Money Saving Tips for Booking a Cruise

Money Saving Tips for Booking a Cruise

Offering incredible levels of luxury and personal service, cruise holidays may seem as though they are out of the financial reach of many holidaymakers. However, with the industry’s move towards family-friendly cruising, and by employing a few money-saving tips, more people than ever before are choosing to take a cruise holiday.

Here we offer a few money saving tips when booking a cruise.

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A number of cruise lines are striving to reduce the differences in cabin prices determined by the timing of bookings – deeming this system unfair on the organised guests who book early. This will remove the technique employed by many – waiting until the last possible moment before booking a cut-price vacation.

The most reliable method for finding the best cruise ship deals in the wake of this change is to sign up for email notifications and deals. Signing up to the newsletter of a number of cruise deal sites can help you stay abreast of the latest and greatest deals, so you’ll have regular updates on the best prices. Travel agents like Cruise1st operate weekly deals which are exclusively available for newsletter subscribers, helping them make significant savings on popular cruises.

All-Inclusive Dining
Employing world-renowned chefs and sourcing ingredients from all around the world; cruise lines have made significant efforts in recent years to ensure their food offerings are amongst the very best in the world. Take advantage of these culinary treats without burning a hole in your wallet by booking all-inclusive packages.

Some ships operate two levels of dining with some restaurants included in the all-inclusive deals and speciality restaurants charging extra. If you wish to dine in these speciality venues, it may be advisable to eat at lunch time – these restaurants will often offer the same/similar menu at a lower price.

Drinks Packages
Cruising can be thirsty work, so an unlimited drinks package could help you save money over the course of the holiday. Many cruise lines offer both soft drinks and alcoholic drinks packages, so perfect for the kids and adults alike. A soft drinks package for kids could be especially cost-effective, keeping the kids hydrated during long days of running around and having fun.

Drinks packages will be particularly useful on cruise itineraries with many days at sea – giving you more opportunity to fill up the kids’ glasses and have one last whisky and ginger ale.

Save the Spa Treatments
On-board spa treatments can often be quite expensive when booked prior to the cruise, largely due to the incredible array of treatments available. From thalassotherapy to hot lava stone massage, many major cruise lines have used their international experience to develop unique menus of treatment.

One way to save money on cruise ship spa treatments is to wait until the ship is in port – a time when many cruise ships offer treatments and packages at a discounted rate. If there is a port visit which does not interest you greatly – this could be the perfect time for a massage or a facial.

Enquire About Gratuities
Almost all the major cruise lines automatically add gratuities on guests’ bills on a per-cabin, per-night basis. Before booking, enquire with the cruise line about the rate at which gratuities will be added and whether this can be amended. It is possible to amend the gratuity level after boarding at the guest services desk, but this option may not always be available.

Research Third Party Excursions
Alongside the excursions organised by the cruise line, many ports offer trips organised by independent excursion companies. offers a wide range of exciting and enjoyable excursions from ports all around the world.

This makes it easier for you to find the perfect excursion to suit your needs and personal tastes – from vineyard visits to child-friendly adventures.

Compare Exchange Rates
Cruise lines traditionally use the currency of the port at which they are registered as the principle on-board money. Even if you are sailing from your home country, the ship may charge you in an overseas currency.

Using Money Saving Expert’s currency exchange tool can enable you to find the best rate of exchange, helping you save money and make the most of your holiday budget. The tool can give you exclusive access to improved rates of exchange – helping your spending money go further.