unparalleled luxury and really is all inclusive.  There are 35 ports across six continents, and it costs or $1158 a day or $152,998.

Royal Caribbean’s viral TikTok sensation The World Cruise, currently attraction huge audiences on social media, inclusions like WiFi, drinks, and laundry were also rolled into the fare. But it works out as the same price per day as Princess.

Price comparison

If you want to sail with Princess on the world cruise, 113 days in an interior cabin plus WiFi and drinks will set you back $35,650, or $315 per day.

If you were to look towards a more upscale option such as Viking, those numbers quickly go up. Viking’s 2024 69–day Longitudinal World Cruise starts from $76,995, or $1115 per day. However, everything is included and the ship will be taking you to remote destinations such as Antarctica, the Great Lakes, Nova Scotia, and more. 

How Ambassador Cruise Line heralds the return of affordable world cruising.

On the other end of the spectrum is Ambassador Cruise Lines. You can sail for 76 nights out of Auckland from $12,472, this comes out to $157 per night. However, if you want to add the Ambassador fare package which includes drinks, and add the $19 per day for WiFi, then the base fare comes out to $18,789, or $247 per day.

For the cheapest Royal Caribbean Ultimate World Cruise segment, the Ultimate Asia Pacific Cruise, prices for an interior start from $305 per day. This includes your drinks, WiFi, gratuities and laundry. The price comes out almost identical to the Princess World cruise, leaving it to cruisers’ preference as to which line to sail with.

The takeaway

When compared side by side, if you’re eyeing a world cruise fare it’s worth remembering that a lot depends on your inclusions, and there may be many more additional expenses to come.

That could include other crucial world cruise costs such as shore excursions, with none of Princess, Royal Caribbean or Ambassador including these in the base fare.

However, luxury lines like Viking or Regent Seven Seas do include shore excursions.

World cruises are usually a once-in-a-lifetime experience. So saving a few dollars may not be the focus on the exercise.

You pay your money and take your choice.

Luxury lines tend to have fewer passengers and a high crew to guest ratio.

Five things to watch out for

  1. Consider the total cost of the cruise: World cruises can be very expensive, so it’s important to consider all of the costs involved before you book. This includes the base fare of the cruise, as well as gratuities, taxes, port fees, and any other additional charges. You’ll also want to factor in the cost of flights, pre- and post-cruise accommodations, shore excursions, drinks, and specialty dining.
  2. Compare prices from different cruise lines: Once you’ve considered the total cost of the cruise, it’s time to start shopping around. Compare prices from different cruise lines to find the best deal. Be sure to factor in all of the costs mentioned above, as well as any additional amenities or perks that are included in the price.
  3. Look for deals and discounts: Many cruise lines offer deals and discounts on world cruises, so be sure to check for those before you book. You can also sign up for email alerts from cruise lines and travel agents to be notified of any special offers.
  4. Consider booking a segment of a world cruise: If you’re on a tight budget, you might consider booking a segment of a world cruise instead of the entire cruise. This will allow you to experience some of the highlights of the world cruise without having to pay the full price.
  5. Be flexible with your dates: If you’re flexible with your travel dates, you might be able to find a better deal on a world cruise. Cruise lines often offer lower prices for cruises that depart during the shoulder seasons or on weekdays.

And finally…

  • Book your cruise early: Cruise lines often offer discounts for booking early.
  • Travel during the shoulder seasons: The shoulder seasons are the times of year between the peak and off-seasons. They are typically less crowded and less expensive.
  • Choose an inside cabin: Inside cabins are usually the least expensive type of cabin.
  • Bring your own drinks: Some cruise lines allow you to bring your own bottled water and soda on board.
  • Take advantage of the free amenities: There are many free amenities on board cruise ships, such as swimming pools, fitness centres, and entertainment.