When it comes to real value in an increasingly time-poor world, next to nothing beats a cruise.
Of course, the answer to where to spend your precious annual leave is never black or white, but for those looking for gourmet dining, oceanside views and world-class entertainment, there’s never been a better time to embrace high jinks on the high seas.
To compare apples with apples, we’ve juxtaposed a seven-night seacation onboard the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship with your typical hotel staycation in Melbourne’s CBD* so you can determine which will best suit when wanderlust hits. Hello cruise, goodbye blues – join us as we dive deep into five reasons a seacation can be better than a staycation.
*We’ve kept the identity of our Melbourne CBD staycation a secret, naturally.
Ready to set sail? Check out the Diamond Princess’s roundtrip, 7-night cruise from Melbourne here.
Your accommodation and views are guaranteed (and with plenty of extras)
Stay seven nights in an Inside or Oceanview Cabin from A$1,494 per person onboard the Diamond Princess and receive up to A$200 per stateroom to spend onboard – or upgrade to a Balcony Cabin, Mini-Suite or Suite and receive a credit of up to A$400. For Oceanview Cabins and above, the views are guaranteed to be spectacular – there’s nothing quite like waking up to the great blue beyond as the sun rises above the horizon in a dazzling display of colour.
The cost of an average seven-night stay at an equivalent Melbourne CBD hotel: A$1,305 per person, without spending credit.
All-inclusive dining is included (and delicious)
The Diamond Princess boasts six acclaimed dining venues, with meals at four covered by a standard package. Head to Horizon Court for a truly international buffet showcasing signature pastas and fresh-baked pastries, Trident Grill for smokehouse-style burgers and sizzling hotdogs served with plenty of American flair or Prego Pizzeria for award-winning hand-tossed pizzas made in classic Neapolitan style – it’s all included, as is impossibly good desserts at Chocolate Journeys. Of course, if you’re tempted to dine around, the ship’s specialty dining stands beyond compare – mouthwatering steakhouse cuts, imported Italian wines and omakase-style sushi await.
Average daily cost of breakfast, lunch and dinner for one in Melbourne’s CBD: A$70.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out our guide to cruising for the first time here.
Onboard entertainment is included (and unmissable)
Cruise liners are famed for their extraordinary onboard entertainment, but the Diamond Princess stands apart. Check out live football games and newly released feature films (with popcorn included) at the ship’s 300sqm pool-side amphitheatre, or head to the ultramodern Princess Theatre for acclaimed modern hits and timeless classics by Grammy and Academy award-winning composers. Evenings onboard the ship showcase some of the world’s most talented comedians, instrumentalists, jugglers and raconteurs, offering guests lightness and laughter beneath the night sky.
Approximate cost of an average night out at the theatre in Melbourne’s CBD: A$150 per person.
Room service is included (and at your beck and call)
After an evening soaking up the ocean’s ambience at Izumi Japanese Bath or savouring cigars and fine scotch at the onboard cigar lounge, Churchill’s, it’s natural to return to your cabin famished – and that’s when the ship’s true secret weapon comes into play. From breakfast in bed to midnight munchies, round-the-clock complimentary room service ensures you won’t experience even a single moment of hunger at sea.
Approximate cost of a room service meal at an equivalent Melbourne CBD hotel: A$35.
Drinks are included (and delightful)
Whether you’re cruising for a boozin’ or a cocktail connoisseur, a seacation offers just the opportunity to sit back and let the good times roll. The Diamond Princess’ Plus Beverage Package allows guests to sip beer, spirits and wine by the glass – plus any cocktail with a menu price below A$22 – and there are unlimited soft drinks, juices, smoothies and non-alcoholic drinks aplenty. If you’re a top-shelf person, no worries – for an extra A$30 per person, per day, the Premier Beverage package includes access to drinks with a menu price up to A$30, so not even the finest-garnished cocktails are beyond reach.
The cost of one Singapore Sling cocktail in Melbourne’s CBD: A$28.
The numbers are in – dollar for dollar, cruising onboard the Diamond Princess from Melbourne to Melbourne is the way to go.
Total cost of two adults taking a seven-night staycation in Melbourne’s CBD, with one show, all meals, room service and one nightly drink: A$4,772
Total cost of two adults cruising together for seven nights, staying in an Interior Cabin, with all-inclusive drinks and dining, room service and nightly entertainment: A$2,988
Sold? Check out our collection of luxury Princess cruises here.