Jump to content
,

Welcome to Tightwad Cruising - What Do You Do?


Recommended Posts

We leave May 11 with two other couples. May 2 is my husbands birthday and may 12 is our anniversary. Whenever anyone inquires about gifts we may like we tell them drink coupons for the cruise. I dont drink barely at all maybe a glass or two of wine my husband enjoys wine as well among other things and is a bit more of a drinker than I. I figure if we pre buy drink coupons that he has to "Ration" it will keep a better reign on the alcohol spending as oppsed to "swiping the card" for everything. Also becuase our alochol bill was so large the last time we WILL be purchasing carnivals wine package. Believe it or not we figured it out and willa ctually SAVE money lol. It is also nice that we can each bring a bottle of our own wine ( I didnt see barbosa on the wine list:(). I think that and the fact that I will be getting any massage/spa treatments/ manicure pedicures BEFORE getting on the boat will REALLY cut down the cost of this cruise. Its only 4 nights but then again so was our last one lol. We alos didnt take advantage of ANY of the free entertainment on the ship last time... Yeah we were in the bar lol. NOW a little older and hopefully wiser we can enjoy this cruise and remember most of it! Oh yeah and being a woman I have to STAY AWAY FROM THE SHOPPING!!! lol

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

Our rates dropped 3 times on the Freedom and we leave in late may, but because of this everyone wants to go with us now. I booked the cruise 1 yr ago paid full 1200.00 each then it dropped to 700.00 then It dropped again and we got two cruises for 1200.00 so now all my friends want to go with us. its paid for and all my credit went to my cards..

So I suggested this time is to book very early... the prices will drop if they can not fill the ship in this case they can not or book it one week before the ship leaves then you can get the fishy rooms and get them no more than 500.00 with port charges and taxes included but you sleep next to steam room boom, boom boom all night wow can a person get anysleep around here?:mad:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

 

 

 

Raddison Hotel is the biggest one that everyone goes too, we have been there 5 times have gold points because we love the raddison the people make you feel so wonderful and the sleep mattress to make your bed go up and down and the buffet breakfast. too. you can leave your car at the port. when we booked our cruise 1 yr ago we booked the hotel too... so we got a nice room safety for our cars and a breakfast you can not lose. the rates are from 118.00 and up depending on the month...

Red we enjoy it... also go to eat at FISH LIPS Nice place too... ON Commerce Blvd... the Raddison is on Astronaut Blvd...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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!!!!!!

 

What cruise lines have you had this experience with? Did you originally book with a travel agent or direct with the cruise line? A few weeks before, did you call the cruise line direct or did you call your travel agent? At that time, were you give a choice of cabins or were you randomly assigned a cabin without choice? I have heard some booked passengers receive calls for upgrade offers approx. 3 weeks before sailing from their travel agents.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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!!!!!!
Though that's a great price, you should do this ONLY if you'll be satisfied with the cheaper room. You have no guarantee that the balcony room will be available later at any price, so if it's a "make or break" for you, don't chance it!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We love to cruise, so we tend to book inside cabins and use the savings to use on excursions, which we book independently. Also, we are rather thrifty during the year in what we do for entertainment and how we spend our hard earned cash. Most of our money we save so we can cruise several times a year. We are now cutting it back to only twice a year, but looking at much longer voyages! It's really great to be on a ship for more than just 1 week!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We love to cruise, so we tend to book inside cabins and use the savings to use on excursions, which we book independently. Also, we are rather thrifty during the year in what we do for entertainment and how we spend our hard earned cash. Most of our money we save so we can cruise several times a year. We are now cutting it back to only twice a year, but looking at much longer voyages! It's really great to be on a ship for more than just 1 week!

 

I agree; longer voyages are great. Seven days don't seem to be enough. If you look at the economics of a longer cruise, you are getting more bang for your dollar when you factor in cost of airfare to the total. I opt for spending the extra on a balcony for the long cruises. For me, it becomes too confining with only a small window - or no window - on longer cruises. We often extend the cruise with a land portion to further extend our airfare investment.....The joys of retirement and no schedule to follow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are such tightwads, wouldnt you be booking an inside room, or even better, not going on a cruise at all and sitting at home in the dark as it costs to much money to turn on the lights? :D:D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are such tightwads, wouldnt you be booking an inside room, or even better, not going on a cruise at all and sitting at home in the dark as it costs to much money to turn on the lights? :D:D

 

Funny! Funny! Isn't it rather romantic and relaxing to light some candles and turn off the lights?

It is not about being a tightwad. It is about setting priorities and spending money wisely.

