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It seems to me the answer here lies in the ability one has to say "no" to something...or someone. I have no qualms about saying no to someone trying to get me to buy something, especially if they badger me about it. I like to plan ahead considering what things are going to cost up front so that I can plan accordingly. This has been great for that (FYI, getting ready for my first cruise here...). I already have my money figured for tips (onboard and for porters), calculated gas and parking already (driving with friends from NC to FL - huge savings for not flying), have my excursion in check, and as for drinks and anything else on board... Well, I would LOVE to have a massage, but do I HAVE to have one at sea...no. Might I have a drink or 2, sure, but that's $15 bucks or so I am already planning on. One photo perhaps, no more than one. A souvenir, sure, but nothing ridiculous and I've already put a spending cap on that for myself.

 

What can I say? I like my money budgeted and to know where it's headed so I can feel more freedom to truly RELAX. By relax I mean before, during and after the cruise - those who charge it up and don't pay attention...might not feel the "after vacation relaxation" when they see their bill. Don't have to spend the dough to have a heck of a good time!!

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I break down my cash costs and divide the money up accordingly. I bundle and paperclip a note on what it is for. For example; $98 port parking, $50 in ones for room service tips, $140 (or more) in set amounts for each person to tip in cash with my own thank you cards and envelopes, ?$ for porters, ?$ for tour guides. There is a breakdown chart somewhere here on how many 1's, 5's, 10's & 20's you will need for the tipped personnel, of course that is for the standard amount, but you can specify how much you want to give them and it will calculate it.

 

My cruise is paid for before I leave home. I do put it on my credit card and before we leave I take the cash rewards built up instead of their "gifts". Last year I took the maximum yearly cash reward of $600. I will have about $500 cash rewards for my cruise in Dec. I buy with my CC but pay it off monthly to build up the rewards.

 

I drive to port (3 1/2 hrs.)

Rarely like the pictures they take of me. Seldom buy them.

Specialty Rest. not good for me. I don't eat much, even on a cruise.

I like the free frozen yogurt by the pool.

I drink the lemonade or water, I'm not a soda drinker and not too many alcoholic drinks for me. Can't say that for DH:D.

I'm not a shopper, even at home. I might buy something if I really like it.

 

14 day Panama cruise in Jan. and our bill was about $850. Tips were included on that one ($300) and I bought 3 photos as it was a special occasion. My DD and her BF were with us so some of the drinks were for them also. Not bad for 2 weeks, I would say.:D

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I'm definitely amazed at the dramatic difference in opinions of people in this thread. From "spend nothing" to "spend everything" and everywhere in between!

 

My husband and I have only been on one cruise so far but are hoping to take another. We've been in a difficult financial situation for the past few years but are finally getting into a position that we'll be able to take another soon, which is why I joined this board.

 

On our cruise (3 night eastern Carribbean on Carnival), our Sign & Sail total was right at $700, including gratuities. I'm intending to cut that majorly on our next one, as we learned quite a bit and are hoping to learn more.

 

When we booked our first cruise we got a free upgrade from the TA. We paid for a basic interior stateroom and got an oceanview. That special is available again through the end of this year and if we don't go on one in December we will watch for a similar special when we do book.

 

We stayed at a hotel that offered a very reasonable shuttle. We paid $10 to get to and from the port and left our car at the hotel (at no extra charge), which we stayed at the night before and the night after the cruise. It was only $65 a night and because we were on our honeymoon, they upgraded us to a suite for free!

 

My husband does not drink at all and I very rarely drink. I had a cocktail with dinner two nights, he had a soda with dinner two nights. Other than that, we drank lemonade and tea. That cruise is actually what led to me drinking lemonade more often than soda!

 

We limited ourselves to $20 each in the casino daily. He managed to win $50 in the slots one night!

 

I'm not interested in the spa nor the art auction (including the free champagne).

