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Welcome to Tightwad Cruising - What Do You Do?


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I agree and it's dead wrong too!! I splurged on a $70 fire & ice pedicure and the ENTIRE treatment the girl kept pushing product after product after product as well as additional services, and when it because clear I wasn't buying anything, all of a sudden the quality of the service went way down & she ended it as fast as she could. Sure, try to sell but don't ruin/shortcut an expensive service if the person doesn't buy--take "no" for an answer and move on! Why would someone buy any more services if what you are paying for is a little service and a big sales pitch?

 

I trust you tipped accordingly (= $0 with a note on the receipt regarding why.) If not, try it. Research shows that only 1 in 27 will complain. But if all of us let management know, practices changes. And, management actually appreciates it because they know that 97% of profit comes from repeat business. (I'm not making these #s up: I'm a marketing professor -- they come from the BBB.) They realize that people talk with other people -- on the ship and on the boards. And they're smart enough to alter practices that create complaints.

 

Doubt it? Look what's happened to the "art" auction house that was selling fakes, overstating the values, etc. Not only were they sued, the cruise lines they were with booted them off their ships.

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Exactly my thoughts! There seems to be a perception that there is something wrong with you if you don't $pend, spend, spend on a cruise! Some go so far as to get nasty and talk about how they are subsidizing people who don't spend. To each their own--I have every right to spend, or not, as I see fit!! I prefer to save my $$$ for MY pleasures, which include the type of cabin I get, perhaps a specialty restaurant, an occasional drink, a spa pass. If someone else wants a $1500 bar bill I don't put them down, so they should give me the same respect if my bar bill is under $100 because I hate wasting $$$$ on overpriced drinks, and rarely drink anyway!

 

What!? You spend less than $1500 for drinks on a cruise? Surely you're referring to a 30 day (or longer) cruise? How can you possibly have fun on a cruise without being so buzzed that you don't remember 1/2 or more of the cruise?

 

And I'll bet you've never spent $1500 for a piece of "priceless" "one-of-a-kind" art either . . . or had a $300 massage and walked out with $400 worth of "essential" products . . . or saved $800 by purchasing $1200 worth of gold by the inch . . . or put $1200 worth of quarters in the slot machines.

 

How can you possibly have fun on a cruise without all these vacation luxuries which help to beautify you and help you feel better, increase your investment portfolio, and simply add to the sheer enjoyment of your vacation?

 

I better not meet you on the cruise I'm subsidizing for you!!!!

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I trust you tipped accordingly (= $0 with a note on the receipt regarding why.) If not, try it. Research shows that only 1 in 27 will complain. But if all of us let management know, practices changes. And, management actually appreciates it because they know that 97% of profit comes from repeat business. (I'm not making these #s up: I'm a marketing professor -- they come from the BBB.) They realize that people talk with other people -- on the ship and on the boards. And they're smart enough to alter practices that create complaints.

 

Doubt it? Look what's happened to the "art" auction house that was selling fakes, overstating the values, etc. Not only were they sued, the cruise lines they were with booted them off their ships.

 

I totally agree!

 

People don't complain if they get a bad meal, bad service, etc.

 

Not only do they not go back, they tell all their friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers and sometimes even strangers!

 

I have learned to tell management, owner, etc when I was not pleased. I am always calm & civil, but to the point.

 

They usually want to know if an employee or a product they are selling isn't up to snuff.

 

I have sometimes received some type of compensation on a bad meal or a coupon to retry a product that I was not happy with.

 

It pays to let management know when you aren't happy, BUT also when you are pleased!

 

You get more with honey, than with vinegar!

Edited by gr8times4us
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First, I would suggest you find a cruise YOU like to be on, then check out what they have for the kids. If you're not happy with the ship, but the kids are, what good will that do? Kids will usually like any ship they are on. Disney is a no brainer, Carnival is pretty good too, but we like Royal Caribbean for our selves and the kids in general.

I especially like how RCCL divides up the children by age. For instants, if you have a baby, they have section for just them. Better yet, I have a 10 year and a 12 year old(going on 30) and when we go in Feb.2012 he'll be 14 and will not want to be seen with his 12 year brother (or us) so they have a kids club for under 12 and also a 'tween club for early teens and then they have a club for 16 and up. I love this because it keeps each boy apart and with their own age group.

In this case, it is wise to see if YOU like the ship then proceed from there.

