Complete guide to cruises

complete guide to cruise stops

Welcome to Mon Tatane Tour in our complete guide to cruises: Prices, planning, tips, meals, stopovers, excursions… Whether you are a novice or an experienced cruise traveler, we have everything planned to help you experience an unforgettable vacation at sea. Explore our tips and tricks, discover on-board dining options, and prepare for exciting excursions.
Your cruise experience starts here.

Complete guide to cruises: essential information

Practical information

Complete guide to cruises: onboard payment options

How can you pay during your cruise?

Complete guide to cruises

When going on a cruise, it’s important to understand the different payment options on board. Here is an overview of commonly accepted payment methods to help you better manage your cruise finances:

1. Species / Cash:

  • You can credit your board card with cash if you prefer not to use your bank card. This option can be practical for better control of your expenses on board.

2. The bank card:

  • When boarding, you can provide your bank card imprint at reception (a secure payment). The fees will be directly deducted from your bank account.

3. Refill Machines:

  • On board you will find charging machines. You can insert your bank card or cash, and your on-board card will be credited with the corresponding amount.

4. Refunds:

  • If you have a positive balance at the end of your cruise, don’t worry! You can collect the remaining money at reception or via the dedicated terminals.

5. Budget Management:

  • To better control your budget, here are some tips:
    • Visit reception to obtain a statement of your expenses.
    • Use the television in your cabin to check your daily balance, a convenient method for tracking your spending.

By understanding these different onboard payment options, you will be better prepared to fully enjoy your cruise without worrying about the financial aspects. Have a good sea voyage dear friends!

Complete guide to cruises – Cruise drink prices

How much do drinks cost on a cruise ship?

When planning your cruise, you will need to consider the costs associated with onboard drinks. You generally have two options: either purchase drinks individually using your onboard card, or subscribe to one of the drinks packages available. Drink packages come in different options to suit your preferences, whether you opt for non-alcoholic or alcoholic drinks.

On average, soft drink packages cost around 575 euros for a 4-person cabin. However, many travelers consider these packages expensive. The decision to opt for a drinks package will depend on your drinks consumption and personal preferences.

Prices on board

Onboard fares may vary depending on the cruise line and cabin category you choose. It is recommended to check whether drink packages are included when booking, as cruise lines often offer special deals for great drink packages. This will allow you to enjoy drinks on board economically. To get an idea of ​​the average prices charged by the Costa and MSC companies, here are some indications.

Prices on a cruise ship

Service or ProductAll taxes included price)
Soda3.7 to 4.26 euros
Coffee2.40 euros
Beer5 euros
Cocktail without alcohol7 euros
Cocktail with alcohol10 euros
Glass of wine3 to 5 euros (depending on the wine)
Brushing34 euros
SPA (massages)60 à 500 euros
Photos (per photo)15 à 30 euros
Album with 5 different photos100 euros
Excursions60 à plus de 200 euros
Medical consultation (24/7)Plus de 100 euros
Internet package
12 euros (1 hour) to 180 euros (8 days)

Complete guide to cruises: what budget should you plan?

What budget best suits your sea getaway.

Complete guide to cruises. what budget should you plan?

Now that you’ve decided to go on a cruise, it’s time to plan your budget. Costs may vary depending on the experience you are looking for. Discover our recommendations below to help you decide which budget best suits your sea getaway.

Economy cruise:

For a week of cruising, plan a budget of around 50 euros. By avoiding extras like spa treatments or hairdressers on board, you can enjoy your stay on board a liner without breaking the bank. Experience shows that it is entirely possible to spend a pleasant week at sea without spending too much.

Have fun without breaking the budget:

If you want to be pampered on board, plan a budget of around 300 euros. With this amount, you can treat yourself to a few extras, such as a massage or a professional blow-dry. However, keep in mind that cruises already offer a wide variety of activities and entertainment included in the base price. So it’s a good idea to carefully evaluate additional options to determine if they’re really worth it.

Luxury cruise:

For a luxurious cruise experience without worrying about costs, plan an average budget of around 1,000 euros. With this amount, you can enjoy without counting extras such as the spa, hairdresser, casino, shopping, and many others. This option will allow you to experience a cruise without limits, where comfort and luxury await you.

The best cruise ports and stops in the mediterranean and excursions

Complete guide to cruises: excursions

Complete guide to cruises. best stopovers in the mediterranean

Optimize your cruise budget:

On cruises, companies often offer excursions at high or even excessive prices. I recommend checking out my cruise stopovers page for tips on how to save.

Personally, with our two children, we prefer to organize our own excursions, which costs us about three times less, or even more.

When we arrive in a city, we like to be free to move around, explore at our own pace and follow our own desires.

Once we know our destinations, we do research to find the most interesting activities and tours.

We don’t want to miss out on the wonders each place has to offer.

For example, when your itinerary includes Rome, you don’t disembark directly in the city itself. It is important to know that Rome is approximately 70 km from the liner’s docking port, more precisely in Civitavecchia.

