I love cruises; they’re great ways to relax and see new destinations without a lot of hassle. But cruise lines are in it to make money, there’s no doubt about that. Over the years they have found new and even ingenious ways of separating us from our cash and by the end of the trip you may be shocked by the bill. While it’s ok to spend some money on a cruise, you definitely don’t want to go overboard and as long as you follow these simple rules, you should return home richer in experiences and not poorer in pocket.
1. Watch What You Drink
This is probably one of the easiest ways to waste money on a cruise. From the moment you step on board and are offered that tropical drink, almost everything you imbibe comes with a fee attached. On most cruises only coffee, tea and some other light beverages are included with your plan, so be sure to research what is and what isn’t included before you leave home. As a Diet Coke fan I was shocked on my first cruise to learn that I had to pay every time I wanted this sweet elixir of life. If you want a beer or glass of wine, then your bar bill will soon skyrocket. To save some money, choose a cruise that offers a prepaid beverage plan offering unlimited sodas or a set number of alcoholic drinks.
Please drink responsibly, as your RoamRight policy does not cover loss resulting from or caused by being under the influence of alcohol.
A huge expense on any cruise are those amazing excursions at every port of call. The prices can be daunting though which is why in general you should try to find cheaper alternatives. Every official excursion the cruise line offers uses a local supplier, which means that you can find local tour companies who can offer the same excursion at a fraction of the price. Check out the popular site CruiseCritic.comfor the scoop on the best tours, but be careful. If you’re not on an official ship excursion and it runs late, the ship will not wait for you before leaving port.
3. Set a Budget
This may seem like common sense, but it’s been my experience that people leave common sense at home when they’re on vacation. Set an absolute maximum amount you want to spend on your cruise and stick to it. Track your daily expenses and be careful what you buy. Avoid the onboard casino and Gold by the Inch stores and instead maximize your spending on the experiences that can transform your trip from something average to truly amazing. There’s nothing worse than getting an astronomically high bill when you leave the ship, so stick to your guns and don’t overspend.
And, of course, don't forget your cruise insurance.
These are just a few ways to save some money on a cruise, what are some others?