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12 best all-inclusive cruise lines

Jan. 12, 2023
21 min read
Couple in formalwear drinking Champagne on cruise ship deck
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All-inclusive cruising sounds alluring — until you realize that this phrase can mean different things to different cruise lines.

Generally speaking, all-inclusive in the cruise world means that the fare you're quoted includes the cost of your room on a ship (based on double occupancy), port fees and taxes, most meals, gratuities, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

The most inclusive cruise lines also offer complimentary Wi-Fi, airfare (economy, chartered or business class), all specialty dining (rather than only at select venues) and shore excursions — pretty much everything short of spa and salon treatments, ultra-premium wines and spirits, and purchases such as cigars.

As you might expect, all-inclusive cruises are typically found on luxury or upscale cruise lines and are priced higher because they include so much.

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Beyond the truly all-inclusive cruise lines, some more affordable lines offer pricing packages that are more inclusive than the average big-ship cruise. You may be able to opt into an inclusive fare package for a higher cruise fare or get one free as a booking perk.

On some cruise lines, the highest-priced suites come with so many amenities as to make those fares all-inclusive. If you're just looking for all-inclusive alcohol, nearly every cruise line that doesn't already include alcohol in its fares will sell you an all-inclusive drinks package that lets you have an open bar experience on board.

Here, we share the 12 best all-inclusive cruise lines where you can enjoy your cruise without ever pulling out your wallet.

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All-inclusive cruise lines

Five lines stand out for having the most inclusive cruise fares in the industry. With so many things included in everyone’s base fares, you’ll mainly pay extra for spa treatments, souvenirs, some shore excursions and ultra-premium drinks.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

REGENT SEVEN SEAS CRUISES

Regent Seven Seas Cruises surely ranks as the most all-inclusive luxury line. Just be warned: With so much bundled into the fare, its prices are usually loftier than its competitors.

If tasteful opulence is your style, you will love Regent. Generously sized, all-suite accommodations feature spacious verandas. The multi-million-dollar art collection (think Picasso and Chagall) onboard the newest ships Seven Seas Explorer, Seven Seas Splendor and the upcoming Seven Seas Grandeur astonishes; you will sail amid multiple museum-quality pieces.

This line’s cruise fares include nearly every cruise-related travel expense: business-class airfare on intercontinental flights (economy airfare for domestic flights), transfers between your airport or hotel and the ship, all alternative dining (Chartreuse for Parisian-inspired fare and Pacific Rim for Asian-fusion cuisine are standouts), valet laundry service and most shore excursions. Complimentary shore excursions are unlimited, so you can join a couple every day you’re in port.

Related: Regent Suite: The $11,000-a-night cruise ship suite that’s bigger than a house

Count on, too, a one-night fancy hotel stay pre-cruise, with transfers, breakfast and porterage. Select itineraries also offer two- or three-night land programs for free.

What is extra? Spa and salon treatments, hands-on cooking classes in a state-of-the-art culinary workshop, small group or special-interest shore excursions, the fanciest wines and liquors, cigars and sundries.

Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours

SCENIC LUXURY CRUISES & TOURS

The 228-passenger Scenic Eclipse is the first “adventure yacht” from Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, an upscale cruise and tour company known for its luxurious riverboats.

This stunning ship is as sleek and sexy as any private yacht custom-built for a billionaire. Think of Scenic Eclipse as a bliss factory, churning out one mind-blowing complimentary experience after the next. Plus, as an ice-class expedition vessel, Scenic Eclipse delivers adrenaline-charged activities that adventurous cruisers adore.

Among many inclusions, count on all-suite accommodations with verandas or terraces, butler service for every passenger, up to 10 dining experiences, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, an in-suite minibar restocked daily, Wi-Fi, internal country flights (such as between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia, Argentina), airport transfers and gratuities, both on board and for excursions ashore.

The included wines and spirits are particularly noteworthy, especially the more than 100 whiskeys. Belly up to one of nine bars and sip your way through the impressive collection.

Related: Luxury adventure cruise ships you have to see to believe

Most exploration toys, such as Zodiacs, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, are complimentary. Scenic Eclipse even carries e-bikes, an inflatable trampoline and water skis. Up to 15 onboard expedition experts lead complimentary adventure and enrichment programs on and off the ship.

