|10 ways to save money when cruising
B. Crane Bankrate.com
When it comes to taking a cruise, your spending doesn't
end when you've booked the trip. Lots of cruise-related expenses
have the potential to bust your budget, from the flight to your
embarkation point to drinks on the cruise to shore excursions. So-called
add-on expenses can equal or exceed the cost of your cruise if you're
"The trend is for some cruise lines to offer
relatively low prices to get people on the ship and then hit them
with cash fees for little expenses here and there that after a week
can really add up," says Eileen Entin, owner of Diamond Cruise
and Travel in Hightstown, N.J.
Jeffrey Miller, an attorney and cruise industry consultant,
agrees, saying, "Everything on the ship is a profit center
for the cruise line, so it's up to you to keep your expenses in
||10 ways to save on cruises
To keep your spending under control,
follow these tips:
1. Book your
own flight. Most cruises offer a complete package including
airfare to and from your home city. While such a package offers
the convenience of not having to book your own flight or worry about
how to get from the airport to the cruise ship, that convenience
comes at a cost.
"Cruise lines buy their airfare packages in bulk
from the airlines a year in advance so the price you get through
the cruise line doesn't vary throughout the year like normal airline
pricing does," says Evan Eggers, president of SureCruise.com.
"Sometimes the prices are lower than the open market, but for
someone keeping a good eye on airfares and checking the discount
sites it will generally be higher."
If you book your own flight, leave a big cushion between
when your flight arrives in your port city and when the cruise actually
embarks so you can get to the ship. In some locales, such as Fort
Lauderdale, Fla., the port is a quick ride from the airport. But
in other places, such as Southampton, England, the airport is a
good two hours away from the port, Eggers says.
The cost of the taxi or shuttle ride from the
airport to the port is included in cruise-line booked fares, but
if you book your own flight, you have to factor in that cost both
ways. There is also the risk that if your flight is delayed for
some reason, you may miss your embarkation.