Save money on your next cruise – our top 5 tips
Thu, 15th Dec 2016 Email to a Friend | Printable Version
So, you’ve booked your cruise with iCruise and bagged yourself an amazing deal but what about the spending money you will need on board? How will you make this go further? Well, we hear some great tips from the people who cruise with us on the best ways to save money whilst you’re on a cruise and we thought we’d share the top five tips with you so here goes.
1.Book restaurant packages
Whilst you can save money by eating for free in the main dining room, buffet venue, outdoor grill and more, if you want to try out some of the different speciality restaurants on board (and there are some great ones!) check before you board to see if the cruise line offers any restaurant packages. These can save you lots of money if you enjoy eating out and you will get to enjoy a real variety of food onboard.
Bonus: You are not limited to one of each appetizer, entree and dessert in the main dining room. You can order two entrees or three desserts if you choose. You can also order appetizer-sized portions of entrees as starters or order a few appetizers for your main meal. It's a great way to try new foods you're not sure you'll like.
2.Go on your own on shore
Shore excursions can get pretty expensive if you are looking to go out and explore in every port you visit. Whilst the main benefit of booking a shore excursion with the cruise line is that they will never leave you behind should your tour be delayed for some reason, you often pay over the odds for a trip you could easily arrange yourself for much less. You could team up with people you meet onboard or book in advance, but try and find a local guide before you dock who will often give you the same tour for a fraction of the price and with much fewer people on the trip.
Renting your own car can also be an option to enable you to get out and explore and go wherever you fancy. Just make sure you allow a couple of hours before the cruise is due to depart in case of any breakdowns and you will be fine!
3.Disconnect at sea
Whilst it is true that onboard internet and calling has got better and cheaper, it’s still easy to run up some pretty expensive phone bills either on your mobile or from your cabin phone if you’re not too careful. Our top tip when you’re out at sea is to ditch the mobile phone. Switch off data roaming and try not to check it – receiving calls and texts can be super expensive. Instead, wait ‘til you get to port and find an internet café where you will usually find you can get an hour of pretty speedy internet access for under $5 and you can also often purchase international calling cards which offer much better values than your onboard rates. If you’re in developed areas, take your phone or tablet on shore with you and try and hook into local WiFi hotspots and get online for free.
Most of the cruise lines are sticklers for bringing wine, beer and spirits onboard (and perhaps rightly so) however they are much more relaxed about you bringing soft drinks onboard – things like fizzy sodas, bottled water and juice can soon add up on board if you are not on an all-inclusive package so bringing your own can save you a few dollars and also ensure you can drink your favourite brand whilst you’re out at sea.
Bonus: It's often cheaper to buy a bottle of wine than a few glasses -- but what do you do if you don't finish the bottle? Cruise ship waiters can mark the bottle with your room number and save it for another night, even for dinner in another onboard venue.
5.Book your next cruise onboard
If you book your next cruise while onboard your current one, you can take advantage of reduced deposits, fare discounts and/or free onboard credit. Deposits are typically refundable, and you can choose or change itineraries in the future and even transfer your booking to your favourite travel agent to take advantage of their expertise -- and promotional offers.
These are just some of the top tips from iCruise customers – we’d love to hear if you have any better so please let us know via our Facebook page.