You will only pay extra for Scenic Neptune, the ship’s six-seater submarine, and for a ride on the two helicopters.

Count on divine dining experiences. Sushi@Koko’s skilled chefs cut the finest sashimi, flashing knives as if the fish was an art piece. Lumière prepares meticulous modern French cuisine; linger pre- or post-dinner at its sexy Champagne bar. Kudos, too, to the Yacht Club for emphasizing healthful, delicious selections.

Senses Spa is steeped in complimentary offerings. Relax on thermal loungers, awaken the senses in showers delivering aromatherapy and multiple jets, take meditation classes, and work out in the gym and yoga and Pilates studio. Unwind in women’s and men’s saunas, steam rooms and relaxation lounges, and soak away your cares in three plunge pools. You’ll only pay for one-on-one fitness sessions and spa treatments.

Seabourn

Seabourn Venture. SEABOURN

Seeking a casually elegant — think exclusive, country club-like vibe — for an all-inclusive voyage? Meet the five Seabourn ships, which play up luxury in a sophisticated yet laid-back style. (Seabourn Venture, the line’s first expedition vessel, just debuted in July.)

Seabourn’s cruise fares include oceanfront suites with double vanities and living areas (many with private balconies), premium wines and spirits, Wi-Fi, specialty restaurants, 24-hour in-suite dining (served course-by-course), caviar whenever and wherever you like, and gratuities.

The only major add-ons to your tab are airfare and shore excursions, the fanciest wines and spirits, and spa and salon treatments.

Related: 5 secrets to getting a luxury cruise for less

Note that complimentary dining on Seabourn’s ocean liners includes one dinner in The Grill by Thomas Keller. A world-famous chef — renowned for Napa Valley’s French Laundry and New York’s Per Se — Keller forged a culinary partnership with Seabourn and designed The Grill’s menu. Keller’s restaurants ashore are extremely pricey, so reveling in his cuisine on board for free is quite the coup. (Even better, meals are prepared on board with the top toque’s favorite ingredients, like Snake River Farms beef and Elysian Fields Farm lamb.)

You can also tuck into Chef Keller-influenced dishes at the Colonnade come dinnertime on select nights when they serve clambakes and other homey, family-style platters (such as fall-off-the-bone, finger-licking barbecued ribs).

Seabourn has created a Mindful Living Program in collaboration with Dr. Andrew Weil, an esteemed pioneer in integrative medicine. The line offers many complimentary classes with Dr. Weil-trained practitioners in guided meditation and yoga.

Silversea Cruises

Silver Shadow. SILVERSEA CRUISES

Interested in nibbling complimentary caviar and sipping fine Champagne on all seven continents? You are not alone. Silversea Cruises delivers that fabulous perk and much more in its impressive inclusions.

This luxurious Italian-inspired line offers two types of all-inclusive travel, “Port-to-Port” and “Door-to-Door.”

Port-to-Port includes all-suite accommodations, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, tuxedo-clad white-gloved butlers for all passengers, Wi-Fi, gratuities, laundry room usage and meals in most dining venues, including 24-hour room service with dinner served course-by-course. It also includes complimentary business-class airfare upgrades in select destinations and one complimentary shore excursion per port; the rest are available for purchase.

You will pay extra for spa treatments, cigars and other purchases like the most exclusive wines and spirits.

Related: 6 ways to tell you’ve booked a luxury cruise

Expedition sails include a few extra perks in their Port-to-Port fares, such as all in-country economy air travel and pre- or post-hotel night or day use, necessary equipment and gear, and expedition team-led shore excursions.

For all types of Silversea sailings, Door-to-Door travel includes all of the above plus international economy airfare (or an air credit) and airport transfers by private executive car service. This choice aims to eliminate all travel stress, with Silversea handling every detail between you walking out your front door and returning home.

Some other points to note when contemplating Silversea and its benefits: Suites truly are suites, with separate living and sleeping areas. For instance, on the new 596-passenger Silver Moon, a spacious entry-level suite rocks a cool 334 square feet. A veranda brings the total square footage up to 387 square feet.

