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There is a thread on the eastern seaboard, I work in Pt Canaveral. http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=436720 It has tons of info. The woman who does most of the posting as well as the originator, request you search for info before asking questions as everything you could ask for has already been asked. The hotels most people use are Radisson at the port, Country Inn & Suites, and Residence Inn. All have shuttles to the port. Residence Inn has a fee of $3 each way per person for the shuttle. These hotels are really nice.

 

Good luck.

 

Thank you for the link and the information. I really do appreciate it. I am a little surprised that we are not supposed to ask questions though?? Or did I misunderstand something? I cannot seem to find a search feature on these boards so I navigated the boards until I found this one about saving money - which is what I am trying to do. I read the entire thread before posting for more information as well.

 

Only thing I apparently didn't do was go read the rules <off to go do that now>.

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It seems that at least 90% of the time I need to use the search engine it is "down".:(

You can get a lot of good inofrmation by searching, but note the date of the posts you find (many things have changed recently). If search is down, or you still have questions, feel free to ask. Folks here are very helpful.:) :)

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Thank you for the link and the information. I really do appreciate it. I am a little surprised that we are not supposed to ask questions though?? Or did I misunderstand something? I cannot seem to find a search feature on these boards so I navigated the boards until I found this one about saving money - which is what I am trying to do. I read the entire thread before posting for more information as well.

 

Only thing I apparently didn't do was go read the rules <off to go do that now>.

 

 

I'm sorry if I didn't explain fully. There are tons of pages in the thread I suggested. Shirley and Preston have spent a great deal of time researching things based on people's questions on that thread. They suggest, as do I, that you read through some (notice I didn't say all) pages, ie the last 10-20 or so. They have answered the same questions over and over. Preston has kind of given up and Shirley still tries to help, but she simply asks that you read some of the pages to see if your question has been answered before asking it again.

 

I am not trying to be rude and I know the boards are to ask questions. If though, the questions has been asked many times, the use of the search or when directed to a thread, reading what has been suggested is helpful.

 

I think that is why people aren't answering some of the questions. I also realize that many times search is down. If you go to a thread, at the top there is a search space and if you click on that, type what you are looking for ie transportation, hotels you can get lots of info---that is if it works.

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  • 3 months later...

We don't:

Eat at specialty restaurants, just a money grab

Do Auctions, Bingos, or Casinos

Smuggle booze and pre buy drink coupons for my foo foo drinks

Buy photos

shop on board

use the spa in any shape or form, no hairdos either

use the laundry services

use ship excursions but local tour guides

buy clothes especially for a cruise

 

 

We do:

Pay our gratuities

Get free packs of playing cards

Get a balcony

Enjoy ourselves immensely on each and every cruise!!!

 

You don't feel like you're missing out on stuff you neither need nor want!!:D

AND each to their own, whatever you do enjoy yourselves.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We don't spend a lot of money on a cruise...not because of the economy, but because there are things we don't necessarily see a reason to pay for.

 

There is plenty of food already in the initial fare, and we think the DR food is good, so we don't need to go to specialty restaurants.

 

I don't even know the last time we had a soda at home, so there really isn't a need to get any there. Same thing with alcohol...we have a few drinks on the cruise but we rarely have any drinks at home, so don't need too much on the cruise either.

 

I can, quite easily, go to my salon and day spa to get my nails done, have a facial, have a massage, body treatments, etc. The prices are much better, plus, I don't have to work my appointment around the cruise activities.

 

Granted there might be a class or two that we go to, but for the most part the gym is free of charge.

 

We are on vacation...why on Earth would we need to get on the computer so the Internet is not a cost.

 

We might not have the backgrounds they offer but we can have someone else take a picture of us instead of paying a ridiculous price.

 

We don't need to buy things in the shops

 

The cruise has always been a good value for us and its not just because of the economy.

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  • 3 weeks later...

We have gotten some good deals on the art- you can purchase a true "copy" at Kirklands for $80, or get something hand signed for the same price, sometimes framed if it is a take off piece. I would not recommend art auctions for "collectors" per se, but we needed something to hang on the walls that we liked, could not be bought at a big box and that looked nice. We got that and more! :)

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  • 1 month later...
We don't spend a lot of money on a cruise...not because of the economy, but because there are things we don't necessarily see a reason to pay for.

 

There is plenty of food already in the initial fare, and we think the DR food is good, so we don't need to go to specialty restaurants.

 

I don't even know the last time we had a soda at home, so there really isn't a need to get any there. Same thing with alcohol...we have a few drinks on the cruise but we rarely have any drinks at home, so don't need too much on the cruise either.

