You’ve found your dream cruise, researched every possible deal, saved by booking a discounted package online with your favourite cruise agent and now you’re ready to set sail on the cruise holiday of a lifetime…but how can you make that all-important cruise-cash stretch once you have actually stepped aboard? Let’s find out below on how to save money on a cruise.

On board drinks, activities and a la carte dining might seem like they are going to stretch your budget to breaking point but, with just a few simple tips, some planning and a little flexibility, you can enjoy everything your cruise has to offer, and still go home with change to spare.

Book Appointments and Activities on Port Days

There’s no question that the cost of spa appointments and onboard activities can add up quickly, and arriving home with a huge tab is the last thing any cruise-goer wants, but did you know that you can easily save money on a cruise by making bookings on port days?

No one wants to miss out on the excitement of disembarking at a new destination, but if you make an appointment whilst your fellow holiday-makers are stepping off on to dry land, you can save as much as 30% on spa appointments and certain activities. The best thing? If you book an appointment in the morning, once you have been thoroughly pampered or have experienced an activities-induced adrenaline high, you’ll still have plenty of time to explore the port before setting sail again.

Drink and Be Merry…Onshore

Onboard drinking might be the most convenient option, but it is unlikely to ever be the most economical. Give your purse-strings a break and experience a true taste of the local culture by drinking on shore during port days. Not only will you be able to shop around for the best value, you’ll also have the chance to sample some local tastes, in authentic surroundings.

Look out for restaurants and bars serving up special lunchtime deals, happy-hour drinks and set-dinner menus to save money on a cruise before returning onboard.

Avoid the Little Extras

Onboard photography, service tips, internet charges and souvenirs might not feel costly at the time, but added up over the course of an entire cruise, you can be left with an unpleasantly large tab, and very little to show for your money.

By planning ahead, you can avoid most of these small costs. Rather than pay for the professional photographer, bring your own camera to capture those special holiday snaps. With high service fees or auto-gratuity often already added onto bills, there’s no need to over-generously tip service staff or activity leaders. Make sure you switch data-roaming off on your mobile phone and make use of free Wi-Fi in port wherever possible. If you want to take presents home, pick up souvenirs at local markets on port days, rather than shopping at the ship’s expensive gift shop.

By using just these few simple tips, you’ll be amazed at how far your money can stretch, without compromising on your dream cruise experience.

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