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Welcome to Tightwad Cruising - What Do You Do?

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We are on vacation but we try not to over do it..

 

We DO:

Tip extra for good service.

 

We order a Bottle Of Vodka or Rum and it is waiting in our room when we get on Board. I take little pineapple juices ,grenedine ,cherries & anything extra I want with me. We love adding it to the juice in the morning and the lemonaide . It is a little expensive when you order the bottle but it saves us alot more and we have good strong drinks all week long.

And we will bring the 2 Bottles of Wine on board with us and Cokes.

 

We do have a few Drinks of the day - We are on vacation and we use the glasses for our drinks we make.

 

We get a Balcony on a upper deck - is our favorite perk of vacation.

This Cruise we are opting for in November is the Spa Balcony.

 

We are going to try the steak Resturant this next Cruise.

 

We have bought a coffee and a great dessert once when we got a call that our grandson was born.

We do buy items in the shop if they are on sale and we like them.

 

 

What we Dont do:

We rarely buy pictures on board and just pass up the picture area.

 

We dont go to the casino - the smoke sets off my asthma.

 

We dont order room Service - But we did once last cruise and the

PB & J & a Pizza at 3 in the morning is the best ever !!!

 

We Dont Buy Art at the Auctions - We dont even go for the sparkling Juice.

We dont Book Excursions on Board - Always get much better deals at port.

No Spa treatments or anything like that.

We Dont Buy Any Drink Packages- I thought about it but Like $40.00 a day for 7 days is $300.00 per person - So for us that is a extra $600.00 and you can get 15 drinks in a day- Who wants to be wasted. And the 1st day you dont get on board till that afternoon - so half of that day is gone and you get off board at ports - so thats 3 more days and the last day they still charge you that $40.00 and your only on there a couple of hours and someone has to drive home.

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We rarely buy pictures on board and just pass up the picture area.

 

On Princess they have a night where you can go to about 6 different places to get portraits done.

 

On the last day they do a draw for a free package, but you have to be there to win.

 

At that time most people are too busy to go to it. We went last year and won one of the 3 packages. We'd have never paid for a package.

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Lots of good tips here although a few are too too frugal for me (but not so many :o).

 

Here is an idea for those not paying in US $'s. Celebrity and RC have the option to pay in Canadian funds.

On my last cruise, Celebrity quoted the Cdn $ at .99 when the bank rate was .90 to the US dollar.

Add that to a 2.5% exchange and we saved over 12% paying in Canadian funds booking direct with Celebrity.

I then asked if I could buy OBC prior to my cruise paying this exchange rate.

When they said yes I bought way way more then needed . I took the excess amount in US funds on-board.

 

Currently the rate is not so favorable but it may be again and it is worth checking.

 

My second tip is trying different residency rates. We have a family vacation place in Florida.

Sometimes the rates offered for Floridians are really good. It pays to check.

Make sure you meet the cruise-line requirements which vary. You don't have to necessarily live there.

 

Don't sue me if use of this tip backfires on you. :D

 

Another idea is making sure you sign up for a relatively unknown discount category -TEACHERS discounts.

People know about military and seniors discount but not this one. It is not available so often but we once

got $200 off using it.

 

Don't get so hung up on getting the cheapest cruise price. This is only a % of the total vacation price.

Generally only a third of our total cruise vacation cost has been the actual cabin cost.

Transportation costs including air, parking, transportation as well as hotels and meals have been a bigger expense.

People need to make sure to get the the best total deal.

 

Final tip is to remember that you only life once so save all you can but not at the cost of wonderful memories.

Edited by richstowe

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We're going on our first cruise this year. In reading the post that started this thread, I have to say, I made most of those same choices. We splurged for some things like excursions and a balcony room. We cut costs by not buying a drink package (for three of us, I can't imagine spending $60 a day times 8 days for something that we'll just pee away. Sorry to be crude, but honestly, that's how I look at it!) No internet, either. I still think the cruise is kind of pricey, but I look forward to it.

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I cruise frequently which I couldn't do If I didn't pinch pennies a little. The one place I waste money is the Casino. Things I do to save:

1) Search for the best prices and if booking early always book early saver. I sometimes screws solo but have learned it's best to simply look for the lowest price per cruise since some are more expensive even without a single supplement per day than others are with a single supplement.

2) I look at the cruise lines short excursion choices and of course look at the reviews here at cruise critic then when I decide what I want to do in Port I search the internet for the best price for that tour. You can also and get the tour for much less then the cruise ship offers it for even if its an identical tour.

