It is always best to check with the specific cruise line or travel agent to confirm the cost and availability of all services to save money on a cruise. They can inform you of any and all deals and discounts that may be available on your particular cruise.
- Save Money on a Cruise – Shore Excursions
- Save Money on a Cruise – Specialty Dining
- Save Money on a Cruise – Alcohol and Beverages
- Save Money on a Cruise – Cruise Spa and Salon Treatments
- Save Money on a Cruise – Activities
- Save Money on a Cruise – Laundry
- Save Money on a Cruise – Souvenir Shopping
- Save Money on a Cruise – Wi-Fi
Save Money on a Cruise – Shore Excursions
- Book through the cruise line: Many cruise lines offer a variety of shore excursions at different price points. These excursions are not necessarily more expensive than booking on your own. They are a convenient option, as they are timed to match the ship’s schedule and the cruise is not leaving until you return.
- Book in advance: Many times discounts are available for passengers who book shore excursions in advance.
- Book online: Booking your shore excursions online can save you money. You may be able to find deals and discounts on various websites for shore excursions.
- Consider independent excursions: Consider booking an independent excursion from a local tour operator. This can save you money and give you a more authentic experience. But beware, if there is a problem, the cruise line takes no responsibility and you may be stranded.
- Do your own thing: Instead of booking an excursion, consider exploring the ports of call on your own. You’ll save money and have more flexibility to explore on your own schedule.
- Share the cost: If you’re traveling with friends or family, consider sharing the cost of a shore excursion. This can significantly reduce the per-person cost.
- Look for deals and discounts: Look out for deals and discounts offered by the cruise or by travel agents. They may have special promotions or discounts on certain excursions.
- Seasonal differences in costs: Some destinations have a high and low season, and the price of excursions vary accordingly. Try to plan your excursions during the low season to get a better deal.
Save Money on a Cruise – Specialty Dining
- Take advantage of the ship’s free dining options: All cruise ships offer complimentary dining options, such as buffets or casual dining spots.
- Book during off-peak hours: Some cruise ships offer discounts for specialty dining reservations made during off-peak hours.
- Look for promotions or package deals: You may be able to find promotions or package deals that include specialty dining as part of the package.
- Try to book specialty dining at the start of your cruise: There may be promotions for the first few nights of the cruise.
- Share a meal: Specialty dining often includes large portions, so consider sharing a meal with a friend or family member, if allowed on your cruise.
- Take advantage of the ship’s loyalty program: Repeat customers or members of the loyalty program may be offered discounts or perks.
- Book a table at a less popular spot: Specialty restaurants with less demand may offer a lower price or a special deal to fill the table.
Save Money on a Cruise – Alcohol and Beverages
- Take advantage of drink specials and happy hours: Many cruise ships offer drink specials and happy hours throughout the day, so keep an eye out for those specials.
- Consider purchasing a drink package: You may fare better if you take advantage of pre-paid drink packages if offered. If you drink a lot, this can save you money.
- Bring your own alcohol: Some cruise ships allow you to bring your own alcohol, but have a limit on the amount and charge a corkage fee.
- Order drinks during meal time: Check if your drinks are included in your meal.
- Limit your drinking: It’s easy to overspend on alcohol while on a cruise, so beware of what you are purchasing and you may want to limit the number of drinks you order.
- Be mindful of the location: Drinks purchased on the ship are generally more expensive than those purchased in port.
- Avoid premium drinks: Stick to domestic drinks, which are generally less expensive than premium or imported options.
- Order water or non-alcoholic drinks: Water and non-alcoholic drinks are usually less expensive than alcoholic drinks.
Save Money on a Cruise – Cruise Spa and Salon Treatments
- Take advantage of specials and promotions: Sometimes specials and promotions on spa and salon treatments are offered, so be on the lookout for these discounts.
- Book treatments in port: Some ports of call offer spa and salon treatments at a lower cost than those offered on the ship.
- Book treatments during off-peak hours: Some cruise ships offer discounts for spa and salon treatments booked during off-peak hours.
- Look for package deals: There may be package deals offered that include spa and salon treatments.
- Try to book treatments at the start of your cruise: You may find promotions for the first few nights of the cruise.
- Take advantage of the ship’s loyalty program: Discounts and perks for repeat customers or members of the loyalty program may be offered.
