Going on a cruise doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank or take out a loan. You can go on a cruise without having a $2,000 or more room bill. I would like to give you some basic tips on how to cruise on a budget. Tips that will help you save money and make it more affordable for your family to go on a cruise.
When you book your cruise, look for a deal that includes room credit. Many times going through a travel agent instead of booking it yourself online is the way to go because they can work this into the deal. Also, take advantage of the specials that are offered such as “kids sail free”. The summer and around holidays are the most expensive time to go on a cruise since kids are out of school. The fall and first 2 months of the year often offer the best deals, 50-75% less than you would pay for the same cruise in the summer.
The easiest way to save money on a cruise is to book an inside cabin. I recently spoke to some veteran cruisers who only book inside rooms. They said that since they are only in their room to sleep, why spend the extra money on a room with a port hole or a balcony. If you find yourself not in your room much besides sleeping, you may want to consider this. You can also save money by booking the lowest class of your room category. Not all balcony, window, or inside rooms are priced the same. Floors that are less convenient to get to and away from elevators tend to be cheaper.
The cruise lines make the most money in 2 areas, the casino and alcohol. If they are making the most money on it that means it is costing the passengers the most money. Also be careful of bingo and other “games” they offer while you sit and wait for a show to start.
The gift shops on the ships offer just about anything you need or forgot because you didn’t create a packing checklist. However, you will not be getting any sale prices on the ship, you will probably pay double what you pay at your local Kroger. Before you leave, create a packing check list and make sure that you have everything you need packed for your trip. Paying $9 for deodorant or $12 for Advil can add up quick and be wasted money.
When you are in port, go back to the ship if possible for lunch. Why pay for lunch on land when you already paid for it on the ship?
If you want to do an excursion, try to find a reputable company that offers the excursion and book it on your own. Booking through the ship does offer some nice extra incentives, but you also pay more. You can save as much as 30% by finding a company that has a good reputation and that will give you your deposit back if your ship can’t make it to port.
You can go on a cruise and have the time of your life and the only thing on your room bill is your daily gratuities. You can take a cruise on a budget by following a few simple steps!