Jump to content

Welcome to Tightwad Cruising - What Do You Do?


Recommended Posts

OK - I could probably say that I've taught the class! Here's what I do:

 

1. We can't always travel during off-season so we'll usually book the holiday cruises (while were on board a previous cruise) and book an inside with the hopes of possibly getting a free upgrade. Doesn't happen very often on holiday cruises but it paid off last year.

2. Although DH likes a glass of wine, I tell him to bring his glass with him from the cocktail party and then I'll carry one as well so he can have 2 glasses of wine at dinner since I'm a non-drinker!

3. DS isn't really into soda so I tell him to wait until we're at the first port and we'll buy our own bottled water - much cheaper than the ship and you don't have to pay 15% gratuity!

4. We try to avoid the ship's tours altogether! We'll save about 50% doing our own thing and then we can decide when/where we want to go to.

5. We're not gamblers so we look for money in the casino! When people have had just a little too much to drink, they'll leave spare change in the slot machine trays and more often credits on the machines!

6. We also don't participate at art auctions, get spa treatments, etc.

7. Take advantage of getting some of the cruise line's credit cards. I have literally saved thousands of dollars for using the cards and they also help in getting OBC's as well.

8. I know some people don't like using credit cards but when you use a particular credit card on board ship (like the Carnival M/C), you earn double points for charging your cruise AND double points for anything you buy on the cruise - including charging your gratuities!

 

It may sound cheap to some people but it's a way to go on more cruises and at this rate, we've been averaging around 2-3 a year and I'm not even retired yet!

 

Laurie

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are trying to save money, why would you book a balcony cabin?

 

Good question. We save money so that we CAN book a balcony. We enjoy sitting and reading on the balcony and watching the sea slide by on sea days and looking at the ports from our balcony while in port. We also like to leave the door open and listen to the sea sounds sometimes, and we like FRESH air and fresh air is hard to come by with an inside or view cabin.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think its all a matter of priorities and planning.

 

Know what's important to you and spend your money on that. Avoid the "traps" that don't "give back' in value and/or enjoyment. Remember that the value of the cruise is the experience and not "things".

 

Things DH and I DON"T do/buy:

 

1. Liquor (bottled) onboard or in port - Not worth the hassle of transport and not much of a bargain since we've found a good discount liquor place near home (exception: something that's not available locally)

 

2. Art - We don't even enjoy going to the auctions, and the srt is definitely not worth what people pay

 

3. Salon and spa services - overpriced and quality only so-so, plus you have to listen to a hard-sell (Exception - ONCE I got a facial when discount prices were offered due to a port cancellation)

 

4. Casino (exception - occasionally they'll have free drinks in the casino to lure people in; we enjoy the drinks but son't gamble.

 

5. Eat in port

 

6. Buy jewelry or other expensive purchases either on board or in port

 

 

Things we DO:

 

1. Pack essential toiletries and meds, so we don't have to buy on the ship.

 

2. Research the ports and plan excursions accordingly - many ports we can just sightsee or enjoy the beach for a taxi ride. Many excursions are WAY overpriced and can be done on our own much cheaper (ex: Bacardi tour in San Juan). We buy one or two that we really like and that give good value.

 

3. Buy only one or two of the photographs - bring our digital camera and take lots os candids

 

4. Buy the drink specials (Drink of the day, drink cards, etc)

 

5. Buy one bingo card/cardpack and enjoy one round of bingo

 

6. Drive to port. Despite the cost of gas this has always been cheaper for us, even figuring in food & lodging. Exception: when its a non-contiguous port, i.e. San Jaun

 

7. Know what we really need in a cabin & book accordingly (DH has to have natural light coming in, so we dont do insides, but we don't stay in the room long enough to make a balcony worth the premium price)

 

8. Buy travel insurance ( and a policy that has also been researched to make sure it covers what we need)

 

Of course your preferences my be very differerent, but the point is to do some planning and thinking ahead of time so you know what YOU really want and spend accordingly.

 

Be a value-conscious traveller.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are trying to save money, why would you book a balcony cabin?
It's a matter of value for the dollar -- not the lowest possible price. A balcony is worth the cost to me; a spa treatment is not.

 

Our family of four prefers to share one room; a balcony gives us the cheapest possible "extra room" so my husband can disappear when the girls are dressing. It's what WE prefer.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a matter of value for the dollar -- not the lowest possible price. A balcony is worth the cost to me; a spa treatment is not.

 

Our family of four prefers to share one room; a balcony gives us the cheapest possible "extra room" so my husband can disappear when the girls are dressing. It's what WE prefer.

