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.

#41
Fort Lauderdale, FL
1,562 Posts
Joined Jul 2016
I don't budget anything else, I'm sure as heck not budgeting my vacation. Just spend reasonably like any other day.
#42
South Carolina
28,470 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
We sort of know what we normally spend extra on cruises ... but no hard and fast rules or actual budget.
Guess we're in the "Don't Fret-on-it Group" if it's more than normal.
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Happy Sailing! OCruisers (LuLu & Roundman)
80+ Cruises .... Princess, Celebrity, RCCL, HAL, Carnival, NCL, Costa, etc. (Still miss Sitmar)
#43
Marietta Ga
1,060 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
The cruise, excursions, and travel costs are all known and we do budget what we spend on those. Like a lot of the other respondents, we will spend a some money on board for drinks and gambling, but not a great deal on either, and don't usually give that spending a thought. Our biggest non-budgeted expense is shopping. We will buy things we see (including artwork, watches, clothes, etc.) but do not ever have a budget for that.
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CCL Fantasy 6/1992
RCI Mariner of the Seas 1/2007
NCL Jewel 1/2012
CCL Breeze 7/2013
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RCI Freedom of the Seas 9/2015
RCI Radiance of the Seas 6/2016
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#44
500 Posts
Joined Feb 2017
The only thing not paid before the cruise is any extra tips for the cabin steward and dining room staff plus buying a t-shirt or two. I always see that as one of the benefits of cruising. Not redo g to spend once onboard


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#45
Scarborough ON Canada
3,884 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by BNBR
I don't budget anything else, I'm sure as heck not budgeting my vacation. Just spend reasonably like any other day.
I think this comes down to the root of things.

I budget for everything in my day to day life. When I see that my expenses are increasing I make changes. I know what I'm spending, what I expect to spend and where I expect to spend it.

I give myself lots of flex in the "other" category (so if there's a sale on, I can buy or just on a whim, I can splurge) but I still budget.
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Patricia (Trisha to my friends and family)

Past Cruises:
Disney:
Magic 10-30-2010 (7 nights) - FirstCruise Ever!
Dream 10-30-2011 (4 nights) - first halfof B2B on DCL
Dream 11-03-2011 (3 nights) - secondhalf of B2B on DCL
Magic 4-30-2012 (4 nights)
Fantasy 10-26-2013 (7 Nights) -Halloween on the High Seas
Magic 11-15-2015 - (5 nights)

Carnival:
Dream 3-12-2011 (7 nights) - First half of Jenna's Birthday cruises
Dream 3-19-2011 (7 nights) - Second half of Jenna's Birthday cruises
Miracle 8-26-2011 (8 nights) - PlayersClub VIP Cruise
Dream 10-27-2012 (6 nights)
Pride 03-15-2015 - (14 Night) Tampa to Baltimore Repo cruise
Pride 01-17-2016 & 01-28-2016 (21nights) B2B Baltimore to San Juan to Baltimore
Pride 07-10-2016 (7 nights) Free casino cruise
Pride 08-21-2016 (7 nights) Family trip with brother, SIL, Niece, 2 x Nephews, plus my parents - oh boy!
Sunshine 05-29-2017 (5 nights) Just because I've always wanted to try the Sunshine

Royal:
Explorer of the Seas 2-24-2013 (9Nights) - first time on RCCL
Explorer of the Seas 2-23-2014 (7nights) - a cheap getaway from a terrible winter
Navigator of the Sea 11-10-2015 - (4nights)
Freedom of the Seas 02-12-2017 (6nights)

Celebrity:
Summit 06-01-2014 (7 Nights) - my 40thbirthday cruise
Equinox 11-21-2014 (10 Nights) - mydad's 66th birthday cruise
Summit 08-30-3015 (7 nights)
Summit 02-18-2017 (9 nights)


Future Cruises:

