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Saving Money on Your Cruise - Tips & Advice Offer up your advice for saving money on cruises...from booking tips to info on shore excursions.

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  #1  
Old January 15th, 2007, 12:40 PM
JERSYGRL111 JERSYGRL111 is offline
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Default How much spending money do YOU bring?..Help me Budget!

Hi guys, I'm going on my first cruise on March 10,2007 9 days out of NYC to Eastern Carribean. I can't stop planning so I'm reaching out again for some advice. As far as spending money goes I'm looking for a ballpark...I know it depends on what u want to do etc...but I'm looking for what everyone else brings just as a beginning gauge...We are looking to have a great time, go on a few excursions, bf likes to gamble (not insane amounts) and I would like to hit the spa....I don't want to spend a fortune but would like to bring enough to have a good time and not counting dollars everyday...on vacation I don't want to be stressed about money...
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  #2  
Old January 15th, 2007, 04:36 PM
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I brought something in excess of $500, didnt count it out, for 2 of us including excursions. Including what I put on our card, I spent about $550, but we are pretty low budget. That was enough for excursions in two ports we did last minute and buying stuff in 4 ports and on the ship. I also brought a envelope of mostly ones and some fives for tips and bartering/exact change for little things. The first cruise I had wished I had more ones for tips. Like there was a bus drive in one port to get to the long pier length, tip and other unexpected tips.

Most folks say to budget about $100 each day, so we were way under most folks budgets.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 04:36 PM
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I brought something in excess of $500, didnt count it out, for 2 of us including excursions. Including what I put on our card, I spent about $550, but we are pretty low budget. That was enough for excursions in two ports we did last minute and buying stuff in 4 ports and on the ship. I also brought a envelope of mostly ones and some fives for tips and bartering/exact change for little things. The first cruise I had wished I had more ones for tips. Like there was a bus drive in one port to get to the long pier length, tip and other unexpected tips.

Most folks say to budget about $100 each day, so we were way under most folks budgets.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 05:07 PM
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I'm bringing $600 for 2 people, we'll be getting to miami 2 days before the cruise. I'll probably only spend $200 - $300 because i put everything on credit that I can to get cash back, but I always want to have plenty just in case.
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  #5  
Old January 15th, 2007, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JERSYGRL111
Hi guys, I'm going on my first cruise on March 10,2007 9 days out of NYC to Eastern Carribean. I can't stop planning so I'm reaching out again for some advice. As far as spending money goes I'm looking for a ballpark...I know it depends on what u want to do etc...but I'm looking for what everyone else brings just as a beginning gauge...We are looking to have a great time, go on a few excursions, bf likes to gamble (not insane amounts) and I would like to hit the spa....I don't want to spend a fortune but would like to bring enough to have a good time and not counting dollars everyday...on vacation I don't want to be stressed about money...
Don't forget the extras such as tips both on board the ship and at the ports. If you drink, not just alcohol, but sodas, etc, they are extra. Incidentals such as souvenirs, photos, specialty coffees, excursions, etc. We have not started our cruise and between tips and excursions, I am already looking at about $950.00 for the both of us. This does not include tips for tour guides, drinks, etc. Granted, I have booked all the excursions through the ship, so this adds to the expense. As many will and have said: take half of what is in your suitcase and take double the amount of money you have budgeted for.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 06:25 PM
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Don't forget the extras such as tips both on board the ship and at the ports. If you drink, not just alcohol, but sodas, etc, they are extra. Incidentals such as souvenirs, photos, specialty coffees, excursions, etc. We have not started our cruise and between tips and excursions, I am already looking at about $950.00 for the both of us. This does not include tips for tour guides, drinks, etc. Granted, I have booked all the excursions through the ship, so this adds to the expense. As many will and have said: take half of what is in your suitcase and take double the amount of money you have budgeted for.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 06:36 PM
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Most of the on ship expenses will be on your sail and sign card. But as a general rule we bring twice the amount of money we thing we will need (usually in travelers checks) and half the clothes. Oh we've learned this after 15 or so cruises. You can always but the money back in the bank when you get home
Have a great cuise, don't stress about anything...JUST ENJOY
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  #8  
Old January 15th, 2007, 06:57 PM
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I total expected tip costs, add 25%, estimate $5 per drink average and total for the days of cruise, add a $1000 for gambling and other miscellaneous costs. I do like to gamble and since I usually lose... I also ensure that I have $5000 available on a credit card for an emergency such as a need to return home immediately or other unexpected travel expenses.

