Everyone loves to find a bargain on just about everything, and a great deal on a cruise is one of the best bargains ever. But there are a few tempting opportunities to save some money that are really not worth it. Knowing what is worth paying for before your next cruise vacation could save you from experiencing the vacation from hell.
Almost every cruise, from the most elite liveaboards to the largest mega cruise ship, varies the cost of the cruise according to the size of the cabin that you select. And even though the website says that the cabin can accommodate four people with a double bunk bed conversion, it might not be the ideal way to spend your vacation. Realize that the cabin is likely going to be three times as wide as a single bunk, so the floor space will be very limited between the beds. In addition, all four roomies will be sharing a single, tiny bathroom and at best two small closets. Unless you are living on a severely limited budget and thought that your college dorm room was palatial, don’t book the cabin for four. These cabins are perfect for four children, but adults are not going to see the fun in this kind of togetherness.
It is common knowledge that drinks on a cruise are not cheap. And the fact that everything is bought with a swipe of your room card can make it far too easy to run up a huge bar tab. Many travelers are tempted to partake in the art of rum running, which is trying to sneak booze onboard the ship. Most cruise lines allow a bottle of wine to be carried on, but nothing else. However, the rum runners are certain that they have a plan to outsmart the security personnel and the x-ray machines that will scan their luggage. In most cases, the booze is confiscated and not returned until the cruise is over, and you are labeled as a troublemaker and are closely watched for the remainder of the trip. In the worst case, the booze is dumped and you are out the cost as well as the cost of what you will buy on the ship. The trick is to drink responsibly, make the most of daily specials and happy hour pricing, and be aware of what you are charging today that you will need to pay for at the end of the cruise.
Even on a limited budget, there is plenty to do and enjoy on cruises. Treat yourself to the activities you can afford and enjoy all that is included in your fare without making the trip a disaster.