The thought of a cruise vacation can sound very appealing when you think about making a single payment before your trip and then not having to worry about paying for anything for the duration. But there are more added costs than you might expect on many of the larger cruise ships. Some fees, such as tips, are just the nature of being in an atmosphere where there are numerous service providers. But there are other pointers that can allow you to enjoy all of the extra amenities at a more reasonable price.
Most ships offer at least one or two specialty restaurants onboard. These establishments are not included in the meal package that comes with your fare and reservations must be booked separately. And of course, you will pay extra for the meal as well as the required tip for the servers. However, you can enjoy the same gourmet food and outstanding service at lunchtime for only a fraction of the cost of the dinner seating. Another added benefit to enjoying an upscale lunch is that the dress code is normally more relaxed for lunch which can save you the cost of renting a tuxedo for dinner.
Plan to Unplug
Many ships offer an Internet package but the service will be slower and far more expensive than what you are used to at home. A cruise is a great time to unplug and forget about constant connectivity and focus on quality time with family and friends. If you must check mail, there is often a business center with can be used for a short period of time for only a fraction of the cost of an Internet package.
It can be tempting to splurge on a few photos from the onboard photographer but the cost can add up quickly. Instead, politely decline the photo op and take your own photos with your cell phone. The camera quality of most phones will provide great pictures, and most passengers on a cruise are happy to snap a picture for you if you don’t want a selfie. Just follow the cues of the roving photographer as that will clue you into the most scenic locations for pictures.
You work hard all year and you want to enjoy as much as you possibly can when you are on vacation. So follow these few tips and keep your vacation on budget while still enjoying all that the ship has to offer.