Jump to content
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips

Welcome to Tightwad Cruising - What Do You Do?


Recommended Posts

We also did a LOT of walking (no cabs). Drank a lot of water as well & H was happy enough with the "free" coffee. We also got lactose free milk upon request. We didn't miss sodas. Our travel agent gave us chocolate-dipped strawberries and a bottle of wine. The cruise also gave us a bottle of wine for some problems we had with our toilet--we traded the 2nd bottle of wine in for a photo instead. We really like the photo and had no use for a 2nd bottle of wine (we're light drinkers). A friend also gave us a photo of us & her, so we didn't buy any pictures.

 

We booked all our own tours instead of using those from the cruise. We shopped for sales and bought a few Princess shirts at discount for momentos. We also found a few other nice things that we liked and purchased.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have only been on 1 cruise - 5 nights to Key West and Nassau with Carnival. The DH and I had a balance of $30 at the end of our cruise. We booked our excusions privately for $140 total before the cruise. We don't drink much, and only bought 1 DOD because of the cup. I bought a Pandora style bracelet at the shop on board . We had a small OBC due to an adjustment on our bill. We used about $100 cash at the casino. We had fun, and never felt deprived.

 

I know most people spend much more money to that, but to each their own. I would rather use my money wisely and take more vacations. Plus, I think the high cost of some things, such as an exursion to Atlantis, would bother me so much that I would not enjoy it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

because we did back to back caribbean cruises 09/30 carnival freedom 6 days guarentee inside and 10/06 oasis of the seas for the price many folks pay for one cruise those whom drink, gamble onboard help keep the costs of my cruise down

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We just got off a 7 day cruise in the eastern Med and our bill was $1.05. We bought a coffee or Coke on shore, didn't eat at any of the specialty restaurants, and didn't visit the casino except to purchase chips so we could cash them in and get our OB credit out which we used to pay the tips.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have learned alot from this thread..I am going on my second cruise, first for BF..we booked pretty far in advance and have been prepaying for our excursions, drink cards ect. through out the year so we wont have a huge balance at end of the trip.

One thing that i have noticed with the HAL line is you can get the casino chips delivered to your cabin by prepaying in advance. Say $20 a day per person is your casino budget.. this makes it easier to prepay and set a daily limit to the casino.

We both work and have a limited spending budget, so all the buying ahead as we can afford it seems to work for us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had a fabulous time and didn't overspend at all. There is a great deal to see by roaming the ship, looking in the water, ports, enjoying other passengers. H found the coffee perfectly adequate for his needs and we all found the water they served aboard to be just fine for us. We did indulge in a nice dinner at the steak house and have no regrets about the small splurge. We also got two photos taken professionally, both were gifts so we didn't pay anything out of pocket. We also got a gift of a bottle of wine and chocolate dipped strawberries, all of which were enjoyed compliments of our travel agent, though we would never have purchased the strawberries.

 

We could NOT tolerate the tobacco stench of the casino or anywhere near where smoking was permitted (all our allergies were set off by the smells emanating from the premises). Any thoughts we had of exploring the casino were quickly extinguished when we got within smelling range.

Edited by HImom
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 weeks later...

I'm going on my first Cunard cruise in a few weeks and I'm genuinely interested to hear the perceived wisdom of the more experienced cruisers - especially in respect of Cunard.

 

I know that Scottish people are known for being thrifty, and I'm surely not going to change that opinion in anyone's eyes. However, I've stretched myself significantly to a Princess Grill suite and I'm not keen on the idea of being fleeced for everything else once I'm on-board.

 

Here are a few questions which seek sensible answers without being told I'm just being tight. I have no issues spending money or rewarding service, but I don't like being taken for a sucker or a cash-cow. For me, it's about value for money. I'll happily spend thousands on something I want, but I'd rather be hungry than buy a chocolate bar for five times it's normal retail price. I hope that makes some sense?

 

I'm particularly unhappy with the idea of being automatically charged for service based on the cabin grade. I'm perfectly happy to tip, but I feel that an automatic $500+ total for this particular cruise is taking a bit of a liberty - especially when I don't get to decide who it goes to (and for what level of service). I would feel much happier looking after the individuals who are making the effort for me, but I realise that this doesn't cover everyone behind the scenes. What are the pros/cons of telling the purser not to add the automatic charge and to deal with it personally?

 

I find particular enjoyment in a certain type of red wine. I'd much rather bring a case of my own wine on-board (for consumption in/on my cabin/balcony only) than buy something I don't particularly want from the on-board wine list at an inflated cost. I do understand that there will be a corkage charge if I take my own wine to the restaurant. Does anyone think that a dozen bottles in luggage will be an issue?

