Favorite money saving/thrifty tip?

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#1
Mableton (Metro Atlanta), Ga
1,052 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
I'm curious as to everyone's favorite money saving tips! How do you enjoy a cruise while also on a tight budget?

Note: I know some people do not care how much they spend on a cruise, and go with the "Its a vacation, I'm not going to worry about the cost!" line of thinking, and that's fine, but this probably isn't the thread for you. A lot of us are on a tight budget and I'd love this thread to be about ways to save and I hope those of you who aren't frugal or on a budget can respect that without the "Its a vacation, I don't worry about what we spend!" responses.
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#2
Mableton (Metro Atlanta), Ga
1,052 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
We plan ti save by bringing our own soda (since the ones on the ship aren't kept cold, and go flat when you put them on ice) and we plan to only buy gifts in ports. We also won't be buying pictures since we will be taking plenty of our own and my Mother in Law can take any family ones we want.
We are also staying at a hotel that includes a shuttle and parking - the room AND shuttle will cost us less than parking at port would cost us. Saving $60 is well worth the wait for a shuttle!
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#3
West Allis, WI
344 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
I will be cruising in a few weeks so am looking forward to responses to this post. The only thing I can contribute is that most excursions are less expensive if you book them yourself instead of through the ship.
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#4
Redneck Riviera, Florida
1,788 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Take advantage of the 2 free drinking opportunities: the past guest and fun farewell parties. Last cruise, hardly anyone showed up for the fun farewell and there were bunch of bored waiters walking around with full trays of drinks. They were dropping off 2 at a time. If the party is crowded, get a table right by the bar where they are bringing out the drinks. Slip a waiter a five and you'll get all the drinks you want.

Bring on wine and your own corkscrew. Have your room steward chill your wine and open it yourself when you get to the dining room to avoid the corkage fee.

Park off port with one of the $5-$10/day lots with free shuttle.

Don't eat lunch in the ports. Have a big breakfast before you go onshore and have a snack when you return if it's not too close to dinner time.
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#5
371 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Take a bottle of alcohol onboard. You are allowed 1/adult.

Book excursions directly if possible.

No specialty restaurants....you have already paid for the food in the main dining areas. Also no desserts/food at bars...go to the Lido deck it's free...not free but you have already paid for it. We also eat on the ship and not in port..maybe just a light snack in port of if there is something special to be tasted.
#6
New York
527 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Some ways well be saving money are not drinking soda. We aren't soda drinkers anyway so it really doesn't bother us. Another way is not drinking Alcohol. Again we are not drinkers , so it doesn't really matter. And no speciality resturants for us either. If we had extra $ maybe we would , but I don't see the need with all the free food on board. Buying gifts only in ports is a good idea!
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#7
South Carolina
355 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Frugal is my maiden name, glad to know I am in good company! So I park at a hotel for cheaper and get a free shuttle ride to the port, make sure hotel has free breakfast. Bring on my own sodas, water and wine. Also bring on my own snacks. Take a water bottle to fill up on port days and carry with me off the ship. Bring sealed snacks with me also on port days. Downy wrinkle release saves a lot compared to the ship pressing our clothes. That and steaming them in the bathroom.
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#8
Arizona
64 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
I got this tip from this board, but we "budget" each day and divide the money in envelopes. We then move the money we don't use to the next day and etc. We never use all the alloted money.

We also book limit ourselves to 1 big excursion that we book privately to save money. The other days are beach days.

We only buy 1 thing, this past cruise it was a hammock from Roatan. We travel from AZ and don't have the space to carry a lot of stuff.

We never eat at the specialty restaurants and also take advantage of the free drink parties. We also don't eat in port unless it is included in the price of the excursion of course. For us we always feel extremely well fed, and honestly after a few days we always end up skipping meals

You can bring a bottle of wine per adult on the boat and pop of course. We never do this, but maybe we would if we were more local.

I long for the day we don't have to budget, but we still had a blast and enjoyed every minute of our cruise. It was worth every penny spent and saved

Enjoy...
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#9
North of NYC
2,121 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Originally posted by ginger123snaps
Take a bottle of alcohol onboard. You are allowed 1/adult.
That's a bottle of wine only, not a bottle of alcohol. It would be great though if it were true
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#10
5,382 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Originally posted by ginger123snaps
Take a bottle of alcohol onboard. You are allowed 1/adult.

Book excursions directly if possible.

No specialty restaurants....you have already paid for the food in the main dining areas. Also no desserts/food at bars...go to the Lido deck it's free...not free but you have already paid for it. We also eat on the ship and not in port..maybe just a light snack in port of if there is something special to be tasted.
Slight correction. You are allowed one bottle of wine, 750ml per bottle per adult. I also bring my own soda as they do not serve Pepsi products on board. I don't do excursions in ports I've already been to and the only alcohol I drink is what I'm allowed to bring on board.

Oh, and eat enough on board so that I don't eat for a week after returning home!
#11
Perth Australia
4,918 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
We dont need to scrimp on spendings as we always factor into a holiday the total cost But

Being a frequent traveller from a young age has taught me to economize from a young age so its hard to get out of it now

I have to smuggle on board booze even though I only drink beer,my partner drinks the vodka though and it saves a small fortune,if she had to pay the on board price she wouldnt drink but I would,so no loss to the cruise line,in actual fact they gain the price of the soda because she only drinks plain water if not drinking alcohol.

We bring our own Lanyards from a $1 shop.

We always go back to the ship to eat,why pay more for what you have already paid for?

Take a bottle of water on board and re fill from the dispenser

Take large thermal mugs so I can carry 2 hot drinks to the cabin and save on room service.

Buy cheap snorkelling gear from (in Australia Target or K mart) and leave on board and its still cheaper than hiring on board.