If you book the biggest onboard suites, you are privy to even more freebies, such as valet laundry, unlimited premium Wi-Fi (for faster speed than the included plan) and dinner for two in the fabulous La Dame restaurant.

This ship features eight dining options that serve fancy foodstuff (think lots of lobster, high-end cuts of beef and unique types of mushrooms); all but two are complimentary.

Dine outdoors on authentic Neapolitan pizza, bubbling with aged Parmesan and garnished with garden-fresh basil. In Atlantide, dishes like lobster bisque and the freshest fish from local waters are presented with perfectly cooked colorful vegetables and the prettiest garnishes. Silver Note lures jazz lovers for live intimate performances and an international small-plate menu.

The ultimate luxury inclusion? Caviar is served whenever you like, wherever you wish to dine, with all the proper accouterments.

Viking

VIKING

Whether you’re sailing Viking’s ocean or river voyages, or the new Viking Expeditions, this cruise line delivers many inclusions for a company that insists it’s not a luxury company.

Here’s what Viking includes on ocean and expedition sails: one complimentary shore excursion in each port; Wi-Fi; alternative restaurant dining; 24-hour room service; Thermal Suite spa access; beer, wine and soft drinks with onboard lunches and dinner; specialty coffee, tea and bottled water; and self-service launderettes. If you purchase airfare through Viking, ground transfers are also complimentary.

River cruising also includes the above, except it does not offer alternative restaurant dining, Thermal Suite spa access, 24-hour room service or self-service launderettes on board.

Cabins are a notch above what you’ll find on other premium ships. They come with upscale amenities, such as king-size beds rather than queens, and bathrooms with spacious glass-enclosed showers, heated bathroom floors and anti-fog mirrors.

Perhaps what passengers rave the most about is complimentary access to the spa and that awesome Thermal Suite mentioned above. Breathe deep in the steam bath or sauna, freeze your you-know-what off in the Snow Grotto to wake up every cell (including those you never knew you had), and take a whirlpool, cold-water splash or plunge pool dip. Alternating hot and cold therapies invigorates your mind and body in the best ways.

Related: The 5 best destinations you can visit on a Viking ship

The complimentary alternative dining inclusions are mighty fine, too. Little feels better than sitting down to an incredible meal in Manfredi’s Italian restaurant and not signing a room charge at the end. No corners are cut here for a complimentary meal. Pastas are excellent, but by all means, order the signature bistecca alla Fiorentina, a Florentine-style porcini-and-spice-crusted ribeye steak that makes meat lovers swoon.

The overstuffed house-made bread basket, served with aged Parmesan chunks and high-quality balsamic vinegar and olive oil, is worth the price of admission alone — if there was one in the first place.

Cruise lines with more-inclusive fares

Two cruise lines cover more costs in their cruise fares than the average line, but not as many things as the truly all-inclusive lines. We refer to these lines are more-inclusive, not all-inclusive.

Azamara

Azamara Onward. AZAMARA

If you love a port-intensive cruise on a smaller, upscale ship, Azamara may be the cruise line for you.

Cabins on its older ships are compact yet cozy, with a modern look, but you won’t spend much time in them. That’s because the line prioritizes getting you to as many ports as possible and spending as much time as possible on land, with longer stays and evenings ashore.

In keeping with the line’s destination focus, Azamara offers a complimentary Azamazing Evening ashore, or Destination Celebration on board, on nearly every cruise. These exclusive, no-cost events highlight local culture and performers, often with exclusive access to cool locations.

Related: The ultimate guide to Azamara

Also included in every Azamara guest’s fares are nonalcoholic drinks (such as specialty coffees and teas, soda and bottled water), as well as a select assortment of standard liquors, wine and beer. Crew gratuities are also included in your fare.

However, you will still have to pay for premium drinks, Wi-Fi, specialty dining and tours.

Virgin Voyages

The VHS Workout class on Virgin Voyages' Valiant Lady. ASHLEY KOSCIOLEK/THE POINTS GUY

Virgin Voyages’ goal is to reimagine the cruise experience, which means that it doesn’t follow the typical rules of cruising. You’ll find tattoo parlors, drag shows, balcony hammocks and a novel approach to fare inclusions.

