One myth I am always keen to bust is that cruise holidays are expensive, so I’d like to show you how to save money on your cruise. Now, I’m not going to cover how to a great deal on your cruise in this post (your CLIA registered travel agent can do that for you – probably standing on their head). What I AM going to cover how you can stretch those pennies as far as possible when you’re actually on board so you can really splash out on the things which are most important to you.
Like any travel experience, you can go big or you can budget. But cruising doesn’t have to be expensive if you don’t want it to be – there are many ways to save money while you’re sailing across the ocean. There are even ways to save money in the countdown to your cruise.
One of the great things about cruising is that so much of your holiday experience is included in your fare – accommodation, entertainment, transport to each destination, fine dining and some refreshments. Anything else you spend is really up to you…and this is where the sting in the tail can come for some.
Let me explain…. At embarkation, before you step on board you cruise ship, you’ll usually be asked to register a credit or debit card which will be attached to your cabin (and all the passengers registered in it). You’ll each be given a cruise card which acts both as your identification card, cabin key and payment card on board. Each time you pay for anything extra on board you’ll use your cruise card.
On the evening before you’re due to leave the ship (disembark), you’ll get a bill detailing your on-board spend for the WHOLE of your cruise. This will be left in your cabin. Let me prepare you: you get this bill at the worst point in your cruise; after an amazing time on board, you go home tomorrow. You’ve already packed your luggage and left it outside your cabin for collection, you’ve had your last evening on ship. Now, your bedtime reading for your last night on ship is your on board spend bill. It can be a hard time, believe me. I’ve been known to cry.
So I thought I would compile a list of tips to help you save money whilst on your cruise to help you prevent this moment as much as possible – or at least soften the blow.
I know we all like to mix it up and save our money on one thing to enable us to splash out on something else, so for each tip in this list I’ve included an option if you want to splash the cash, an option if you want to take the savvy approach and an option if you want to be a super saver. I’ve also included some other tried and tested money saving tips you might like to try before you set sail, to help your cruise budget go further and leave you with more pennies to spend whilst on holiday.
So read on for some tips of how to keep your on-board bill low while still enjoying your cruise to the max.