Cheap Vacation Cruise

Cheap Vacation Cruise


Here Are A Few Ways To Save Money On Your Cruise


1.) Overpriced Shore Excursions

This could be the largest single profit center for cruise lines today. They will arrange shore excursions for you, but the price is often far greater than what you can arrange by simply stepping off the ship at the port and making a few inquiries.

If you're someone who doesn't want to carry cash or negotiate with drivers or tour operations, perhaps paying the cruise line to do it for you is acceptable. But some of the mark-ups are ridiculous.

2.) Beware of Ship Photographers.

When you step off the ship in a new port, chances are good that there will be a cruise line photography team at the entrance to capture this momentous occasion. Same for the captain's welcome-aboard reception and even the safety drill.

Soon you will discover there is a "photo gallery" aboard ship that features you and the other passengers. Instinctively, you will find your picture. Just out of curiosity perhaps, you'll spend several minutes searching the hundreds of pictures.

Wait until you see what these pictures cost.

If there is one that reflects a special moment, buy it. But those who decide every moment the photographer shows up is a special moment will wind up spending a bundle.

3.) Expensive Alcohol

Most travelers know that the cost of alcohol and even carbonated soft drinks is not included in the base price of most cruises. There are a few all-inclusive cruises where this is not the case, but they are the rare exceptions.

Policies vary widely by cruise line, but many companies are offering some version of a pre-paid card for purchasing beverages not included in the base price. These cards are popular but also quite expensive. On some lines, a beverage card can cost $60-$80/person. It's good for soft drinks and some alcoholic selections. Sometimes it's possible to buy cards for a fraction of that price that are good for three or four drinks.

Cruise lines will allow you to bring a bottle of your own wine aboard and have it served at dinner, but you'll pay a "corkage fee" of $10 or more for the privilege

4.) Avoid the Casino

I have never seen much entertainment value watching my money slip away.

That might seem negative, but it's a fact that the house wins most of the time. That is certainly true on a cruise ship, where they will ring bells and make announcements about someone who won in their casino. On some lines, those announcements are daily.

But for every lucky winner, there are plenty walking away empty-handed. Casinos usually open once the ship is out of port and in international waters. That means those days at sea with no ports-of-call are busy times -- and you can bet plenty of your fellow passengers are losing money.

5.) Avoid Premium Dining

Meals are included in most cruise fares. It's one of the features that can make cruising an effective way to visit expensive cities. You'll skip the pricey food ashore and eat on the ship.

But a number of lines are now trying to talk passengers into visiting a premium dining room, where food quality is higher but you pay a supplement for the privilege of partaking.

On special occasions such as a birthday or anniversary, this is a nice option. But beware: it's very easy to slip into a pattern of eating the premium food every night. Is your budget set up to absorb those big charges after you return home?

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