How to Stay on Budget When You’re Cruising

by Online Hotelier on July 7, 2009

Going on a cruise can be a great way to save money on a summer vacation. Cruises are typically all-inclusive; which only includes food and entertainment.  Often, if you’re not careful, you will end up spending more than you planned on because of your drink purchases, gift shop trips, gambling in the onboard casino, participating in shore excursions and various other activities. Well here are couple tips to keep you on budget.

Cell Phones on the Ship

Before using your cell phone on the ship, check and see what you’ll be paying per minute. Often the charges are quite high, up to around $3.00 per minute in some cases and sometimes more. Wait to go on shore to use your phone or laptop if possible.

The Casino

So you’re excited to go to Casino? Well set a predetermined daily amount before you get there and stick to it. You can do very well in these casinos but not as well as say a Vegas casino. Remember it can still be fun as long keep in mind your limit.

Cruise Gift Shops

Many cruise gifts shops can make stray heavily from your budget. They tend have a lot of overpriced items that can be obtained in port for a lot less money. Check out the items you like in the gift shop and see if you can find them elsewhere.  I am not saying not to buy a few items, but a set a limit and stick to it.

On-board Art Auctions

You will most cruise ships have some type of art auction on board. These tend to be the perfect place to find some great pieces at a reasonable price. People tend to be sucked into these auctions and end not ever hanging these pieces up or displaying them. Remember only buy what you know you’re going to use. With a little research you would able to find the same pieces of art for a better price of the ship.

Food, Food, & More Food

Many cruises have onboard restaurants that have varying cuisine but are not included with your ship meal plan. Remember you have already paid for the food in your initial purchase, so take advantage of that fact in order to save money. Consider only attending these types of restaurants for special occasions or as treat for yourself.  This will help keep you on budget.

These tips should to drastically keep you on budget on your next cruise. Remember to all research your cruise ship’s onboard activities, and food options. This way you can plan ahead on what you would like to participate in.

{ 34 comments }

Mark Slater @healthy living 08.06.09 at 2:51 pm

yes, still going on a cruise can be a great way to save money on a summer vacation. Cruises are typically all-inclusive; which only includes food and entertainment. Often, if you’re not careful, you will end up spending more than you planned on because of your drink purchases, gift shop trips, gambling in the onboard casino, participating in shore excursions and various other activities, so be careful and follow some tips before you go

jon-jon@songs 08.18.09 at 6:14 am

Cruise can be pretty dangerous for you expense wise.

you may end up spending a lot without any valid reason.

so one has to be very careful.

however, new packages in this decades, they include everything of your basic need. so you don’t have to be worry about it. of course you can take a lot of tips from friends who have experience for the same.

Jack@Luxury Vacations 08.21.09 at 2:11 pm

Cruising itself would be a money saver as you get to visit many different locations during one trip. Of course, you would get a different experience from someone that stays at each location for extended periods of time but it’d be a lot more expensive.

Budget Hotels 08.26.09 at 2:10 pm

You won’t have to worry about what to do on cruise. There are plenty of things to do once you are there.

One of the worst thing you can do on any cruise is to accept those tropical drinks they try to push on you the minute you put your foot inside the ship. They are quite expensive and since you don’t pay for it until you are ready to disembark, people tend to over-indulge on them. Don’t be surprised if they charge you up to 10 dollars a drink!

If you are going to take side-trips on ports of calls, I suggest you book it through the cruise-ship company, not the individual ones. The reason behind this is, if you do it on your own, and if you are late coming back to the ship, the ship will leave without you. If you book it through them, they will wait for you. While you save some money by finding your own, delays are possible and consequences are quite expensive. (as you have to find your way back home…)

George@Gourmet Foods 08.26.09 at 3:56 pm

I would stay away from charging everything to your room. Cary cash on you. This will help you be more frugal during your trip.