Onboard Wi-Fi and crew tips — typically extra charges on most mainstream cruise lines — are included in everyone’s cruise fare on Virgin. All of its ships’ 20+ eateries are complimentary, from the vegetarian restaurant (with a secret steak) to the Korean barbecue joint, though you may have to make reservations in advance. Select nonalcoholic drinks (including soda, non-pressed juices and sparkling water) also do not incur extra fees. The line’s creative and energetic fitness classes are also fee-free; other lines charge $15 to $20 for these.

Virgin does not offer an all-inclusive beverage package add-on and instead claims it offers fair prices for drinks. However, if you purchase a bar tab (essentially pre-paying for drinks), the line will throw in extra free money you can use on your bar bill.

Related: Too hip or just right? Here's what it was really like sailing on Virgin Voyages

Cruise lines with all-inclusive fare classes

A relatively new addition to the all-inclusive cruise fare world is the all-inclusive add-on package. Select cruise lines allow guests to opt into higher-priced fares that include more perks or purchase fare add-ons that grant them extra inclusions. The cruise lines claim that the extra fees are a savings on the a la carte price of the included amenities.

Celebrity Cruises

Sunset Bar on Celebrity Beyond. CELEBRITY CRUISES

Celebrity Cruises aims to be the cruise line for Gen Xers, and its newest ships are filled with dining variety, resort-worthy bars and plenty of places to grab a seat and gab with your girls, guys or significant other. Innovative cabins let fresh air in without creating under-used outdoor space. The line has also gotten creative with options for more inclusive fares.

Celebrity lets cruisers choose from two fare types: Cruise-Only or All Included. Cruise-Only fares get you the standard cruise amenities, such as meals in the main dining room and buffet, a short list of nonalcoholic drinks (drip coffee, iced tea, juice from a machine at breakfast) and traditional onboard entertainment.

Upgrade to the All-Included fare, which varies by ship, itinerary and sail date, and you’ll pay more but get more inclusions. These fares cover a Classic Drinks Package, Celebrity’s Basic Wi-Fi plan and crew gratuities.

In addition, if you book upper-category cabins and suites, your base fares will automatically include these add-ons and more. Passengers in AquaClass accommodations receive all the aforementioned perks, plus exclusive access to the Blu restaurant, a complimentary thermal suite pass, free fitness classes and discounted spa packages.

Related: Everything you want to know about Celebrity cabins and suites

Suite guests receive a premium drinks package, premium Wi-Fi, prepaid gratuities, a $400 credit to use on onboard purchases and exclusive access to the Luminae restaurant and suites-only lounge and sun deck. These fares include concierge and butler service, as well.

Windstar Cruises

Cuadro 44 restaurant on Windstar's Star Pride. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

Windstar Cruises’ hallmark is casual luxury, so the line lets guests choose how inclusive they want their fares to be or not.

The line’s base prices get you a nicely appointed stateroom, dining in multiple venues with menus by James Beard Foundation-affiliated chefs, and nonalcoholic beverages (such as soft drinks and specialty coffees). Take your pick from small, luxury cruise ships with spacious suites to motorized sailing yachts with gorgeous sails.

If you want one-and-done pricing, passengers can choose All-Inclusive Fares for an additional $89 per person per day ($79 on 2022 sailings). With this plan, guests receive complimentary Wi-Fi, prepaid hotel and beverage gratuities and an unlimited beverage package, which includes all beers, 33 different wines by the glass, 40 house and select brands of liquor, cocktails made with the included liquors, and mini-bar items.

Princess Cruises

A couple drinks wine at a bar on a Princess Cruises ship. PRINCESS CRUISES

The Love Boat cruise line explores the world on big, but not too big ships, with a particular focus on Alaska sailings. It welcomes everyone from families with kids to retired couples, with a variety of onboard offerings, as well as inclusive fare options to suit a variety of budgets and preferences.

Princess Cruises offers its guests two ways to make their cruise experience more inclusive. The Princess Plus Package costs $50 per person per day and includes a Plus Beverage Package (covering drinks priced up to $12 each), Wi-Fi on one device per passenger and tips for the crew.

