In yesterday’s entry, we shared four ways to save money when booking a cruise. Congratulations – now it’s time to kick up your feet and enjoy your vacation on the high seas. But wait! The opportunities to save some cash don’t end just because you’re wearing flip flops 24 hours a day.
In fact, there are many ways to cut a few financial corners after you’ve boarded your floating paradise. Here are just a few:
BRING YOUR OWN WINE – You’ll need to check ahead of time, but many cruise lines allow passengers to bring a few bottles of their own wine. That’s good news, because chardonnay at sea isn’t cheap. In most cases, you’ll be charged a $10 to $20 “corkage fee” if you want to enjoy your wine in the dining room, but you can enjoy it for free in the comfort of your own room.
BUY A DRINKS PACKAGE – Like we mentioned before, drinks on a cruise ship can be costly. To offset that cost, consider buying an “all you can drink” drinks package, which can be had for $40 to $50 per day on most cruise lines. The packages can be purchased after you board and cover wine by the glass, beer, and cocktails under $10. They also cover water and soft drinks, which makes them a good investment even for thirsty kids.
AVOID THE SHIP’S CASINO – This one requires no explanation!
AVOID IMPULSE PURCHASES – During your time at sea, you’ll be tempted by all sorts of fancy drinks (which your drinks package won’t cover), art auctions, jewelry sales, souvenir vendors and specialty restaurants that aren’t included in the cost of your ticket. Make a conscious effort to avoid these costly traps and you’ll end up saving plenty.
DON’T USE THE INTERNET – Your smart phone probably won’t work at sea, which is why cruise lines offer onboard Internet services. The problem is, they’re expensive (as much as $1.00 per minute). If you must go online, wait until you arrive in a port and connect at a local Internet café for a fraction of the cost of connecting on the ship.
SPEND WISELY DURING PORT CALLS – It’s easy to overspend on tour packages and other excursions during port calls. Unless an excursion sounds really interesting, skip these packages and just spend some time walking around – which is free! Another port call tip: Eat lunch on board the ship – which is also free!