- Book a treatment during a less popular spot: Treatments at less popular times may be offered at a lower price.
Save Money on a Cruise – Activities
- Take advantage of free activities: Many cruise ships offer a variety of free activities, such as fitness classes, pool games, and trivia. Be sure not to miss them.
- Book activities in advance: Sometimes it is cheaper if you book early.
- Look for package deals: Some cruise ships offer package deals that include activities as part of the package.
- Take advantage of port days: Some ports of call offer activities at a lower cost than those offered on the ship.
- Try to book activities at the start of your cruise: Sometimes activities on the first few days of a cruise are cheaper than the later cruise days.
- Take advantage of the ship’s loyalty program: Often repeat customers or those belonging to the loyalty program get a less expensive price.
- Avoid peak times: Less popular times are often less expensive than the most desired time.
- Do your own thing: Instead of booking an excursion or activity, consider exploring the ports of call on your own or doing your own activities.
Save Money on a Cruise – Laundry
- Pack enough clothes: Make sure you pack enough clothes so you don’t have to do laundry too often. But beware, over-packing can cause problems also.
- Hand-wash clothes: If you need to do laundry, consider hand-washing clothes instead of using the ship’s laundry service, which can be expensive.
- Bring laundry detergent: Bring your own laundry detergent, if you’re planning to hand-wash clothes or use the ship’s self-service laundry room.
- Use the self-service laundry: Some cruise ships have self-service laundries that you can use for a lower cost than the ship’s laundry service.
- Take advantage of port days: Some ports of call offer laundry services at a lower cost than those offered on the ship.
- Avoid peak times: Some ships charge extra for laundry during peak times, so try to avoid these times.
- Bring wrinkle-release spray: Bring wrinkle-release spray or a portable steamer to keep your clothes wrinkle-free and avoid the need for ironing.
Save Money on a Cruise – Souvenir Shopping
- Compare prices: Compare prices at different shops and vendors, both on the ship and in ports of call. In many locations, it is common to”haggle” the price. Nothing is set in stone.
- Shop in ports of call: Prices for souvenirs may be lower in ports of call than on the cruise ship.
- Take advantage of sales and discounts: Always look for sales and discounts when shopping.
- Avoid peak shopping times: Some shops and vendors may charge higher prices during peak shopping times. Many times, they will charge a cheaper price at the end of the day just to sell their merchandise.
- Bring cash: Cash is always king.
- Be mindful of the location: Some ports of call may have cheaper prices than others. The problem is if you wait till the end of the cruise, you may lose out on a less expensive item that you “have to have.”
- Avoid impulse buying: Don’t buy something just because it’s there, that is how most of the merchandise is sold. Prior to shopping know what you want to buy.
- Consider non-traditional souvenirs: Instead of buying traditional souvenirs like t-shirts or magnets, consider taking pictures or videos to remember your trip, or buying a locally made product like a piece of jewelry or a hand-woven basket.
Save Money on a Cruise – Wi-Fi
- Take advantage of free Wi-Fi: Many cruise ships offer free Wi-Fi in certain areas, such as the library or the atrium.
- Purchase a Wi-Fi package: Some cruise ships offer Wi-Fi packages at a discounted rate.
- Use your phone’s hotspot: If you have a mobile device with a hotspot feature, you can use your phone’s data plan to connect other devices to the internet. This can save you money on internet access.
- Wait until you’re in port: Some ports of call offer free Wi-Fi, so wait until you’re in port to use the internet if you can.
- Use apps that work offline: Some apps, such as maps, e-books, and music apps, allow you to download content for offline use.
- Limit your usage: Be mindful of how much data you’re using and limit your usage when possible.
- Use social media apps with offline mode: Some social media apps, like Facebook and Instagram, have an offline mode that allows you to view and interact with certain content without an internet connection.
- The time of day affects the cost: Some ships offer discounts on internet access during off-peak hours. Try to use your wifi only during those times, if your ship offers this discount.
Saving money on a cruise is not always easy. Carnival helps in that they answer your question: Can I afford a cruise?
Celebrity cruises have the answers to many questions under their frequently asked questions that will help you save money on a cruise.
Royal Caribbean has a list of cruise deals on its website.
Always check the website of the cruise lines you are thinking of using before booking a cruise. Be aware of important cruise secrets so that you can save money on your cruise. It can be done!