7 Tips To Keep Onboard Services Costs Down

If you are like us there is nothing quite like a cruise, combine that with a great bargain and you’ll have us reaching for our credit cards faster than you can say man overboard!

Unfortunately from experience we can tell you that what you save on the front end you quite often spend in onboard services.

If you are thinking of booking a cruise, here are a few tips you may find useful that will not only ensure you enjoy such a trip to its fullest, but also save you money.

Tip 1 – Avoid Using The Ships Phone And Internet Services



Whilst at sea of course your cell phone won’t work and although there is Internet available on board this comes at a price.  Normally on ships you will be charged between $0.75 and $1.00 a minute to use the Internet.  Plus on top of them you may find that you will also be charged an activation fee as well.

Instead if you can wait until the ship docks and use your cell phone whilst ashore.  To further help keep such costs down speak to your cell phone provider to set an international call package.  Doing this will help to ensure that the costs of making any calls whilst on vacation is kept down.   However if you need to send emails then again wait until the ship docks and find an Internet café to use.  Again these tend to be a lot cheaper than using the Internet service on board the ship.


Tip 2 – Always Pay Gratuities In Advance


If the cruise line you are sailing with allows you to pay gratuities in advance then take advantage of such a service. You will find this is an excellent budgeting tool as not only does it allow you to get this cost out of the way early on, it will also help you to stay within the budget that you have set for yourself prior to departure.


Tip 3 – Be Adventurous


Rather than going on one of the organized excursions ashore, instead head out on your own. You will often find that doing this will allow you a much better opportunity immerse yourself in the ports culture. However if you would prefer to go on a guided tour wait until the ship docks and then book it through say the local tourist office for example. By booking such yourself you can save yourself a ton of money. However, don’t forget to make sure that you know what time you need to be back on board so you don’t miss the ship departing.

The great thing about the tips offered above is that they can be used time and time again whenever you decide to take a cruise.


 Tip 4 – Keep Clear Of The Ships Gift Shop



As these are all duty free, you can easily be tempted in.   The thing you need to remember before you step foot inside these shops is that although you may not be paying tax on the items the prices may have been increased to ensure that the cruise line makes a profit on any sales.   If you are going to buy any mementos from your trip, wait until you go ashore.

Tip 5 – Avoid The Casino

Happy friends playing roulette in a casino

Unfortunately the cost for using the ships casino isn’t usually included in the price, even if they are stating it is all-inclusive. Although you may be tempted to try your luck there are plenty of other activities on board ship you can enjoy that are covered, such as cooking classes, wine tasting, movies etc.

Tip 6 – Stay Away From The Ships Speciality Restaurants

restaurant on board a cruise ship ready for dinner

As well as the regular dining room and the buffet, which is available throughout the day, there are a number of other places on board ship where meals can be enjoyed.  However these tend to not be included in your original package costs and you will be charged extra to dine in one of these.

If you are going to use them, then please do so with caution.  As the amount you spend in these could soon bite into your savings.

Tip 7 – Pass On The Photos


On the majority of cruise ships today there will be a photographer who will take pictures of you and those you are traveling with.  Normally they will take one as you board and another when you attend one of the formal nights on board.   Yes these are a nice thing to have as a memento of your time on board, but they come at a cost.

Please share your best onboard money saving tips by leaving a comment below…Thank you!


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