Cruising is our preferable way to vacation. We love the convenience of unpacking once, having multiple venues to eat, free entertainment, and many ports to visit. But we’ve learned there are more costs to cruising than just the cruise/airfare. Even the “all-inclusive” lines sneak in extras. Since we have taken quite a few cruises since 2016, we have figured out what is worth the extra cost and what is not.
And, in the spirit of my 2022 No/Low Spend Year, we have decided to cut out
some most of the ‘extras’ and save a bunch of money.
Pre-Cruise (at home):
- Manicure/Pedicure/Waxing: Usually I would treat myself to a gel manicure and a spa pedicure before the trip, as well as a brow/lip wax. Instead, I’ve decided to give myself a spa day at home and save the time and money at a salon. I have all of the tools to do so. I will bring touch up nail polish on my trip. Savings: $150.00 – $200.00
- Dog sitting: Original plan was to hire a dog sitter. Instead my daughter graciously offered to take care of him (which hopefully will always be the plan!) Savings: $400.00
We chose a less expensive hotel this time that included a few extra perks: Free shuttles, free happy hour, free breakfast. (You would be shocked to see how much two eggs over easy and toast cost at hotels in Ft. Lauderdale!) Savings: $100.00
- No alcoholic drinks. For this cruise, all drinks are included. One might argue that we already paid for the drinks. However, we booked this cruise over a year ago, and prices were a lot lower. We are figuring we have saved at least $150 – $200 on drink costs.
- No specialty dining. Most cruise ships have specialty restaurants that offer different food fare – Hibachi, Italian, and steak houses to name a few. We have always taken advantage of trying one or two out on a trip. This time we will not. There are more than enough food venues already included, so we will not be paying extra for dining out. Savings: $200.00 – $300.00
- No shopping. Even though the $10 sale will entice
usme, we will not buy a thing. Savings: $10 – $100.00
- No gambling. Ah, the excitement of the casino. We often played the slots ‘in our downtime’ between dinner and a show. However, we won’t be contributing to the cruiseship’s bottomline by participating this time. Savings: $100.00
- No Excursions. We’ve been to all of the Caribbean islands on this itinerary so we won’t be taking any excursions. We do plan on getting off the ship and enjoying the public beaches for a couple of hours. At most, we will pay for chairs and an umbrella. Savings: $250.00 – $500.00
- No Port Shopping. With the exception of a possible t-shirt for my husband, we will not be purchasing anything on the islands. Savings: $100.00
Total savings: $1,460 – $2,000! Wow!
We will still have extra expenses — Uber rides, meals outside the cruise, and tipping. But saving almost $2,000 on stuff that won’t make or break our trip? Ahhmazing.