Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Onboard Cruise Ship Expenses

On many cruise ships the key to your cabin doubles up as an on board charge card. Any additional expenses such as drinks or excursions can be added to your on board account.

And in the midst of all the holiday excitement it's extremely easy to run up a big additional bill in a short period of time. So here's how to keep down the cost of your on board account without ruining the excitement of your vacation.


Most beauty treatments on cruise ships are expensive extras that have to be added to your onboard account. So before you leave on your vacation, make sure that you get your hair cut and have all the beauty tratements that you want. Land based salons are often much cheaper than their ocean going counterparts.


If you want to keep your costs down, one of the best ideas is to give the casino a wide berth. And that includes bingo and all other games of chance.

But if you feel the need to experience everthing that the ship offers, stick to the timeless advice - Only gamble what you can afford to lose. Give yourself a strict budget before you visit the casino, see how long you can make it last, and once it's gone, don't draw any more money. And whatever happens, don't go to the casino with the misguided impression that you can win your spending money for the rest of your vacation.


Another hot topic at present is whether or not you should take your own drinks on board. In most cases cruise lines will turn a blind eye if you want to bring bottled water or soft drinks onboard. But alcohol is a different matter. Cruise companies make large amounts of money from the sale of alcohol, so if you try to bring anything more than a bottle of champagne of a special bottle of wine, it will probably be refused.

Another way to get your own alcohol onboard is to send yourself a gift of a bottle of your favorite drink to be delivered to your cabin, either through the cruise line or an independent service.

In the bar, the cost of drinks will be on a par with a similar land based bar. So here are a few tips to keep costs down.

Only order your drinks in a special keepsake glass if you really want one, as they cost much more than a drink in a conventional glass.

In the restaurant, wine is much cheaper by the bottle than by the glass. Unfinished wine can be kept till you want it by the restaurant.

Wine brought in to onboard restaurants will incur a corkage fee which can cost up to $10 per bottle.

On most ships, fruit juice and water are free.

And finally, never turn down the chance to go to a welcome party (the captain's welcome party, the first time cruise party, the repeat visitors welcome party etc). These normal include a complimentary drink for every person and will allow you to meet some of your fellow passengers.


The cost of onshore excursions can quickly mount up, so if you want to save money, think carefully about the ones that you really want to experience.

As a rough example a simple half day coach trip can cost up to $50 per person, while a more elaborate adventure can easily cost upwards of $250 per person.

However, there are a couple of ways to cut the cost of these tourist trips. Consider organising these adventures yourself. Either contact your tour operator before you leave, or hire a guide when you arrive in port. Another option is to get together with a few of your fellow passengers and share the cost of hiring a local guide and appropriate transport.


Most cruise ships offer a wide range of exercise equipment and basic exercise classes for free. However, you may have to pay for the more specialised classes such as yoga or pilates where specialized instruction is provided. If you want to save your money for other parts of your vacation, walking around the deck of the ship is a great way to get some exercise.

On some of the larger cruise ships one circuit of the main deck can be almost half a mile. So it's easy to save money and get the benefit of the sea air at the same time.

No comments:

Post a Comment