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Don’t buy these expensive items on board your cruise ship

Don’t buy these expensive items on board your cruise ship

When you’re on holiday, it’s nice to be able to splurge here and there - whether it’s on a gourmet meal or an extra special souvenir you can bring home with you. However, you also want to avoid going overboard on your spending - you want to make that holiday budget last!

Maximise those hard-earned dollars next time you take a cruise by planning ahead and packing smartly. Try to avoid purchasing these items onboard - the costs can add up quickly, and there are plenty of alternatives.


Toiletries sold on cruise ships can be very pricey. You don’t want to be paying through the roof for tiny bottles! It’s worth the extra effort to bring your own toiletries with you. Failing that, buying them at port is a much cheaper option.

Don’t forget that your cabin will have the basics such as soap and shampoo, so you don’t need to worry about taking up space in your luggage with those.


Packages of pills laid out together

Similar to toiletries, medication like painkillers and seasickness tablets can be really expensive on cruise ships.

When you’re packing for your cruise, include a small kit of all the basics you might need (even if you’re not sure if you get seasick or not), so you don’t get caught short. Be sure to include any prescribed medication you are taking, because seeing a doctor onboard or at port can be very costly.

Bottled water

Bottled water sells for a pretty penny on board cruise ships but did you know the tap water is completely safe to drink?

Cruise ships get their drinking water from distilled seawater or local ports. The water is then treated and filtered, with salt and other impurities removed from it. Once treated, the water is kept in tanks where its quality is regularly tested. This is all done to rigorous standards, so the water is absolutely safe for consumption. You can request glasses of water from any bar and restaurant throughout your ship and be confident in drinking it.

Some ships also have drinking fountains or places you can refill your own glass of water throughout the ship.


It can be nice to have a token of your time on board the ship but hold out for the best deals! Check your ship’s daily newsletter in case they mention any sales, or wait until towards the end of the cruise when prices tend to come down.

Also see what you can find when you’re exploring your ports of call, where there will be plenty of local and authentic souvenirs to catch your eye.


Bottles of spirits lined up on a cruise ship bar

While cruising, it’s useful to think about the alcohol you intend to drink onboard, and any alcohol you want to purchase to take home with you. That’s because some cruise lines don’t allow you to bring any of your own alcohol onto the ship, while others might let you carry on a bottle of wine or two.

Usually, most alcohol you do bring on or buy at port must be declared and surrendered. Don’t worry, you do get it back - but the crew will hold it until the end of the voyage.

You can also buy alcohol onboard at duty-free shops, but the same rules apply: you won’t get it back until the end of your cruise. You can get some great deals, as long as you’re happy to wait until you get home to drink them!

If you think you’ll end up spending a lot of money on drinks at the ship’s bars and restaurants, consider purchasing a drinks package. There are different packages available on each ship, but they usually allow you to drink unlimited beer and wine by the glass, as well as non-alcoholic beverages.

The other option is to take an all-inclusive cruise, where alcohol is included in the overall cruise price. Seabourn and Regent Seven Seas are two all-inclusive cruise lines.

We hope these tips will help you make the most of your budget when you take a cruise. What do you think - do you usually spend up large when you’re taking a holiday, or are you more of a thrifty cruiser? Let us know in the comments below!

Travelling the world one cruise at a time! I'm a massive foodie so onboard a cruise you'll most likely find me scoffing food at the buffet or trying all the cocktails onboard. My dream cruise destination would definitely be through Alaska, the wildlife and scenery would be so epic

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