Danielle Fear, managing director of CruiseCompare.co.uk offers her tips on how to enjoy a cruise holiday without breaking the bank.
1. If you are cruising with a line that does not offer any all-inclusive drinks packages then be sure to look into any promotions they may have on whilst your are on board that will let you buy a soft drink or ice cream package. Some of the cruise lines offer these little packages which are especially great for children and you can often save more than £40 per package.
2. If you are looking for gifts to take home from your cruise holiday then don’t always dive head first into the branded items you will find on board. Often cruise ships have one day in where a lot of things are reduced in price, sometimes up to 50% off. So wait, check any on board information to see if you can find out about a sale or reduction. You could save a small fortune especially if you are buying gifts for more than one person.
3. The spa may look and feel very tempting but again this is one to catch special offers for. Whilst on board you may well find the spa offers a rather seductive package combining head massage with hot oil treatments and more. Simply waiting and catching these offers could save you up to £60 per person if it is a full body MOT you are looking for. If not then try alternative therapies to what you would usually try if they are on offer. After all, cruising is about trying new things.
4. Planned excursions with the cruise lines, although very good, can also run costly; especially for a family. If you are confident enough to venture on your own then pre-plan your trip before you leave home. Make sure you allow enough time for anything that may crop up so you can be sure to arrive back at your ship on-time. Going off on your own can work out to be a lot cheaper than booking a planned excursion through the cruise line, but it does come with its risks if not booking through a travel agent.
5. Always change your money at home into the currency of the places you are about to visit. Although you will be able to convert your own money into local currencies on board, you don’t always get as good an exchange rate as you do at home. Changing your money on board could leave your pockets lighter than expected.
6. One of the most important things before you even book your cruise is to shop around. There are some great deals out there and with lots of little extras to save you money before you even get on board. Most of the time the sooner you book your cruise the more free extras you get. These can often include free on board spending money and coach transfers or parking at the dock. For a family of four travelling via coach from Scotland this could be a saving right away of more than £300.
7. A holiday is the chance for you to let your hair down and forget your daily tribulations for a week or two. Whilst on your cruise you may want to treat yourself to some alcoholic beverages and so you should. If you are trying to cruise on a budget then look out for any daily drinks that are on offer or again even drinks packages but that cover the purchasing of alcohol. Drinks of the day will be cheaper than other drinks and who knows - you may discover something that really tickles your taste buds.
8. Are you a book worm? Then don’t spend a fortune on books for your holiday. Usually you will find a well-stocked and well equipped library on your cruise ship where you can take out books for the duration of your cruise for free. There are books you can purchase too but be sure to ask where the books are you can hire. Reading materials at no cost, perfect.
9. Internet access on board can be very expensive so if you must have internet access whilst you are away then try to wait until they have some offers. You could save a small fortune just by waiting a few more days rather than jumping into the World Wide Web the second you step on board. Some ships do offer free Wi-fi connections so also be sure to find out more information and where the Wi-fi hot spots on board are.
10. Speciality restaurants on board all come with an added charge per person. If you are interested in dining at one of the payable extra restaurants whilst on board then try and find out if any offers will be on. Sometimes a lunch menu can be much cheaper than a dinner menu however the quality of the food and the service will remain exactly the same. Speciality restaurants vary in price but are usually priced between £5-£25 per person. They can also have alternating menus, so be sure to pick the menu that works best for your taste buds and find an offer for that particular day or week.
For more information visit www.cruisecompare.co.uk