 

I can, quite easily, go to my salon and day spa to get my nails done, have a facial, have a massage, body treatments, etc. The prices are much better, plus, I don't have to work my appointment around the cruise activities.

 

Granted there might be a class or two that we go to, but for the most part the gym is free of charge.

 

We are on vacation...why on Earth would we need to get on the computer so the Internet is not a cost.

 

We might not have the backgrounds they offer but we can have someone else take a picture of us instead of paying a ridiculous price.

 

We don't need to buy things in the shops

 

The cruise has always been a good value for us and its not just because of the economy.

 

I'm with you!!! I've never purchased: ship shore excursions (prefer going it on my own), photographs (I'll take my own), specialty coffee - I don't buy them as a rule, why do it on a ship...I love my coffee strong and black with no sugar....and no frou-frou, pastries and cakes from the specialty shop, shipboard art of any kind--I've been known to go to the auction--for the free champagne. If it's good, I'll take a seat and watch, if it's bad champagne..one glass is enough.

 

I don't play bingo. I used to once in a while when it was 3 cards for 1.00-5.00 and they gave real cash prizes - and it was a progressive jackpot with a huge pot of cash the last day. I won it once back in the 80's..over $4000.00!!!!

 

I don't shop onboard...unless they are running a "2-fer" on their nicer t-shirts.... Don't buy inches of "gold" or anything else.

 

I do shop ashore for my perfume....they don't carry it onboard. My souveniers, if any, are also bought ashore; small oils or watercolors done by local artists. I have a favorite restaurant in Cozumel and Cayman where I'll have a very nice lunch....Local places where locals eat without those "Margaritaville" prices.

 

My only cash indulgence is the Caribbean Stud table....I love that game!!! And, I save money just for that purpose only. When it's gone, I'm done...if I double it, I'm done.

 

I have never, ever stiffed anyone with tips....leaving them in place. Usually, I give extra to the room steward and the waiters at my table and maybe a favorite bartender. I do have 2/3 drinks during the day...but prefer water (free) or a nice club soda with lime.

 

For me, cruising is a great value in any economy.

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We only drink an alcoholic drink once a day with dinner. We don't see the need to go to the pay restaurants after trying one last time (so not worth it)I get my nails etc done on land before the cruise. We eat the free food & last time I bought a soda card & it was a waste so will eliminate that this time. We are taking a 5 day cruise out of Tampa (nearby) and will go on a more expensive 7 day on the Dream in 2010. We will get an inside cabin this time also. I don't need any more pics of us on cruises....haven't hung the last ones. No more market jewelry or gift shop specials for me. I think I just need food, and a place to lay my head.

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I'm sorry if I didn't explain fully. There are tons of pages in the thread I suggested. Shirley and Preston have spent a great deal of time researching things based on people's questions on that thread. They suggest, as do I, that you read through some (notice I didn't say all) pages, ie the last 10-20 or so. They have answered the same questions over and over. Preston has kind of given up and Shirley still tries to help, but she simply asks that you read some of the pages to see if your question has been answered before asking it again.

 

I am not trying to be rude and I know the boards are to ask questions. If though, the questions has been asked many times, the use of the search or when directed to a thread, reading what has been suggested is helpful.

 

I think that is why people aren't answering some of the questions. I also realize that many times search is down. If you go to a thread, at the top there is a search space and if you click on that, type what you are looking for ie transportation, hotels you can get lots of info---that is if it works.

 

I tried for about 15 mins today to use search and it did not work....so do I wait to ask my question?????

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I'm with you!!! I've never purchased: ship shore excursions (prefer going it on my own)' date=' photographs (I'll take my own), specialty coffee - I don't buy them as a rule, why do it on a ship...I love my coffee strong and black with no sugar....and no frou-frou, pastries and cakes from the specialty shop, shipboard art of any kind--I've been known to go to the auction--for the free champagne. If it's good, I'll take a seat and watch, if it's bad champagne..one glass is enough.

 

I don't play bingo. I used to once in a while when it was 3 cards for 1.00-5.00 and they gave real cash prizes - and it was a progressive jackpot with a huge pot of cash the last day. I won it once back in the 80's..over $4000.00!!!!

 

I don't shop onboard...unless they are running a "2-fer" on their nicer t-shirts.... Don't buy inches of "gold" or anything else.

 

I do shop ashore for my perfume....they don't carry it onboard. My souveniers, if any, are also bought ashore; small oils or watercolors done by local artists. I have a favorite restaurant in Cozumel and Cayman where I'll have a very nice lunch....Local places where locals eat without those "Margaritaville" prices.

