7 Ways to Save Money Once You Board

by John Roberts

7 Ways to Save Money Once You Board

by John Roberts

Sure, you do your research to find special sales and promotions when you book a trip, but your smart spending habits shouldn’t stop there. There are lots of strategies you can use to make sure you spend your money wisely even after you walk up the gangway and set sail. Don't believe us that being mindful can make a difference? Read on for the best ways to save money once you board your ship:

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150 Central Park / Royal Caribbean
Light lunch with vegetable salad and red wine
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1. Bring your own beverages.

You'll want to check the rules of your cruise line before you do this, but most allow you to bring a limited amount of wine or beer onboard with you when you board. Many lines also let you bring some bottled water and soft drinks on board, which can really save you money, especially in the summertime when rising temperatures mean you go through a lot of beverages in a short period of time. If you’re flying and can’t easily pack drinks, consider bringing water bottles to fill up at the beverage stations, where many lines offer complimentary ice tea and lemonade.

You'll want to check the rules of your cruise line before you do this, but most allow you to bring a limited amount of wine or beer onboard with you when you board. Many lines also let you bring some bottled water and soft drinks on board, which can really save you money, especially in the summertime when rising temperatures mean you go through a lot of beverages in a short period of time. If you’re flying and can’t easily pack drinks, consider bringing water bottles to fill up at the beverage stations, where many lines offer complimentary ice tea and lemonade.

Hadrian's temple ruins at Ephesus in Turkey.
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2. Design your own shore excursions.

Sure, booking your shore excursions through the line is fast and easy, but if you book onshore activities through independent guides, you can save as much as 50 percent off your cruise line’s prices. One caveat: You lose out on the guarantee that the ship waits for you if the tour is late in returning you to the pier.

Sure, booking your shore excursions through the line is fast and easy, but if you book onshore activities through independent guides, you can save as much as 50 percent off your cruise line’s prices. One caveat: You lose out on the guarantee that the ship waits for you if the tour is late in returning you to the pier.

Senses Spa & Salon on the Disney Dream
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3. Choose spa treatment times carefully.

Want to have your spa treatment, and save money too? Treat yourself when the ship is in port. Spa treatments are drastically discounted then, since most passengers opt to leave the ship and massages and facials are less in demand.

Want to have your spa treatment, and save money too? Treat yourself when the ship is in port. Spa treatments are drastically discounted then, since most passengers opt to leave the ship and massages and facials are less in demand.

Mahogany Black Cod at 150 Central Park on Oasis of the Seas.
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4. Sign up for loyalty clubs.

Consider becoming loyal to one line, especially if you think you'll be cruising consistently over the years. Frequent cruisers get perks, including in-cabin bottled water and VIP cocktail parties as well as coupons for free drinks, specialty dinners, and discounts on spa treatments.

Consider becoming loyal to one line, especially if you think you'll be cruising consistently over the years. Frequent cruisers get perks, including in-cabin bottled water and VIP cocktail parties as well as coupons for free drinks, specialty dinners, and discounts on spa treatments.

150 Central Park on Oasis of the Seas
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5. Reserve specialty dining tables at the right times.

Sometimes, lines offer deals on meals at times when they expect the specialty dining rooms won't fill up. Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises, for example, offer discounts on the first night, when many guests are just getting settled.

 

Sometimes, lines offer deals on meals at times when they expect the specialty dining rooms won't fill up. Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises, for example, offer discounts on the first night, when many guests are just getting settled.

 

Next Cruise on Royal Caribbean International
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6. Book your next trip while you’re still on board.

Plan your next cruise during your current cruise and you'll get extra savings as well as the assistance of someone who knows the line — and the cabin choices — well.

Plan your next cruise during your current cruise and you'll get extra savings as well as the assistance of someone who knows the line — and the cabin choices — well.

Beer
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7. Price out packages.

Is vacation a time to let loose for you? If so, then alcohol packages may help you stick to your budget and still have all the poolside cocktails and late-night beers you crave. Heavy soda drinkers will find soft-drink packages save them money, too. Some lines also feature spa and specialty dining packages, so look into those if they fit your cruising style.

Is vacation a time to let loose for you? If so, then alcohol packages may help you stick to your budget and still have all the poolside cocktails and late-night beers you crave. Heavy soda drinkers will find soft-drink packages save them money, too. Some lines also feature spa and specialty dining packages, so look into those if they fit your cruising style.

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