Save vs Splurge: A Quick Cruise Spending Guide

Save Money

Going on a cruise is already a ‘splurge’ in itself – should you spend a bit more when onboard or should you make conscious effort to save instead? It’s a tricky matter, but it is definitely something that should be given ample consideration.

Not all aspects of your cruise experience require you to overspend. At the same time, you shouldn’t hinder yourself from enjoying your trip to the fullest by keeping your purse strings tight. Here are some suggestions on where you should save, and what you should splurge on during that most-awaited cruise:

Save on: Soda

We all want a bit of this fizzy, bubbly drink every once in a while. Those who do need more than a can or two though, may want to look into either bringing their own (if possible), or availing a soda package beforehand.

Soda is not included in the free drinks list you can avail on cruise. So you can either avail an unlimited package or you can simply skip this carbonated drink at least for the duration of the trip.

There are plenty of other options too – iced tea, lemonade, and of course water. Suffice to say you will never go thirsty, and you really don’t have to spend as much to stay hydrated.

Splurge on: Special Meals

There is so much to eat and enjoy in terms of cruise cuisines. The ones that come with your package include buffets in the main dining room, which while not really all that bad, is not always that exciting either.

Make your trip extra memorable by trying out the specialty restaurants onboard at least once or twice. You’ll be surprised at the wide variety of dishes available – definitely the kind you wouldn’t want to miss out on. Make early reservations so you get your preferred space. Lunch time is usually less hectic, and a bit cheaper too.

Research or ask about their best-sellers or specialties so every single cent you splurge on for your meal will be worth it.

Save on: Branded Sweets

Food is definitely one of those things that are so tempting to spend more money on when you’re on a cruise, but you might want to hold off splurging on some of those irresistible bites.

If you have a sweet tooth and want your dose of something saccharine onboard, keep you wallet in your bag, and find out where the free treats are. Chances are, there will be branded items like ice cream and chocolate, and there will be equally delicious sweets that either come free with the buffet, or simply given out by some of the specialty restaurants.

Splurge on: Paying Corkage Fees For Wine

One of the best ways to cap a lovely night on your cruise is with a glass of wine. It’s also a fitting end to a sumptuous meal onboard. If you need your daily dose of bubbly, and you do have a particular wine you prefer, you’d find it worth splurging on corkage fees for those bottles.

Why? Markup on wine onboard tend to make a bottle of wine cost much more than what it would when you bring your own and pay corkage for it. Unless you plan to bring so many bottles, the corkage fees will not really figure. Make sure to check your cruise line’s rules on bringing alcohol, as there may be a limit to how many bottles you can bring with you onboard.

Save on: Internet Costs

We are all pretty much digital creatures now, so wanting to stay connected to the virtual world on your cruise may be really important to you. Unfortunately though, internet connection onboard doesn’t really come cheap.

Enjoy your cruise more and save on connectivity expenses by going on a digital detox. Sure, take as many pictures as you want with your phone and cameras, but you may want to delay that Instagram or Facebook upload to when you reach your port of call or when you get home.

Check your emails and send responses accordingly before embarkation day. Make sure to send notifications to your contacts, or set up your automated out-of-office messaging. Include a phone number for those who may need to contact you for very urgent matters.

Splurge on: Excursions or Day Trips on Shore

One of the highlights of your cruise is when you dock at your destination. Whether it’s a sunny Mediterranean paradise, an exotic island in Asia, or a picturesque city in Europe, it makes absolute sense to splurge on exploring the area, most especially if it’s your first time there.

You can book prior to boarding your ship, or you can do it through organized tours usually provided by cruise lines. Booking an excursion on your own has its advantages – you get to customize your itinerary, find something that’s more in your budget range, and you can choose to linger in your specific places of interest.

You do have to check the credibility of the agency you’re booking the excursion with. Know about the small details, ask questions, and do your research on feedback about that particular tour and company.

If you book through your cruise line, you have the comfort of knowing that you’re going on a legitimate excursion. And you also know that it will be in sync with your ship’s schedule too.One caveat? They can be a bit more expensive than what you may find on your own.

Either way, spending your hard-earned cash on exciting onshore adventures and excursions will definitely make your cruise even more unforgettable.