Tips for Saving Money on a Cruise Vacation

Going on a cruise can be an amazing experience. But it can also be quite costly if you just book your fare and go without giving consideration to what you’re getting for your money. Cruise lines are in the business of making money and they will do whatever they can to get you to part with your hard-earned dollars. From the layout of certain parts of the ships to making it super-easy to make a purchase on board (just sign your name!); they have been doing this a long time and they know how to do it well.

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Fortunately, there are ways to save money on your next cruise vacation without sacrificing the fun and excitement. Here are 20 tips to help you get the most bang for your buck:

1. Book Early: One of the best ways to save on a cruise is to book as early as possible. Cruise lines often offer early booking discounts that can save you hundreds of dollars.

2. Be Flexible: If you're able to be flexible with your travel dates, you can often find great last-minute deals or discounted sailings during the off-season.

3. Time It Right: Avoid peak travel times like holidays and school breaks, when demand is higher, and prices are at their peak.

4. Look for Packages: Look for all-inclusive packages that offer airfare, hotels, and ground transportation in addition to your cruise for bundled savings.

5. Join Loyalty Programs: Cruise line loyalty programs offer perks and benefits like on-board credits, priority boarding, and discounts on future cruises.

6. Use a Travel Agent: A good travel agent can help you find the best deals and provide helpful advice and insights, while also saving you time and hassle.

7. Don't Overpack: While not exactly related to cruise lines, you do have to get your luggage from home to the ship. Airlines charge extra for luggage that exceeds a certain weight or size limit. Pack wisely to avoid these charges.

8. Look for Cruise Line Sales: Keep an eye on cruise line websites and social media channels for sales and discounts.

9. Book Excursions Independently: Booking shore excursions on your own can save you money compared to booking through the cruise line. Be aware, however, that if your independently booked shore excursion doesn’t get you back to the ship on time for departure, the ship will leave without you!

10. Avoid Extras: Don't fall for the tricks of cruise lines that offer expensive extras like spa treatments, photos, and art auctions.

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11. Bring Your Own Beverages: Check with your cruise line to see if they allow passengers to bring their own beverages on board. Most cruise lines do allow you a certain amount of water, soda, and wine to be brought on board. They will not allow any liquor to be brought on board for consumption.

12. Skip the Specialty Dining: While specialty restaurants on board can offer a unique dining experience, you can save money by sticking to the included dining options.

13. Look for Free On-Board Activities: All cruise ships offer free activities like games, trivia, and certain fitness classes that can be just as fun as paid activities.

14. Book a Lower Deck Cabin: While cabins with balconies and ocean views can be more desirable, you can save money by opting for a lower deck inside cabin.

15. Use On-Board Credits Wisely: If your cruise line offers on-board credits, be sure to use them wisely on things you would have paid for anyways - like pictures, specialty dining or shore excursions.

16. Book Your Cruise During Wave Season: Wave season, which runs from January through March, can be a great time to find discounted cruises and exclusive amenities.

17. Purchase a Drink Package: If you plan to indulge in plenty of alcoholic beverages on your cruise, purchasing a drink package can help you save money. Usually, drink packages cost less if purchased before you arrive on the ship.

18. Use Your Credit Card Rewards: Many credit cards offer rewards like points or cash back that can be redeemed for travel, including cruises.

19. Consider a Shorter Cruise: It may be tempting to book a longer cruise, but short cruises can offer a great getaway at a fraction of the cost.

20. Take Advantage of Discounts: Cruises lines often offer discounts to groups, seniors, and military personnel, so be sure to check for eligibility.

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By following these tips, you can enjoy all the fun and excitement of a cruise vacation without breaking the bank.

Do you want more help and guidance for your next cruise? Contact us!

Happy cruising!