 

I've been looking at excursions and I'm seeing a number of 3rd party offerings - particularly from 'cruising excursions dot com'. Does anyone have any expericene of using this firm over the ships own plans?

 

Thank-you for taking the time to read (and hopefully answer) this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The cruisingexcursions.com would be a middle man that sells the private excursions, if I were you I would research the tour operators to find the best and book with them directly. The cruise ports section of cruise critic can be useful for finding a good tour operator, also TripAdvisor board. Why pay a marked up charge to get the same tour. Any reputable tour operator for cruise passengers know they must be reliable & return you to the ship in time; it's their livelihood. The best tours I've taken have been ones I found independently.

 

Can't comment about Cunard and the gratuities but I know on other lines the crew are aware if you pull tips. Their supervisors may inquire with them to see if there has been a problem with service.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The cruisingexcursions.com would be a middle man that sells the private excursions, if I were you I would research the tour operators to find the best and book with them directly. The cruise ports section of cruise critic can be useful for finding a good tour operator, also TripAdvisor board. Why pay a marked up charge to get the same tour. Any reputable tour operator for cruise passengers know they must be reliable & return you to the ship in time; it's their livelihood. The best tours I've taken have been ones I found independently.

 

Can't comment about Cunard and the gratuities but I know on other lines the crew are aware if you pull tips. Their supervisors may inquire with them to see if there has been a problem with service.

 

You can also research excursion on Trip Advisor. Lots of reviews of private tour companies. Then go to their web site and continue checking. Sometimes, The cruise excursion is easiest and well Priced (i.e. St John when St thomas is very busy) I take the excursions that really show me the island and offer things I can't do elsewhere.

 

Roberta

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FourRingCircus, one thing you can do is ask any tour companies you are considering what their policy is on deposits and refunds if your ship does not make it into port. This is the one area where it can be of advantage to book with the cruise line. On the one cruise where I've been to Europe, the tours I booked did not even require an advance deposit. And they emailed me that they would know if for some reason the ship did not make port, and of course there would be no charge.

 

For Cunard specific advice, posting on the cunard board would be of the most help. Just be aware (and I say this because your post count indicates you are new here) the topic of gratuities can draw heated responses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm going on my first Cunard cruise in a few weeks and I'm genuinely interested to hear the perceived wisdom of the more experienced cruisers - especially in respect of Cunard.

 

I know that Scottish people are known for being thrifty, and I'm surely not going to change that opinion in anyone's eyes. However, I've stretched myself significantly to a Princess Grill suite and I'm not keen on the idea of being fleeced for everything else once I'm on-board.

 

Here are a few questions which seek sensible answers without being told I'm just being tight. I have no issues spending money or rewarding service, but I don't like being taken for a sucker or a cash-cow. For me, it's about value for money. I'll happily spend thousands on something I want, but I'd rather be hungry than buy a chocolate bar for five times it's normal retail price. I hope that makes some sense?

 

I'm particularly unhappy with the idea of being automatically charged for service based on the cabin grade. I'm perfectly happy to tip, but I feel that an automatic $500+ total for this particular cruise is taking a bit of a liberty - especially when I don't get to decide who it goes to (and for what level of service). I would feel much happier looking after the individuals who are making the effort for me, but I realise that this doesn't cover everyone behind the scenes. What are the pros/cons of telling the purser not to add the automatic charge and to deal with it personally?

 

I find particular enjoyment in a certain type of red wine. I'd much rather bring a case of my own wine on-board (for consumption in/on my cabin/balcony only) than buy something I don't particularly want from the on-board wine list at an inflated cost. I do understand that there will be a corkage charge if I take my own wine to the restaurant. Does anyone think that a dozen bottles in luggage will be an issue?

 

I've been looking at excursions and I'm seeing a number of 3rd party offerings - particularly from 'cruising excursions dot com'. Does anyone have any expericene of using this firm over the ships own plans?

 

Thank-you for taking the time to read (and hopefully answer) this.

 

Automatic gratuities are pretty consistent with all the cruises we've been on. I started paying the gratuities in advance so I didn't have to worry about them. If you do "My Time Dining," they insist on pre-paying them. You still have to be careful, because auto tips are added to more items on board, such as Bar, spa, etc. I even had a tip added to my Chops steak in the MDR. Some people like to tip extra, but I feel that unless they really excel, I won't. We've only tipped extra once or twice in all our cruises.

 

Corkage fees are standard too. Bring a bottle opener and drink in your stateroom.

 

We always book our excursions through the cruise line. Because if our tour is late, they'll hold the ship for you. That's not a guarantee through a third party.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Wow, what great tips since I first started this thread. I had no idea it would last this long. Since I started it, I've been practicing many of these tightwad tips with great success and have been able to cruise more often for less money than the sheep who line up and just hand over their charge card.

