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How do you save money on a cruise??

sue87

Captain
If we aren't careful we can really run up a huge bill on a cruise. Any good ideas to save money on a cruise??
 

Ally

Deckhand
If you like a tipple....drinks packages save alot of money thesedays and its nice not having to worry about the bar tab afterwards too. I don't drink alcohol but the Costa all inclusive at €19.50 per person a day it is the best value package that I have come across...covers soft drinks, alcohol, water, coffees, mocktails, teas...really excellent value since you pay the 15% the one time only rather than at every drink purchase.

When you consider a mocktail is around 7 euro, the drinks package pays for itself VERY quickly :)
 

Pam in CA

Captain
Drink prices vary with each cruise line. I was shocked to see the prices on Celebrity last year compared to Princess. On Celebrity, a martini was about $12. On Princess, a slightly smaller one is about $7. That's a big difference. On Princess, a mocktail is about $4. I have maybe one drink pre-dinner so an all-inclusive package doesn't make sense for me.

You can save by taking independent shore excursions and staying away from the Casino, bingo, etc. I use a discount TA and save 10-20% on my cruise fare. I get a lot of OBC as a stockholder, from my TA, booking the cruise using a "Future Cruise Credit", etc. Some cruise lines allow you to combine OBC, some don't. Princess does, RCCL and Celebrity don't.

On my Star cruise last March, I had $250 stockholder OBC, $150 FCC, $100 from my TA, and $25 for taking more than 20 cruises on Princess. I had over $40 left at the end of the cruise because I took all independent tours.
 

Rex

Captain
Staff member
There is no saving once you are on-board. Just don't look at the bill till the end!
 

Lightraveler

Deckhand
We have done 34 cruises and the best way we save is to not do the tours. We will rent a car. Meet another couple on the cruise and share a hire for the day. It saves a ton
 

Pheebs

Deckhand
:DLast cruise I was on I ended up in credit! Didn't have all that much on the account, then a cancelled port and so we refunded on our trip (which was the cheapest excursion anyway!) ended up with the company owing us money...despite trying to spend some :oops:
 

Cruise Cat

Deckhand
We do try to book some shore excursions independently at around half-price.

I look on-line at the local papers/sites for deals like a buy one get one free or free appetizer (Cozumel, Jamaica, etc,)

Rum-Runners....

No Casino

Not sure on the drink packages yet. Looking at Carnival's it may or may not save us money and the hours they count the drinks (midnight to midnight) could limit us on a sea day if we are out the night before.
 

TX Cruiser

Deckhand
We always put cash in our acount and keep track of our spending by saving all receipts and checking on our account, we keep cash in the safe for shops in port, we know what we want to look for and buy in the ports and dont stray from that. We buy items from the ship on the way back because they reduce prices and have sales, and carry everything we need so we wont have to buy items onboard like medicine or any other things!;)
 

FunnyFriend

Deckhand
First off, Carnival tends to be a bit cheaper if you use the early saver discount. You can then monitor the prices and watch for it to become cheaper. Also, I reccomend not planning excursions as they are EXTREMELY expensive booking with the cruise line.
 

PEB

Captain
Staff member
If we aren't careful we can really run up a huge bill on a cruise. Any good ideas to save money on a cruise??
I save money on a cruise by planning as much as possible in advance of the cruise. If I can find a reputable tour company I will either book off the ship in advance or rent a car and do things on our own or with friends. Many people purchase drink cards or just buy the drink of the day while onboard. I personally don't drink so if the cruise line has a soda card I buy that. One of the biggest things I do to save money is not for everyone and that would be to always purchase an inside cabin. I do this because I do not sit in the room much I would rather be out onboard the ship meeting people. I usually book a guarantee and have been upgraded many times.

Last but not least is I keep close tabs on my bill so I know how much I have spent during the day.
 

Pam in CA

Captain
Alcohol is one of the biggest revenue streams on a cruise ship. They don't make much off of me since I might have a drink of the day or a glass of wine. :)
 
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