How to Make the Best of Your Cruise Vacation on a Budget

By: Guest Author


Booking a cruise vacation is a great way to enjoy a getaway without all of the hassles involved in planning outings and creating individual itineraries.

With a cruise vacation, simply choose to relax and unwind, treat yourself to delicious meals, or attend live music and entertainment events while exploring the world around you. When you are thinking of planning an upcoming cruise vacation but you want to do so while on a budget, there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind to make the most out of any getaway you have in mind. 

Plan Your Trip Ahead of Time

One element of a cruise vacation to avoid is booking too late or last minute. Planning your trip months or even a year in advance is one way to ensure you are getting the best pricing possible, regardless of the length of your vacation and the destinations you have in mind. Planning your trip ahead of time requires a bit of online and local research, especially if you have yet to take a cruise ship vacation. Spend time comparing local travel agencies near you as well as online booking services to find excellent discounts and savings while booking months in advance. 

Tweet and Subscribe

Subscribe to digital newsletters from your favorite cruise lines. Subscribing to newsletters is a great way to receive exclusive offers, discounts, and savings that are unavailable anywhere else. Subscribing to newsletters of your favorite cruise ships is also a way to discover upcoming packages and deals that are not yet available to the public. Follow your favorite cruise ships and cruise ship publications on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Simply sending a tweet to your favorite cruise ships and publications can result in discounts or assistance when booking your next vacation on a budget.

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Research and Compare Cruise Ships

Not all cruise ships and vacation packages offer the same amenities, which is why it is essential to conduct adequate research on each cruise ship vacation you are interested in prior to making a decision. While some cruise ship packages may include free meals and drinks, others may only allow one meal a day and only provide non-alcoholic drinks free of charge. Always read the fine print of any inclusive deal you purchase when planning your cruise vacation on a budget. If free food and drinks are a priority, be sure to confirm that the food and drinks you are interested in come with the package you want to purchase before moving forward with your decision.

Many cruise ship companies now offer beverage packages which must be purchased at the time of purchasing your actual cruise ship ticket. If you’re planning on consuming quite a few non-alcoholic or alcoholic drinks, investing in a beverage package is highly recommended when you have a budget you must stick to while you are on vacation. 


Seek out Restaurant Specials

On most cruise ships, there are restaurant specials offered daily or packages available for families and large groups. Call restaurants ahead of time before boarding your cruise ship to set your reservations. Research various restaurants, cafes, and dining venues on the different ships you are interested in boarding to determine which cruise ship is optimal for the budget you have available. Be sure to read reviews and testimonials for each cruise ship you are interested in to determine the best vacation package for you and your needs.

Spend While at a Port

Whenever your cruise ship docks at a port throughout your vacation, spend your time and cash wisely. Oftentimes, cruise ship spas and service locations offer steep discounts for customers in need of service while a ship is docked. Because many cruise ship passengers prefer to spend time off of the boat while it is docked, it is possible to save major money on various services and luxury amenities onboard while your cruise ship is docked.

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Bundle Savings

Bundling a cruise ship vacation is one of the best ways to make the most out of a getaway on a budget. Bundling a vacation often involves bundling airfare, transportation, and accommodation into one package. When bundling a cruise ship vacation, it is possible to save on your airfare if you need to travel to a port before your vacation begins. Inquire about bundling options and cruise packages by visiting your favorite local travel agent or by researching cruise companies and providers online before purchasing your tickets. 

Whether you are interested in cruises from Australia, adventure cruising in Alaska, or if you are still comparing your options — knowing how to make the most of your cruise vacation on a budget is a must for the best time possible while abroad. With knowledge of how cruise ships operate and thorough preparation, get the most out of your upcoming cruise vacation regardless of your budget and spending capabilities.

About the Author: Lizzie Burwell

Lizzie loves food, travel and writing. These three passions give her the opportunity to explore top destinations in Australia, Southeast Asia, Europe and New Zealand. Her recent cruise vacation in the Pacific Islands is one for the books. Read more of her travel journeys here.