How to Save Money on a Carnival Ship

by Sherri Eisenberg

How to Save Money on a Carnival Ship

by Sherri Eisenberg

Sure, being a smart shopper can get you a great rate on your cruise but, as any frequent cruiser can tell you, the biggest mistake many travelers make is not watching what they spend once they board. So how do you make sure you don't flush your savings away once you've set sail? Read on for our top tips!

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Carnival Inspiration / Carnival Cruise Line
Java Blue Café
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1. Get your coffee on the Lido Deck.

Sure, Carnival ships have the JavaBlue Café, which serves everything from hot lattes and espressos to iced coffee drinks and tea. But that's not your only option for coffee onboard. The Lido Restaurant, which is open 24 hours, serves coffee complimentary. They also have ice if you prefer yours chilled.

Sure, Carnival ships have the JavaBlue Café, which serves everything from hot lattes and espressos to iced coffee drinks and tea. But that's not your only option for coffee onboard. The Lido Restaurant, which is open 24 hours, serves coffee complimentary. They also have ice if you prefer yours chilled.

Buy wine by the bottle.
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2. Buy your wine by the bottle.

If you like your wine with dinner every night — and at lunch and in the evening, too — consider purchasing the "Cruise the Vineyard" package, which gives you four bottles of wine that you can consume anywhere onboard. Best of all, if you end up with an unopened bottle at the end, you can take it home with you.

If you like your wine with dinner every night — and at lunch and in the evening, too — consider purchasing the "Cruise the Vineyard" package, which gives you four bottles of wine that you can consume anywhere onboard. Best of all, if you end up with an unopened bottle at the end, you can take it home with you.

Cherry on Top
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3. Avoid Cherry On Top.

Carnival's candy and ice cream shop is tempting, but the line also serves house-made ice cream on the Lido Deck and, you guessed it, it's complimentary. There's also soft serve by the pool, too.

Carnival's candy and ice cream shop is tempting, but the line also serves house-made ice cream on the Lido Deck and, you guessed it, it's complimentary. There's also soft serve by the pool, too.

Burger and fries from Guy's Burger Joint
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4. Stick to specialty restaurants that don't come with a fee.

Pssst ... we're going to share a secret with you: Our two favorite places to eat on Carnival ships aren't the main dining room or the Lido Restaurant, but they also come complimentary. To us, there's no better indulgence on a sunny sea day than a burger and fries at Guy's Burger Joint or fried fish tacos — with all the fixins from the salsa bar — from BlueIguana. Neither of these two places charge for anything at all, and (in addition to being open for lunch every day) Blue Iguana also serves delicious breakfast burritos. 

Pssst ... we're going to share a secret with you: Our two favorite places to eat on Carnival ships aren't the main dining room or the Lido Restaurant, but they also come complimentary. To us, there's no better indulgence on a sunny sea day than a burger and fries at Guy's Burger Joint or fried fish tacos — with all the fixins from the salsa bar — from BlueIguana. Neither of these two places charge for anything at all, and (in addition to being open for lunch every day) Blue Iguana also serves delicious breakfast burritos. 

Horseback riding in Half Moon Cay
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5. Plan your own shore excursions.

Sure, you can do the easy thing and just sign up for a tour in each port. But these add up — especially if you're traveling, say, as a family of four. Consider grabbing a taxi to the beach instead in many Caribbean ports, or designing your own walking tour in European cities. 

Sure, you can do the easy thing and just sign up for a tour in each port. But these add up — especially if you're traveling, say, as a family of four. Consider grabbing a taxi to the beach instead in many Caribbean ports, or designing your own walking tour in European cities. 

Carnival Pride
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6. Stay away from the casino.

There's so much complimentary entertainment on Carnival ships — from comedians to revue-style stage shows and even movies — that you can be amused in a new way every night of your sailing  without spending a dime on slot machines or roulette.

There's so much complimentary entertainment on Carnival ships — from comedians to revue-style stage shows and even movies — that you can be amused in a new way every night of your sailing  without spending a dime on slot machines or roulette.

Save with a soda package
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7. Consider the soda package.

If you drink more than two fizzy drinks a day, you'll save money by planning ahead and buying the line's soda package, which gives you unlimited access to soft drinks across the ship.  

If you drink more than two fizzy drinks a day, you'll save money by planning ahead and buying the line's soda package, which gives you unlimited access to soft drinks across the ship.  

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