Specifically, I like to take about $1500 for 7 days. I like to get at least one massage and they run at least $100.
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  #9  
Old January 15th, 2007, 08:10 PM
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Default I take 1500

for a 7 day. It's just me and my daughter (she is the expensive one!). I always figure 200 for the spa - I love to get a massage! I figure 20 per day for my daughter (between crap and daquires) and 40 per day for me (crap and Chi Chi's). I like to gamble (but I suck and I know I suck) so I budget 100 to 150 per night for the casino (but the casino is only open if you are out to sea - so if you are docked for a night that saves some money). I then figure on spending 250 per day that we are on an island (which i HARDLY EVER do - but if I see that MUST have item, I want to be able to have it!). That gets me to 1370 (assuming 3 stops - i never count the cruise ships private island cuz they just sell the same stuff as on the ship). The rest I pass out as tips or keep for when I get back home.

I always try to book the trips online before I leave (thru the ship or on my own). I also add in gratuties so I don't have to worry about saving for that part of my trip.

ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  #10  
Old January 15th, 2007, 11:15 PM
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Bring about 200 in cash each. This way you have cash if you need it in ports. 20 - 40 of that in small bills (singles are great) for tipping.

Things you will put on your Sail and Sign card:

You will need about 120 - 160 for the spa. Depends on what you get!

Think about a casino budget (you can put this on you S&S card or bring cash)

Drinks. Think about what you want to spend... You did'nt say what ship you are leaving on ... but I know NYC is probally NCL or Carnival. Both you can bring some soda with you or get a soda card. Soda is about 1.50-2.00. Drinks are 6-10 bucks each. Can add up for a 9 day cruise! Bring a water bottle for water. The ships water is SUPER filtered. No need to buy bottled water. A water bottle also goes a long way on excursions. Or you can fill up the bottle with free ice tea or lemonaide.

Speical restraunts. Does your cruise offer a special restraunt you need to pay extra for. I know on NCL is about 15 bucks, you can find speicals like 2 for 1 or half price. These are must do's-at least for one special night!

excursions - This all depends on what you want to do. My last cruise I only spend about 35 - 50 bucks a person on excursions. This also goes on the Sign and Sail card.


The great thing about this board is you can find out the prices of just about everything! Go to the related cruise line Message board and ask about drink price lists and spa menus.
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Last edited by babywewe; January 15th, 2007 at 11:18 PM.
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  #11  
Old January 16th, 2007, 04:15 PM
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DH & I budget 1500 each for a 7 day cruise. We usually come back with most of it but we like to have it available so we can do whatever we want.
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  #12  
Old January 16th, 2007, 04:16 PM
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DH & I budget 1500 each for a 7 day cruise. We usually come back with most of it but we like to have it available so we can do whatever we want.
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Old January 19th, 2007, 03:14 PM
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I am planning on bringing $100 per day for 2 (myself and DD). This should easily cover drinks, gifts, etc. We are going to the spa at home the day before we fly out (cheaper that way, and starts the vacation 1 day earlier). I don't drink or gamble much and those two things can really add up.
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Old January 19th, 2007, 03:29 PM
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Most average $100.00/day/person. You mentioned gambling. That should be a separate budget (it can be expensive).
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Old January 20th, 2007, 07:47 AM
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Default We must be cheapies!

With just one cruise (Sovereign 1/12/07) under my belt, maybe I shouldn't jump in. But I have to tell you that you can have a great time on a ship and not spend so much!

Some things are unavoidable (parking, tips). Get your hair and nails done just before you leave instead of using the ship's spa. We did sort of accidentally bring a box of wine from the grocery store onboard and occasionally had a drink while watching a show so bar bill for two was $90. We did no paid excursions onboard but did go kayaking in Cocoa Beach before the trip. Nassau was packed when we were there (eight ships) so we just wandered around on our own and totally enjoyed it except for the crowds. We ate all our meals at Windjammer (buffet) and I did take a tip the last day for the staff there; they seemed to work just as hard as the formal dining staff. It's not mentioned but seemed very appreciated. We tipped our room attendant the recommended amount.

