Clearly, my family are not shy to a cruise or two and so today I want to share with you my money saving tips for the savvy cruiser. How much do the cruise lines really want to save you money? They don’t.
Read on to see how much you could save on your next cruise by following my no-brainer advice.
Plan your shore excursions
Planning our outings whilst at port has saved us loads of cash in the past. I always check the area map in the cruise compass the evening before we dock to determine how close the city will be from the port. Can we take a quick taxi rather than paying for a coach provided by the cruise operator. Often enough a return ticket to and from the ship on the shuttle bus will cost you around £10 per person. A taxi would be just a few pounds. It goes without saying, ride responsibly in a registered vehicle.
Room service for free
I am not a fan of the buffet areas on board and prefer to dine on our balcony or somewhere quieter. Room service is always a treat as your porter will deck the table in white linen and bring you glassware, however, there are no rules to say that you cannot take food to your room. It may be a balancing act as trays are not usually provided in the restaurant area but a continental breakfast doesn’t take up much room anyway. And it never hurts to grab the odd piece of fruit or two to keep in your room as a snack.
We have sailed many times and rushed to spend our onboard credit at the end of every cruise either on Christmas presents from the Duty-free shops onboard or a ton of alcohol to ruin our post-holiday figures even more. Every cruiser is entitled to a certain amount of onboard credit in which is added to your sea pass account when you board. Onboard credit is FREE money. You could spend your onboard credit by rejuvenating in the spa or signing up for a week of professional pilates tutoring. I wrote recently about just how easy it is to stay healthy onboard. Read here. If you don’t spend it then you do not get it back. A bit like you snooze, you loose. So head to the casino and draw it out with your cruise card. You may get dollars depending on who you are cruising with but at least you take away your hard earned cash rather than nothing.
Suite guests get all the perks, free drinks, free tickets to shows, free internet, the list goes on. So if you have been booking a standard cabin but paying for optional extras whilst on board then maybe you should re consider either upgrading your room or booking with a luxury cruise liner. Luxury cruise liners offer all-inclusive packages only and therefore a bargain can be had if you are flexible with travel dates and book at the last minute.
A no-fly cruise
Have you ever considered how far away you live from a cruise port? Taking a no-fly cruise means less travel time and fewer expenses. The money you save from flights could be invested in a luxurious cabin or a longer holiday. There are some great destinations offering Summer sunshine when cruising from the UK. Over 400 cruise ships departed passengers on their hols from Southampton last year.