It’s probably fair to say that cruises aren’t usually associated with budget breaks and bargain holidays. Quite the opposite in fact as ever since the idea of the international cruise was first floated…no pun intended…they’ve been more associated with elite circles and rich living. Sure, they’re not as expensive as they used to be, but they’re still less than cheap in most instances and can pack a wallop for the unprepared.
The good news however is that there are plenty of tips and tricks by which money can be saved and stretched much further, which include the following:
Buy Meals in Advance
These days, the vast majority of cruise operators offer quite generous savings for those choosing to book and pay for their meals in advance. This usually amounts to about 25% savings in total, which over the course of say two weeks at two meals a day for four people can amount to a quite gigantic saving. You, of course, want some freedom of choice, but there’s no sense in overpaying if you don’t have to.
It’s not as if you’ll always be able to bring your own wine and beer to the dining room, but there’s nothing to say you can’t bring your own drinks to enjoy in your own cabin. Drink prices can be very expensive on cruises, so give real thought to taking along your own supplies.
Beware Drink Packages
In a similar vein, there are some cruises that offer an all-in drinks package meaning you don’t have to pay for certain drinks for the whole of the cruise. However, unless you plan on drinking yourself silly at a rather unhealthy rate, it’s often not in your best financial interests to buy one.
When you look at the biggest cruise liners in the world with upward of 5,000 cabins, it’s normal to assume they’d be the most expensive. In reality though this really isn’t the case as the smaller the ship, the closer you get to the world’s most expensive and exclusive cruises with smaller passenger contingencies. So in the spirit of saving money, it’s more than worth thinking big…very big!
Admittedly, the idea of sailing in hurricane season sounds a little scary, but the name is rather more dramatic than the reality of it. To go for a cruise in hurricane season really just means there’s a higher chance of seeing some rain and the temperature may be a few degrees lower from time to time, which isn’t really too bad of a trade-off for savings of up to 50%.
Buy On Land
And finally, assuming you’re taking the type of cruise that allows you to spend some time exploring a few destinations, be sure to buy anything you want to take home with you on-land rather than on-board. The reason being that not only will the stuff you buy from the destinations be wholly more authentic and desirable, but also a million times cheaper than the shops on the boat.