I guess my point is, you can spend as much or as little as you want.
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  #16  
Old January 20th, 2007, 11:29 AM
KKB KKB is offline
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Default Guess we are the higher end of middle here...

(I KNOW there are people who spend more than us!)

We took $1000 for cabs, parking, cash tips, port shopping/drinking/dining...didn't use it all, but don't remember how much we had left...planning on taking similar amount for incindentals for next cruise. I would much rather have too much than not enough!!!!!!!!

We won about $1000 first day on bingo/blackjack tourney/table games.
We considered that our gambling $ for week...so we are planning on taking that much for gambling for next cruise (both of us gambling). We HOPE we can win early again...but CERTAINLY not planning on it!

We had a ship bill of $1500 (DH jokes that they couldn't slide it under our door the last night, but had to open the door & hand it to us! )
It included 4 excursions (2 each...about $300 total); tips ($150); ship shopping ($100); photos ($100); bingo & drinks.
Notice NO spa treatments--budget big, they are usually 30-50% more than on land for same services.
Personally, I schedule haircut/color, mani/pedi and sometimes massage at home the week before, so I can be pampered, look fab & save a TON of $! (plus, I do NOT want anyone but my hairdresser working on my hair!)

So we did NOT spend any on spa, art auctions, wine, future cruise booking (though we SHOULD have! Can you say on board credit??!!); VERY little shopping (both on ship/ports); 3 excursions were "cheap" (under $50); bought few photos ($12-20 each...but to get prof quality photo, w/o a sitting fee)

If we gave up drinking & gambling we would save a TON--but those are our vices, and we enjoy them.

Decide what is important to you ...budget accordingly.
Have a wonderful time! Wish we were going with you...an extra day!!!
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  #17  
Old January 22nd, 2007, 11:11 AM
jerseyjk jerseyjk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JERSYGRL111
...We are looking to have a great time, go on a few excursions ...
Why not pre-book your excursions and pay for them up front? Then you ...

a) don't have the headache of waiting in the shorex line onboard
b) don't get sold-out of the excursion you really want
c) don't have to budget that amount in what you bring onboard
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  #18  
Old January 23rd, 2007, 10:27 PM
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I'm really surprised that so many people bring that much cash. I've only sailed with Princess, but most of the stuff listed above goes to your onboard account (spa, excursions, drinks) so I don't really see the need for a lot of cash. We normally bring way more cash than we think we'll need and then put the rest towards our onboard account at the end of the cruise.

Also, the advice about plenty of credit is great. You never want to be stuck or hurt away from home without plenty of credit.
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  #19  
Old January 27th, 2007, 02:26 AM
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Default You don't have to blow that much!

WOW, some of you have holes in your pockets. I mean no way in heck would we spend like some of you do. Note, I didn't say we couldn't, I said we wouldn't.

We get one photo( usaully the formal) I mean who needs shot after shot of themselves, I do have my own camera you know. So thats 20 - 30 bucks.

We last ordered a bottle of rum( about 20 dollars I think) to the room for before dinner drinks, and then had a bottle of wine 5 nights( if you don't finish it they will bring it to you at your next meal) , so that is about 100 - 120 dollars.
We usaully had one drink out by the pool in late afternoon ( chocolate bananas yum) so that is about 70-100 dollars.

We don't gamble.

The spa is a rip off.

Had hair done once and it sucked, looked bad and cost double what it should have. Forget that.

We took one shore excurision( snorkle tour) and it was great, but since then we have always just taken a taxi to a pre researched beach. We also walk into towns on our own, you do not need a taxi everywhere if you are remotely fit.
Did Dunns River Falls on our own.
Walked into Ocho Rios.
Walked to a good snorkle beach in Cozumel ( saw a ships tour there, felt sorry for them as they only got to stay for like and hour or two, before being hustled off to shop no doubt)


Have always had a GREAT cruise and it doesn't ever work out to more then 500 dollars for the two of us for the week.
And that includes the 140 in tips, plus a few more dollars for room service.
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Old January 27th, 2007, 07:49 AM
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Default I think it depends where you are going. We needed very

little in Alaska as we had pre-paid excursions (even independant ones), and any purchases were on our credir card.

This year in Med could be as much as 3K ($100 pp per day) because we are looking at private drivers and they all want to be paid in cash...
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