Bradtez, what drew you to this Thread?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Waiting until the last minute to book - It's a waiting game with cruise lines keeping prices as high as possible until it looks as if they'll sail with a lot of empty cabins. Then they slash rates.

 

Smuggling alcohol on board - sales of alcoholic beverages are believed to be the single largest source of onboard revenue.

 

Not taking official shore excursions - Instead of buying one of the higher-priced shore excursions offered by the cruise line, opt for a less expensive one you can book online or in person at the port.

 

Avoiding the 'upsell" - say "no" to the extras, including the premium restaurants, photos and drinks.

 

Source: Five ways passengers are getting even with cruise lines

 

What was #5? Staying home. :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

stayed at the radisson last fall. did the two room jacuzzi suite for around $150. since it was only a four day the saving on parking was $60 but we had to stay somewhere. unfortunately it rained so our Fish Lips experience was not all it could have been and we did not get to enjoy the fabulous Raddison pool. planning on going back there this summer when we have a 14 day cruise. now that will save a ton of money in parking

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
If you are such tightwads, wouldnt you be booking an inside room, or even better, not going on a cruise at all and sitting at home in the dark as it costs to much money to turn on the lights? :D:D
See, you're making the mistake that many Americans do: You're assuming that if you're frugal, you're averse to spending money. The reality is that people who "do frugal right" think about their priorities and spend on what matters to them. It's not an all-or-none proposition. Another closely tied misconception is the idea that you can't really have fun if you're not spending constantly.

 

So a frugal person who cares about the room will pop for a balcony, but will balance that out by skipping the spa.

A frugal person who loves fine dining may spring for the wine package and meals at the speciality restaurants, but make up for it by skipping excursions in favor of just wandering around the port.

A frugal person who wants to make great memories with his family may be willing to pay for expensive excursions, but may be unwilling to have professional pictures taken.

 

Being frugal is about examining what matters most to you, then spending JUST on those things.

 

The opposite is a spendthrift: a person who brings along a credit card and just says, "Charge it" at every opportunity without bothering to consider whether it's something he or she really wants, or whether it's just an impulse buy. Those are also the people who have trouble getting their stuff home from the cruise, and when they unpack it all, say, "Why did I think I wanted this?" Or worse: "How did I manage to spend this much onboard?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

See, you're making the mistake that many Americans do: You're assuming that if you're frugal, you're averse to spending money. The reality is that people who "do frugal right" think about their priorities and spend on what matters to them. It's not an all-or-none proposition. Another closely tied misconception is the idea that you can't really have fun if you're not spending constantly.

 

So a frugal person who cares about the room will pop for a balcony, but will balance that out by skipping the spa.

A frugal person who loves fine dining may spring for the wine package and meals at the speciality restaurants, but make up for it by skipping excursions in favor of just wandering around the port.

A frugal person who wants to make great memories with his family may be willing to pay for expensive excursions, but may be unwilling to have professional pictures taken.

 

Being frugal is about examining what matters most to you, then spending JUST on those things.

 

The opposite is a spendthrift: a person who brings along a credit card and just says, "Charge it" at every opportunity without bothering to consider whether it's something he or she really wants, or whether it's just an impulse buy. Those are also the people who have trouble getting their stuff home from the cruise, and when they unpack it all, say, "Why did I think I wanted this?" Or worse: "How did I manage to spend this much onboard?"

 

You also forgot to mention that the "frugal" people (ie, people who are SMART with their money and spend their money CAREFULLY) are the ones that, quite often, become MILLIONAIRES later in life.

 

It's true.... read up on the stories of millionaires and how they became that way.... their spending habits before, and after, reaching the million mark.

 

- Rick

Edited by Rick-cruiser
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I noticed on the 14 day cruise I just finished, that there were many spa specials offered about half way through the cruise. Same with internet access - double the minute offers and I was even told that if I wanted to buy the "unlimited" internet access - I could split it with 1 or 2 other people (even in different cabins). No one I spoke to was interested in it, but considering how quickly minutes get eaten up by a slow connection, buying the unlimited package from the start would have saved me some money.

 

Also noticed on the email, that it was smarter to access the connection from the computer room instead of from your laptop in your own cabin. The log off was immediate from the ship's computer center, but I saw several times 5 or 10 minutes was eaten up by logging off from our laptop. Brought this up with the manager of the internet center but got nowhere - basically unable to prove it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

We take 2-3 cruises a year. All are at least in balconies, some in JS's, some in suites. We are retired, but still book quite far in advance. My DH is claustrophobic, so we can't sail without a balcony.

 

I get my nails done every two weeks, a pedicure once a month, so to me, it's not worth spending the money on a ship for the above. Also, my husband is a retired physical therapist so he knows how to give a great massage so that's another money saving thing for us on our cruise.

