Embarking on your next cruise vacation? We’ll help you make the most out of your vacation without spending a lot. Cruise companies may advertise that it’s an all-inclusive trip but onboard, you’ll be bombarded with sales pitchers encouraging you to buy various things like shore excursions, spa treatments, souvenir photos, alcoholic concoctions, and even romantic dinner to name a few. We’ve listed here some ways to stretch that vacation budget as far as possible. You can also monitor your voyage with the use of the best tracking system known as marinetraffic.com. You can access information about your ship and even get the latest updates straight to your phone. Let’s proceed.
Look for restaurant packages
If you want to save money as you set sail on your dream vacation, you can eat in the free dining venues like the main dining room, buffet area, an outdoor grill, instead of splurging on the specialty restaurants which charge extra cost. But if you’re looking for some exclusivity and alternative menu, you can score multiple dinner reservations at discounted rates like in Celebrity Cruises.
Look for specialty restaurant promotions
If you want to experience dining in Holland America’s Pinnacle Grill, go during lunchtime so that the cover charge is lower. On dinner time, you can get a free bottle of wine if you dine at Carnival’s steakhouses on your first night onboard. If you’re on a Celebrity Cruises ship, they occasionally offer specialty dining discounts which can be a reduced cover charge. To be sure, you can inquire some of the popular deals available on a specific sailing. If there’s no available package deal to book, don’t hesitate to ask on board or look for other alternative restaurant deal. In that way, you can save money on a special meal.
Book cruise spa treatments during port days
Spa treatment onboard is generally expensive. But don’t worry, we’ll help you save money. Some discounts services are being offered on the days in port and even some spa treatment packages during slow times. If you want to pamper yourself and plan on spending a couple of hours at the spa, find existing discounted packages of multiple treatments. If it’s not on the list, you can always ask the spa staff regarding the services that you want to avail and if it’s possible to offer you a discounted rate.
Avoid spending much money on gratuities
Nowadays, the majority of the cruise line companies already added to your entire cruise bill the gratuity or service fee which covers the cabin steward and dining staff. When you go inside a bar, bills often include a gratuity of around 20% like what is being added on many spa and fitness center. If you’re generous enough, you’re always welcome to give an extra tip especially if you receive excellent service but you shouldn’t be pressured to do so. Some passengers give around 20% on top of the bill without thinking and they ended up tipping double.
Book your own shore excursions or tour guides
There are various shore excursions in every port of call and you have an option to book it directly to the cruise line. With that, you’ll be sure that you’ll get a quality tour and if it ends late, the ship will automatically wait for you. However, it will cost you more money and it relatively involves big groups and cannot be customized. If you want to save money, you can book for an independent excursion on the port itself. Alternatively, you can rent a car and roam around on your own. Aside from that, you can also walk around the port and look for the nearby tourist attractions, take photos, or even spend some time in a cute café.
Be ready to disconnect as you embark on your selected voyage
Availing Wi-Fi onboard is a bit pricey. If you want to save money, inform your loved ones that you’ll not be able to keep in touch for the whole duration of your trip. If you can’t bear it, you can do so on the most internet cafes or Wi-Fi hotspots available on some ports of call. You can also ask your provider if there’s an affordable plan for limited-time access only. Besides, other cruise line companies offer a last-minute deal when you sign up on day one. You can keep an eye for it if you don’t want to entirely disconnect at sea.
Save your dollars with discounted packages at the bar
One of the easiest ways to refresh and ratchet up onboard is to purchase sodas, bottled water, or alcoholic beverages. Please be reminded that ships charge restaurant prices and often add 20% gratuity on top of your bill. If you’re a serious drinker and want to drink a lot regardless of it is alcoholic or not, you can save by purchasing beverage bundle. Some cruise line companies offer the said package that allows the cruiser to switch from beer to water, to coffee or cocktails.
If you want to cruise again, book onboard
If you will book your next cruise vacation while still onboard, you can get offers like reduced deposits, fare discounts and even free onboard credit. Don’t worry deposits are refundable. If ever you want to change a different itinerary in the future, you can do so. You can even ask to transfer tour booking to your favorite travel agent since they are the ones who are expert in this field and even offers great deals.