You have the choice of going to Rome by your own means (bus, train, car), as explained on the “Cruise Stopovers” page, or opting for the excursions offered by the cruise company.

Complete guide to cruises: service fees

Cruise service fees: what you need to know

During your cruise you will be subject to a mandatory service charge, commonly referred to as MSDS. Since 2021, these fees have been introduced by cruise lines and their amount varies depending on the company.

  • For adults, these costs average around 11 to 12 euros per night.
  • For children aged 2 to 12, they are approximately 5 to 6 euros per night.

For example, at MSC these fees are 12 euros per night, while at Costa they are around 11 euros per night. Some companies, like Cunard, Royal Caribbean, and Oceania Cruises, can charge up to 13 euros per night.

As of July 2023, MSC Cruises has implemented a new policy requiring travelers to pay service fees at the time of booking online, and it will no longer be possible to pay them on board the ship. It is important to note that this service fee is not intended for staff.

After establishing friendly ties with many crew members during my 15 years of cruising, all confirmed to me that they do not benefit directly. It is essential to understand that these service fees encompass various administrative and operational costs related to cruising, such as management, facility maintenance and marketing. Therefore, MSC Cruises staff do not receive additional compensation from these fees.

This clarification is important to avoid confusion and allows you to clearly understand what these service fees are intended for.

Complete guide to cruises: tipping

Suggested cruise tip amounts

While on a cruise, it is common to leave tips in recognition of the exceptional service provided by the crew on board. Tips are left to the discretion of the passenger.

To help you plan your cruise budget, here are suggested tip amounts:

  • Cabin steward: Between 10 and 50 euros
  • Waiter of the gourmet restaurant: Between 10 and 40 euros
  • Waiters and waitresses: Between 1 and 5 euros

However, it is important to note that these amounts are indicative, and everyone is free to donate according to their means. Some passengers leave no tips, while others prefer to offer more generous amounts. The main thing is to show your appreciation to the flight attendants for their exceptional service.

Special cruise diets:

Share your needs for a personalized trip!

If you have specific dietary needs, cruise lines are here to accommodate you. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of your trip:

  1. Gluten-free cuisine: Most companies offer gluten-free options. Just let them know your requirements as soon as possible before departure.
  2. Vegetarian menus: You will find many vegetarian options on board carefully prepared by the chefs.
  3. Kosher meals: For kosher meals, make the request at least two months before departure. Companies like Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Line offer this option.
  4. Halal meals: If you require halal meals, make the request at least two months before departure. Companies such as Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Line offer them.

If you are traveling with MSC, simply download and complete a special form for special needs. For companies like Costa, Royal Caribbean or Ponant, you can simply specify your requirements when booking, and they will take care of the rest.

Do not hesitate to contact your cruise line before departure to ensure that everything will be taken care of during your cruise.

Complete guide to cruises: traveling with family or solo

Cruise travel: preparations for traveling with family or solo.

Properly preparing your cruise trip, whether traveling with family or alone, requires taking several aspects into account. If you’re traveling as a family, it’s essential to consider the options cruise lines offer so everyone can travel together.

For cruises outside the Mediterranean, it is advisable to insist with the cruise line when booking to ensure you travel together on the plane. Cruise lines may book seats on different planes and airlines, potentially separating the family during the trip. By clearly stating your preferences when booking, you increase your chances of traveling together on the plane.

If you’re traveling solo, cruises can be a great option to meet other travelers and share unforgettable experiences. Cruise lines often offer activities and meetings for solo travelers, which will allow you to make new friends while exploring new horizons.

Complete guide to cruises: solo traveler

Find an affordable cabin!

Whether you’re single, widowed, or simply looking for new solo adventures, cruises can offer a unique travel experience. And while cruise lines now offer cabins for solo travelers, it can be difficult to find an affordable option. Luckily, we’ve created a page to help you find your cabin mate and make your reasonably priced cruise dream come true. Discover it now!

Complete guide to cruises: tips for a successful boarding

Easy registration!

Before you board, it’s essential to know these tips to ensure a worry-free cruise! Here’s what you need to know before you board:

Check-in: Once at the port, don’t miss the check-in. Your suitcase will then be picked up and delivered to your cabin.

Tip: To avoid waiting for your suitcase, pack a backpack with the essentials, like your swimsuit, camera, boarding pass, etc.

Documents: Make sure you have the necessary documents: identity card/passport (if outside the Euro zone), plane/train tickets, cash/foreign currency.

Tip : Photocopy your official documents for greater security.


  • Put a label on your suitcase to easily identify it.
  • Don’t forget: sunscreen, sunglasses, hat to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Take your cell phone and its charger.
  • There is a library and board games on board, no need for bulky books and games.
  • If you are traveling with children, pack everything you need, including medications, diapers, etc.

Don’t forget to make the most of your cruise by following these tips for a worry-free boarding experience!