 

We ate at the specialty restaurant once and decided it was unncessary for the future. The best meals we had on the ship were at the dinners included in our fare!

 

We didn't go on a single shore excursion. I saw none that caught my interest that were what I considered to be reasonably priced. We took a shuttle or taxi from the port and spent the day at the beach and wandering around town. On our next cruise, we may book our own excursions as we've both learned to scuba dive since then and will probably do some diving.

 

The majority of our spending came from souveniers. A lot of it was gifts for friends and family, I think the most expensive thing we splurged on was an engraved commemorative item because it was our honeymoon. We still have it on display in our living room, so I feel it was worth it. We also bought almost every one of the pictures and a photo album, which we also have displayed. Other than the photos we bought, we actually have very few photos from the cruise. We were just too busy having fun!!

 

I don't feel like we missed out on anything by being on the frugal side. We had a ton of fun, were very relaxed and didn't worry about having to be here and there to catch this and that. We actually spent a lot of time in our room just chilling out (and sleeping!) and I think the only thing we feel like we missed is that we didn't really enjoy the ship as much as we could have. We didn't eat breakfast in the dining room until the morning of debarkation and wished we'd discovered it much earlier in the trip!

 

On our next cruise we'll be on a tight budget, because if we aren't we won't be able to take the trip. We won't be buying a bunch of souveniers as it won't be a special occasion nor our first cruise. We won't be eating in the specialty restaurant or ordering room service every day. We won't be drinking alcohol or soda. We'll spend the days relaxing, enjoying ourselves, and not spending money!

Edited by violakat03
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-I book w/ a group to get a low deposit.

-Try to get 3 to a cabin to lower the cruise price.

-Bring can sodas on board because the sodas are $1.25 for cans.

-Buy 1 pic or 2 pics.

-Schedule any spa appts only when they run specials. Massage & facial for $99

-Confine buying souveniers to small items like keychains or bags most of the ports have special like 5 for $5 or 3 for $5.

-Prepay tips ahead of time if I can.

-Drink the dod's (drink of the day) because they usually cost $3.99.

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I'm definitely amazed at the dramatic difference in opinions of people in this thread. From "spend nothing" to "spend everything" and everywhere in between!

 

My husband and I have only been on one cruise so far but are hoping to take another. We've been in a difficult financial situation for the past few years but are finally getting into a position that we'll be able to take another soon, which is why I joined this board.

 

On our cruise (3 night eastern Carribbean on Carnival), our Sign & Sail total was right at $700, including gratuities. I'm intending to cut that majorly on our next one, as we learned quite a bit and are hoping to learn more.

 

When we booked our first cruise we got a free upgrade from the TA. We paid for a basic interior stateroom and got an oceanview. That special is available again through the end of this year and if we don't go on one in December we will watch for a similar special when we do book.

 

We stayed at a hotel that offered a very reasonable shuttle. We paid $10 to get to and from the port and left our car at the hotel (at no extra charge), which we stayed at the night before and the night after the cruise. It was only $65 a night and because we were on our honeymoon, they upgraded us to a suite for free!

 

My husband does not drink at all and I very rarely drink. I had a cocktail with dinner two nights, he had a soda with dinner two nights. Other than that, we drank lemonade and tea. That cruise is actually what led to me drinking lemonade more often than soda!

 

We limited ourselves to $20 each in the casino daily. He managed to win $50 in the slots one night!

 

I'm not interested in the spa nor the art auction (including the free champagne).

 

We ate at the specialty restaurant once and decided it was unncessary for the future. The best meals we had on the ship were at the dinners included in our fare!

 

We didn't go on a single shore excursion. I saw none that caught my interest that were what I considered to be reasonably priced. We took a shuttle or taxi from the port and spent the day at the beach and wandering around town. On our next cruise, we may book our own excursions as we've both learned to scuba dive since then and will probably do some diving.

