5 Ways to save money on a cruise

When thinking of affordable vacations, cruises often come to mind. Though the cruise itself is usually incredibly affordable, all the other little things can add up immensely if you aren’t careful with your planning.

Caribbean cruise

Cruises typically make for a fun and affordable vacation. Whether you’re looking to travel with the girls, with your partner or with your whole family, there’s a cruise package for you!

At first glance they seem ridiculously inexpensive, but you’d be surprised at how much you could wind up spending. Learn ways to easily save money while you cruise the ocean blue!


Bring your own wine

Wine bottles

Most cruises allow you to bring a few bottles of wine onboard the ship with you. According to a poll by Cruise Critic, 34 percent of passengers spend between $50 and $200 on alcohol alone on a cruise, with 25 percent spending more than $200. If your cruise allows you to bring your own alcohol onboard, definitely do so. Though they may charge a corkage fee if you bring your bottle down to the dining hall, it’s still significantly less expensive than purchasing one of their bottles.

Disclaimer: Make sure to check with your cruise line before planning on bringing alcohol on board.


Pack light and choose a cheap room

Packing light is always the way to go when traveling. Both the airline (if you need to fly) and the ship may charge extra fees if your bags are too heavy.

You can save money by doing one load of laundry on the cruise instead of packing your entire wardrobe. Also, choose one of the cheaper rooms if you are on a tight budget. Yes, the cheaper rooms are smaller and don’t have as nice a view as the more expensive rooms, but most likely you’re not going to be in your room all that often, anyway. Between all the activities the ship provides and the excursions on the land, you really will only be using your room to sleep!


Have a budget

Do not board the ship without having a budget in mind. Trust us, they will nickel and dime you and you’ll wind up back at home wondering where all your money went. Decide beforehand what you want to spend in total, and divide that number by the number of days onboard your cruise. Avoid going into your next day’s fund, and choose your activities wisely. Cruises nowadays are usually packed with casinos, so if your budget is tight, we recommend steering clear of those!


Use the internet wisely

Internet on cruise

Though you can use the internet while on the ship, it’s not recommended. Most cruise lines charge you per minute — so it can really add up if you tend to get lost in cyberspace for hours at a time. Instead, head to a café with internet access when the ship is docked. This will allow you to check any important emails or log onto Facebook quickly without being charged a fortune. For cell phones, call your provider and upgrade to an international plan, or go without your cell phone for the week!


Avoid unnecessary souvenirs

Yes, we all want to bring home fantastic souvenirs and memories from our trip, but these expenses really do add up. From the moment you board the ship, photographers will anxiously be waiting to snap your photo and give you a professional shot of your group for $20 a pop. Instead, bring your own camera and have fellow passengers take your pictures. Also, while it’s tempting to want to purchase T-shirts, coffee mugs and key chains as a reminder of your cruise, these items are not necessities and you won’t miss them if you don’t buy them.

Tell us

Do you have any tips for saving money on a cruise? Share in the comments below!

More on saving money while on vacation

How to travel on a tight budget
9 Tips for a budget-friendly vacation
10 Ways to save money when traveling