Do you budget your cruise expenses?

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Poll: Do you budget your on board expenses?
Poll Results
Do you budget your on board expenses?

Yes, I budget everything down to the dollar!
12
6.90%

Yes, I have a budget with wiggle room.
68
39.08%

Somewhat, I have an idea of what we will spend but don't fret over it.
70
40.23%

No, I spend what I spend - I'm on vacation!
24
13.79%

Voters: 174.  You may not vote on this poll.

#21
Louisiana
74 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
Originally posted by sparks1093
I have a small pocket notebook that I keep track of expenses in and each category gets it's own page, so photos will be on one page along with what we budgeted for that, souvenirs on another, etc. At the end of each day I make a quick note of how much was spent in each category so we have a rough idea of what is left in each category's budget. It's become a travel journal for how much we spent on vacation.


On any trip, I pre-pay what I can, and then I keep a balance book such as this. I mainly do it because I have OCD and need that control . . .


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#22
VA
14,035 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
Originally posted by Warm Breezes
I have to say that our CCL Fantasy cruise is the first time I have ever pre-paid on our cruises. The reason for that is I had discovered the discounted Carnival Gift Cards from our previous cruise. I purchased the gift cards at 10-15% off before the cruise as they came on sale. Since the cost was already spent to get the discounted price, I went ahead and used the discounted cards to finish paying for my cruise (balance left after deposit), prepay the gratuities, purchase a sail-away package (which I normally get on every CCL cruise), and prepay the social internet package at the discounted online price. Sometimes prepaying pays off with a discount higher than any interest I would get from having that money sit in the bank until cruise time.
Totally agree. Same here.
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#23
Virgina
4,132 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
It is interesting to see peoples' responses and it seems there is a clear division between those that pre-pay as much as they can and those of us that don't. Maybe I should start a poll on that!
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#24
Down South Yonder !
1,439 Posts
Joined Apr 2016
Originally posted by A&Jfamily
It is interesting to see peoples' responses and it seems there is a clear division between those that pre-pay as much as they can and those of us that don't. Maybe I should start a poll on that!
Polls are interesting ,you should.
#25
VA
14,035 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
Originally posted by A&Jfamily
It is interesting to see peoples' responses and it seems there is a clear division between those that pre-pay as much as they can and those of us that don't. Maybe I should start a poll on that!
You could. One of the big reasons why I do is because of the gift cards. At 10-15-20% off I see no reason not to. One less thing (gift cards) I have to keep track of. No chance of me losing them or having there be an error with balances disappearing like some people have experienced. It's just easier for me. And I like to know that I have a true zero balance when I get on the ship. I owe the money either way, so I just get it over with.
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#26
Oklahoma
446 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
I budget but with wiggle room. I live in a spreadsheet world, so of course I budget with a spreadsheet and then report actuals then use the data for the next cruise.

This year:
Fuel: $125.11
Lodging: $268.50
Taxi: $38.00
Food / Drink on land: $150.00
Food / Drink on ship: $105.00
Gift shop purchases: $100.00
Casino: $85.00
Photos: $40.00
Other: $100.00 (there's the wiggle room)
Excursions: $300.00
Tips: $259.00

DW thinks I'm crazy. I also have a packing spreadsheet for 4, 5 and 7 day cruises. She packs the morning of almost -- drives me nuts.
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#27
Virgina
4,132 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by Razor_Poke
I budget but with wiggle room. I live in a spreadsheet world, so of course I budget with a spreadsheet and then report actuals then use the data for the next cruise.

This year:
Fuel: $125.11
Lodging: $268.50
Taxi: $38.00
Food / Drink on land: $150.00
Food / Drink on ship: $105.00
Gift shop purchases: $100.00
Casino: $85.00
Photos: $40.00
Other: $100.00 (there's the wiggle room)
Excursions: $300.00
Tips: $259.00

DW thinks I'm crazy. I also have a packing spreadsheet for 4, 5 and 7 day cruises. She packs the morning of almost -- drives me nuts.
Wow - and I thought I was a planner. For me, I would call that budget everything to the dollar...LOL. But yes, you do have "wiggle room!" Goes to show you everyone's perspective is a bit different!
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#28
Louisiana
74 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
Originally posted by Razor_Poke
I budget but with wiggle room. I live in a spreadsheet world, so of course I budget with a spreadsheet and then report actuals then use the data for the next cruise.

This year:
Fuel: $125.11
Lodging: $268.50
Taxi: $38.00
Food / Drink on land: $150.00
Food / Drink on ship: $105.00
Gift shop purchases: $100.00
Casino: $85.00
Photos: $40.00
Other: $100.00 (there's the wiggle room)
Excursions: $300.00
Tips: $259.00

DW thinks I'm crazy. I also have a packing spreadsheet for 4, 5 and 7 day cruises. She packs the morning of almost -- drives me nuts.


YES!!! I love spreadsheets. I have a To-Do (before trip), Packing (which is divided by suitcase and carry-on bag), travel schedule (which includes routes, stops, and times of arrival and departure), and trip budget (which includes everything from cabin to clothes to toiletries and tips. Budgeting is a habit for me. I have spreadsheets for my personal monthly budget and my honey. I've even been asked by my friends to budget their lives-- for payment!


