Savvy travelers who pack well can
save a lot of money on last-minute purchases. This sounds
like a given, but when you're packing, it's easy to
talk yourself out of bringing more stuff, thinking that
you probably don't need it. If there is just a remote
chance you might need it, put it in.
Things like that extra bottle of sunscreen,
bug spray, an umbrella, a rain jacket or a sweatshirt
will be very expensive if you have to buy it on the
ship or in port. Also, consider bringing coordinating
layers of clothes, because, while many destinations
are quite warm during the day, it can get cooler in
the evenings, and air-conditioned areas on the ship
may be quite cool.
“Savvy travelers who pack well can save a lot of money on last-minute purchases.”
Track your drinking and gambling.
casinos are two major cruise line profit centers, and
many passengers get carried away with both. If that's
how you plan to relax, fine, but be aware how potentially
expensive both activities can be.
"Some onboard casinos offer free
gambling lessons where you can play craps and the other
games with play money," says Eggers. "It's
a way to get the experience of gambling without spending
As far as soda goes, many cruise lines
are offering a flat-rate soda package for adults and
children for the entire voyage. You pay one fee and
get as many sodas as you like instead of each one costing
$1 or more, Entin says. Frequently, ships offer an alcoholic
drink special of the day that will be discounted and
a bit cheaper than other drinks, Eggers says.
Watch out for photos.
will snap your photo when you board and frequently throughout
the voyage. Usually you have to buy a package of photos,
rather than just one, so the cost can add up, says Miller.
"When I started cruising years ago,
the photos were $2.95, then they went up to $9.95 and
$12.95, and now the packages go for close to $20,"
says Entin. She recommends that you take a camera and
shoot your own pictures. If you want photos of your
group, friendly co-passengers will usually oblige.
Don't prepay tips.
Tipping is an expense that
can really add up. Passengers are expected to tip both
their cabin attendant and assistant cabin attendant
and regular waiter and assistant waiter daily. Recommended
rates vary according to the cruise line, but $3.50 a
day is generally expected for the cabin attendant and
$2.50 a day for the waiter.
Some cruise lines allow you to prepay
your tips on your shipboard account, which removes the
hassle but doesn't give you the opportunity to reward
outstanding service or penalize poor service.
Call home in port.
Using the Internet or phone
while on board a ship can be incredibly expensive, says
Entin, so save your calls or e-mails for when you're
in port. "I find an Internet cafe when I get off
the ship and check in that way," she says. You
can also buy prepaid phone cards so that you can make
calls in port as well.
Check your account balance.
Charging all of your extra expenses to your shipboard
account is convenient, but when you don't stay on top
of your bill, you can get a major shock when it comes
time to pay. Some cruise lines offer you the chance
to look at your bill on your cabin television so you
can keep closer tabs on it. If not, you can go to the
purser at any time and ask to see how much you're spending.