For our second price comparison, we're using a Royal Caribbean cruise from Baltimore to Bermuda. It is a classic summer cruise.
We picked a 5-night cruise departing Saturday July 16 and returning Thursday July 21. Again there are cheaper choices in other months but we want one in the peak summer season.
The cruise leaves at 4:00PM on Saturday. It arrives at King's Wharf on Bermuda at 1:00PM on Monday. Leaves Bermuda at 2:30PM on Tuesday. Back in Baltimore at 7:00AM on Thursday.
This Bermuda cruise on Royal Caribbean costs $1748 total for an outside stateroom for two people. Bermuda cruises are in demand so the price per day is higher than the Bahamas cruise.
We'll compare to an Ocean City hotel for the same 5 nights (July 16 to July 21). The Princess Royale Resort is another mid-priced hotel in Ocean City.
The hotel is available for $295 per night, which is a total of $1475 for 5 nights. The cruise is $273 more expensive than the hotel room. But if you buy 5 dinners for two at $50 an 5 lunches for two at $20, that's adds $350 to the total cost of Ocean City.
What is included on the Royal Caribbean cruise that isn't included on the Ocean City vacation? The Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas ship offers complimentary dining at your choice of the main dining room, Windjammer Cafe, Solarium Cafe, or Park Cafe. There are live musical shows, youth programs, pool-side outdoor movies, aerial acrobatics in the Centrum, a rock-climbing wall, and the Solarium adults-only retreat. All included at no charge.
Conclusion: At first glance, this Royal Caribbean cruise to Bermuda appears to be more expensive than a vacation at this hotel in Ocean City, but when you factor in the cost of meals the cruise is slightly cheaper.
One final note -- if you go to Ocean City you have to deal with the typical traffic jam on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. That's a hassle you avoid on a cruise out of Baltimore.