I always expected a cruise trip as kind of a five-stars hotel equipped with a swimming pool, gym, restaurants, and other facilities moving around the beautiful touristic places. So, when I saw the prize 300$ per person for 7 nights for the Indian Ocean cruise I thought of it as a blessing and purchased the tickets immediately. But then I found out the tricks of such trips, and want to share it with you!
We booked a cruise through the main Costa cruise website. The ship departed from Male (Maldives) and arrived in Mumbai. The full dates were 23 of February – 2 of March.
- 23.02 – Day in Male (Maldives)
- 24.02 – Day in Male and departure at 20:00.
- 25.02 – Day in the ocean.
- 26.02 – Day in Mormugao (Sri Lanka). Arrival at 7:00. Departure at 17:00
- 27.02 – Day in the ocean.
- 28.04 – Day in Goa (India). 8:30 – 17:00
- 1.03 – Arrival to Mumbai (India) at 9:00.
- 2.03 – Mumbai. Disembarkment.
Days 1 – 2: Maldives.
This was one of my main ideas – to visit the Maldives and don’t pay for the expensive hotel, though many people on the boat already have spent a while in the Maldives before entering the ship.
We arrived on 23 February. The cruise staff was meeting everybody at the airport, where we checked in and off to explore nearby islands by ourselves. We visited two local islands: Hulhumale and Male had lunch in a local restaurant and then entered the ship. This whole day we moved with local ferries. And ferries Ship – Male and Ship – Airport was for free.
For the 2nd day, we decided to enjoy the 5-stars hotel and booked a day-pass. More about this experience you can read in my NEXT ARTICLE.
Days 3 and 5: in the ocean.
I think these were the most relaxing days of my life. We slept, ate, enjoyed the sea-view from the deck restaurant, went to the gym and watched the movies. Also, there was a full entertainment program on a boat.
Day 4 and 6. Sri Lanka and Goa.
This was the biggest disappointment of the trip. As there is so much I wanted to see in both destinations and so little time we had. So the onliest we could do is to take an expensive touristic tour and visit some places. Far from the real explorement.
Days 7 and 8: Mumbai.
The boat arrived in Mumbai port. We took a taxi and made it to the city center. The same way we went to the airport and started the next part of our adventure – trip around India. Follow this link to read about our magnificent visit to the Taj Mahal.
We have paid 758 euros for 2 people for an inside cabin (no window) and an all-inclusive package (excluded drinks during the dinner). In addition, we paid 40 euros for Wifi, which didn’t really work.
I know that week Mediterranean cruises are even cheaper. So I think it’s a decent way to travel even at a young age.
Advantages and disadvantages of cruise trips.
Economy. Having received the service of a 5-star hotel, we have visited the Maldives, Sri Lanka, and India. We would never make it that cheap traveling to each country separately, staying in good hotels.
Cheap. The price for Cruises in Europe starts at 250 euros per week. If you fly on a low-cost airline to the cities of start and finish, it will come out inexpensively.
Visa-free. In some countries, cruise passengers don’t need a visa.
Rest. I have never slept so much in any journey. Especially on days at sea when you don’t have to go anywhere.
Everybody treats you like a tourist. In every port, we met guides and taxi drivers, who asked a triple prize for their service. And as you come only for one day, you have no time to find alternatives.
You can’t just walk from the boat and walk into the city. Usually, all the ports are far, so you would need to get to the place you want to visit.
You don’t enjoy the place. Like our stop in Sri Lanka wasn’t that necessary, as with so little time you can’t go anywhere.
Tricks you can be caught on as a cruise passenger.
As the initial cruise price can be very small they use every possibility to make you pay.
- You don’t have a sense that you pay. Your cabin key on the boat replaces your passport and credit card. All expenses on the ship are recorded on it, so you completely lose track of the money. And only at the end of the trip when exchanging cards for a passport you are given an account.
- Beverage packages. When ordering a cruise, they suggest choosing and paying for a package of drinks, as they are not included in the price. As a result, it turned out that water, tea, and coffee are already free. Those who paid for a packet of water received it from bottles, the rest from decanters.
- Bottle of water in the cabin. They put it in a cabin with a label – a compliment, as most hotels do. But in fact: you open it, and it will be in the bill!
- Cappuccino. During breakfast, the waiter offered me coffee. Attention, coffee with milk – for free, and cappuccino for the money. The waiter himself will never say this, and the pleased one will write a cappuccino to your room.
- Tips. In addition to the initial price, 10 euro tips per person are recorded every day.
Advices for future cruisers:
A cruise is an ideal solution if one family member wants a comfortable vacation, and the second – to travel. But it is very important to choose the right program. Choose routes with places that are realistic to see in 1 day. For example, the cities of the Mediterranean or the small Caribbean or the Canary Islands.
Check in advance how to get out of the port, think in detail about the program for the day or book an excursion online at the place of arrival. Of course, you can use an excursion they suggest to you on a boat or in port, but it’s going to be expensive!