Wednesday, April 24, 2013

On doing your homework about the cost of cruising...

More on the continuing USPS saga, some thought on risk management, and in the “We don’t fully understand what is happening in advanced economies.” department...

I hear a lot about how one or another cruising area is too expensive... It's depressing!

Even more depressing as it is seldom based on actual facts but just that someone opined that, for instance, France is way too expensive to visit on a forum and from then on it becomes a fact. Of course the orginator of this opinion never bothered to define what "too expensive" actually meant, what sort of budget the writer was on, or any real examples of what stuff cost...

Looking over what's on sale this month, I notice that just about EVERYTHING is less than it is here in the good old USVI (which everyone appears to agree is one of the less expensive places to provision in the Caribbean) but then I realize that I have to do a little math to sort out the Euro/Dollar thing.

So I choose a few things at random...

A six pack of beer is $2.58 (the cheapest six pack here is $6.99) and I won't tell you what the difference in wine is as it will just make you cry!

A KG of rice is $1.83 (I just spent $1.85 per kilo yesterday).

Pork chops are $6.35 a KG (here a KG will set you back $5.48)

Cous Cous (a staple for us when in Europe) is $1.19 a KG and the best I can find here is  $5.06 a KG.

I could go on but the trend does continue and a quick guesstimate tells me that my monthly outlay on groceries is going to be about 30% less than it is here in the USVI.

Since I was online and checking prices it also turns out that marina prices are considerably less than they are here (not that I ever do marinas) as are haul outs, lay days, and suchlike. Fuel is quite a bit more expensive at over $7 a gallon for diesel and $8 for gas but as I have a SAILboat gas/diesel is not a big budget item for us on "So It Goes".

Stuff from marine stores/chandlers is a bit less than prices here in the Caribbean so between 10-15% higher than stateside prices.

So, doing about twenty minutes of research tells me that France and its European neighbors are actually a pretty cheap place to cruise. I'll add a personal note that once you get there you'll find you can do it for even less because most really great deals are simply not found until you happen to be on the ground and checking out what the locals buy and where they go to do it.

Listening to Tristan Prettyman

So it goes...