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This is an interesting thread. Picked up a few tips and have enjoyed people's differences in likes and means of saving money on a cruise. Yes, the bottom line is what do you like to do. We have only done one previous cruise and will depart on a second soon. We book a balcony stateroom because we like the light in our room beginning first thing in the day. It was fantastic in Alaska when the days were long. It was usually too cold on that cruise to sit out on the balcony for very long. Perhaps the Caribbean will be different. We do not gamble or buy art or photos. We may have a glass of wine occasionally with dinner. On the last cruise I had one martini at the piano bar which was a reasonable $5.75 and not at all weak. Spa treatments? Haven't used them and from what I've read here probably won't. I have a day spa that I use in my hometown. A spa treatment at sea wouldn't be anything special and especially if it is a lot of sales pitching. DH decided that he doesn't need a soda card as much as he likes soft drinks. We may purchase a coffee card since we both enjoy great coffee (Peet's for me, please). We don't shop on the ship or much onshore either. Locally made goods for souvenirs, our own photography, museums, good shore trips are our spending areas. And specialty restaurants. We enjoy a great meal over the course of several hours with great service. That's exactly what we got and for $15/person on a Princess cruise. Glad there is so much variety on cruises or we would all end up doing the same things and never enjoy the trip.

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Well we have been on five cruises, we like the freestyle concept of NCL, if other cruiselines start more of a eat when you want with who you want concept and the price is right we will use any cruise line.

 

Our vacation does not have to be a cruise we book last minute IF a great deal pops up, otherwise we are prepared do something else. By last minute, I mean within the last two weeks before departure, we have always found a deal.

 

We do all shore excursions on our own, we never buy anything on board, no specialty meals, we dont buy alcohol on board, we dont buy soda on board. If it is a safe country we take public transportation (Aruba - round trip to eagle beach and back five bucks for the both of us on the bus) We figure we already paid for an all inclusive, why would we pay more.

 

We bring everything in one rollerboard and one bag pack, (last cruise was 12 days) we do laundry by hand in the sink.

 

We have had balcony, window, and dungeon rooms. In warm weather for us the balcony is the way to go, if it is cold a balcony is just an uneeded expense.

 

Good Luck with your travels, do your research, watch out for reviews that try to impress, some folk will say that they loved something just because that is what everyone else is saying, or because they paid a boat load for it and they want you to know how much money they have. Beware of the EPIC, it is not a typical cruise experience.

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Well we have been on five cruises, we like the freestyle concept of NCL, if other cruiselines start more of a eat when you want with who you want concept and the price is right we will use any cruise line.

 

Our vacation does not have to be a cruise we book last minute IF a great deal pops up, otherwise we are prepared do something else. By last minute, I mean within the last two weeks before departure, we have always found a deal.

 

We do all shore excursions on our own, we never buy anything on board, no specialty meals, we dont buy alcohol on board, we dont buy soda on board. If it is a safe country we take public transportation (Aruba - round trip to eagle beach and back five bucks for the both of us on the bus) We figure we already paid for an all inclusive, why would we pay more.

 

We bring everything in one rollerboard and one bag pack, (last cruise was 12 days) we do laundry by hand in the sink.

 

We have had balcony, window, and dungeon rooms. In warm weather for us the balcony is the way to go, if it is cold a balcony is just an uneeded expense.

 

Good Luck with your travels, do your research, watch out for reviews that try to impress, some folk will say that they loved something just because that is what everyone else is saying, or because they paid a boat load for it and they want you to know how much money they have. Beware of the EPIC, it is not a typical cruise experience.

 

What do you mean by "Beware of the EPIC, it is not a typical cruise experience?" Also, what, to you, is a typical cruise experience. (Not being a smart alec, just truly curious.)

BTW, I envy your ability to "pack" light.

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I'm with you on the balcony thingie.

 

Being a solo traveler' date=' I always booked the lowest price inside cabin I could get. What the heck, how much time do you spend in your cabin anyway??

 

Then, about 8-10 years ago, I was upgraded to a balcony. I'll never sail without one again. Now I know why I didn't spend much time in my cabin (it's like locking yourself up in a closet).

 

I spend so much time on the balcony just "watching".....early morning coffee, midnight, afternoon sunning, a quick nap...... I've seen some wonderous things from the balcony, dolphins racing with the ship, hundreds and hundres of flying fish, rays, sea turtles. On several occasions during that certain time of the year, in the darkness of midnight, I've been entertained by the sea being full of ghostly phosphorus with the unearthly glow. It's a wonderful hide-away from the noise and the music, the crowds and the hairy chest contests..... I'll head for the quiet of my own retreat........Sigh!:p[/quote']

 

I'm with you on the balcony! I love the privacy! Even on a US West Coast repositioning cruise (which can be chilly) it is wonderful to have that private space, and to sit out with a cup of coffee and pre-dinner drink and enjoy the sight of the open sea, without a lot of other people around.

