If you love cruises, you likely already know that they are fantastic value for money. Everything you might need is included in one low price, and for the budget-conscious holidaymaker, a cruise is an ideal choice.
There are ways to make your money stretch even further when you book and embark on one of the big ships. Choosing to cruise for your holidays and then finding a great deal on our sale page is step one towards an affordable escape - and the following are a few more things you can do to make your dollars work their hardest.
Get it all prepaid
There’s nothing like the feeling of sailing away knowing that you have already paid for your whole holiday - and taking most impulse purchases out of the equation is the perfect situation for those who like to manage their money carefully. We have a few tips to give you that peace of mind:
- If you are likely to drink more than a minimal amount, a drinks package will likely be worth it. These vary between lines, and there are usually a variety of packages which include different drinks. Do some research on the price of drinks and how much you might spend without one.
- Many cruise lines operating from Australia have done away with tipping on top of the cruise fare. P&O, Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Princess all include gratuities in the fare for ships based Down Under. Most lines will allow you to pre-pay them if they are not built into the fare. Check this detail with your cruise agent!
- Many shore excursions can be paid before you embark, so you have everything squared away and budgeted for - you may just need some local currency for a souvenir and a snack!
The specialty restaurants on ships are nice for a special night out, but don’t feel that you are missing out if you don’t try them all! The main dining room on any ship is a great experience, with multiple courses, friendly waiter service and all the bells and whistles of a fine dining meal. You can order as many dishes as you like, and menus vary so you won’t get bored. Mix it up a little with some casual buffet dinners and enjoy never having to take out your wallet - or cruise card.
For more variety, you can often eat in the main restaurant for a seated, formal breakfast or lunch as well as the buffet. What’s more, many ships have a range of smaller eateries which are included in the fare - for example, the delicious taqueria on the Carnival Spirit, the Princess pizzerias or the poolside grills on many ships.
Explore independently or stay onboard
Shore tours are certainly a good and convenient way to discover a destination, but the costs can add up. Thankfully, they are not the only way. Public transport and your own two feet are perfectly suitable for making your way around the central area of a port city, and there are independent tours and shuttles you can use if you feel confident that you will be able to get back to the ship on time. Many destinations have beaches to enjoy which cost nothing, and you may be able to rent snorkel gear from the ship or from local operators. Do a bit of research on the ports you are visiting to compare the cost of going it alone versus booking a shore tour. You may find an autonomous excursion is your best bet!
In fact, getting off the ship is not compulsory. For various reasons - including return visits and wanting to enjoy the peace and quiet of a near-empty ship - many choose to stay onboard during port days.
These are just the three easiest ways to ensure you don’t spend more on your cruise than you need to. Don’t let a price tag put you off from a fabulous holiday - set sail on a budget escape with one of Cruise Sale Finder’s many great cruise deals.