Regular vs. All Inclusive TUI River Cruises

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This is a sponsored post for TUI River Cruises.

Whenever you book a river cruise with TUI, you’re getting amazing value.

TUI River Cruise view

You aren’t going to be asked to pay for a lot of extra hidden fees, but not everything is covered by the fare either.

It’s important to understand what your fare includes, and also what you’ll get if you choose to upgrade. There’s an all-inclusive option, but is it right for you?

Let’s find out.

Check out TUI’s summer river cruise deals

Huge savings on selected itineraries – don’t miss out!

What’s included with your standard fare?

A TUI river cruise is already great value with just the standard fare, because most of your cruise is covered by the cost.

You’ll get your accommodation onboard, of course, along with all your meals, including a choice of two dining venues on the ship.

Cruises are Full Board Plus as standard, which meals you get your breakfast, lunch and dinner and you’ll be served tea, coffee and juices during your morning meal too.

TUI River Cruise All Inclusive

And then at lunch and dinner, you’ll also be served house wines and beers, along with soft drinks, for the duration of the meal.

Cruise fares also cover your gratuities and your flights and transfers. You’ll just have to get yourself to the airport near you, and then everything will be taken care of by TUI – you’ll fly in comfort to your destination, hop on a coach, and be taken straight to the ship to board and begin your cruise. It couldn’t be easier.

Luggage allowance is covered too – don’t worry, you aren’t going to get caught out with extra fees for bringing a suitcase with you!

What makes TUI’s river cruises even better value is the fact that WiFi is also included throughout your cruise at no extra charge. It’s easy to stay connected with home, and you don’t have to pay just to send emails or upload your photos as you travel.

The all-inclusive upgrade

The all-inclusive upgrade on a TUI river cruise is essentially all about your drinks selection. House beers and wines, along with soft drinks, are included with meals, but if you want a different selection of drinks or you want to be able to drink outside of meal times, then you’ll either need to pay for drinks individually or upgrade to all-inclusive.

The cost of all-inclusive will vary depending on your specific sailing, but expect it to be around £20 per person, per night. For that fee, you’ll get:

  • Beer and ciders
  • House wines (by the glass)
  • Soft drinks (by the glass)
  • Branded spirits, including rum, vodka, whisky, gin, brandy and liqueurs
  • Cocktails
  • Premium Lavazza coffees
  • Other speciality coffees
  • Hot chocolates and speciality teas
  • Juices
TUI River Cruise wine

And this isn’t just at meal times either – you can enjoy these during the day and into the evening.

Drinks on a TUI river cruise aren’t ridiculously expensive though. Expect to pay around £4 for a beer or glass of wine, and around £7 for a cocktail. So work out how much you’d likely enjoy each day, and decide whether the upgrade is better value for you or not.

Little Extras package

On some cruises, you might also be able to book the Little Extras package. This isn’t part of the all-inclusive deal, but it just offers you some extra perks, and it’s typically very affordable – around £55 per cabin total.

For that price, you’ll get:

  • Priority check-in at the ship
  • Welcome prosecco and chocolates when you arrive
  • One continental breakfast in bed during your cruise (you choose the day)
  • A small group tour of the ship
  • One bag of laundry
  • Later check-out on the last day

Remember that river cruises aren’t the same as ocean cruises, so priority check-in is nice to have, but not essential – the queues are never going to be super-long for a river ship.

But the other perks are all nice additions too, and so paying a one-off fee for these little touches to make your cruise feel more special could be worthwhile.

Is it worth upgrading?

Whether it’s worth upgrading to all-inclusive really depends on a couple of things – how much do you plan on drinking each day, and how much time will you spend on the ship?

If you’re likely to spend the majority of each day ashore, then it might not be worth upgrading since you’ll need to buy your drinks in each port anyway. It’s a little inconvenient to return to the ship every time you’re thirsty!

And then if you’d only likely have one or two drinks when you’re back onboard, it might be better to just pay for them individually.

But a lot of people prefer to pay the upgrade cost – especially when it’s only around £20 per night – for the comfort of knowing they can have as many drinks as they want to, and a better choice during meal times, without having to think about it.

If you’re one of those people, it’s definitely worth considering the upgrade, just to put your mind at ease and not have to think about the bar bill at the end of your sailing.

Check out TUI’s summer river cruise deals

Huge savings on selected itineraries – don’t miss out!

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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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