 

The majority of our spending came from souveniers. A lot of it was gifts for friends and family, I think the most expensive thing we splurged on was an engraved commemorative item because it was our honeymoon. We still have it on display in our living room, so I feel it was worth it. We also bought almost every one of the pictures and a photo album, which we also have displayed. Other than the photos we bought, we actually have very few photos from the cruise. We were just too busy having fun!!

 

I don't feel like we missed out on anything by being on the frugal side. We had a ton of fun, were very relaxed and didn't worry about having to be here and there to catch this and that. We actually spent a lot of time in our room just chilling out (and sleeping!) and I think the only thing we feel like we missed is that we didn't really enjoy the ship as much as we could have. We didn't eat breakfast in the dining room until the morning of debarkation and wished we'd discovered it much earlier in the trip!

 

On our next cruise we'll be on a tight budget, because if we aren't we won't be able to take the trip. We won't be buying a bunch of souveniers as it won't be a special occasion nor our first cruise. We won't be eating in the specialty restaurant or ordering room service every day. We won't be drinking alcohol or soda. We'll spend the days relaxing, enjoying ourselves, and not spending money!

The best thing in the Caribbean are the beaches and being on the water. Beaches are free if you stay away from the big hotels. Try to pre-book your diving with the help of a local dive shop to find the best rates. Relax and enjoy the sand, surf, and sunshine....that's what these islands are about.

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Don't buy the art as they are just copies and overpriced too. We do have a bottle of wine in the restaurant most evenings. Probably the drink of the day in the afternoon. Don't buy the photos unless one is exceptionally different. I do like to be pampered on holiday though, use the laundry if I need to. I like to get the feeling that I am rich...at least for the duration of the cruise;)

 

We do purchase art as I have an interest in the art. The art at the art auctions is extremely well priced out as the frame is included. I've compared the art to the same piece in gallaries and it was half the cost and included the frame to boot.

 

They aren't just copies, they are signed and numbered lithographs, seriographs, giclee on Canvas and ORIGINALS. They have works from under a hundred to close to 100 grand. It depends on your pocket and how you like to decorate your house. They are also very interesting and I've learned a lot about art while attending the art auctions, but don't give an ignorant response to a question you know nothing about as you have just done.

 

Of the lithographs and seriographs that I have purchased they have all gone up in value atleast 2 fold. The originals have gone up in price even more so.

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Implying or stating that someone is ignorant on this board in ungracious. Words can be polite and informative or mean and hurtful. You could have said simply that you disagree. IMHO, I believe you owe an apology.

When I first read your post, I suspected it was from someone who worked in the art gallery on a ship , , , trying to “protect” their livelihood. Whether or not that’s true, I’m not certain.

I think the truth of the value of the art lies somewhere in the middle of the two opinions most recently expressed. Art can appreciate and often does. More often, it does not. Regardless of where you purchase any collectable, most honest dealers will advise you to purchase it because you want to display and enjoy it.

While the “book” value of art, or any collectable, may appreciate over one period of time, it can depreciate as well . . . just as rapidly. For example, artists can fall out of favor. For another example, we have periods of recession and depression where you find it difficult to sell art at any price. Art gallery owners worldwide are going out of business by the hundreds according to a recent AP article because of the economy. Another example is supply and demand: Japanese corporations bought art worth millions for each piece in part for prestige and in part because they thought is was a foolproof investment. When the Japanese economy went into a tailspin about 20 years ago, they unloaded their art. The oversupply depressed the entire, world wide art market for years. Pieces that were purchased for $3 million were going at auction for $700,000. (And then there’s the 10-20% auction fee to deduct from the sales price.)

The overwhelming majority of art that is sold on ships is not of that caliber. Major auction houses wouldn’t accept it. So you’re stuck with a minor auction house where buyers are looking for bargains. And if you place a piece in a gallery, the owner will want a 40-50% cut.