Dj@hostels Sydney 09.08.09 at 3:39 am

These are really nice tips and helpful too.
If you are going to take side-trips on ports of calls, I suggest you book it through the cruise-ship company, not the individual ones. The reason behind this is, if you do it on your own

Cheap Vegas Vacations 09.09.09 at 3:18 pm

its a good post that would help me to find more info on Cheap Vegas Vacations.
Thanks a lot!!
.-= Cheap Vegas Vacations´s last blog ..MGM Mirage Back in Big A Casino Hunt =-.

Vacation Rental Boca Raton 09.17.09 at 7:51 pm

Very Nice Article! I want to thank you for this informative reading, I really appreciate you sharing this great post. Keep up your work!

the keller board 09.19.09 at 6:55 am

Loves me some casino games on cruises!

Jack@US travel ideas 09.24.09 at 5:48 pm

Yeah I remember checking my voicemail when I got on board the ship and it cost me like $5-10, not cool.

sam@Miami website design 10.05.09 at 8:41 pm

While cruising, budget is always a reminder in our mind which click every times.

Phil@Budget Travel 10.13.09 at 12:30 pm

These are some fantastic tips for those, who like me, have yet to go on a cruise. I can imagine that even a decent size budget can shrink if you’re not careful and set aside a specific amount for each day so as to ensure you get the most out of your trip.
.-= Phil@Budget Travel´s last blog ..Colony Bay Resort Hotel =-.

Tanmay@sydney backpackers 10.20.09 at 12:40 pm

Hi,
Fantastic post.
I really admire this kind of information.
Thanks for tips and advice.
.-= Tanmay@sydney backpackers´s last blog ..Sydney Summer the Festival season =-.

DG@22 carry on 10.29.09 at 11:10 pm

One way we’ve stayed on budget is not taking large luggage bags on cruises. Just large enough to carry what we take on board. That way, we’re not enticed to purchase many items. If we can’t pack it, we can’t take it home. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same about the wonderfull food they offer.

courtside villa 11.09.09 at 3:15 pm

Got a cruise scheduled for Christmas. Thank you for your valuable tips.

john@holiday home insurance 11.30.09 at 8:20 am

It’s funny to read budgeting tips for people going on cruises… I would have thought the no. 1 tip is dont go on a cruise at all, go on a normal holiday! I realise some people do love cruises but built into the experience is the fact that you’re a captive consumer and the secondary industries on board (food, drink, entertainment) are built on the fact that you can’t go anywhere else for a cheaper deal! Personally I’d much rather be able to choose where I go on a land-based holiday 😉

Did I go too far?

Atlantic city hotels 12.10.09 at 7:57 pm

One of the worst thing you can do on any cruise is to accept those tropical drinks they try to push on you the minute you put your foot inside the ship. They are quite expensive and since you don’t pay for it until you are ready to disembark, people tend to over-indulge on them. Don’t be surprised if they charge you up to 10 dollars a drink!

If you are going to take side-trips on ports of calls, I suggest you book it through the cruise-ship company, not the individual ones. The reason behind this is, if you do it on your own, and if you are late coming back to the ship, the ship will leave without you. If you book it through them, they will wait for you. While you save some money by finding your own, delays are possible and consequences are quite expensive. (as you have to find your way back home..

Jeff @ Jacksonville Hotel Rooms 12.22.09 at 4:57 pm

A cruise sounds great. I can see how it would be hard to control your expenses but you’ve given some good advice. Thanks
.-= Jeff @ Jacksonville Hotel Rooms´s last blog ..About =-.

szeny@Travel Channel Online 12.28.09 at 1:19 pm

To stay within a budget while sailing, you should open a cash account when you board instead of linking your account to a credit card. When you reach your cash deposit, the purser will send you a note and you can add more …

Sarah@Chamonix Accommodatino 01.04.10 at 10:49 am

Luckily I have no friends to phone, don’t gamble and know that the onboard auctions can be a scam. On the flip side I do love to eat so that probably more than makes up for everythiong else.