 

There are lots of great ideas in these posts on how to save money. One idea I've taken away from all of this is to think, in advance of the cruise, about what you want to do, and where you are OK spending your money; That way you'll be better able to make decisions when you're tempted by the various sales pitches you'll be subjected to.

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  • 2 weeks later...
What do you mean by "Beware of the EPIC, it is not a typical cruise experience?" Also, what, to you, is a typical cruise experience. (Not being a smart alec, just truly curious.)

BTW, I envy your ability to "pack" light.

 

I just mean do your research about this ship just because something is new does not mean it it better, it is a very smoky ship, even though the epic holds over 4000 people it is only 200 feet longer than the ncl dawn which holds about 2000, there is no promenade deck on the epic, it looks like a container ship people jam packed together even ncl decided not to make a sister ship, thank god it is one of a kind, we will not book this ship even though we enjoy the ncl product, although we just booked a celebrity solstice for dec 5th.

 

There were a few minor issues with our last ncl cruise, so we figure this is our disposable income and if ncl does not want to address our concerns we will try someone else. We learned that we are not going to get married to a cruise line but instead try to get the overall best deal and cruise experience.

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Neither of us drink alcohol, so that's money saved right there. I'm bringing my own sodas next week. Have yet to see any art that I would want in my house. I have my own masseuse and esthetician here at home. Frankly don't understand why you'd pay extra for "alternative dining". But that's just me. Last cruise we were on we were going for breakfast when a wait person asked if I wanted a glass of "fresh squeezed" orange juice. I started to reach for the glass when she requested my sign and sail card. $4.00??? For a glass of juice..... GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!!! I do like to buy my grandsons a little something. I believe in having a good time, but I'm not going to go "overboard" to do so. Just being on the ship, away from daily grind at home, not having to cook, clean, make beds, etc. is a good enough time for me.

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Man this board is great, I wish I could cruise with you people, the cruise I am going on people are talking about what type of tux and gowns they will wear, nothing wrong with that, to each their own, not just what I am interesting in, I just want to know what I can get away with wearing so they dont send me away from dinner. Have a great cruise.

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Good subtitle. We use the term tightwad as a source of pride. Being retired and on a fixed income, we figure it's easier to save $500.00 by being a tightwad than to generate an additional $500.00 of income. Being a tightwad allows us to cruise three to four times a year, and do pretty well anything else we want, when we want. That's FREEDOM! It all depends on if you want to pay full price and travel less - or be a tightwad and travel more. ;)

I'm going to guess you are a Dave Ramsey follower?? I'm with you in saving money and enjoying the cruise because of it!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Hi all--

 

I've been on a few cruises before, but now DH and I have twins! YAY!

 

Our next cruise is a year, or two away.

 

So my question is, how do you all of you out there with small children, afford cruising? What rooms do you book? Which cruise lines? What do you do with little kids? Any tips?

 

Thanks!

 

It depends on your cruising style. For low cost, MSC and Costa kids sail free promotions, than the occassional NCL $99 fares for kids... Kid oriented- Disney kids sail free promotions. Adults with child in tow, Holland America 3rd and 4th passengers $99 promotions. I shop around and find that I cannot be line loyal if it means the difference of going on a trip or staying at home. The reality is that with the exception of Disney and a few other newer ships with nursuries, new parents are on their own. The vast majority of crew will be wonderful to your child regardless of line and at least one passenger will make a comment about leaving kids at home while your child is doing nothing wrong, so pick based on your budget and preferences. If you enjoy the time with your child and do not expect a prekids type experience (enjoy watching them on a beach the first time versus after dinner drinking and dancing) a cruise is a great way to go. If you want a prekids type experience, a nursery is a must, or talk grandma into coming.

 

I like balcony rooms for the ability to relax after babies in bed, but check out the railings/ balcony style (NCL sky had an open railing like the promenade in our room). To be quite frank though, even an inside will do if there is room service and the price is right :)

 

For the under two set you also need to consider if you want babysitting, and if so in room (RCI, Holland) or in the kids club (carnival, celebrity century).