 

My only cash indulgence is the Caribbean Stud table....I love that game!!! And, I save money just for that purpose only. When it's gone, I'm done...if I double it, I'm done.

 

I have never, ever stiffed anyone with tips....leaving them in place. Usually, I give extra to the room steward and the waiters at my table and maybe a favorite bartender. I do have 2/3 drinks during the day...but prefer water (free) or a nice club soda with lime.

 

For me, cruising is a great value in any economy.[/quote']

 

 

What and where are your favorite restaurants in Cozymel and Caymans?

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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

 

Your're not a tightwad just a smart cruiser. The more you save on each cruise, the more cruises you can afford to take. I like your tip on stock holder benefits.

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Single mom of 2 teens who has been blessed to be able to cruise once a year. Payroll deduction has money automatically going into Vacation Club account. If I don't see it I don't miss it. Always book inside guarantee because what is most important to me is being on ship. Check price before final payment for price adjustments and OBC. On-line TA may be able to link your booking to a group so that you may get an even better price. Buy the drink coupons in advance for one or 2 foo-foo drinks- not for savings as much as knowing its pre-paid. Also maintain a cruise suitcase with all the stuff you typically buy before you go on the cruise that adds up in $. (If you already have it, you don't need to buy it).Bring a book from home rather than buying one in the airport. If flying in the day before volunteer to get bumped to a later flight in hopes of voucher for free future travel. You'll get there a few hours later and you may be saving over a grand in future airfare depending on where you are flying fromIf room in luggage bring own beach towel (burned before for $22 for a lost towel that blew off a chair), and also basic meds/1st aid items in a ziploc baggie- i.e. eye drops, ibuprofen, pepto, etc. Set realistic budget in advance, discuss with family members- limit amount on kids shipboard accounts- set a cap on their spending and once they reach their limit do not give in (teaches them money management). Use tips previously mentioned by other posters- cruising can be an affordable luxury and I never feel that I am compromising my enjoyment.

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I was attracted to this thread by it's title. Once I saw the date and realized how old it was, I started to ignore it.... But, I couldn't resist the first statement:

 

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

 

Seems to be a really irrelevant and funny observation today, doesn't it???:D

 

Left, right or otherwise, our economy has tanked......makes it tough on us cruisers, huh? Budgeting has become a way of life for me in order to keep cruising......

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  • 2 weeks later...

Are best hint is to watch for price drops. In almost every cruise this has happened. Be a model. My husband wanted to have accupuncture done and they did it for free on the first day when they show all the services. He was their model.

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Okay fellow tightwads,

 

On another board on CC earlier this year I posted about one cruiseline that was charging for ice cream on the pool deck and for pizza in the evenings in the buffet and I took a lot of heat for complaining! We had cruised before on another lines and these things were free! But people replied that the ice cream (gelato) was fabulous (for $2) and so was the pizza...so if it's crappy, it should be free and if it's good, we should have to pay for it?!

 

It just didn't seem right.

 

Sorry for the rant but it's so amusing to come to this board and hear how people save $ and then you go to another where people don't care about it.

 

Oh, if you want to know the cruiseline that we won't be sailing on again...it's MSC.

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It's all about individual choices. I, too, avoid most of the things mentioned repeatedly above. I am in to enjoying the voyage and the ports and I don't need their overpriced items, special food/drinks, photos for sale on board to have a wonderful time. I carry a water bottle around most of the time anyway, so I board with a bottle or 2 which I refill on ship and reuse every day that I'm touring off ship. So call me a penny pincher on ship, but I'm not depriving myself of anything that I want or need.

 

What I cruise for is the shipboard experience which is already included in the price, and the experience of the destinations by getting out and touring. That's where I will spend. I figure I've paid to get there, and it would be wasted if I didn't do what I wanted once there. Depending on the place, I may choose to do the most extensive excursion offered by the ship, or a local tour or merely a taxi - but I am going to go, see and do! Those are paid in advance or with cash at the time. I take lots of my own photos. I use cash for extra tipsso my Sail and Sign card may have only $30 above the requisite tips on it at the end.

 

Question: What are the bonus credits mentioned earlier given for? Is it the shares owned in the company or the length of the cruise?

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What and where are your favorite restaurants in Cozymel and Caymans?