 

You are SO right! Everyone has their priorities! I actually booked a balcony as a surprise for my DH's 50th b-day on the Carnival Paradise. I figured for 3 days, it's affordable and we'll enjoy the balcony as much as we can in those 3 days! It's a special occasion - I figured I'd splurge a bit!

 

Laurie

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow. We save for our cruises in a separate account and when the time comes to take them we go and enjoy without worry. About the only things we don't do are the Art Auction, the Spa and drink the bottled water in the cabin. We enjoy our daily drinks, DH likes wine with dinner; we both love shopping onboard and in port; we take shore excursions, we usually spend a set amount in the casino almost every evening; dine at the alternative restaurants at least once per cruise; book the all-you-want laundry pkg; always buy at least 3 or 4 photos, and tip over and above the set tips to those who give extra service. I figure if we've saved the money specifically for the cruise, then there 's no guilt over how much we've spent. I guess it all boils down to what you're comfortable with - not everybody does what we do, and we're glad. Wouldn't it be a strange world if everyone was the same?

 

Smooth Sailing! :) :) :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sail--I agree with you. A vacation is a time to kick back and relax---not to spend every waking minute trying to fiqure out how to do it cheaper. I would rather stay home than do a vacation "on the cheap". Much better to look back and think about how much fun we had rather than how much money we saved.

 

I agree. I'm not going to mess with coupons, go to bad events to get a free drink and such.

 

I'm going to the casino every night, eat in specialties, drink when I want, wife does spa/massage, do a few excursions when warranted, do eat in local restaurants when in port. When I'm on vacation, I'm on vacation.

 

Only thing I do is shop the cruise pretty hard to get best price. After that, school's out........ This is not meant to belittle those that feel the need to go ther cheap route, it's not just for us as it doesn't take that much more $'s.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you a tightwad cruiser too? If so, what do you do

I don't buy that much wine in the bars.

 

What I do is bring some onboard (ordered from the cruise line in advance, or perhaps bought in port) and then take a glass from my cabin to the dining room or to a lounge if I am meeting friends. Who knows where that glass of wine came from? I don't see anything wrong with this, in spite of what people have told me, especially since in most cases, I've ordered that wine from ship's services to be waiting in my stateroom when I board.

 

Blue skies ...

 

--rita

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Only thing I do is shop the cruise pretty hard to get best price. After that, school's out........ This is not meant to belittle those that feel the need to go ther cheap route, it's not just for us as it doesn't take that much more $'s.

I'll be honest ... I'm pretty much with you on this subject. Except for the wine thing on occasion ... I too don't worry about what I spend on a cruise. I only take about one every year/year and a half, so if a nice fruity drink is what I want, I get one and don't worry about the cost.

 

I try to pay for as many things in advance that I can (Holland America) including wine and cocktail cards, and shore excursions ... maybe in some cases even prepaid gratuities ... so that my onboard bill is not too hard on the eyes ... and then I just get onboard and have fun. I'll worry about the bills later.

 

My feeling is this. If I happen to spend too much and get myself into a hole, I could always wait an extra few months before cruising again. The bills will get paid, so it makes no sense losing sleep over them.

 

Blue skies ...

 

--rita

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am also one that does not count my pennies on the cruise. I set money back throughout the year for the casino. We make sure when we book the cruise that we have the money to pay for it then. I make sure when I book the excursions I have the money to pay for those as well. So, when we leave to go on the cruise all of those items are paid for. It is that one time of the year that all four of us get can get together and enjoy time together (one kid in college and one in high school, so pretty busy.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

HELLO I AM NEW TO THE BOARDS AND I AM WONDERING ABOUT THE DIFFERENT CRUISE LINES. I HAVE BEEN ON ROYAL CARIBBEAN BUT HOW DO THE CARNIVAL CRUISE SHIPS COMPARE. I THINK ROYAL CARIBBEAN WAS GREAT ! WHAT DO ALL OF YOU THINK?:confused:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We don't watch too closely what we spend, but we don't spend wildly. We are not interested in the art auction or spa treatments. DH went to play bingo one day and said it is too much money. We do enjoy the casino and spend a small amount there each day. We have a couple of drinks every day. We have not done specialty restaurants or purchased photographs. We don't spend alot on souveniers but we do buy what we want. We spend similar to our non-vacation days. We stay within a budget, but the budget can change as we need it to.:):):):)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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. We search for off-season or repositioning cruises and then set our sights on a balcony stateroom with the cruise fare saved. We book the next cruise while on-board the current cruise for an OBC, use our C&A benefits for a discount, and use our RCCL stockholder benefits for an additonal OBC. When we have enough RCCL Visa card points accumulated, we cash them in for another OBC. Then, while on-board:

 

We don't buy the over-priced weak drinks in the smokey bars - but once in a while we'll order the drink of the day - or two - before the show.