IMHO, I would say that if you think you’re getting a fair price on a piece you want to live with for (probably many, many) years, buy it. As to the education you’re receiving aboard a ship, that information provided by a SALESPERSON. If you want an unbiased education on art, I suggest you’d do better with some books from the library or taking some courses at the nearby university….or an online university.

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What a nice, informative response and done very graciously. I believe you know what you are talking about and found it very interesting.:D

 

 

Implying or stating that someone is ignorant on this board in ungracious. Words can be polite and informative or mean and hurtful. You could have said simply that you disagree. IMHO, I believe you owe an apology.

When I first read your post, I suspected it was from someone who worked in the art gallery on a ship , , , trying to “protect” their livelihood. Whether or not that’s true, I’m not certain.

I think the truth of the value of the art lies somewhere in the middle of the two opinions most recently expressed. Art can appreciate and often does. More often, it does not. Regardless of where you purchase any collectable, most honest dealers will advise you to purchase it because you want to display and enjoy it.

While the “book” value of art, or any collectable, may appreciate over one period of time, it can depreciate as well . . . just as rapidly. For example, artists can fall out of favor. For another example, we have periods of recession and depression where you find it difficult to sell art at any price. Art gallery owners worldwide are going out of business by the hundreds according to a recent AP article because of the economy. Another example is supply and demand: Japanese corporations bought art worth millions for each piece in part for prestige and in part because they thought is was a foolproof investment. When the Japanese economy went into a tailspin about 20 years ago, they unloaded their art. The oversupply depressed the entire, world wide art market for years. Pieces that were purchased for $3 million were going at auction for $700,000. (And then there’s the 10-20% auction fee to deduct from the sales price.)

The overwhelming majority of art that is sold on ships is not of that caliber. Major auction houses wouldn’t accept it. So you’re stuck with a minor auction house where buyers are looking for bargains. And if you place a piece in a gallery, the owner will want a 40-50% cut.

IMHO, I would say that if you think you’re getting a fair price on a piece you want to live with for (probably many, many) years, buy it. As to the education you’re receiving aboard a ship, that information provided by a SALESPERSON. If you want an unbiased education on art, I suggest you’d do better with some books from the library or taking some courses at the nearby university….or an online university.

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many of the previous threads have summed up excellent ways to save on or save for a future cruise

 

it is wonderful to see that people can save or splurge depending on their interests

 

we have cruised quite a few times and we are now at that point in our lives where we don't spend much on souvenirs or gifts for family and friends (we used to!)

 

the best memories are in your head; having a camera to record images is good too. Then coming home and completing an album freshens your memory of your holiday.

 

so, continue saving so that a future holiday is attainable.

-have a good travel agent

-wait for sales if possible

-drink the free wine etc. at the Captains Reception

-if you use the spa, wait for the specials on port days

-see if your TA provides a gift for you ie wine, specialty restaurant coupon

-avoid buying the ship photos

-avoid the ship stores unless you spot something you love and it is a better price than on land

-do your own excursions (if you are comfy with that) instead of ship excursions

-use local bus, ferry, tram instead of taxis

-travel lighter to avoid extra airline fees

-have a budget and try to stick with it

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Here are a few more ideas (some already mentioned) to save $$ on a cruise. We have found these to be helpful, especially during these hard times

 

1. Tip your room guy up front = better service I think.

2. Rumrunners can cut your costs in half

3. Bring soda and water on with you, plastic cups too. Skip the soda cards

4. Get off the ship and set up your own excursions

5. If you have an iphone, install fring and use VOIP to make calls back home for pennies if you can find a free wifi. Also, don't use onboard internet.

6. Haggle on prices all the time when off the ship. This includes excursions that get cheaper if you can get others to join/share

7. Avoid spas, casinos, auctions and pictures

8. Hit speciality $$ restaurants when they are on sale.

9. Take a "mixer" water bottle off the ship to get your booze fix.

10. Take baggies to breakfast for bread/snacks in your room and take fruit as snacks/lunch off the ship.

 

If you do these you are bound to knock at least a $1000 off your tab. Hope these help!