dave@cruise vacations 01.06.10 at 9:39 pm

When I am on a cruise I do not even want to use my cellphone anyway, it is my vacation and my time to stay away from the outside world and just spend time with my loved ones that are on the cruise with me. I have also been on many cruises and you are right about the food part, though expensive in most cases, much worth the pretty penny 🙂
.-= dave@cruise vacations´s last blog ..Disney Cruise =-.

kate@sydney backpackers 01.16.10 at 7:02 am

Thanks for the description of Niche Horde. According to your description it seems a very interesting approach and I will give it a try.

Oahu Vacation Rental 01.18.10 at 1:21 am

Set a budget, use a prepaid card, and while you are enjoying yourself, you will also really think about what you are spending, particularly if you know there is a limit.

Teena@V8 Supercars 01.29.10 at 10:55 am

Thanks for the helpful tips. Going on a cruise is a great way to travel since you get to a lot of destinations. But we should also watch out for our budget.
.-= Teena@V8 Supercars´s last blog ..Sydney Seaplanes – Scenic Flight, Sydney Highlights =-.

MD@ Kerala Tourism 02.18.10 at 5:34 am

Cruising is one of the best option for holiday makers..but at the same time people have to take care about their expenditure. The tips given above are really very helpful to save money.

Costa Marcos@cruise schedules 02.27.10 at 9:55 am

One of the best ways to keep to a budget is avoid the casino all together, and take along a pack of cards for a some low-stakes gambling between you and your friends.

Danna@Carnival cruise lines 03.31.10 at 5:17 pm

It doesn’t sound too hard to stay focused on saving while on a cruise specially when you already have things you want all inclusive, that should be enough for a nice staying on the cruise. As for the rest of the spending, we just have orientate well. Thanks for the article, it literally helps a lot of people!

stacie@Music Festivals 05.11.10 at 10:21 am

Hey, great article. I’ve never seen anyone give advice about staying on budget on a cruise before- seen a lot of posts about keeping costs down on other holidays but people seem to think you don’t spend money on a cruise and this isn’t the case. I’ll be using these tips for my cruise in December.
.-= stacie@Music Festivals´s last blog ..Sub Focus Records New Track =-.

Hannah@Self Catering Cottages Scotland 05.13.10 at 4:02 am

Cruises are a lovely resort for a cheap getaway. Not that cheap but considerably low priced than the ‘on-shore vacationing’. It is true one has to be very careful of how much they spend on these cruises. They can be tantalizing and tempting to attract you to spend your wallets out you. But you clearly have to step out of the spending spree. Figure out why you took this cruise? Was it because you wanted silence and a peaceful getaway? Was that you simply wanted to admire the sea and its beauty? Whatever the reason try spending little on a cruise and enjoy what is displayed forth your eyes.

Jon @ Antarctic Cruises 06.03.10 at 9:58 am

Fantastic article with some amazing money saving tips.

tc@Jacksonville Florida Restaurant 06.23.10 at 9:37 am

Lots of unexpected expenses can crop up on cruises to say the least, but they are fun. I mean, how many cruises does the average person really go on in their life? Probably not that many, so enjoy it while you can.

jazhmel 08.10.10 at 6:11 am

I have spend much money last summer when I went on a cruise with my friends. I do not want that to happen again. I will remember these tips so that I will save money next summer.

Compare Hotels 08.26.10 at 1:34 pm

Great ideas on this blog. Here some travellers tips to add Before booking a hotel .

* Copy all credit cards, airline tickets, passports and important documents, front and back.
* Jewelry and luggage and all valuables should be photographed prior to trip.

Bohol Best Tours 10.14.10 at 5:48 am

I’m planning to go on a vacation cruise next year. Although cruises are expensive, it’s a fun way to enjoy your summer vacation. Lazing at the beach gets boring sometimes. LOL

Comments on this entry are closed.