 

We do not buy the art at the auctions - but do sign up and drink the free champaigne.

 

We don't buy a soda card - but do drink coffee, tea, and juices for free and even make our own "Cafe' Diablo" using their hot cocoa mix, coffee, and creamer.

 

We don't buy a wine package - but do use our C&A coupon for a free wine tasting.

 

We don't use any spa "treatments" but do occasionally sign up for a free lecture/sales pitch.

 

We don't use the laundry service - but do wash out our own quick-dry travel clothing in our cabin.

 

We don't use the high priced/low speed internet service on-board - but do use our own mobile web service when in port and cell phone service is available.

 

We seldom use specialty dining - but do order room service dinners or breakfasts and eat on our balcony where it is much quieter.

 

We DO try to book an excursion or two on-board so that it'll be charged to our sea pass - the one already front loaded with a bunch of OBCs.

 

The result? Most cruises we have a very small balance on our sea pass at the end of the cruise, and sometimes even have a credit.

 

Are you a tightwad cruiser too? If so, what do you do[/quote

 

 

 

You forgot one of the best FREE events " Captains cocktail party. Free drinks and you can have several ,Also free beaches on alot of the islands !!!!!!. Call me cheap but I will not pay to eat at a speciality rest. on board when there is so many other choices of food on board that comes with my cruise fare.;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not because the economy is "weak" or gas prices have "skyrocketed" - most of which has been conjured up by the left-wing media -

 

Spoken like someone who won't even eat the left wing of a chicken. :D

 

Caro

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never found that money spent = more enjoyment. We don't hesitate to book the cabin we want, to arrive a day early and stay in a hotel, to book excursions that we're going to enjoy. But we don't feel the need to spend on everything we see.

 

If you read my post again I never said that spending more money means more enjoyment or that I needed to spend on everything I see. You put words in my mouth. I simply said that we enjoy our vacations without obsessing on ways we could do it cheaper. For instance, on time share vacations we never waste a half day of our valuable vacation time attending a sales presentation to receive "free" tickets to a show or some similar "reward". Our time is worth more than the tickets.

We eat at the restaurants that we love and not just ones we can find a coupon for.

I love to shop when we go on vacation but it is for brands I can't get at home------not just because something is on sale. Why buy something that doesn't really interest you just because it is on sale?

Staying at a hotel out in the boonies may be much cheaper, but you waste valuable time commuting to the places you want to be. Staying close by is less stressful and more productive timewise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you read my post again I never said that spending more money means more enjoyment or that I needed to spend on everything I see. You put words in my mouth. I simply said that we enjoy our vacations without obsessing on ways we could do it cheaper. For instance, on time share vacations we never waste a half day of our valuable vacation time attending a sales presentation to receive "free" tickets to a show or some similar "reward". Our time is worth more than the tickets.

We eat at the restaurants that we love and not just ones we can find a coupon for.

I love to shop when we go on vacation but it is for brands I can't get at home------not just because something is on sale. Why buy something that doesn't really interest you just because it is on sale?

Staying at a hotel out in the boonies may be much cheaper, but you waste valuable time commuting to the places you want to be. Staying close by is less stressful and more productive timewise.

 

I thought the object of this thread was maybe to give us ideas about where we might save money. It is interesting to read about what other people do to save. It doesn't IMHO mean that people who want to spend money on some particular thing that they enjoy should have to justify it to people who don't want to do that particular thing. For instance, we don't drink, so the Captain's cocktail party is not of interest to us for the free drinks, but that doesn't mean that I would look down at someone who DID like it for that reason. Just because someone doesn't use ALL the saving money tricks doesn't equate to them being a spendthrift.

 

I do agree with you on the timeshare thing (Branson??), but it took me awhile to learn that nothing is ever free, and that if an offer seems too good to be true, it's usually not true. It also took me a long time (being somewhat dense I guess) to realize that I didn't have to use a coupon if the savings were on something that I didn't like, didn't want or wouldn't use. There's no point in getting three cans of soup for the price of two if I don't like soup.

 

I enjoy trying to get the most value for my money, and since we are old retired people, we have the time to do that. Since we have more time than money, saving money by staying outside of the center of the city works for us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you read my post again I never said that spending more money means more enjoyment or that I needed to spend on everything I see. You put words in my mouth. I simply said that we enjoy our vacations without obsessing on ways we could do it cheaper.
Likewise, a person who spends rather frugally doesn't necessarily sit around regretting the choices not made -- there's a wide space between pinching every penny and splurging to the max, and that's where the majority of us live! Not everyone who watches pennies is obsessing over finances.
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lucky for us, we love a quiet inside cabin on on upper deck.