 

As for activities- dancing on empty dance floors, watching shows if they are quiet (sit near the back), hitting up the free ice cream, watching the big kids in the pool/ flow rider/ rock wall), looking for fish or dolphins in the carpet, listening to pianist/guitarist- a tip and they will often play a favorite disney song or puff the magic dragon, and watching waiters make paper animals. I also bring along a small portable quiet new toy. She also enjoys exploring the ship.

 

We do a lot more beach trips or wander on foot with the jogging stroller in ports, and have found a lot of neat places that DD loved (Hemingway's house for the cats for example). We also search for cheap momentos Emily likes under $10 (seashell bracelets, little straw purse, pearl necklace at the $7 shop, stacking dolls in Sitka) or a new silver charm for a bracelet I have started for her on our trips.

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Hi all--

 

I've been on a few cruises before, but now DH and I have twins! YAY!

 

Our next cruise is a year, or two away.

 

So my question is, how do you all of you out there with small children, afford cruising? What rooms do you book? Which cruise lines? What do you do with little kids? Any tips?

 

Thanks!

 

On most cruise lines 3rd and 4th passenger is cheaper, even without promos. But like they said if you watch many have 99 dollars for 3rd and 4th or kids cruise free. I have heard Disney is absolutley great for people with kids. Most cruise lines have children programs of some kind, but to particpate without Mom and Dad they need to be potty trained, and they cannot go into the pools without being potty trained (no swimmers allowed). Almost all ships offer a late night babysitting service, in case you want a evening out by yourself a time or 2. I know some children love the kids programs some would rather stay with mom and dad... but they do a lot of fun things and all age appropiate. Even though the group is for 2-11 year olds... the 11 yr olds wont be with the 2-3 yr old group... both will have thier own things to do.

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As a grandfather, I have to object to the comment "...talk grandma into going."!!! I married my wife over 40 years ago to be with her and to grow old with her . . . not to watch her sail off into the sunset to be the servant of children we spent decades raising so that they can go dancing at night while I eat TV dinners at home alone! On the other hand, there's a better way. Ask grandma AND grandpa if they want to go on the cruise with you. Discuss who will be responsible for what at what time. Depending on grandma/pa's financial situation, you might even offer to pay for their trip/services.

 

My wife and I are OK financially. So when our DIL and Son wanted to go on a cruise, we volunteered to babysit in the evenings and we paid our own way -- happily. (Well, I should say that since I'm such a noisy klutz, my wife babysat in the evenings.) We spent the days together, ate the evening meal together and had a great time as a family.

 

Point: Don't leave grandpa out of the equation and don't think of grandma as being at your beck and call. And if grandma/pa pay for their cruise, a nice token of appreciation for each would be appropriate.

 

It depends on your cruising style. For low cost, MSC and Costa kids sail free promotions, than the occassional NCL $99 fares for kids... Kid oriented- Disney kids sail free promotions. Adults with child in tow, Holland America 3rd and 4th passengers $99 promotions. I shop around and find that I cannot be line loyal if it means the difference of going on a trip or staying at home. The reality is that with the exception of Disney and a few other newer ships with nursuries, new parents are on their own. The vast majority of crew will be wonderful to your child regardless of line and at least one passenger will make a comment about leaving kids at home while your child is doing nothing wrong, so pick based on your budget and preferences. If you enjoy the time with your child and do not expect a prekids type experience (enjoy watching them on a beach the first time versus after dinner drinking and dancing) a cruise is a great way to go. If you want a prekids type experience, a nursery is a must, or talk grandma into coming.

 

I like balcony rooms for the ability to relax after babies in bed, but check out the railings/ balcony style (NCL sky had an open railing like the promenade in our room). To be quite frank though, even an inside will do if there is room service and the price is right :)

 

For the under two set you also need to consider if you want babysitting, and if so in room (RCI, Holland) or in the kids club (carnival, celebrity century).

 

As for activities- dancing on empty dance floors, watching shows if they are quiet (sit near the back), hitting up the free ice cream, watching the big kids in the pool/ flow rider/ rock wall), looking for fish or dolphins in the carpet, listening to pianist/guitarist- a tip and they will often play a favorite disney song or puff the magic dragon, and watching waiters make paper animals. I also bring along a small portable quiet new toy. She also enjoys exploring the ship.

 

We do a lot more beach trips or wander on foot with the jogging stroller in ports, and have found a lot of neat places that DD loved (Hemingway's house for the cats for example). We also search for cheap momentos Emily likes under $10 (seashell bracelets, little straw purse, pearl necklace at the $7 shop, stacking dolls in Sitka) or a new silver charm for a bracelet I have started for her on our trips.