 

With the ala cart (nickle and diming) practices adopted by my favorite cruise lines, I am content to let others subsidize my cruise by indulging in the extras. I regularly take long-distance motorcycle trips where I camp out a lot with minimalist camping gear, so I am easily satisfied with the basics on a cruise and don't feel the need for a $100 massage or a "special" steak for an extra $25.

 

I'd rather find a dark spot on the deck or bow of the ship and stargaze from the middle of the ocean than spend any time in a smoky casino or in a nightclub where the music is cranked up to point of hearing loss or pain.

 

There's something for everyone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Magnets, small flashlight, small roll duct tape, glo bracelets for the kids for New Years Eve.

I saw lots of travel sized items & they take coupons now--you may be able to get a steal.

They had the over the door organizer, ponchos, umbrellas.

They had many items we could have used but already have--I highly recommend!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Wow I

I am impressed by the great tips I have found. We have been on five cruises with our 6th cruise a few weeks away. Our bill is never big and paid in cash before we get off the ship.

 

Yes we will buy a drink occasionally. I take advantage of the carryon wine allowance to take a glass of wine or two to dinner.

We always bring travel cups like you carry coffee in. That way we can take coffee, juice, tea or anything else anywhere we want to on the ship.

 

I have preordered a bottle of alcohol for the room and we do bring our allotment of water, soda and wine onboard.

 

We are each responsible for presaving our own money to play the slot machines with. LOL on my first cruise I actually assumed the five cent machine would take change and ended up toting home $50 in change that I had not converted to paper money.

 

I will buy a picture on each cruise usually as we are getting off the ship at a port.

 

I research each port in advance and plan our excursions or purchase on the island. We have had some fantastic experiences. And yes we bring a small collapsible cooler and baggies to take our food to eat in port at times.

 

As for laundry we will occasionally wash in the laundromat. However bringing detergent and a large ziploc bag works great in the room for a few items. As for drying wring them out and hang. If not dry by the time I need well that is what I pack my hairdryer for!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

.... and didn't visit the casino except to purchase chips so we could cash them in and get our OB credit out which we used to pay the tips.

 

 

Very new at this (about to go on first cruise) and just wondering how this purchasing chips works for tipping. I guess I thought we had to put tips on the credit card we register. Do you mind explaining it a bit? Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very new at this (about to go on first cruise) and just wondering how this purchasing chips works for tipping. I guess I thought we had to put tips on the credit card we register. Do you mind explaining it a bit? Thanks!

 

Tips go on your ship board account, which is usually paid with a credit card. Most ships have an auto tipping policy or you can pay your gratuity in advance.

 

OBC (On board Credit) happens a number of ways. A travel agent may give you OBC when you book, and sometimes the cruise company will offer you a special for reduced deposit and OBC. You can also get some OBC when you book at the loyalty desk on board.

 

When you have a credit balance, you can go to the casino and cash out there for a transaction fee. We don't visit the casino, so I don't know the details.

Edited by knittinggirl
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Other ways to get OBC is to own 100 shares of the stock of the parent company. Carnival Corp owns Carnival, Princess, HAL, Cunard, Costa, and others. RCI owns Royal, Celebrity and others. Carnival OBC is combinable with others, RCI is not.

 

Princess gives OBC to active or retired military personnel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not because we are tightwads, just don't see any need to spend on things we feel are meant for the "impress others" crowd, like

 

Trips to the way way overpriced spa

Over priced bottles of wine at dinner, just so others can see you pretend to know what your are swirling and sniffing.

Upcharges to eat in specialty restaurants, although we do pay the surcharge to order the specialty restaurant steak in MDR.

 

We also limit our photo purchase to a mininum.....with digital cameras they should sell you a cd with every single photo on board and at every port for $100. Tells you what a rip off they are, when they take and print 30 pics of everyone to sell you 6 and trash the rest they printed.

 

We buy one soft drink deal, as my wife doesn't like tea; the 3 or 4 cokes I drink on a cruise, she just gets for me in the Windjammer; I'm fine with tea and water otherwise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

We pack a small collapsible cooler. We fill it with ice from our ice bucket as we leave the ship at Ports. First thing in port, we ask where the local liquor store is. ALWAYS bypass the liquor markets in the Duty free shops, they still charge more than in town 99% of the time. We buy a sixer or 12 of local beer, always seems less than or about a buck a can and have beer for the day while in port wandering.

 

Saves tons of money from buying at a bar

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance - Welcome to Cruise Critic
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Cruise News
      • 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...