But I do agree with one comentor about enjoying the experience. We will wait for fall to book a return cruise very exciting!! Travelzoo is another site to find cheap cruises and Vacations To Go was our go-to site for our previous cruises. Three days of basically transporting yourself on a floating spa.
And cheaper than any flight. I found it on VacationsToGo — great site! Great Article! I read somewhere that cruise companies basically break even when they have an almost full boat, so they really make all of their money off of excursions, drinks and all the non-free add-ons. We took a cruise several years ago and spent almost nothing on board, went on two excursions, and honestly came out really happy with the cruising experience.
We did plan one day where we found a taxi driver to take us to a beach and we called him to pick us up a few hours later.
Nice post Matt. I totally agree that cruises are relaxing and not really traveling. However, you made me rethink cruises as a way to actually just RELAX and not worry about what mountain to climb, what crazy beach I need to go to, and how to get to the next city. I can just chill and let the boat take care of everything. I love cruising!
If you like the spa, and I do, most treatments are usually MUCH cheaper during the days you are at port vs the days you are at sea.
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Everybody is off the ship, so they lower the prices in the spa or have good package deals to entice you to stay on board. I think this is true for most other things on the ship too, they have better deals while they are in port. I firmly say that if you have to budget THIS tightly, you cannot afford to go. And the statement that smaller ships are less expensive is a totally false generalization. Save up, and purchase the best cabin you can afford for your first cruise.
Plus, find a travel agent you trust and is willing to work with you. If you are young and looking for night life, you will find Holland America a snooze fest. Are these fares per person or per cabin? Are there websites where people can get together to share a double room on a ship? Thanks for the great post. This is perfect timing for me, as I may have to leave North America this summer and will be heading to Europe.
I can travel cheap, and would certainly be washing my own clothes and only drinking water. However, I will have to eat at some point. How possible is it to eat really cheap while on the cruise? If possible, I would just take on a huge box of oatmeal and supplement with fruit and veg where possible. If this is the case, it will be cheaper to fly.
Food is free on cruises! I ate very well on my cruise! Also, cabin prices can fluctuate significantly from day to day. And back up the next day, alas. Who knows!
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Great post Matt! Wish I would have found this a couple of weeks ago! I just returned from the sister ship of the Oasis —- the Allure of the Seas with the Western Caribbean cruise. But I did save a bundle on booze! I found someone on ebay selling new Nexus bottles. Matt, we used almost all your advise in this article and saved a ton of money.
Only a few differences were, we bought good boxed wine and took it out of the box and folded them it our cloths, then when we would stop at ports we bought more wine and put it in our travel water container then walked right on the ship with no questions. We also booked 3 months in advance and when the prices drop, I called the RC and they dropped my price too. We also spent 80 days in Paris and there again we saved thousand of dollars with your free things to do in Paris.
We went to 20 free concerts, included the France Independence day celebration. We rode bikes almost everywhere and we eat and drank mostly at our wonderful apartment or picnicked at any of the wonderful parks, along the rivers and anywhere that we could set and watch life go bye.
Basically we lived like the French. Things we did different is we danced quite a bit in different place in town we are ballroom dancer And we Geocached. A great way to get around town and search for treasures. Most of the time the caches are located in a place with a great view or something interesting to learn about.
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Thanks for all the great advice, we are so glad we came across your books and blog. We look forward to all we can learn from you. That is really great to hear! Thanks for writing!
You could even go a few steps further and ask for all your daily tips to be re-credited to your account ships charge a day rate to all passengers for the tips for the dinning staff. But why?? This is how people make a living. They NEED people to spend money on the very things you are telling people not to spend it on.
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Ships will not be around if they operate in the negative. Anyway, thanks for letting me rant on your blog. Security check in on cruise ships will tag any booze you try to bring in and store it for the duration of the cruise. I booked a cruise and got both for a cabin upgrade. Atlantic Coast U. Pacific Coast U. River World. Bahamas From Miami, Florida, Sep 14th Bahamas From Miami, Florida, Oct 4th Europe - Northern From St.
Petersburg, Russia, Aug 22nd Need help planning the perfect cruise? Submit an Inquiry. Phone Number. When are you looking to book? Set your budget before you start looking. Once you investigate an offer, and after you're excited about the trip, you may find that it is not within your budget. This is one area where you should not compromise. Don't forget that unless the cruise is leaving from your area, you will have to purchase airfare as well.
Unfortunately, last-minute flights are nowhere near as cheap as last-minute cruises, so look for a cruise that departs from a city to which you can travel cheaply. Find your port. If there is a major cruise port near you, plan to depart from there and look for cruises accordingly. It's ideal if you have a friend in town who can be relied on for accommodation before or after your cruise, and for a lift to and from the departure point.
If you don't, now is the time to find the hotel where you plan to stay once you find your bargain. Pack your bag.
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Keeping your ideal travel itinerary in mind, pack most of what you will need and leave it alone. Leave only personal items such as your toothbrush, and essentials like medication, for just before you leave the house. Join an online community. There are many online communities dedicated to going on cruises as a lifestyle. They offer reviews of ships and cruise lines, advice from seasoned travelers, tips, packing lists and discussion forums.