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#29
Michigan
150 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
The only thing I budget for is my money for the casino. Husband doesn't really play in the casino. Saving now and what I have at the time of cruise gets divided up for how much I can spend each day. Put in envelopes and labeled for each day. (So I can't cheat). I'm sure My husband has a number in his head for what we will spend. He always has a number in his head. (Should have been an accountant)


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#30
Middle Atlantis
87 Posts
Joined Jul 2015
Originally posted by Razor_Poke
I budget but with wiggle room. I live in a spreadsheet world, so of course I budget with a spreadsheet and then report actuals then use the data for the next cruise.

This year:
Fuel: $125.11
Lodging: $268.50
Taxi: $38.00
Food / Drink on land: $150.00
Food / Drink on ship: $105.00
Gift shop purchases: $100.00
Casino: $85.00
Photos: $40.00
Other: $100.00 (there's the wiggle room)
Excursions: $300.00
Tips: $259.00

DW thinks I'm crazy. I also have a packing spreadsheet for 4, 5 and 7 day cruises. She packs the morning of almost -- drives me nuts.
This 'DW' doesn't think you're crazy at all and that's exactly how we do it. If he didn't to a spreadsheet then I would

Budget with about 10% wiggle room. That 10% is at least $300 (includes cruise fare) and that gives us enough to be free to be splurge at least once or twice during our vacation. Prepay as much as possible so then we can already see most of the 'damage' (lol) before we even leave home.
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#31
DFW
112 Posts
Joined Nov 2013
Originally posted by sparks1093
I have a small pocket notebook that I keep track of expenses in and each category gets it's own page, so photos will be on one page along with what we budgeted for that, souvenirs on another, etc. At the end of each day I make a quick note of how much was spent in each category so we have a rough idea of what is left in each category's budget. It's become a travel journal for how much we spent on vacation.


There's an app for that! I downloaded a few so that I could keep up with my tab. But. . . I believe with the carnival app you can actually see your portfolio, so I'm not sure if I'll need the apps I downloaded.


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#32
Tennessee
1,656 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Originally posted by Razor_Poke
I budget but with wiggle room. I live in a spreadsheet world, so of course I budget with a spreadsheet and then report actuals then use the data for the next cruise.

This year:
Fuel: $125.11
Lodging: $268.50
Taxi: $38.00
Food / Drink on land: $150.00
Food / Drink on ship: $105.00
Gift shop purchases: $100.00
Casino: $85.00
Photos: $40.00
Other: $100.00 (there's the wiggle room)
Excursions: $300.00
Tips: $259.00

DW thinks I'm crazy. I also have a packing spreadsheet for 4, 5 and 7 day cruises. She packs the morning of almost -- drives me nuts.
I spreadsheet too! I also try to prepay as much as I can.
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#33
Ontario, CA (The one WITH the Palm Trees!)
22,434 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
We budget a bit differently.
We plan for one photo and two drinks a night. Since we cruise from our home port we know how where we'll probably end up for meals. Sometimes 'tourist', sometimes 'local'.


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#34
Raleigh, NC
213 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
I know about how much we have to spend. We don't really do excursions and bring cash for the islands. Once that's up that's it. We don't buy a lot of souvenirs. Our budget goes to alcohol and if we decide we want to do something on the island. Now because I venture into the casino...I have to say if I loose this much money that's it...don't keep going back for more or I will be in there all the time.
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#35
mansfield, tx
2,755 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
We create a budget for our vacations so we know how much to set aside each paycheck for them. We are always putting money aside for vacations, but create the budget so we can see how close we are to having it all saved up. We factor in parking, gasoline, airfare (if we have to fly). We look back at our S&S account from previous cruises to get a feel for what we actually have spent on drinks, souvenirs, pics. This is how we determined that the Cheers package would not benefit us. We look over the excursions & what we are doing in various ports to determine how much cash we will need. We use our Carnival mastercard for booking the trip as well as the onboard account to get double points. Then, use the points accrued when we get back for a statement credit toward the expenses.

I have spreadsheets going back to about 2001 with vacation data. I find it interesting to go back to my pre-vacation spreadsheet & update with the actual numbers.
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#36
Denton, Tx.
73 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Our first cruise we did not budget at all since we had no idea what to expect and ending up spending more on the cruise than what we paid for the cruise. Since then we have always had an idea what we would spend and did a pretty good job staying close to that.

On our upcoming cruise I have created a full budged in Excel and have included all expenses related to the vacation(dog boarding and such) that I never counted before. I have also broke it down to what will be pre-cruise and pre-paid expense, what I expect to be charged to the Sail and Sign account, and cash for casino and ports. I only use cash for the casino because I have a wee bit of a gambling problem and doing it this way helps me(actually my wife) keep myself in check. The casino is really the only aspect of my budget we normally have strict adherence. I just love using spreadsheets and it keeps me excited for my cruise.
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#37
Virginia
861 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
We budget all of our expenses, including vacation. We prepay as much as we can ahead of time spend very little on the ship. We bring a set amount of cash for on shore purchases. When we run out, we run out.


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#38
NC
1,055 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
We pay for as much as possible up front with discounted cards and offers etc, then we have a vacation budget (with wiggle room) once we are on the actual vacation. We have cash with us to put on the S&S acct but with most everything paid for already we dont really worry about what we are spending and if it gets close to zero we just put more cash on the account (has never happened and we typically get a refund at end).
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#39
Atlanta, GA
1,473 Posts
Joined Apr 2014
I make a list of all projected expenses, including travel day there and back... I have had trips where I stayed pretty much within budget, but I have also grossly exceeded it a few times too.
#40
Laguna Niguel, CA
332 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
Only limit I put on myself and my wife is $250 each per day in the casino. Other then that, anything goes...
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