 

We don't drink a lot and my husband drinks soda all the time, so he usually gets a soda card. We bring water onboard so I can have water whenever and we take it on our own excursions.

 

On our next cruise we are going to Belize, where we have never been and not so sure about taking off on our own or with an independent tour, so we will probably book something through the cruise line.

 

We prefer to sail from Pt Canaveral which is about an hour from where we live. Sometimes we stay at a hotel (usually if it's just the two of us,) but if family is with us, ie sister, brother-in-law, father, we just drive over the day of the cruise and park 2 cars in the lot.

 

We always go to the specialty restaurants at least once. That is my big indulgence on a cruise. We may or may not go to Bingo the last day. It depends on what is going on on the ship as to whether we do or not.

 

The other expense for us is the casino. We go every night and during the day on sea days. We don't spend a lot and have an "allowance" for the cruise casino.

 

The rest of the year we don't spend a lot of money on "extras." We prefer to eat out at breakfast or lunch, rather than dinner. Neither of us like driving in the dark, so we usually do dinner at home. Plus, my husband is the best griller that I know. His steak etc. is better than any steak house.

 

So, to sum up, we spend what we want when we are on a cruise. Yes, I will look for price drops and get them whenever possible. I won't go on any vacation if we have to worry about every cent we spend. It s kind of down to a science now as we have been on many, many cruises.

 

Everyone has ideas of how to save money. Some ideas that I might have wouldn't work foryou and vice versa. The important thing is that we enjoy our vacation, whatever the choices.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

See, you're making the mistake that many Americans do: You're assuming that if you're frugal, you're averse to spending money. The reality is that people who "do frugal right" think about their priorities and spend on what matters to them. It's not an all-or-none proposition. Another closely tied misconception is the idea that you can't really have fun if you're not spending constantly.

 

So a frugal person who cares about the room will pop for a balcony, but will balance that out by skipping the spa.

A frugal person who loves fine dining may spring for the wine package and meals at the speciality restaurants, but make up for it by skipping excursions in favor of just wandering around the port.

A frugal person who wants to make great memories with his family may be willing to pay for expensive excursions, but may be unwilling to have professional pictures taken.

 

Being frugal is about examining what matters most to you, then spending JUST on those things.

 

The opposite is a spendthrift: a person who brings along a credit card and just says, "Charge it" at every opportunity without bothering to consider whether it's something he or she really wants, or whether it's just an impulse buy. Those are also the people who have trouble getting their stuff home from the cruise, and when they unpack it all, say, "Why did I think I wanted this?" Or worse: "How did I manage to spend this much onboard?"

On the last day of my last cruise, a gentleman was registering another credit card at the main desk because he had reached his limit on the first one registered with the cruise line. He was in a state of shock when he saw his ship's charges listed. This is an example of the easy "charge it" system the cruise ship's set into place. It is smart to monitor each transaction along the way to avoid getting caught in a financial trap.

I consider myself an educated and wise shopper. That may be a frugal person, but not a "tightwad." I try to be knowledgeable of prices and purchase wisely. I focus on value to dollar even on small every day purchases. I spend on what will benefit me most and bring most joy. It is not usually the cheapest item. If I see something that catches my eye, especially when traveling, I ask myself:

Do I need it? (How will it add to my life?) and Where will I put it (at home)?

Most times, after posing those questions, I decline making the purchase. If it has really impressed me, I take a picture (digital) of the item.

I do not travel to shop, but I have found a few treasures along the way that I did purchase and tote home. It is all about the priorities each of us set for ourselves.

Some of my most memorable times while traveling or in cruise ports have been when we ate a picnic lunch (bought from a local market) in a park or other pleasant location blending in with the local people, people watching, taking time to absorb the atmosphere. You don't have to spend "big bucks" to enjoy yourself. Try taking a walk off the beaten track.....discovering is wonderful.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We don't gamble or smoke, so that saves a ton of money, and we do not drink much. On HAL, I always sign up for weekly unlimited laundry and thermal spa. We like active shore excursions, but we don't buy much of the junk sold at the ports.

 

I'm disappointed RCCL doesn't offer the weekly laundry or spa pass. Does anyone know if they have any type of spa pass that allows you to use the semi-private jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, etc.?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are reasonably frugal and here is our primary advise...On cruises that are itinerary intensive, where you are off the ship almost every day and come back tired from sightseeing...skip the balcony cabin. Book inside if you're not claustrophobic or low priced outside if you need light. Save those balconies for warm weather soak up the sun cruises when you know you'll use it.

We also have friends who booked a balcony on an around South America cruise and declared it a waste of money. Most of the cruise was too cold to be out there.

