Top 5 Money Saving Tips for your Summer Cruise
Posted on June 28, 2017
Cruise lines often pitch their trips as all-inclusive, but there are always add-ons and other expenses that can rack up quite the bill on your vacation. Here are our top 5 favorite money saving tips to help you get the most out of your summer cruise without breaking the bank.
1. Plan Your Own Port Excursions
While booking excursions through your cruise line may seem like the most convenient option, you’ll often pay a premium. Instead of booking through your ship, you may want to consider exploring the port on your own or booking in advance through a local provider. Especially if you just want to wander around a new town, check out some shops or hit the beach. However, if you venture out on your own, make sure that you are on time returning to the pier. Cruise ships will not wait for any passengers running behind schedule that are not on ship-sponsored excursions.
2. Access the Internet in Port
Onboard internet can be extremely expensive and frustratingly slow. Save yourself the trouble of trying to connect to the wifi on your ship and wait until you’re in port to access the internet. Nowadays most coffee shops and even some local restaurants and shopping centers have free wifi available. To save time you can even pre-write your emails and just send them when you’re able to get online.
3. BYOB (Bring Your own Beverages)
While most adults are concerned with boozing it up on their cruise, many don’t realize that sodas, juices and even bottled water can also run up a large bill. Consider bringing aboard not only your own alcohol, but also your favorite fizzy drink and some water. Each cruise line has very specific rules on what you can and can’t carry on though. Be sure to check with your ship for details on what is permitted. Typically you’ll be allowed to carry on at least one bottle of wine or champagne and a few cases of soda, juice or bottled water.
4. Return to the Ship for Lunch
Most restaurants near the port tend to be very touristy and over-priced. If you’re exploring the area on your own or your excursion returns at a reasonable hour, consider heading back to the ship for lunch. You’ll save money by avoiding this common tourist trap and be able to enjoy a meal that’s already included in the cost of your cruise.
5. Use Off-Site Parking & Cruise Transfers
Driving to your cruise — as opposed to flying— can be another good way to save, as long as it’s geographically feasible. You’ll still have to find a place to park your car though and parking at the cruise terminal can cost you a pretty penny, upwards of $16 per day. That’s $112 for a 7-day cruise! Instead, try parking at on off-site lot to save yourself some cash.
If you’re sailing from Port Canaveral, Go Port offers a Cruise Parking & Transportation Package. With this package, you’ll simply pay $5 per person for transportation each way from their parking lot to Port Canaveral. Free parking for your car is included for the duration of your cruise. This means that the cost for two cruisers to park and get to the cruise terminal would be $20, regardless of the cruise length. In most cases, you can even add a hotel stay to your package for less than it would cost to park your car at the port!