 

B & G

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  • 2 weeks later...

We didn't spend a great deal on our last cruise either, even with three kids along. I think its because there was so much to do that didn't cost extra money! The free coffee and pastries were so good in the little snack place that we had no reason to buy many fancy coffees or ice cream and I brought my own flavored creamer since I knew it wouldn't be available. We don't enjoy the casino so didn't go and spa prices are outrageous compared to the costs at home...and I have some friends who are massage therapists. :) The dining room and buffet food was so good we didn't miss the specialty restaurants. I can't imagine buying art on a cruise ship. I imagine we will spend more on drinks when the kids aren't with us.

 

I have a feeling we will spend most of our money in ports on our next cruise and not as much on the ship due to the itinerary.

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Here are a few more ideas (some already mentioned) to save $$ on a cruise. We have found these to be helpful, especially during these hard times

 

1. Tip your room guy up front = better service I think.

2. Rumrunners can cut your costs in half

3. Bring soda and water on with you, plastic cups too. Skip the soda cards

4. Get off the ship and set up your own excursions

5. If you have an iphone, install fring and use VOIP to make calls back home for pennies if you can find a free wifi. Also, don't use onboard internet.

6. Haggle on prices all the time when off the ship. This includes excursions that get cheaper if you can get others to join/share

7. Avoid spas, casinos, auctions and pictures

8. Hit speciality $$ restaurants when they are on sale.

9. Take a "mixer" water bottle off the ship to get your booze fix.

10. Take baggies to breakfast for bread/snacks in your room and take fruit as snacks/lunch off the ship.

 

If you do these you are bound to knock at least a $1000 off your tab. Hope these help!

 

B & G

 

 

 

Just a couple of things I think are wrong with your suggestions:

 

#1 Tipping up front does absolutely nothing, you will get the same great service if you wait until the end. All of the things I see listed from people who tip up front or tip extra are the same standard things they do for everyone.

 

#3 Don't take too much water, the water served in the dining room is fine to drink.

 

#8 I've never seen a specialty restaurant on sale.

 

#10 Some ports will confiscate any food items you take, with the exception of closed, pre-packaged foods. Getting off cruise ships in Mexico we've walked by trash cans full of food carried off the ship.

 

Just to add, when we've been in port where it is easy to re-board the ship, we have gone back onboard for lunch. Not always, because it can be a shame to miss local cuisine.

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We've tried tipping up front on the last two cruises. On the first of these experiences, we noticed no difference. On the second of these, we got the worse service ever! I would fill a page on the un-replinished supplies, lack of fruit and flowers, un-vacumned carpet, etc. etc. etc. And THIS on a celebrity ship! We've booked the next two cruise on HAL as calls to the housekeeping supervisor did nothing to improve this and we prefer a clean, well-stocked stateroom.

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we never tipped up front, always had great service.

 

we do buy photos, but limit our drinks to the drink of the day or whatever I may want to enjoy. (there's something about a day a sea with a girly drink and an umbrella!)

 

never dined in a speicality restrant, don't really see the need for it.

 

i did buy a few coffees

 

mainly, as long as you pay attention to what you buy and how much you're spending it's not a problem. we carry cash. when we buy something we move the cash (with the recipt) over to the 'spent' folder. this prevents us from over spending. if there's no cash, then we don't buy anything.

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As most of the rest of you I don't do art shows, spas, bingo, or very little at the malls, unless they have a cute t-shirt or little something on sale I might like to bring home. I buy a drink card or 2 depending on the length of the cruise, before I leave as it includes the gratuity and tax.... They bring it to your table your first night at the dining room. I don't eat at the specialty dining room, not because of the money, just because I haven't had any problems with the food in the main dining room. It is so good and varied I can't see paying extra when I enjoy the dining room.