Choose the ideal duration of your cruise

What duration should you choose for your cruise?

complete guide to cruise stops

Choosing the duration of a cruise is a crucial step in ensuring a memorable experience. Each option offers specific benefits, and it is essential to take into consideration your personal preferences, time constraints, and budget.

4 to 5 day cruises: optimal for tight schedules

Short cruises, around 4 to 5 days, are perfect if you have little time or a limited budget. However, it is essential to note that these cruises are generally fast-paced, leaving little time to explore the stops in depth. This is ideal if you are looking for a quick getaway and first experience at sea.

8-day cruises: the perfect balance

8-day cruises are among the most popular, offering an ideal balance between relaxing time on board and exploring varied destinations. This duration allows for a more meaningful immersion in the culture of the ports of call and offers numerous opportunities for relaxation.

Cruises of 11 days or more: in-depth explorations

Cruises of 11 days or more are designed for travelers eager for discovery and in-depth experiences. They take you to more distant destinations, with extended stopovers for total immersion in the local culture. If you are hungry for adventure and diversity, these cruises are for you.

Ultimately, choosing your cruise length depends on your personal preferences, availability, and budget. Make sure you select a cruise that meets your expectations, and you will have an unforgettable experience on board.

How to choose your cruise?

The essential criteria to consider

When it comes to choosing the ideal cruise, there are several key factors to consider. These elements are essential to ensure you have a cruise experience that meets your expectations.

Destinations and routes

The choice of destination is fundamental. You need to decide which regions you want to explore on your cruise. Some companies offer a wide variety of destinations, while others focus on specific geographic areas.

Budget and prices

Budget plays a crucial role in choosing your cruise. Prices can vary considerably depending on the company, time of year, length of cruise, and cabin type. It’s important to set a clear budget before you start your research.

Type of Cruise

Cruise lines offer various types of cruises to meet the needs and preferences of each traveler. You can opt for a luxury cruise, a family cruise, an adventure cruise, or even a themed cruise depending on your tastes.

Duration and number of stops

The duration of the cruise is a determining factor. Cruises can vary from a few days to several weeks. It is essential to choose a duration that corresponds to your availability and your expectations. Additionally, some cruises have more stops than others, allowing you to discover a greater number of destinations.

Ship size

The size of the vessel is an element to take into account. Cruise ships vary greatly in size, offering experiences ranging from the intimacy of small ships to the dynamism of larger liners. The choice depends on your personal preference for the atmosphere on board.

Period of the year

The time of year you plan to cruise is crucial. Prices may vary depending on the season. For example, summer cruises can be more expensive than winter cruises. The weather in certain destinations may also influence your choice.

Comments and opinions

Finally, it is essential to read comments and reviews from other travelers, as well as compare offers from different cruise lines. This will allow you to gather valuable information about other passengers’ experiences and make an informed choice.

In summary, choosing the perfect cruise depends on many factors, including destination, budget, cruise type, duration, ship size, time of year, and feedback from other travelers. By taking care to consider these elements, you increase your chances of having an unforgettable cruise experience.

How to get to the port of Marseille for your cruise?

Transport options to get to the port of Marseille:

The port of Marseille is an ideal starting point for a memorable cruise. However, it is essential to know how to get there for a worry-free departure. Here is a guide to transport options to reach the port of Marseille:

By car:

The port of Marseille is easily accessible by car, particularly via the A7 and A55 motorways. In addition, several parking lots are available near the port. Remember to reserve your space in advance to guarantee worry-free parking.

RENTALCARS Reserve your car rental

By train :

If you’re traveling by train, Marseille Saint-Charles station is just a 30-minute taxi ride from the port. You also have the option of taking metro line 2 or bus 82 to get to the port.

SNCF CONNECT Book your train journey

By plane :

For travelers coming from further afield, Marseille Provence Airport is a convenient option. Located about 25 km from the port, you can choose to take a taxi, shuttle or rent a car to get to the port.

By shuttle:

Some cruise companies offer shuttles to transport passengers from their hotel or the airport to the port of Marseille. Do not hesitate to inquire with your cruise line to find out if this service is available.

By taxi :

The taxi remains a convenient option to reach the port of Marseille. Taxis are available from the airport, train station or your hotel, and their prices are regulated.

By bus:

The Marseille bus network serves the port, with stops nearby. Lines 35, 36 and 38 are particularly practical. For those who plan to park their vehicle at the “Cruise Terminal” car park, expect a cost of 14 euros per day. If your cruise lasts between 3 and 4 months, monthly parking is possible at a rate of 140 euros. This car park is secure and monitored 24 hours a day, located less than 5 minutes from the liner.

Make sure to pay for your parking space online. Note that passenger vehicles from ferries to the Maghreb and Corsica are not authorized in this car park. For further information, do not hesitate to contact your shipping company.

By carefully planning your route to the port of Marseille, you will be ready to embark on an exciting cruise adventure. Enjoy this journey from the first moment!

MTT wishes you the smoothest and most beautiful cruise!

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