 

In Cozumel, I make a beeline for Pancho's Backyard.....for real, authentic, fresh made Mexican cuisine....at great prices. Fresh and delicious salsas, guacamole, the best habanero dipping sauce I've ever tasted (made fresh daily), fresh home made tortillas, great menu of seafood, beef, chicken grilled, baked, sauteed...at prices that can't be beat. HUGE margaritas with mouth puckering deliciousness.....

 

There are two locals playing the marimba out on the pation on an instrument made by one of the fellows grandfather. The sound makes you realize you are really in Mexico..... The design of the place is Colonial Mexican and is a world apart.....

 

On the way back to the ship, I always stop at Fat Tuesday's swing bar for a cold, cold Pacifico to round out the day.

 

Cayman has "Breezes", almost directly across from the pier where the tenders arrive. Upstairs. Anything on their menu is wonderful but I love their fish dishes and the rice and peas is to die for. They make an excellent (but a tad expensive - to me anyway) mojito.....and a nice selection of beers.....icy cold. If you can snag a table out on the deck, you'll be privvy to the best show in town.....and a great view. If you want to get out of Dodge, rent a car and drive to Rum Point. You'll get to see some of the island, too. At Rum Point, there's a small and pretty little beach and a beach shack that serves great hamburgers...and cold beer... It's a little pricey but the atmosphere makes up for it.

 

St. Maarten also has a great place....Antoines. Located downtown, hard to see, down a little lane off the main street. The very best lobster caesar salad around..with a beautiful view....and the Pasangghrahan Hotel has one of the best Pina Colada I've ever tasted....tastes even better out at the beach bar. (Great hotel.....I used to stay there many years ago....)

 

Ocho Rios......for those who venture off the ship....has a great little jerk place not 25 paces from the outside gate from the pier... Most people have no idea it's there and walk right by it. It's on the right hand side with an entryway through a high faded wooden fence. Small deck with tables and umbrellas - 4 or 5 of them. You can get a cold Red Stripe for 2.00-3.00 (depending upon the bartender, I suppose). There's a local cooking jerk chicken and pork over an open grill......everything fresh and handmade before your eyes. It's delicious. I always get the jerk chicken, with rice and beans and grilled veggies.....for about 10.00.

 

Great view off the deck.....and it's quiet.....

 

This kind of experience is where my carefully budgeted cruise $$$$ go. You can keep your frou-frou drinks, your overpriced bingo, overpriced photos....... I go ashore to mix, mingle with the locals and enjoy the experience of the place where I am...and enjoy good local cuisine.

Edited by G'ma
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Why would I be frugal in some ways, but book a balcony?

So I can enjoy seeing us pull into port early in the morning.

I think I sense our slowing down and get up and out on the

balcony to watch us get closer and closer, see the island

or shore up close. On my last cruise I watched from the

balcony as we left Miami at night - watched the "Moon Over Miami".

I also enjoy watching the pilot boat deliver and pick up the pilot.

Another early morning we slowly approached Gibralter in a heavy fog -

freighters would suddenly appear nearby through the fog.

A drink on the balcony as the sun sets --- magic.

So I would rather pay for a balcony than bingo cards or slot machines.

My choice - different than your choice - may we each make the

best choice for ourselves.

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Would MrsPete (or anyone else for that matter) be able to tell me what hotel is close to the port in Canaveral that allows you to leave your car for free and may also provide free shuttle to the port?? If ther is some rule about not posting the names in this thread then you can email me at cqb@tampabay.rr.com with the info instead. I would greatly appreciate it!

 

We sail out of Canaveral this coming Saturday and would love to be able to arrange something like that. I did that a couple years in Fort Lauderdale and ended up spending less on two nights in a hotel than I would have in just parking at the port!

I'm sure it's too late for the poster who asked this question, but perhaps this'll help someone else:

 

We're about eight hours away from Port Canaveral, which makes driving a much better choice than paying airfare X 4 people! As such, we've stayed in a number of places -- all of them ho-hum and not worthy of a shout-out. Last cruise, however, we stayed at the new Country Inns & Suites, and it was perfect for a one-night, pre-cruise stay. We were lucky to find a $99/night special (and we were there over a holiday), but we'll definitely be booking there again even without a special price.

 

Comments on Country Inns & Suites:

It's literally the closest hotel to the port. While this isn't really a necessity, it is nice.

The rooms are small, but that wasn't a problem because we don't bring all our luggage into the hotel anyway. We just bring one bag with our toiletries and one set of clothes.

You'll find plenty of restaurants nearby.

They provide a good breakfast along with the room. It was a decent breakfast: assorted breads, fruit, cereals, sausage biscuits.

