Cruises are so much fun! Getting the absolute best deal on a cruise makes it even better. There are many things you need to know before booking your cruise. I will introduce to you some of the best ways to ensure you get the best deal, how to prepare for the cruise, and what to expect all under your budget. Taking a cruise is one of the best ways to travel internationally on a tight budget so take advantage while you can.
There are many cruise lines to choose from. A good website to go to is cruises.com and enter your email in to receive emails on discounts for multiple cruise lines. It’s one of the easiest ways to compare prices. I personally prefer Carnival Cruise. It’s free to create an account and you will then be apart of the VIFP club. They will also send you emails on specials they have for the week. Planning a year ahead of time and planning a trip for the next week can both save you money on carnival cruise. Carnival Cruise also has many advantages when you cruise with them. Doing your research will always save you in the long run.
Prepare Your Budget
Some things to think about is how are you getting to the port? how much will it cost to park my vehicle/uber/taxi? how much money do I need to bring for spending? It’s nice to arrive a day early before the cruise just so you have no reason to miss boarding the ship. If you are parking your own car, I advise to look up where to park and pay ahead of time so any discounts will be applied. Other things to think about is will you be drinking any alcoholic beverages on board? Will you be shopping? Will you be participating in excursions at the ports?
Booking the Cruise
When booking your cruise, I found it was a great idea to go ahead and pay for gratuities ahead of time. If you are a drinker the drink package (CHEERS!) is for you but it is EXPENSIVE and everyone in the room with you has to get it as well. If you do decide to do the package, then you need to get it when you book the room to save about $5 a day. I suggest to just bring a bottle of wine on board with you (they allow one 750ml bottle per person). WiFi is an option on the ship, but it isn’t the best and it does cost. I personally would only get the WiFi if I absolutely needed it for work or something really important. Otherwise, I’m on a cruise to escape reality. When you book they do offer payment options which is very helpful when you are on a budget.
Time to Cruise
I suggest that you make a list of everything you want to bring on the cruise. I made a what to bring list below of some key things that really turned out to be helpful.Take advantage of all things on the cruise that are FREE. Carnival Cruise has an app that you can download on your phone and it will give you a list of events that are happening on the ship everyday. Excursions are nice at some ports so some people prefer to do those. I prefer to soak up the destination by exploring the place. My last cruise was to the Bahamas and it was so interesting just walking around and seeing the culture.
List for Cruise
*Carry on Bag
– Passport / Birth Certificate
– Reading Material
– Formal Attire (maybe for multiple nights)
– A jacket
– Comfortable shoes/sandals
– Binoculars are cool
Research is the most important thing when traveling. The first deal you find may not actually be the absolute best deal there is. Keep your budget out and list everything on it so there are no surprises at the end of your trip. ALWAYS take advantage of everything included in your cruise trip. As always, safe travels!