3 super-easy ways to save money on a cruise

Aug 30, 2018

If you’re setting sail on a cruise soon and it’s either (a) your first or (b) not your first, but you haven’t quite worked out all the tricks and hacks to save money, never fear. There are lots of things you can do to help offset extra costs – here are just three:

Pack laundry detergent

Okay, just to be clear, we’re not advocating packing a two-litre tub of laundry liquid! But a fewsample-sized packages of detergent should definitely find their way into your luggage – this is especially true if you’re going on a long cruise and will be wearing clothes more than once, or if you’re just keen to pack light and will therefore need to wash things before wearing them again. You’ll save money by being able to do hand-washing in your cabin bathroom, rather than using the onboard laundry services. Which has the potential to add to your bill significantly. For laundry.

Side note: Travel irons are banned on many cruise lines, and paying for your clothes to be ironed on board is definitely not the way to save money. The answer? Pack a bottle of wrinkle remover. The result might not be perfect, but if you also take care to pack clothes made of fabrics that don’t tend to crease as much (think microfibres, rather than linen), you’ll still look very presentable as you explore all those exotic foreign – or fab local – ports.

Read more: Real 60-pluses reveal: ‘I’ve been on 83 cruises’

Book your own excursions

Part of the joy of a cruise is being able to visit multiple destinations – and then getting out and doing incredible things in those destinations. In most cases, however, the cost of shore excursions is not included in your cruise fare – and they can be expensive (particularly if you want to do a few).

The way to avoid these costs? Book excursions yourself. A bit of research before you go, and you should be able to determine what sort of things are on offer, which of them you’d like to experience, and even find recommendations for the best local tours or private guides. You won’t pay a mark-up to the cruise line for booking their tours – but of course you’ll have to spend a bit of time online prior to setting sail.

Think about drinks

Check to see if your cruise offers an inclusive drinks package. If so, be sure to book it in advance of your trip, so you can save money (and hopefully skip some queues too!). Also, check what (if anything) your cruise line allows you to bring on board, when it comes to beverages. Even if alcohol is a no-no, if you’re allowed to bring any soft drinks or other tipples that you’d otherwise have to pay for at a bar or restaurant, you could save yourself a nice little chunk of cash.

Read more: New around-the-world cruise visits 56 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

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What are some things you've discovered on a cruise to help save money?

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