They have a van (with a trailer behind it) that functions as a shuttle to and from the port. Memory fails here, but I think they charge for the ride. A budget-minded cruiser would have one driver drop the group (and the luggage) off at the terminal, then return to ride the shuttle alone. The biggest benefit, of course, isn't financial: it's that a single rider can hop right on the next van, while a group with luggage may have to watch the shuttle come and go a couple times before there's room for everyone.

They do not charge to leave your car in their parking lot, which is a big savings over using the terminal's paid parking lot.

LOTS of cruisers use this hotel, and the night before was kind of like a pre-cruise party. The teens were congregated in the hotel lobby making their plans, and the adults were in the breakfast room chatting and playing cards. It was too cold to use the pool when we were there, but I'm sure that would've been a hot spot too. It was kind of like starting the cruise an evening early.

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We have gotten some good deals on the art- you can purchase a true "copy" at Kirklands for $80, or get something hand signed for the same price, sometimes framed if it is a take off piece. I would not recommend art auctions for "collectors" per se, but we needed something to hang on the walls that we liked, could not be bought at a big box and that looked nice. We got that and more! :)
If you want it, if you hang it in your home, and if you enjoy it, then you've bought a decent souvenier. However, I agree that a real collector isn't going to find an investment on a cruise ship!
We never pay for any extra food on the ship or at a port. There is so much food available to us that is included in the price, and that more than satisfies us. So spending the extra money doesn't really make sense for us.
I think along these lines too. I've already paid for food on the ship. Perhaps there's other food that would be more yummy, but it makes sense to me to save my dollars to go out to dinner at home. Why? Because going to a specialty restaurant instead of the main dining room doesn't significantly increase my cruise enjoyment . . . but using that money at home to go out to dinner instead of cooking (and cleaning) for myself is a whole lot nicer! I only have so many "extra dollars", and it makes sense to use them where they get the most "bang for the buck".
instead of spending a ton of money at the spa i get a wonderful 1hr massage for $40 at home the night before i leave. a mana and pedi also are ell-cheapo but awesome there as well . . . i used priceline for my hotel and saved alot of money there also and hope they have free shuttle service from the airport to the hotel . . . i never throw my money away in the casino. that money can be spent on a shore tour or something i find in a port i cant live without. a bird in the hand is better than a 10000 to 1 chance of winning on a bet. same for bingo
Exactly! Watching your pennies isn't about doing without things -- it's about getting the best value for your money. People who aren't frugal think it takes too much time, it detracts from their enjoyment, or they come away with less from their vacation. It's just not true. I can get a manicure and pedicure at home for 1/3 the price of the ship's spa -- that means I can take my two daughters -- and instead of cutting into my cruise time, it's a nice getting-ready-for-vacation evening for us a few days before the cruise. I just plain don't care about the casino or bingo -- wouldn't go there if it were free -- so it's not like I"m missing out on something I want. I've had great experiences with Priceline.com, and reserving a hotel on that site doesn't take any more effort than reserving through another webpage. With some forethought, you can save some bucks on a cruise without any difficulty -- and that leaves you more money for the things that DO matter to you! For example, if there's a private excursion we want to take, I'll pay for it because I know it'll be a great memory for my family. Edited by MrsPete
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Why would I be frugal in some ways, but book a balcony?

So I can enjoy seeing us pull into port early in the morning.

I think I sense our slowing down and get up and out on the

balcony to watch us get closer and closer, see the island

or shore up close. On my last cruise I watched from the

balcony as we left Miami at night - watched the "Moon Over Miami".

I also enjoy watching the pilot boat deliver and pick up the pilot.

Another early morning we slowly approached Gibralter in a heavy fog -

freighters would suddenly appear nearby through the fog.

A drink on the balcony as the sun sets --- magic.

So I would rather pay for a balcony than bingo cards or slot machines.

My choice - different than your choice - may we each make the

best choice for ourselves.

 

I'm with you on the balcony thingie.

 

Being a solo traveler, 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

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The best tip I have is this. Book a cheaper room than you think you want. A few weeks before you sail they usually have balcony rooms left that have been drastically reduced. You can then pay the difference and have a great balcony room for a reasonable price. We just upgraded to a balcony for only $80.50!!!!!!

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We booked a cheaper cabin on a line that let's you bring on booze (Oceania), a transatlantic that is cheaper to begin with, during the wave season and downturn in the economy, with prepaid gratuities, a substantial OBC and free bottle of wine.

 

Now if we can just avoid shopping, excursions and the balcony upgrade, this cruise will almost be free! ;)

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