3) is others have said I buy a bottleof bon voyage liquor from the cruise line. While very expensive it still is much less expensive than if I bought drinks individually. I usually go ahead and get the bottomless bubbles card because I get my money's worth since I'm mixing the juices and sodas with alcohol as well as drinking straight at other times.

4) I never buy photos from the photo shop.

5) I seek out sources of on board credit whether it's my stockholders benefit or due to price drops.

6) I use my carnival credit card to pay for the cruises and all the expenses on board even though I had the cash in the bank and thereby earn points redeemable for a statement credit which effectively is like getting cash back.

7) I once talked the spa into giving me the expired sale price for a treatment I wanted to get on a different day of the cruise because it was my birthday and I wanted to have that spa treatment on my birthday.

 

Other than wasting money in the casino I also do tip above and beyond the prepaid gratuities. I do like room service and I tip a few bucks every time I order. I buy stuff I like especially if its on sale in the gift shop.

 

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Forums mobile app

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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. 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

 

 

I am of the opinion that if you must cut all the corners that you list above, you probably should stay home. When i go on vacation, I want to enjoy myself and not limit myself. Of course, this is just my opinion

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After reading these comments, I must say.....I could never in a million years go on vacation and work so hard at trying to save money. Aren't you there to enjoy yourself? :confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused:

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I completely disagree with the last 2 statements. Enjoying myself has nothing to do with spending money frivolously. I guess not buying and spending a ton doesn't make me feel deprived though. I'd much rather go home with more $$ in my pocket after a fun vacation. It makes me happy actually NOT to spend, spend, spend! I'd also be much happier cruising on the cheap often than staying home. Just being on the ship is way more than enough to make me happy.

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MY COMMENTS IN ALL CAPS -- NOT YELLING, JUST DIFFERENTIATING ;-)

---Quote (Originally by ChevyCruiser)---

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.

 

GAS HAS NOT SKYROCKETED; IT'S BEEN ROUGHLY THE SAME PRICE OR HIGHER FOR THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS. AS A REGISTERED INDEPENDENT WITH A PhD IN BUSINESS , WHO TRUSTS LITTLE OF WHAT THE MEDIA WRITES/SAYS, I HAVE TO POINT OUT THAT THE MEDIA DOES NOT CONTROL GAS PRICES. SUPPLY AND DEMAND DOES. THE SUPPLY HAS INCREASED, BUT THE DEMAND HAS INCREASED TOO. CHINA'S MIDDLE CLASS HAS INCREASED TO THE POINT THAT MANY MORE FAMILIES HAVE CARS (AND THERE ARE A L O T OF PEOPLE IN CHINA). CHINA'S ECONOMY HAS IMPROVED SO MUCH THAT MANY OF THE CRUISE SHIPS ARE BEING REPOSITIONED TO CRUISE WITH CHINESE PASSENGERS ORIGINATING FROM CHINESE CITIES.

 

 

---End Quote---

 

I am of the opinion that if you must cut all the corners that you list above, you probably should stay home. When i go on vacation, I want to enjoy myself and not limit myself. Of course, this is just my opinion

 

YOU ARE ENTITLED TO YOUR OPINION, BUT YOU PROBABLY DON'T GET TO CRUISE AS MUCH AS CHEVY CRUISER. AND IF YOU'RE NOT INTERESTED IN SAVING $ WHEN CRUISING, WHY ARE YOU READING THIS BOARD?!

************

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?p=43852733#post43852733

Posted by: cruzilove

On: August 22nd, 2014 10:30 PM

 

After reading these comments, I must say.....I could never in a million years go on vacation and work so hard at trying to save money.

 

HOW HARD IS IT TO AVOIDE SMOKE FILLED BARS AND PAY $8-12 FOR A WEAK DRINK?AND HOW MUCH OF YOUR VACATION CAN YOU REMEMBER IF YOU GET TOTALLY SOUSED AFTER SPENDING SO MUCH OF YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY ON WEAK DRINKS TO GET SOUSED?Aren't you there to enjoy yourself? THE ORIGINAL POSTER AND I ENJOY OURSELVES THOROUGHLY, AND MORE FREQUENTLY THAN THOSE OF SIMILAR FINANCIAL MEANS WHO AREN'T BUDGET CONSCIOUS. AS THE OLD SAYING GOES, "A BAD DAY AT SEA IS BETTER THAN A GOOD DAY AT WORK!" :confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused:

SORRY YOU'RE CONFUSED. PERHAPS YOU'D BE LESS CONFUSED IF YOU DIDN'T READ THIS BOARD THAT APPARENTLY CONFUSES YOU.

