EchelonTravels

Luxurious and Affordable Travel Destinations

Luxury Cruising for Less!

Posted by JenW On May - 19 - 2009

I have to admit, I am spoiled. I have taken many cruises, and have decided that a balcony cabin on a luxurious ship is the only way to go. There is just something about gliding along the ocean, sitting on your private balcony, staring at the moonlight as it dances on the waves. These accommodations do cost more, but it is worth every penny.

One way I found to fit this into my travel budget, is by avoiding common hidden cruise “extras” that can add up pretty quick! Here are some helpful tips to save money while enjoying a luxury cruise.

Alcohol

Cruises are considered all-inclusive vacations, EXCEPT for alcohol. Having a glass of wine or a tropical drink (or two!) with each meal can be costly. However, you can indulge in the bartenders drink-of-the-day, usually offered at a lower price than most cocktails. Most major cruiselines will allow you to bring 2 bottles of wine or champagne onboard with you, but will charge you a ‘corkage fee’ if you want to drink it in the dining room. Before you embark, make sure you check out the ship’s alcohol policy.

Shore Excursions

When you reach your destination, you are going to want to explore your surroundings. Your cruise concierge will offer you a variety of options for fun activities, and they will suggest that you sign up before you get there. I am a definite believer in thinking ahead, but a little education and planning will lead you to a better experience and won’t cost as much, especially if you take advantage of a good discount tour planner. Just make sure your adventure fits into your schedule so you have enough time to get back on the ship.

Spa Treatments

Visiting the ships spa is one of my favorite activities, but beware of the upsell! You can take advantage of the daily specials that are advertised, but keep in mind the technicians are very skilled at convincing you that you need to purchase expensive beauty products. If you are prepared for this, you can politely decline when these products are offered.

Photos

Everywhere you go, ship photographers will be snapping their cameras in order to capture your cruise experience. It is very tempting to buy them all, but try to limit yourself to one or two. Bring enough film for your camera as well, purchasing photo supplies onboard will come with some steep upcharging.

Souvenir Shopping

Most luxurious cruise ships have malls for your shopping pleasure. As expected, anything you buy here will usually be marked up, so try to avoid impulse shopping. Your destinations will usually have a wide variety of shops where you can pick up some mementos from your trip. The only shopping onboard that I definitely recommend, would be the duty-free shop, which will offer great deals on many items, such as perfumes and top-shelf liquor.

If you don’t cave in to all the temptations being thrown your way while you sail, you will be able to get the most out of your cruise vacation. Cruising is very addictive and you will definitely want to try different exotic locations and adventures every time you set sail. For the best in cruise pricing and selection, I recommend the excellent specials and a 100% price guarantee offered by CruiseDirect.

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