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One of the things I love about a cruise holiday is that there are so many possibilities and opportunities to experience so here are just some ways you can cut the costs and still have a great time.  Enjoying yourself need not mean breaking the bank.

One of the major expenses for many people is their drink bill at the end of a cruise.  You can make a big saving by watching out for when cruise lines offer a free drinks package to entice you to book.  If you take advantage of one of these offers it often will offer house beer, house spirits, selected cocktails or a cocktail of the day and house wine by the glass as well as soda fountain drinks.  On some cruise lines they will allow you to buy premium drinks and pay the difference between the amount for a house brand and the premium drink.  Other cruise lines may charge you the full premium drink price.  So if you are on a drinks package it is worth checking with the barman before you order.


Whilst on the subject of drinks packages if you are not on a cruise with a drinks package and have a family or don’t drink a lot of alcohol.  It may well be worth buying a soda package or a coffee card.  These often work out a fair bit cheaper than buying individual drinks.

One of the things you should always look for on embarkation day if you are having a celebration or you like going to the speciality dining is very often you will find the speciality dining venues will often offer a discount or a package deal if you book on embarkation day.  So if you want to dine in the speciality dining rooms it is best to book on your first day.  There usually are some great deals to be had.


If you choose to dine in the main dining room and you enjoy a glass of wine with your meal and you are not on a drinks package, my advice is to avoid buying wine by the glass even if you only want 1 or 2 glasses per meal.  It is cheaper to buy a bottle and at the end of the meal ask your wine waiter to recork it and you can have it brought to you at your next meal.


Sea days are often a time for the ubiquitous Art auction now these can often be a lot of fun especially if you like people watching or enjoy art.  Sometimes you will be treated to seeing some fabulous works by top artists and hear the stories behind them or about the artist and you will often be treated to a cocktail or a glass of sparkling wind free.  Sea days often are also a time for wine tasting and mixology workshops.  Sometimes cruise lines charge for these sessions and sometimes they have a charge for these sessions.


Spas, hairdressers and barbers often offer discounts and taster sessions of treatments and their services on port days.  These offers are often found in the daily news or on the cabin television. 

It is a good idea to do some homework on the destinations and the ports before you embark on your cruise or pre book your cruise.  There are some cruise ports of call that are easily explored independently on foot like Key West, Monaco and Liverpool.  It is also possible with some cruise lines to take advantage of a free or cheap shuttle bus to the nearest town for example in Marseille and Dublin where they will drop you at a convenient drop off / pick up point.  However it is important that you make a note of the last bus back and where the buses pick up point is and be there early.  Remember if miss your last bus back to the ship, the ship will not wait.

These are just a few ways you can be thrifty on your next cruise and still have a great time.  I hope these tips will help your money and on board credit go further.


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