Laundry, I do myself, and working toward that magic cruise #10.... I bring bottled water and soda on board ship rather than paying for it. We don't drink enough soda to pay for buying a card, but I like having one once in a while but refuse to pay ship prices. The water is for our room and we usually do buy a large one to take with us if we are walking.

In port, it just depends on how we feel... it's our vacation... and one thing we don't skimp completely on... But still new enough on cruising I am trying to learn the best places to book. I enjoy doing lunch out and enjoying the local cuisine. And we do tip extra for good service.

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Here are a few more ideas (some already mentioned) to save $$ on a cruise. We have found these to be helpful, especially during these hard times

 

1. Tip your room guy up front = better service I think.

2. Rumrunners can cut your costs in half

3. Bring soda and water on with you, plastic cups too. Skip the soda cards

4. Get off the ship and set up your own excursions

5. If you have an iphone, install fring and use VOIP to make calls back home for pennies if you can find a free wifi. Also, don't use onboard internet.

6. Haggle on prices all the time when off the ship. This includes excursions that get cheaper if you can get others to join/share

7. Avoid spas, casinos, auctions and pictures

8. Hit speciality $$ restaurants when they are on sale.

9. Take a "mixer" water bottle off the ship to get your booze fix.

10. Take baggies to breakfast for bread/snacks in your room and take fruit as snacks/lunch off the ship.

 

If you do these you are bound to knock at least a $1000 off your tab. Hope these help!

 

B & G

1. I don't think you'll ever get a consensus on whether tipping up front makes a difference; too many human variables involved.

2. Skip the rum runners. Instead buy plastic bottles (sometimes called travel bottles) at the liquor store. X-rays can't see plastic, and you'll save the effort of repacking the liquid.

3. I agree completely with bringing your own sodas; the 4-5 that I'll drink over the week are much cheaper than a soda card. If this is impossible because of flights, etc., then at least buy them individuallly.

4. Shore excursions: I would buy private excursions even if it were more expensive! I detest being herded about like cattle.

8. I have heard of specialty restaurants being less expensive on the first night (perhaps because people tend not to book them that evening). If you're going to go, this could be a good option.

10. I cannot agree with taking food off the ship since it's prohibited on many islands; however, bringing your own pre-packaged cheese crackers or granola bars is cheap and legal. We usually eat a big breakfast, then have a late lunch once we're back onboard.

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I'm not sure if this has been mentioned yet.

Eat on board; drink in ports.

On port days, DH and I eat a good breakfast before leaving the ship and/or reboard for lunch (since we've already paid for the food). But once in port we do enjoy finding an interesting bar or cafe and having a drink or two (drinks usually cost less than those on board, plus we enjoy the local color).

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Goldmoon, I agree with most of what you wrote, especially the part about enjoying a vacation and not skimping on everything.

 

I get annoyed with other pax when they sit at breakfast/lunch and complain about everything costing extra. Not everything will cost extra, you get to choose what extras you want.

 

Even at hotels with coke machines, we've paid as much as $1.50 per can... and their restaurant charges :eek: Unless you are staying in a budget motel and eating at fast food restaurants or camping and (the horror) preparing your own meals, a cruise can be a great value even with a few extras.

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Unless you are staying in a budget motel and eating at fast food restaurants or camping and (the horror) preparing your own meals, a cruise can be a great value even with a few extras.

 

Not sure I understand your "the horror" comment...for me, sometimes preparing my own meals is more enjoyable than heading to a restaurant. A lot of parks have grills available and if you take advantage of them, you get more time on site in the fresh air :) For example, you can enjoy the sunset at Yellowstone while grilling - if you DIDN'T prepare your own meal, you wouldn't be able to take advantage of eating outside and enjoying the scenery instead of staring at the inside walls of a restaurant...Things like bagged salad make preparing your own meals very easy and not inconvenient at all.

 

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy dining out and don't prepare all my own meals on vacation, but just wanted to explain that sometimes preparing your own meals is not about saving money, but instead it's about having a little more time to take in your surroundings and the experience. Certainly not a "horror" at all.

