Planning a cruise trip and wondering how to save money on a cruise?
You can make your cruise trip fun and affordable while getting the most out of your money by researching the different cruise lines, planning the trip carefully, and spending wisely.
However, it would help if you didn’t make such big decisions while on vacation because you may not have all the information available. You might also impulsively spend money if you’re not well-prepared in advance.
You can afford to spend more on things like the cruise itself or the food and drinks, but these 8 tips will help you keep your wallet in check and make smart decisions to have the best cruise vacation possible.
So let’s begin!
1. Travel off-season
Prices may increase if you book your trip right in the middle of the holidays when cruise sales peak. If you’re traveling for a vacation, it’s best to avoid the usual summer and spring holidays. Cruising operators offer significant discounts to passengers during the off-season, so try to be flexible with dates because it will take a heavy load off your budget.
Apart from booking trips, making plans off-season is the best way to save money while traveling since you’ll get most things, including souvenirs, travel packages, and even exclusive services at half the regular price, depending on the place of your visit.
2. Look for discounts
If you’re keen on traveling during peak cruise season, an alternative way to save considerable money is by looking for promotions and discounts on everything. You can also consider booking larger groups for discounts or offers through referrals, loyalty points on credit cards, or seasonal cruise trip deals.
Most of the time, cruise lines themselves offer cabin upgrades as promotions. If you can pay for an inside cabin without a window and upgrade to a balcony cabin through an offer, it will save you hundreds of dollars with a better experience. Other possible upgrades include free drink packages or booking discounts, so stay on the lookout!
3. Choose the right cabin.
If you’re struggling to find a cabin that fits your budget, see how much a lower-deck cabin costs. The lower decks are usually cheaper if you’re looking for a high-end suite or cabin.
Additionally, you will likely have to pay more for a good view. While spending is tempting, you can save a big chunk on your bill by opting for an inside cabin without a window or balcony. After all, you’re not too far from the ocean scenery and are free to roam around for the view.
4. Book your trip early or last minute
Cruise lines extend offers to travelers who book a cruise and make a deposit in advance by offering excellent fares and adding other expensive upgrades and value-added benefits. You are more likely to gain complimentary amenities on board and a better chance to get upgrade offers.
On the other hand, booking at the last minute will also save you money. Since the fares for a cruise ticket are always changing, you can find the best rock-bottom prices if you’re willing to travel at the last minute. However, these often come with fixed cabins and offer less room to bargain.
5. Avoid making purchases onboard
Don’t be pressured into buying extra souvenirs or a cruise on the spot. Take your time and think about it before making a purchase. If you know you’re ready to book your next cruise mid-trip and you’ve done your research, you can get a discount by booking while onboard.
Being on vacation, it’s obvious that you would wish to indulge yourself in some luxuries. If that’s the case, pre-book packages for meals and spa services before departure. This will allow you to enjoy your trip while saving money on bookings.
6. Plan your excursions
Cruise lines would like you to book their excursions in every port of call. However, this can be tiring and costly. On a cruise trip, there are often only a few itineraries where you must be on a guided tour every day. At the same time, many ports are easy to explore independently.
To compare the cost of shore excursions with cruises, create your own and see which is cheaper. Make a list of the ports you want to visit and research what is available there. It is often more fun to explore a destination on your own, paying for a cab to take you into town.
In today’s age, exploring your place of visit using a GPS is a better option than hiring guides from your cruise and paying them half the amount of your budget to look around.
7. Choose an all-inclusive package.
If you don’t want to worry about transfer costs, meals, drinks, and paying for other services, consider booking an all-inclusive cruise. The initial cost might sound like a bad deal, but a complete package saves you money and all the stress it takes to self-manage.
Cruise lines also offer discounts on all-inclusive packages, and you can compare the offers across different categories to find a package that fits your budget.
8. Prepare for smaller things.
Avoid having to purchase unnecessary items on your cruise ship. Make a list of what you need and plan so you don’t run out of anything. Products on a cruise cost more than your average grocery store, so have your snacks and toiletries prepared.
If traveling internationally, know the cellular data plans to pick the best one because onboard WiFi is expensive. If you know you won’t have access to the internet, consider unplugging and catching up on work or social media during your stay at the port.
While you prepare for your next cruise trip, don’t forget to implement these tips. While the actions may seem small, you will save a substantial amount of money altogether.
With that said, we hope you enjoy your voyage and save money on a cruise!