************

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?p=43852925#post43852925

Posted by: luv2sleep

On: August 22nd, 2014 11:25 PM

 

I completely disagree with the last 2 statements.

SO DO I!!!

Enjoying myself has nothing to do with spending money frivolously.

I AGREE, EXCEPT THAT I GRANT THOSE WHO SPEND $100 A DAY PER PERSON ON DRINKS THE RIGHT TO DO SO WITHOUT JUDGING THEM AND WISH THEY WOULD NOT JUDGE THOSE OF US WHO CHOOSE TO SIMPLY ENJOY THE CRUISE AND ALL THAT COMES WITH IT.

I guess not buying and spending a ton doesn't make me feel deprived though. I'd much rather go home with more $$ in my pocket after a fun vacation. It makes me happy actually NOT to spend, spend, spend!

ME TOO! IT WOULD MAKE ME EVEN HAPPIER IF I COULD KEEP MY WIFE AWAY FROM THE $10 TABLE BUYING STUFF THAT GOES IN THE CLOSET, AND THEN TO THE SALVATION ARMY ;-) I'd also be much happier cruising on the cheap often than staying home. YEAH, YOU RIGHT!!! Just being on the ship is way more than enough to make me happy. ME TOO.

Edited by Fighting34th

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We did just about the same thing as the OP and wouldn't call it "work" at all. I consider it editing our list of where the money should go.

 

I know if I drank all those drinks every day of the cruise, whether alcoholic or not, I would be using the bathroom alllll day long. That's not a vacation to me!

 

We took about 400 photos of our own and it cost nothing. Giving up the photo package was a no brainier. Hardly work to make that decision.

 

Why waste time on the internet when it's cheaper at home and I can use it all winter when I'm snowed in? We loved taking in all the tropical wonder and cruising splendor of our trip without being tethered to internet access.

 

We had a terrific time. Tons of food, no specialty dining required. Took our own two bottles of wine. The last evening, I said, we have to finish this wine, I'm not taking it home. We barely had enough time to drink it, we were busy doing so much fun stuff.

Edited by TheDivineMrsM

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I'm Scottish by decent. Saving money is an art form!

 

However, as a shareholder of cruise companies I'm happiest when the rest of you overspend! :cool:

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I'm Scottish by decent. Saving money is an art form!

 

However, as a shareholder of cruise companies I'm happiest when the rest of you overspend! :cool:

 

Is that having your haggis and eating it too ? ;)

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Is that having your haggis and eating it too ? ;)

 

Funny and clever !

Edited by Taking off

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Is that having your haggis and eating it too ?

 

Luv it! and I've been known to give the address to the "great chieftain o' the puddin' race."

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On our cruise earlier this month, we had an 11 cent balance (in our favor) at the end of the cruise. We enjoyed onboard credit from purchasing a future cruise credit on our last cruise, plus I get credit for being a Carnival Corp. stockholder. In addition, we got a refund of port fees for missing Princess Cays due to Tropical Storm Bertha. All those credits covered our automatic gratuities, a coffee card, and a few drinks. Most of those drinks were the $5 specials at the Platinum/Elite/Suite event each evening. We took on our two allowed bottles of wine to drink in the cabin and had an additional three bottles stamped during embarkation ($15 per bottle corkage). I did prepay for us to have the Ultimate Balcony Dinner. It was so worth it. We did it on our one-year wedding anniversary.

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We took on our two allowed bottles of wine to drink in the cabin and had an additional three bottles stamped during embarkation ($15 per bottle corkage).
Given that I'm fine with cheapish wine, I'm not sure if it is worth paying the $15 plus the cost of the wine

in addition to the 2 "free" bottles of wine .

Why do you do it ? Is it to get a specific wine or is there a savings (or both) ?

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While I'm not the poster, I've done the same thing. The 2 bottles allowed on board have no corkage fee if you drink them anywhere except the dining room. IOW, open them in your cabin, and drink them there, on the balcony or anywhere on the ship except the dining rooms.

The $15 corkage fee is, in my experience, only if you take the bottle to the dining room. If you like a $12-15 bottle of wine, taking that on board and paying a $15.00 corkage fee is, as you note, not such a good deal as you can probably buy an equally good bottle for $25-30 at your dining table. But if you want a $40-50 bottle, paying that in the store + $15 corkage is better than $80-100 or so you'd pay for the same bottle at your table.

 

Some lines let you purchase a bottle of hard liquor for about a 30-50% surcharge over what Sams or Costco would charge. If you like say, scotch or bourbon and water, that's a great deal if you want to drink it anywhere except the dining rooms. However, I've taken a glass of bourbon and water to the dining room and never been told that it's a "no-no." It is, however, not permitted to take the bottle to the table. (However, there is the possibility of taking a flask of your favorite hard liquor to the table in your jacket, pocket or purse :-)

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I've a couple times got the corkage fee waived with a bit of humour telling the head waiter:

 

"There's no corkage fee."

