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How to Save Money on a Cruise

Ever since I was a kid I was brought up to be frugal and to save and budget money. * Disclaimer: I am not a financial planner.

Find the best cruise deals

Finding the best cruise deals can be a challenge, but it’s worth it to spend some time searching if you have your heart set on going on a cruise. The best way to find the best deal is by doing research!

  • Check out the cruise line website. Many of them offer deals on their websites that aren't available anywhere else. If you see something you like, book right away—if not, remember where they're located and come back later when there may be another promo running!
  • Search social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram as well as Twitter for offers from cruise lines and travel agents alike! These companies often send out notifications about exclusive sales, discounts and other ways to save money—so make sure that you're always checking these sites for updates!
  • Consider using travel search engines such as Google Flights or Kayak which allow users access to different travel companies all in one place without having go through each individual company themselves (which sometimes causes confusion). This makes finding cheap deals easier than ever before!

Check with the larger travel agencies

  • Check with the larger travel agencies. When you're looking for a cruise deal, check with agencies that specialize in cruises. These companies will often have access to many more cruise lines than you could find on your own, and they're often able to negotiate better rates because of their size and experience with these companies.
  • Look for cruise deals from travel agencies that are members of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). This organization is made up of virtually all of the major cruise line companies, so if an agency is a member it usually means they have special access to exclusive discounts on cruises offered by those particular lines and beyond.
  • Look for boat trips through CLIA-related agencies as well: The Cruiselines International Association has a website where you can search by destination or type of boat or activity, then compare prices on each one before booking directly through one company or another.

Travel during off-season months

Travel during off-season months. One of the best ways to save money on a cruise is by traveling during the off-seasons. The reason for this is simple: fewer people are on board, so you'll have more space and an easier time finding things to do. This works out in your favor because most cruise ships host multiple events at various times throughout the day, so if you're able to take advantage of this when there aren't many people around, then it will give you more opportunities as well!

Don't book the cheapest room

Before you book a cruise, you'll want to make sure that your room has everything that you need. This can be tough if there are a lot of cheap rooms available. When comparing prices, it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of booking a room on a new ship or going on an amazing vacation, and forget about what kind of amenities are included. The cheapest rooms often don't come with balconies or windows, which can make them feel dark and cramped. They also may not have views from the room itself (you'll have to head up top for those!). If it’s important for you to have some privacy for getting dressed or taking care of business, then opt for a proper bathroom instead of sharing with other people in the hallways!

Consider a repositioning cruise

A repositioning cruise is when a ship travels from one destination to another via a roundabout route. In some cases, you can save hundreds of dollars by booking a repositioning cruise. However, there are several things you should keep in mind before booking one:

  • When is the best time to book? If there's an event taking place in your destination city that you want to attend—like the Super Bowl or an art festival—you might not be able to get cheap tickets if you wait too long.
  • What are the benefits? A repositioning cruise will give you more time at sea than other types of itineraries, which means more opportunities for entertainment and activities onboard ship (a plus!). It also gives passengers ample opportunity for relaxation before disembarking at their next port-of-call (another plus!). However...
  • What are the drawbacks? Since these voyages tend to take longer than nonrepositioning trips do, they're inherently less convenient than other kinds of cruises; there may be fewer available flights into and out of your final port city due to flight schedules being different than normal flight schedules; and with all those extra days at sea comes greater likelihood that bad weather could disrupt your plans while sailing across open waters (not so good).

Look for discounts when paying.

Paying for a cruise is no different than any other big purchase. If you can find a discount or coupon code, you'll be able to save yourself some money. As with anything else, the best place to look for discounts on cruises is online. There are countless deals and coupon codes available just waiting to be found by savvy shoppers like yourself. Just do a quick search and see what pops up!

If you have a travel credit card in addition to your regular credit card, this is also an excellent way to save money on your trip—especially if the card has rewards points built into it. Travel rewards cards allow customers access to special offers that aren't always advertised publicly but are still available through their websites and mobile apps (if they have them). These offers usually include free baggage checks, discounted onboard activities such as yoga classes and wine tastings, free spa treatments during port days at sea when booking through a partnered company like Celebrity Cruises' "Treatments By Design" program using their own line of beauty products like SeaTherapy facial masks made from sea kelp harvested off Norway's coast."

Take advantage of onboard credits.

One of the best ways to save money on a cruise is to take advantage of onboard credits. This is when you earn cash back for booking through a travel agency, or booking with certain cruise lines. To see if your cruise line offers an onboard credit, simply contact them and ask!

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It’s also worth looking into third-party companies that offer free airfare or other incentives in exchange for a referral. You can use these as your base rate and then book directly through the company or its partner agency in order to save yourself some money on booking fees (which can be quite substantial).

Purchase your own alcohol and beverages.

  • Pack a bottle of wine or beer. If you are bringing wine on board the ship, make sure to label it clearly and add an extra layer of protection by wrapping it in bubble wrap. It's also wise to bring an opener and corkscrew.
  • Bring a bottle with you when going to dinner or a show. Most cruises offer some great dining options—and sometimes even free drinks! If you are planning to have at least one meal in the main dining room, go ahead and buy ahead of time so that you can enjoy your own cocktail without paying for it at dinner time.
  • Take your own beverage(s) with you when heading out for pool time or hitting up the casino floor for some gaming fun! Just like packing bottles for dinner, put this one in its own plastic baggie (or two) so no one accidentally mixes up their drink order with yours by mistake.

Bring as many nonperishable snacks as you can.

Bringing your own snacks can be a great way to save money on a cruise. Many cruise lines offer plenty of snacks, but they're expensive and often unhealthy. It's better to pack your own snacks so you have more control over what you eat.

You might be surprised at what kinds of things you can bring on board without having to worry about them going bad over time—even if the ship is at sea for days at a time! Sandwiches are one option that most people think about, but there are many others as well. For example:

  • Candy bars can last for weeks (or longer) in spite of being exposed to high temperatures and humidity levels on board ships. If you're willing to carry around extra weight in your luggage, this could be an excellent option for saving money during long voyages where there's little room left for storing fresh food items like fruits or vegetables (which may spoil more quickly).
  • Potato chips are another popular snack item that travels well without spoiling too quickly unless opened beforehand by passengers looking forward towards enjoying their trip even more than usual because they know how easy it'll be once aboard their vessel thanks to these delicious treats being available whenever needed throughout each day's journey across open oceans; however even if one does open up their bag before boarding then rest assured knowing that there won't likely be any noticeable difference between opening now versus opening months later due again mostly due because both will probably taste pretty much identical!

Keep track of activities and entertainment.

One of the best ways to save money on a cruise is to keep track of activities and entertainment. Cruise lines offer lots of ways to save money if you're aware of them. For example, I've noticed that many cruises offer "kids eat free" promotions in addition to discounts for senior citizens and military personnel.

Cruise lines also often discount their excursions as well—sometimes by up to 50% or more! So make sure you check out all the different deals before booking anything expensive for yourself or your family members (the last thing you want is an expensive shore excursion!).

Cruise lines offer lots of ways to save money if you're aware of them

Cruise lines offer lots of ways to save money if you're aware of them. For example, booking the right cabin can help you save hundreds on your cruise fare. If you're willing to share a room with others, some ships will offer discounts for booking multiple cabins together or in family-style grouping arrangements. You can even end up saving money by using one of the cruise lines' discount programs!


We hope that you've found some useful tips and tricks to save money on your next cruise. If you're still looking for more, check out our article on how to book a cheap cruise!


This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2022 Shanon Sandquist

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