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Man this board is great, I wish I could cruise with you people, the cruise I am going on people are talking about what type of tux and gowns they will wear, nothing wrong with that, to each their own, not just what I am interesting in, I just want to know what I can get away with wearing so they dont send me away from dinner. Have a great cruise.

 

My "formal wear" is a sparkly top and either black pants ( I've worn dockers on formal night) or for colder weather, black velour gym pants - look enough like velvet that no one notices.

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Man this board is great, I wish I could cruise with you people, the cruise I am going on people are talking about what type of tux and gowns they will wear, nothing wrong with that, to each their own, not just what I am interesting in, I just want to know what I can get away with wearing so they dont send me away from dinner. Have a great cruise.

It will depend on the cruise line and ship selected. Some cruise lines, Cunard for one, are more formal for dinner.

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On our first cruise, we took formal wear. We almost felt out of place on the formal nights. But then I'd rather be overdressed than underdressed. After than, for a number of cruises, I work a dark suit and felt like I fit right in. Wife work comparable female garb. Since they started charging for luggage, and adding restrictions on the weight, I simply take a blue blazer and dark gray slacks. On "formal" nights, I wear the blazer & slacks. On casual nights, I wear the slacks and a nice shirt. Makes life simple, lighten's the load re. the luggage, and enough people are doing the same that i don't feel out of place. Oh yes, we cruise mostly on HAL & Celebrity. We live in New Orleans. If we ever cruise out of here, we might take true formal wear. But out of other ports, we try to simplify.

 

It will depend on the cruise line and ship selected. Some cruise lines, Cunard for one, are more formal for dinner.
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Point: Don't leave grandpa out of the equation and don't think of grandma as being at your beck and call. And if grandma/pa pay for their cruise, a nice token of appreciation for each would be appropriate.

 

Point well taken. Grandma does not equal free babysitting, and Grandpa certainly needs to be included and considered in decisions.

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The one thing in my experience you should never do: cancel your onboard gratuities. I know, I know, "former crew." I never worked on tips, only salary.

 

I know I'm different than most - don't beat up my post. I'm still a cruiser, too, but with a different perspective than most.

 

Not true, vast majority of those who post here are on the same page with you on the tipping. You want to see someone beat up, just try suggesting canceling the tips to save $. :)

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Not true, vast majority of those who post here are on the same page with you on the tipping. You want to see someone beat up, just try suggesting canceling the tips to save $. :)

 

We are fairly frequent cruisers. We always tip at least the recommended amount -- often more if deserved. But that works both ways. We went on a Celebrity cruise, concierge class veranda, and were assigned an incompetent cabin steward. Despite repeated "requests" to housekeeping for improvement (please have the rugs vacuumed, please have the tissues kept filled, please have the shampoo available, etc. etc. etc.) there was no improvement on a 14 day cruise. I wanted to cut the tip in 1/2 for the cabin steward. My wife felt sorry for her and asked me not to. So I agreed and wrote a letter to Celebrity instead....hoping that they'd at least (since we were very frequent Celebrity Cruisers) send us coupons for a free bottle of wine or SOMETHING for our next cruise. Instead we got an obviously "FORM" letter. I wrote them back, objecting to the "FORM" letter which was non-responsive. The result: another form letter. We now cruise on HAL and I regret to this day not reducing the steward's tip.

 

PS: My son is a waiter in an upscale restaurant. I'm fully aware of how important tips are are tip well -- even for average service. But the "service" we did not receive from our

steward truly degraded our trip significantly and she should have paid the same price we did -- a reduced experience.

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Not because the economy is "weak" or gas prices have "skyrocketed" - most of which has been conjured up by the left-wing media - but we tend to cruise on the cheap.

 

 

Since CC decided to "highlight" this thread I can not resist to reply to the OP.

 

WHY do you feel the NEED to make this a POLITICAL STATEMENT?????????????????????

 

As if the RIGHT WING MEDIA plays it STRAIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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My DH and I used to spend hundreds of dollars on our seapass cards on Celebrity and Azamara. After five cruises we became Elite and between that and our shares of RC stock and very generous OBCs from our travel agent, our last cruise total was under $200 for four of us. We get drinks and specialty coffees in the Elite lounge in the morning and cocktails in the afternoon, so we don't order any drinks on board. We get 90 minutes of free internet each that keeps us going for a 7 day cruise. We don't buy any pictures because they all look alike at this point anyway. We only purchase on shore excursion on board (with none ahead of time) and get the rest at the port. We send out a load of free laundry and dry cleaning, etc., etc., etc.

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