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I'm not sure if this has been mentioned yet.

Eat on board; drink in ports.

On port days, DH and I eat a good breakfast before leaving the ship and/or reboard for lunch (since we've already paid for the food). But once in port we do enjoy finding an interesting bar or cafe and having a drink or two (drinks usually cost less than those on board, plus we enjoy the local color).

 

I totally agree with this! We always get a drink in every port. :) Drinks are almost always cheaper than on the ship. In San Juan, we got 5 beers for $5! My bf actually bought 5 more and brought them back on the ship--I didn't know this until we got back in the room :eek: We don't usually do excursions, but always get off the ship and walk around, and try to have a local beer/drink to get a "taste" of the place. If you just do a little research about where you're going, and know what you want, you can save a lot of money.

 

Also, never buy sunscreen on the ship. It's always at least twice as much as on land. Stock up in advance!

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Just a couple of things I think are wrong with your suggestions:

 

#1 Tipping up front does absolutely nothing, you will get the same great service if you wait until the end. All of the things I see listed from people who tip up front or tip extra are the same standard things they do for everyone.

 

#3 Don't take too much water, the water served in the dining room is fine to drink.

 

#8 I've never seen a specialty restaurant on sale.

 

#10 Some ports will confiscate any food items you take, with the exception of closed, pre-packaged foods. Getting off cruise ships in Mexico we've walked by trash cans full of food carried off the ship.

 

Just to add, when we've been in port where it is easy to re-board the ship, we have gone back onboard for lunch. Not always, because it can be a shame to miss local cuisine.

We were on a cruise with NCL on the Pearl for the Panama Canal cruise in April and the speciality restaurants were two for one on many occasions. We went to a few of them to try them out. Just watch in the daily program for the announcements.

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Here are a few more ideas (some already mentioned) to save $$ on a cruise. We have found these to be helpful, especially during these hard times

 

1. Tip your room guy up front = better service I think.

I have not found this to make a difference, but if it works for you, good. No harm, no foul.

2. Rumrunners can cut your costs in half

I personally would not use them. You have to go with your conscience on this one. I do not drink in my cabin or on deck - just lounges while watching shows and in the DR, so I don't have a big bar tab anyway.

3. Bring soda and water on with you, plastic cups too. Skip the soda cards.

I drink water, coffee and tea instead of sodas. May have a couple of gingerales.

 

4. Get off the ship and set up your own excursions.

Good idea. OR, if you feel you MUST, go to the spa. They run Port Day specials.

5. If you have an iphone, install fring and use VOIP to make calls back home for pennies if you can find a free wifi. Also, don't use onboard internet.

I don't call home (no kids at home). Liek to get away form Electronics.

6. Haggle on prices all the time when off the ship. This includes excursions that get cheaper if you can get others to join/share,

Could result in some savings.

7. Avoid spas, casinos, auctions and pictures.

I agree.

8. Hit speciality $$ restaurants when they are on sale.

Or don't use them at all.

9. Take a "mixer" water bottle off the ship to get your booze fix.

Yes - Drinks in port are usually cheaper than on board.

10. Take baggies to breakfast for bread/snacks in your room and take fruit as snacks/lunch off the ship.

Fine for your room, but not allowed in ports- most ports will confiscate food.

 

If you do these you are bound to knock at least a $1000 off your tab. Hope these help!

 

 

B & G

May I add:

When in port, go back to the ship to eat.

Take advantage of any Freebies (drinks at Captain's party, return cruisers party, etc. Get the free champagne the art auction, but don't buy anything. Go to the liquor tastings in the gift shops)

If you sail HAL, you can bring unlimited wine aboard - not sure if any other lines allow this; some allow a smaller amount (1 or 2 bottles) You MAY be charged a corkage fee in the DR or bars, but this is still a savings over ship prices .

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