Take smuggled Vodka everywhere on the ship in a small water bottle and only order soda (even if it means a trip to the rest room to be able to mix it)

We usually cruise with other couples so have combo shots of on board photos, then buy one set and have then copied at home (big saving and better than not getting them)

I do however draw the line at taking photos of the on board photos but have seen many doing it.


Den
#12
Barrie, ON
1,508 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
Originally posted by kayhold
We plan ti save by bringing our own soda (since the ones on the ship aren't kept cold, and go flat when you put them on ice) and we plan to only buy gifts in ports. We also won't be buying pictures since we will be taking plenty of our own and my Mother in Law can take any family ones we want.
We are also staying at a hotel that includes a shuttle and parking - the room AND shuttle will cost us less than parking at port would cost us. Saving $60 is well worth the wait for a shuttle!
Where are you staying - we are on the same ship at the same time and since we are driving down from Ontario, would love to save on parking and shuttle costs
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#13
Mableton (Metro Atlanta), Ga
1,052 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Originally posted by sharonsorlie
Where are you staying - we are on the same ship at the same time and since we are driving down from Ontario, would love to save on parking and shuttle costs
We are staying here:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR...e_Florida.html

A lot of people who do reviews for Fascination stay here and I've not seen any complaints from CC members.
I used a promo code and got the room for $40, and then parking is $5 a day with free shuttle, so the total will be $65, instead of $75 at port, AND the room is included.

Make sure Varsity(http://www.thevarsity.com/history.php) is on your list if you pass through Atlanta if you're into the greasy chili dog/burger thing. They have the best onion rings, ever but if you're not used to a greasy meal occasionally, be prepared to stop at a rest area soon :\
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#14
MA
471 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Make sure you pack everything you need. Buying stuff on the ship is very expensive. ($7.00 for deodorant)

Bring bottled water, coke, and alcohol if you drink.

Always eat on the ship.

Never do the ships excursions. I will either do them on my own, or hire a private company. Even on European cruises the only excursion I did through the ship was in Rome. In Russia we did a 2 day tour which was cheap for our own private bus, and tour guide. Every other European port we did research and was able to do on our own.

If you gamble only allow a certain amount before you stop. And do not take the money off your sail and sign card.

The only thing I put on my sail and sign is the tips. The only cash I spend is the money I allow my self to lose on in the casino. Generally I do pretty well in the casino. By that I mean I dont lose much. Last time I won 9 dollars, before that was 160ish, and the cruise before that I won enough to pay for my vacation. But I do allow myself to lose 200.00 and after that, thats it.
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#15
Barrie, ON
1,508 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
Originally posted by kayhold
We are staying here:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR...e_Florida.html

A lot of people who do reviews for Fascination stay here and I've not seen any complaints from CC members.
I used a promo code and got the room for $40, and then parking is $5 a day with free shuttle, so the total will be $65, instead of $75 at port, AND the room is included.

Make sure Varsity(http://www.thevarsity.com/history.php) is on your list if you pass through Atlanta if you're into the greasy chili dog/burger thing. They have the best onion rings, ever but if you're not used to a greasy meal occasionally, be prepared to stop at a rest area soon :\
where did you find the promo code?
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#16
Capital Region of New York
166 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
We bring wine on board (2 bottles, 2 adults). This works out since only I drink the wine. Then for DH we get the drink coupons. It's not a huge money saver, but keeps us on budget.

No specialty dining, no soda (our kids like the lemonade and water), no pictures, no spa.

This time no excursion. Our cruise is only part of our vacation, so we will only shop a little in port and enjoy the beach at Half Moon Cay.

But our biggest savings is driving to the ports. Flights are expensive for 4 during school breaks. So our last two and this cruise will include a car ride to the port. And this time we are staying with my mother in law the night before and driving to Port Canaveral which is only about an hour from her house.
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#17
TRENTON MI USA
5,927 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
.

Complain about everything so the cruise line gives you a refund to shut up.

On the last day remove all of the tips.

Wouldn't recommend doing any of that but it always seems as if the person described in the first instance also uses that as an excuse to remove tips.

.
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#18
Georgia
87 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
If you park in valet parking before the cruise, write down the odometer reading and put it on the dashboard OR take a picture of it. I read where some came back from a cruise and found their car had been used. There was mud in the passenger's side. Doing this tells people that you're making note of the reading and will know if the car is used without permission.
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#19
Carolina
8,687 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Originally posted by miched
.

Complain about everything so the cruise line gives you a refund to shut up.

On the last day remove all of the tips.

Wouldn't recommend doing any of that but it always seems as if the person described in the first instance also uses that as an excuse to remove tips.

.
rotflmbo
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#20
1,752 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Originally posted by kayhold
This is something else we will do - we will try some foods that come highly recommended, (Like the Key Lime pie in KW) but we already paid for the food on the ship. We won't carry food off for snacks unless it's prepackaged. Don't want to risk local agriculture.
Yes, I heard about that pie. Need to try it. Can't see eating out other than a snack and drink as I can eat on the ship.

I will limit the amount I spend in the casino. I never did that before. I can save a nice amount here.

I am bringing 2 bottles of wine on ship. Never did that before either. Do I dare smuggle?

In the future, I will book cruises off season. I am spending double the amount to go on this cruise because we are going with family & friends and the kids are out of school. After this, off season for DH and me.

I fly out of my hometown, therefore save on airfare. If I want to fly, I do land vacations. I am not that much into ports as I am into other places. Yep, like Las Vegas, New York, Disneyworld.

My husband is the saver and I am the spender. But on trips, he tends to overspend and I will tell him....................no more T-Shirts, jewelry etc. etc. etc.

I will always book ES. Price drops I have received are $470, and I still have until July 1 to get OBCs.
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