Vacations on a Dime: Sail Away for Less

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by on May 13, 2013

ID-100156203Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You may have seen all of the headlines about cruise ships lately, but the truth is, cruise ships are still a fun and economical way to enjoy a luxury vacation! Every year thousands set sail and prepare to be pampered on the ocean as only cruise lines know how. Cruises are relaxing, have great food, fun activities, live shows, and other accommodations you just can’t get anywhere else. Because of this, you might think that one is out of your budget. But the truth is, there are plenty of ways to sail the seas without ending up in an ocean of debt.

Take a peek below at ten ways you can save on a cruise and enjoy the experience for less. Cruising is for everyone in every budget, and when you follow these tips you can enjoy one without breaking the bank. You don’t have to sacrifice luxury or quality either. So take a minute to check out these tips below and find out how you too can enjoy a cruise for less.

Sail Away for Less: 10 Ways to Enjoy a Cruise on a Budget

1. Read the fine print.
Many cruises are all inclusive, meaning the price includes meals and a limited number of activities. Always read the fine print or talk to customer service so you know exactly what is included in the cost of your boarding ticket. You don’t want any surprises!

2. Opt for insurance.
Hurricanes in the ocean happen and can cause trips to be delayed or cancelled. A hurricane can drastically affect the quality of your trip or cancel it all together. Insurance of some sort is needed for a vacation such as this. Your personal insurance agent can help you with this and combined with the insurance you already have, you can usually get away paying a very small price.

3. Skip excursions.
A simple trip to the beach, a visit to a shopping district, etc. are easy enough for any tourist to do on their own and you should not pay the cruise line extra to take you on these excursions. Save as much as $100 per person by doing excursions yourself. Just be safe.

4. Tip ahead.
Tip ahead of time and tip in cash. This will help you make sure you are tipping appropriately and you can also allot a certain amount of cash for tipping prior to cruising.

5.  Use the envelope system.
Bring along an envelope for each day of the cruise, each with the amount of cash you have allowed yourself to spend each day. Once that is gone, that is that. No more casino, shopping, etc. until the next day.

6. Get on the list.
Be on the mailing lists of cruise lines so you are getting their promotional emails and offers. You never know what you might find when you open your mail! Cruise lines are always offering deals, and you won’t know about them unless you are on these mailing lists.

7.  Book your airfare separate.
You will be able to find a better deal using Expedia or Pricelineand the other money saving booking sites that you have used in the past. It may seem easier, but avoid having the cruise line book for you.

8. Travel the off season.
There are certain months where cruising is less expensive. May, September, January, and February are the least busy times for cruise ships. Cruise lines run specials at these times to fill their ships, so these months should be looked at when searching for value.

9. Bring your own camera.
Cruise lines have photographers all over the place to catch glimpses of your special moments. It might be tempting to buy into this, but the prints can be quite pricey. Instead take your own pics!

10. Say no to soda packages.
A wrist band for around $60 is your ticket for unlimited soft drinks all week. Opt out of a wrist band and just pay cash for your drinks instead, or, enjoy free water! These wristbands can quickly ad up. Save your money, don’t drink it.

As you can see, these are ten great ways to enjoy cruising while still keeping some cash in your pocket. Your family will enjoy the all inclusive nature of a cruise ship, and you will enjoy that you can take advantage of everything on a ship for less. Cruising does not need to be just for the rich, although you will feel pretty special when your beautiful ship leaves port!

This summer, consider a cruise and utilize these money saving tips so you can enjoy the open waters for less! Happy cruising!

Don’t forget to check out these other ways to save, too:

Vacations on a Dime: Why Traveling By Train is the Way!

Vacations on a Dime: How to Fly for Less!

Come back next Monday for the next Vacation on a Dime post!

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