We do book private tours but tend not to when it's more that an hour drive to the ship. Ship waits for their tours but not for private tours.

Since we travel light we do not buy many souvenirs.

We always leave a deposit for a future cruise on Princess. Those onboard credits are worth having them hold $200. We know we'll sail again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great suggestions here...Every cruise I always notice a group or two.

One is usually on deck and just about in every bar on board drinking like fish. The other is in the casino drinking and the money is just flowing. At the end of my wonderful cruise I alway chuckle thinking about the sober reality they are about to embark upon as they sign off on the sail and sign card. To each's own but beware that expences add up quickly.

 

First I always look for a good bargain to begin with. Almost always book an inside as I rarely spend time in my room. Usually go in off season as well.

 

We plan our trip well ahead having a pretty good idea how we want to spend our port days so that we limit impusle spending or unnessary expences. We search out transportation options instead of the expensive taxi's at some ports. I have never booked a shore excursion via the ship. Overall that saves me about 50% but be smart! As stated before make sure you have plenty of time to bet back or just dont go it the location is to far from the ship.

 

We often carry on some snacks that we can take into port to limit expences. Always take my own alcohol...maybe buy a drink or two but thats it. We take adv of free drinking onboard.

We like to watch in the casino or play a few bucks in the slots, I stay out of the ship shops on sea days. Dont play bingo, or buy at the art auction but as stated before we enjoy the free champage.

 

By planning ahead, my shore excurions are usually paid before I leave. Ive got my snacks and alcolhol packed and all that is left is my gratuities and the few expences when I check out. Usually about $250. I go home feeling pretty darn good. We always have a blast and becouse we have planned and spent our money in a logical way we are able to continue to cruise cheaper than any other vacation. Cant beat it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

 

I wouldn't call what you do as being a tightwad. It sounds like a force multiplier doing the way you do it. In other words, more bang for the same buck. Smart, smart, smart is what I would call it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our sail and sign card is never more than $50.00. We drink the free drinks on the Lido. Drink free alcohol at the Captains Party and Past Guest Party. We bring on Diet Pepsi and pick up more in port. We do all private excursions and not those you can book on-board. We bring an empty duffle bag in case we buy too much stuff. Duct tape, bungee cords and safety pins. We also bring on some alcohol and mixers on embarkation day. Umm...that is a few ideas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We don't gamble or smoke, so that saves a ton of money, and we do not drink much. On HAL, I always sign up for weekly unlimited laundry and thermal spa. We like active shore excursions, but we don't buy much of the junk sold at the ports.

 

I'm disappointed RCCL doesn't offer the weekly laundry or spa pass. Does anyone know if they have any type of spa pass that allows you to use the semi-private jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, etc.?

 

We just finished a RCCL cruise to Alaska the end of May. On some of the ships, they do have a thermal suite with a weekly pass. We bought the couples pass. My understanding is the thermal suite isn't on all the ships (we were on Radiance of the Seas). We enjoyed it a lot but I'm not sure I got my $$'s worth.

 

I love the weekly laundry idea though - that would be great!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i prefer not to be paying on my vacation for months after I get back, but I do allow myself to do the things i really enjoy....i don't drink alot (but do have the free drinks when they are available). don't buy many photos (my daughters pictures are great). i do ship excursions because I like security in knowing i will make it back on time. we don't shop much at onboard shops (my daughter collects magnets and shot glasses from every port and they don't cost much)! she does do the occasional spa treatment (but always a special), that is her big splurge for the trip! Basically, we just go to have fun (and especially to have a break from work)!

 

Beverly

Edited by bethaniesmom
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't consider myself a tightwad when it comes to cruising, but I don't blow the budget either.

 

We spend money on the things that matter most to us. We are not gamblers so we avoid the casino. I can't justify the price of the spa so we avoid that as well. However, we do enjoy excursions so we usually have something planned for every port (we rarely book through the ship as we feel there is better value booking things on your own). We also like the specialty restaurants and like to enjoy a few drinks onboard so we allow extra money for that.

 

7-8 months before the cruise we come up with a realistic budget of how much spending money we will need and then save accordingly. Knowing what things cost beforehand is key. That way we are not met with any unexpected surprises as we already know how much $$ we need and have a plan in place to have it saved BEFORE the cruise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
I'm with you on the balcony thingie.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

I've done an inside cabin once and that was the longest 4 days of any vacation ever! Did 4-5 window cabins and finally took the plunge with a balcony on an Alaska cruise. There is no going back! We did a balcony on the Yangteze in China and will have a balcony for a 16 day HAL transatlantic cruise starting August 11th. I love it!

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
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: Experience more Co-op Holidays
      • 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...