Related: The 5 best destinations you can visit on a Princess ship

For a more all-inclusive experience, guests can purchase the Princess Premier Package at $75 per person per day. With this elevated program, passengers receive a Premier Beverage Package (covering drinks priced up to $18 each), Wi-Fi on up to four devices per passenger, tips for the crew, two meals per guest in the line’s extra-fee restaurants, a photo package of three prints plus unlimited digital files and access to Princess Prizes (random prizes you can win every time you open your cabin door).

Holland America

A bartender making the Rotterdam VII cocktail at the Half Moon Bar on Holland America's Rotterdam ASHLEY KOSCIOLEK/THE POINTS GUY

Holland America is Princess Cruises’ sister line and Alaska rival. It sails midsized ships around the world, catering to a mature cruiser who loves live music, fine dining and a classic cruise experience.

The cruise line also has a similar all-inclusive add-on to its sister. The line’s Have It All fares include a shore excursion of $100, $200 or $300 per person (based on length of sailing); a Signature Beverage Package covering alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks priced up to $11 per drink; one, two or three comped meals in the line’s specialty dining restaurants (based on length of cruise); and a Wi-Fi Surf Package, HAL’s basic Wi-Fi package.

The cost to make your cruise all-inclusive is $50 per person per day, added to your cruise fare, and applies only to the first and second guests in each cabin.

Related: The 4 classes of Holland America ships, explained

Cruise lines with all-inclusive promotions

A few cruise lines take a different approach to all-inclusive cruising and offer inclusions as booking promotions. Depending on the current offer, you are entitled to a slew of included amenities or your choice of only a few.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Cagney's Steakhouse. NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE

Norwegian Cruise Line is known for its anything-goes attitude: Eat where you want, dress how you like, enjoy the ship as you see fit. Its mega-ships are known for their variety of dining and drinking venues, as well as onboard attractions that include Broadway-caliber entertainment, go-kart tracks, laser tag, VR game rooms and crazy water slides. Many of the attractions come with fees, so it’s easy to find yourself pulling out your wallet again and again on board.

To combat that, NCL has been running some version of its Free at Sea promotion for years, which offers complimentary amenities to make your cruise fare a little or lot more inclusive. Depending on the current offer, you might be eligible for all the amenities or you might get a choice of some number of them depending on the type of cabin you book.

The included perks vary, but are usually an Open Bar beverage package (covering drinks up to $15 each), one to three free meals for two people in specialty restaurants on board (depending on type of cabin and length of cruise), a $50 shore excursion credit for one person in each port, 75 to 300 minutes of free Wi-Fi each for two people (based on length of cruise), complimentary or $99 third and fourth guest fares on select sailings. Sometimes free airfare (buy one ticket and the second guest flies free) is part of the promotion, as well.

Note that guests must pay a 20% gratuity of the cost of the Open Bar beverage package and the specialty dining package.

Related: The ultimate guide to Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian also offers a paid upgrade to the Free at Sea perks called Free at Sea Plus. This add-on would upgrade your perks to a Premium Plus beverage package (including all top-shelf liquors, beer and wine plus unlimited still or sparkling bottled water, Starbucks coffee and energy drinks), two extra specialty restaurant meals, a $50 tour credit for two guests in every port (vs. one), and an unlimited Wi-Fi package (no streaming).

The additional cost is $49 per person, per day, for adults and $29 for children; solo adult travelers pay $42 per person.

Oceania Cruises

Oceania cruise ship. NAN728/SHUTTERSTOCK

NCL’s sister company Oceania Cruises may sail smaller, upscale ships, but it also focuses on fine dining and restaurant variety. It also gives passengers an opportunity to make their cruise fares more inclusive with its ongoing OLife Choice promotion.

The current offer includes free round-trip airfare plus transfers, complimentary Wi-Fi and the guest’s choice of one of the following inclusions: four to eight free shore excursions, based on length of your sailing (not all tours are eligible); a House Select beverage package; or up to $800 credit to spend on board the ship.

Oceania always includes nonalcoholic drinks (soda, specialty coffee and tea, smoothies, juice), specialty dining (including meals by celebrity chef Jacques Pepin), fitness classes and shuttles into town in port.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

Additional reporting by Erica Silverstein.

Featured image by STEPHEN BEAUDET/REGENT SEVEN SEAS CRUISES
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

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Cons

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  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees