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Tips for Saving Money on a Cruise

By Chris Bibey

saving on a cruiseAre you interested in taking a cruise this summer? This is a great way to vacation by yourself, with a partner, or with your entire family. But just like any vacation you probably have one thing on your mind: money. Sure, you want to have a good time, but you can only do so if your budget is under control. Fortunately, there are many ways that you can save on a cruise both when booking and when you are finally on the ship. The following money saving tips are useful for anybody who is going to be sailing the high seas this summer:

1. ¬†Opt for one of the cheaper rooms. As you are comparing your options, you will find that there are many different types of rooms on every cruise ship. If you are on a tight budget you will want to choose a port hole room. Although they only have one small window, you can save a lot of money when compared to other rooms on the ship. Those who don’t want the cheapest option should consider an ocean view room. While a bit more expensive, you are going to at least have a view of the water. This is important to many people. As you move up the pricing ladder, you will find that rooms with a balcony and suites are among the most expensive.

2. Get the most bang for your buck. You will find cruises that last anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks or more. Although shorter cruises are going to be less expensive, if you opt for a longer length, you will get more for your money.

3. All inclusive? In some cases, you can find an all inclusive cruise. The nice thing about this is that you never have to pay a dime once you step on the boat, at least not for food, drinks, and fun. Sure, you are going to pay more upfront but once you do this you don’t have much else to worry about in terms of money.

4. Budget for miscellaneous expenses. Do you have enough cash in your pockets to tip your cabin steward, waiters, and anybody else who helps you along the way? You are not required to tip the help, but it is greatly appreciated. Along with tipping, don’t forget that your ship will be docking from time to time. It goes without saying that you want to have a few dollars to spend at the port cities you visit. Make sure your budget for this in advance. The last thing you want to do is blow all your money on the ship, and find that you don’t have any to spend when you stop sailing for a few hours. The cruise concierge will have a list of day trips you can go on while in port, but you can often find cheaper deals once you’re on the main land.

5. Ask about discounts. Did you know that many cruise lines offer discounts for a variety of reasons? This can include everything from being an active member of the military to those for senior citizens. While discounts are available, in most cases you have to ask to get them. Check in with a local travel agent as well. They sometimes know of different discounts they can get you and they might know of cruises with excess rooms that are looking to fill up with cheaper prices.

If you are ready to save on your next cruise, start by visiting these sites:

Expedia Cruise

Cruise Direct

iCruise.com

Carnival.com

When was the last time you were on a cruise? If you have any money saving tips, feel free to leave a comment so we can all benefit from them!

(photo credit: jimg944)

Chris Bibey
Chris Bibey is a freelance writer who over the years has honed his personal finance experience by writing more than 100 feature articles on the subject. In his spare time, Chris enjoys sports - West Virginia football in particular!

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  • Paula

    I have been on 4 cruises and the best thing I have found to save money is to go on Cruisecritic.com and join their message boards. We have saved a ton of money on excursion we have taken off the ship at the different ports by researching the things you can do. The ship charges alot more then the locals do. And if you find a group with good reviews you don’t have to worry about not getting back to the boat in time. This is their lively hood so that make sure every thing goes correctly.

    Also you don’t spend alot of time in your room so don’t worry about how small they may look. And every cruise I have been on the cabin is kept cleaned all the time.

  • ParN

    Funny tip: alcoholic drinks and sodas are not free, but fruit juices are.
    When you compare cruise prices calculate on a per day cost. That way you know if the 4 day cruise is really cheaper than the 7 day. Don’t forget to calculate the cost of traveling to the port city.

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