 

"But sir, there's always a corkage fee."

 

"Ah, but this bottle is a screw top!"

 

Waiter has laughed and no charge came my way.

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I completely disagree with the last 2 statements. Enjoying myself has nothing to do with spending money frivolously. I guess not buying and spending a ton doesn't make me feel deprived though. I'd much rather go home with more $$ in my pocket after a fun vacation. It makes me happy actually NOT to spend, spend, spend! I'd also be much happier cruising on the cheap often than staying home. Just being on the ship is way more than enough to make me happy.

 

Hear, hear! My thoughts exactly. Not having drinks or buying photos doesn't deprive me in the least. Just being on the ship, enjoying the free activities and the main dining room, is more than enough for me. I use the funds saved to do more non-cruise trips. I typically got to Asia 2-4 times a year and Europe 1-2, as well as Hawaii/Caribbean. Currently in South Africa. Life is good!

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We stay out of the gift/jewelry shops onboard.

 

I don't drink, so our bar bill is half of what it could be.

 

I will admit, however, to being a sucker for pictures (some, not all of them). Then I get home and wonder why I bought them!

 

$429 on our sign & sail card for our cruise three weeks ago, which included $140 in gratuities. I thought that was pretty good...

I love buying jewelry in ships. My hubby suprised me with 1 k diamond cocktail ring 10 years ago on the cruise. The design was modern and classy. The price was amazing. I wear it everyday At least 2-3 xs a week I get compliments on it. I had jewelery compliment the unique design. We are frugal. But when we see a deal and unique items we may end up buying it. Doesn't happen often. It was a gift to me because I carried and birthed 3 kids.

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Been awhile since I've been on this forum so this one might have already been posted. Just got back from 15 day Princess Panama. I discovered my wife had brought those little dissolvable laundry detergent pods.

 

We should be elite soon so she won't have to do that anymore (but she will). :)

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I find that after 20 cruises we spend less on extras, not because we have to necessarily but because we really don't need or desire them. The food in the MDR was excellent on our most recent cruise so no need to eat elsewhere. We usually get a water package with Royal Caribbean but not Celebrity since we only use about 6-8 bottles. We haven't had a soda package in a few years, but bought ala carte. I always get DH a T shirt from the ship or in port. They are great conversation starters for introverts :) On most recent cruise we had OBC as a perk from the cruise line and another $ 75 I don't know from where. We also had a good amount from cruise line credit card points. For the "use it or lose it" OBC I had to force myself to buy a few items in the shops. The items were either over priced or I just didn't want or need them. I ended up getting a watch and pair of earrings, but still left about $20 on the table. The rest was credited to our account, which paid for our pre flight hotel and parking.:D

I like having a credit when I leave the ship. Its just fun.

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I love buying jewelry in ships. My hubby suprised me with 1 k diamond cocktail ring 10 years ago on the cruise. The design was modern and classy. The price was amazing. I wear it everyday At least 2-3 xs a week I get compliments on it. I had jewelery compliment the unique design. We are frugal. But when we see a deal and unique items we may end up buying it. Doesn't happen often. It was a gift to me because I carried and birthed 3 kids.

 

As another mama of three, I'm e-mailing this to my husband as a not-so-subtle hint. ;)

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There are quite a few people who apparently have the funds to cruise a great deal and be able to stay in higher end cabins. Of course there are always the folks who are maxed out on their credit cards to pay for a lifestyle they otherwise would not be able to afford. That being said, I am not an arbiter of people's monetary positions, and really wish them the best in enjoying their cruises.

 

Although I could probably afford to take higher end cruises and stay in suites, from time to time, I don't do it. The very few times that we have cruised, I usually don't book anything higher than an Ocean View cabin. Actually, an OV is very adequate for the two of us. We enjoy all of the free things on the ship and try our best to take in all of the ports, inexpensively. Cruises that we take are relaxation from daily life at home. So, we don't have to be entertained, wined, and dined, 24/7 for exorbitant pricing.

 

Although neither my wife and drink at home. I am wondering what some of these people do when they go to one of the nightclub/bars on the ship. Some of them have live music with dancing available. Do they not buy drinks? I would not feel comfortable being in one of these venues for two or three hours without buying a drink or two. I have found that they actually make pretty good mixed drinks and are worth the few dollars that you pay while listening to the music and out on the dance floor? :)

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