Caribbean Princess 11-20-2017 (10 nights) Partial Panama Canal in a Window Suite!
Carnival Pride 07-01-2018 (14 nights) Another Journey Cruise!
#46
202 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
I have to save for a vacation. I save for excursions, tips, and alcohol. I don't budget to the penny, just save for the predictable expenses. Anything else can go on the credit card and will be paid when the bill comes. I don't pinch pennies but feel better knowing I can have fun and not think about money
#47
The South
108 Posts
Joined Feb 2017
Love this thread. I'm in the pre pay as much as I can camp. We have one income & at times a very tight budget. Part of the appeal of a cruise was so much being included, for a base price. For us, the cruise cash program has helped. I admit to not being all that disciplined or I'd spend money on other things, household wise. We've purchased our max in cruise cash. Purchased a bit in bar cash. Pre paid tips. We will also have back up money in our vacation bank account. Hubs & I set a $150 pp alcohol limit. (I don't drink much, so Cheers isn't for us) Our kids know how much they can spend total. Once their money is gone, its gone. 24/7 food, included, was a big selling point for me. My kids are older w very healthy, eat anything, appetites.
Our splurge was a cabana on Half Moon Cay.
I know to some cruising is considered inexpensive. To us, it's our entire year of our travel budget. This is our first family cruise. I hope it's not our last.
Pre paying a lot & cruise cash gives me peace of mind & I'll be able to relax. (I'm kinda tight wound, usually)
#48
Fort Lauderdale, FL
1,562 Posts
Joined Jul 2016
The problem with a thread like this is that income between posters is all over the board, so everyone plans and spends very differently. There is no one answer. Some can't afford to prepay, some can. And everything in between.
#49
The South
108 Posts
Joined Feb 2017
Originally posted by BNBR
The problem with a thread like this is that income between posters is all over the board, so everyone plans and spends very differently. There is no one answer. Some can't afford to prepay, some can. And everything in between.
Exactly! I booked the cruise Bc it fit in our budget & it's something new for our family. We usually go camping for vacation & take several trips a year. (We own a nice camper) Cruising is a change for us.
We all spend differently & have varied incomes. Right now, I have to budget tightly & plan in advance. Maybe one day we won't have to be as frugal & can book closer to sail away.
#50
Fort Lauderdale, FL
1,562 Posts
Joined Jul 2016
Originally posted by LucyB.
Exactly! I booked the cruise Bc it fit in our budget & it's something new for our family. We usually go camping for vacation & take several trips a year. (We own a nice camper) Cruising is a change for us.
We all spend differently & have varied incomes. Right now, I have to budget tightly & plan in advance. Maybe one day we won't have to be as frugal & can book closer to sail away.
We need to use our camper more. Cruising hasn't been good for camper usage
#51
Virginia
1,079 Posts
Joined Feb 2016
Originally posted by BNBR
We need to use our camper more. Cruising hasn't been good for camper usage
Ditto, I actually listed our camper on Craigslist yesterday and put it on a bunch of Facebook yardsale groups. Hopefully it sales soon, we just don't use it anymore. I still need to do the annual roof treatment to it for this year.
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#52
Michigan, United States
2,250 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Nope, we don't budget cruise expenses after the actual cruise is paid for. We are not big drinkers, I might have one Kiss-on-the-Lips type drink each day, or two, and DH has a few beer and maybe a couple mixed drinks a day. I think the most we have ever spent on alcohol in one day was about $80, and we were buying drinks for our traveling companions too.

I buy a few souvenirs (ship model, coffee mug, photo album, frig magnet, etc.) but we rarely buy many photos. I usually like to buy the embarkation photo and maybe 1-2 others during the week but that's about it.

Excursions are always pre-paid (if we go on any) and tips are pre-paid too, but we'll tip extra if we feel the desire to do so.

We're not big shoppers in port, so don't spend a lot of money there either.

But we don't worry about it, there will be money in the savings account to pay off the credit card bills in full when we get home.
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Carnival Dream 1/17 - Western Caribbean
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#53
Richmond, Missouri
44 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
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.
We do this also. Nothing is set in stone. If we go over fine if we go under what ever left is saved for the next cruise..We do this to get an idea of how much to save each paycheck. It works for us. We also have spread sheets we use for packing.
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