What is a Princess Plus fare, and is it worth the upgrade?

You don't need to be a big drinker or connoisseur to benefit from an upgrade. (Photo source: Princess Cruises)

When booking a cruise, it can be tempting to grab the cheapest fare available. 

There’s certainly some wisdom in this: if you’re cruising with Princess, the “Standard” fare will give you everything you need: accommodation, a great range of dining options and plenty of free entertainment. But is it actually more cost effective?

Not necessarily, says Lysanda Hooper, Call Centre Manager at Travel at 60.

With many years’ experience selling Princess cruises, Lysanda knows how easy it is to miss out on a better deal — or a more enjoyable overall experience.

(Photo source: Princess Cruises)

Choose the cabin you really want

Princess fares are divided into three tiers: StandardPlus and Premier.

“With the Standard fare, you don’t usually get the chance to choose your cabin,” says Lysanda. 

“You’ll get what’s known as ‘Guarantee Status’. This means you’re guaranteed a cabin in the category you choose, but won’t have any specific choice over your room placement on the ship.”

“Many frequent cruisers want to avoid being right by the stairs, lift or laundry. Some want to be close to the main dining and activity areas, while others want to be as far away as possible.

“If you’re particularly sensitive to ocean movement, you might prefer to choose a lower midship cabin.

“If you book a Plus fare, you’ll get that freedom to choose. Otherwise it’s luck of the draw.”

(Photo source: Princess Cruises)

Beverage packages: not just for the big drinkers

One huge misconception about cruising, says Lysanda, is that you need to be a big drinker to justify a drinks package. But it’s far more than just alcohol on offer.

“If you drink tea or coffee, or even like to carry around bottled water” she says, “it’s seriously worth considering a Plus fare.”

The Standard fare buffet offers drinks dispensers with basic tea, coffee and juice options. However, if you’re craving a barista-made coffee, a hot chocolate, a freshly-mixed fruit juice, a healthy smoothie or a fancier tea, you’ll need to purchase these independently if you haven’t upgraded.

“Just say you’re a person who has two coffees a day, a can of coke and a bottle of water. You may already be half way through what Plus would cost you.”

And that’s before you consider the wide range of wines, beers, cocktails and mocktails (crafted by celebrity mixologist Rob Floyd) on offer. 

“You can get anything from six bottles of water a day to cocktails worth $22 each, and everything in between,” says Lysanda.


(Photo source: Princess Cruises)

Get everything delivered straight to you

If you need a meal, a drink, or even some sunscreen, just request it on the Princess app. With the OceanNow® delivery service, a crew member will bring it straight to you — wherever you are onboard! 

This normally costs an additional $22.99 access fee — but it’s included in your Princess Plus fare.

You can also waive the standard delivery fee on room service orders, allowing for extra indulgence. 

Stay connected throughout your journey

For all the romance of going off the grid, it won’t take too many sea days before you might wish to contact a friend, research your next destination, or stream a favourite show from your room.

With Wi-Fi included in a Plus fare, you’ll have fast, reliable, unlimited internet for the duration of your voyage. 

Indulge with more dining options

The buffet and standard dining options will give you great variety of tastes to choose from — but after a few days, you may wish to branch out and try something new.

Your Plus fare will give you two included “Casual Dining” experiences at specialised sit down-restaurants (including Italian cuisine at Alfredo’s and Japanese at Kai Sushi) as well as a great range of pop-up options, such as Planks BBQ and Steamers Seafood.

Got a sweet tooth? Your plus fare also entitles you to two daily Princess Premium desserts: elaborate gastronomic creations that have to be seen to be believed.

Exercise classes: not just for the fitness junkies

Let’s face it: nobody boards a cruise to lose weight. 

However, with each day offering gourmet indulgences, it might not take long before you want to balance it out a bit. This is where your two included fitness classes will come in handy.

You don’t need to break a sweat: yoga and stretch classes both offer wonderful, accessible ways to feel more balanced and healthy on your journey.

(Photo source: Princess Cruises)

Looking to indulge even further?

A Plus fare will get you all of the above at a 60% overall saving — but if you’re dreaming bigger, you may wish to look at the third and highest tier: Princess Premier.

“If you like your top-shelf wines, a Premier package is well worth considering,” says Lysanda.

A Premier fare will get you the following — above and beyond the Standard and Plus fare inclusions.

  • Photo package: Don’t want to worry about taking photos on your trip? An onboard photographer will document your trip for you. You’ll have access to unlimited digital photos afterwards, and three you can turn into a print afterwards.
  • Wi-Fi with up to four devices (not just one) per guest
  • Premier Beverage Package: covering drinks up to $30 (not just $22) each
  • Specialty Dining: two fine dining experiences per voyage (with access to a more high-end range of cuisine, including hand-cut steaks, premium seafood, handmade pasta and more)
  • Unlimited (not just two) casual dining experiences per voyage
  • Unlimited (not just two) fitness classes per voyage
  • Unlimited (not just two) premium desserts a day
  • Reserved theatre seating for production shows

Looking for a Princess cruise? We’re here to help!

Travel at 60 is an online travel agency for Australian over-60s. Phone 1300 414 198 to see if we can get you a better deal on an upcoming Princess cruise, or browse our featured Princess cruise deals here.