Are you one of the over 2 million people expected to take a cruise this year? If so, know what you’re about to dive into before booking. You’ll be thrown a lot of prices, fees, special offers, etc. that you want to be familiar with.
Listed Price Not the End Price
When booking your getaway, don’t expect to pay the price listed in the brochure. Cruise prices will end up more expensive due to taxes, fees and port expenses that are not factored into the brochure price. There are also many deals and different incentives that depend on the availability of different ships and the sailing date, which will be important when comparing prices.
On board credits are often offered by travel agents and cruise ship companies that can decrease your bill. While they can be confusing, they may become substantial when it comes to your bill and worth taking a look at. Cabin credits are added to your onboard account and can be used for tips, drinks and anything else that can be charged while you’re on the ship. Spa, shore excursion and casino credits are for specific services, but oftentimes can be used for many onboard expenses. For instance, you may be able to turn casino credits into chips and cash them in instead of gambling.
Most of the food onboard is free and almost unlimited but many cruise lines are offering specialty restaurants that have cover charges. There are deals available on those as well that you can find before leaving home and you could have 30% of the total cost of the specialty restaurants available to you as onboard credit. On the first day and days during port calls, you can also find discounted prices for drinks, photos, dry-cleaning, spa treatments, specialty ice cream and the internet.
A few more ways to save on your trip:
- Cruise line excursion prices are usually more expensive than prices you find yourself online. Just be sure to return to the ship on time!
- Protect yourself and your belongings as if you were on land since you will be travelling with 3,000 to 5,600 other travelers.
- Avoid illness by washing your hands frequently and keep hand sanitizer with you. If one person gets sick and doesn’t wash their hands, germs can spread very quickly.
- Although a balcony may be tempting, travel experts say it is not worth the extra 25% cost. Between land tours and activities on the ship, you will not be spending much time in your room so the money you save by not booking a balcony room can be used for other expenses.
Enjoy your cruise and keep money in your pocket. Use these tips to get the most out of your experience! Safe sailing!