 

We turned down a balcony guarantee that cost $40 less than our inside on our last European cruise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have not gone yet but when we do in October we have budgeted $1200.00 which the generous Government sent us. Our cruise cost us $129.00 exchange fee from our Worldmark membership points we had. Our flight was free because we gave up our seats on a trip to Mexico last year and received two round trip tickets to any where they flew in the Continental U.S. (arrived in Mexico about three hours late). We will probably come home with some money but if we spend more it will still be an inexpensive cruise. We have budgeted $10.00 each for the casino daily since my wife can't be near a casino without trying the slots. Hope they have the penny ones. I only wish the had holdem poker games. All in all we plan to have a blast and hope we do not get to addicted to cruising.:D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have not gone yet but when we do in October we have budgeted $1200.00 which the generous Government sent us. Our cruise cost us $129.00 exchange fee from our Worldmark membership points we had. Our flight was free because we gave up our seats on a trip to Mexico last year and received two round trip tickets to any where they flew in the Continental U.S. (arrived in Mexico about three hours late). We will probably come home with some money but if we spend more it will still be an inexpensive cruise. We have budgeted $10.00 each for the casino daily since my wife can't be near a casino without trying the slots. Hope they have the penny ones. I only wish the had holdem poker games. All in all we plan to have a blast and hope we do not get to addicted to cruising.:D

 

Alot of the Princess and Carnival ships have poker on board. Try asking over on the Carnival page (it looks likes that's the line you are on). Good Luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good question. We save money so that we CAN book a balcony. We enjoy sitting and reading on the balcony and watching the sea slide by on sea days and looking at the ports from our balcony while in port. We also like to leave the door open and listen to the sea sounds sometimes, and we like FRESH air and fresh air is hard to come by with an inside or view cabin.

 

Hello,

 

We have saved lots of money by using most if not all of the money saving stategies mentioned in the posts. We have been on 24 cruises and we have had truly memorable times on our cruises, and most of the time we spend very little. Both my DW and I have part time jobs which we enjoy and these part time jobs pay for our two and three cruises per year.

 

Please note that your political comments should be left off these boards. You have every right to express your opinions whenever and wherever you want to. To me, however, this is not the place or time to tell us your opinions. The purpose of these boards is to provide information to persons interested in cruising, not to find fault.... conservatives, liberals , left wing. right wing or any other polical belief.

 

Thank you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you read my post again I never said that spending more money means more enjoyment or that I needed to spend on everything I see. You put words in my mouth. I simply said that we enjoy our vacations without obsessing on ways we could do it cheaper. For instance, on time share vacations we never waste a half day of our valuable vacation time attending a sales presentation to receive "free" tickets to a show or some similar "reward". Our time is worth more than the tickets.

We eat at the restaurants that we love and not just ones we can find a coupon for.

I love to shop when we go on vacation but it is for brands I can't get at home------not just because something is on sale. Why buy something that doesn't really interest you just because it is on sale?

Staying at a hotel out in the boonies may be much cheaper, but you waste valuable time commuting to the places you want to be. Staying close by is less stressful and more productive timewise.

 

 

I'm with you on this one. LIke you, we also enjoy our vacations without obsessing on ways we could do it cheaper. I really do think its my DH's fault though---he lets me make all the bookings whether land or cruise!! :D

 

In all seriousness, to each their own I guess. To those of you that have the patience & time to find ways to save or get the most bang for your buck...all the power to you. That's just not me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am a coupon clipper & bargain shopper because old habits die hard. When DH & I were very young we had some difficult financial times so I learned to bargain hunt. Now we are very comfortable & I don't need to do the coupon cutting & bargain hunting but it's who I have become...LOL...;) I do shop for the best price for cruises & transportation to & from the cruise but that being said I then spend what I want once vacation begins. Myself, I would not care what kind of stateroom I had as long as I was on the ship but DH when he cruises likes a balcony so that is what we get. I am not a big drinker but I do like the casino so I bring enough money along to enjoy myself. As for shore excursions we do them ourselves because we have less of a crowd & not as much time spent waiting for everyone to get on & off buses. I agree with the poster that said eating on shore gives you a little taste of the local food & I enjoy tasting different types of food so I usually try to at least have lunch ashore...I think everyone needs to do what is best for them on vacation to insure enjoying themselves. So if cruising on a shoe string or in the penthouse suite makes one happy then that is what they should do. So HAPPY CRUISING to all you tightwads, spendthrifts & the middle of the roaders...:)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...