Thrifty Divas Cruising

Posted on February 23rd, 2012 by Discount Debbie

Have you ever been on a cruise? My family loves them and when done right, you can do them for cheap! Here are some tips from a fellow veteran cruiser.

1. Book off season. Even if you go in say October, you will get a HUGE discount compared to summer time and it’s just as fun. Most ships have heated pools and don’t forget the hot tubs! Some cruise lines will be as much as half off during the off season.

2. Buy a coke card or BYOB (Bring your own beverages). If you are a big soda drinker, buy the soda card. Ours cost around $25 and it was for unlimited drinks. Without it, I am positive my husband would have blown all our vacation money on coke. NOT. EVEN. JOKING. Some cruise lines will allow you to bring on soda and bottles of water. Make sure to check before you take it.

3. EAT EAT EAT. Ok maybe this isn’t a money saving tip, but most every food item on the ship is free even room service. Live it up guys and eat!

4. Skip the alcohol. Seriously if you can abstain this is the time. This is where the cruise lines make their money. If you can skip it, you will save so much money. Even if you wait until you are at a port, you will save tons of money.

5. Skip the professional photos. My husband and I went on our first cruise for our honeymoon and didn’t buy any of the professional pictures. But then we went with my whole family a year later and watched my mom spend close to $500 in pictures! Don’t do that! Instead have a friend take a picture of you in front of their snazzy backdrops. Most cruise lines have no problem with you doing that.

6. Skip the internet. You are on vacation right? DISCONNECT!!! We needed to get on for 2 minutes to check something and it cost us $10! Skip it, you don’t need it right?

7. Do your own shore excursion. The ship will immediately bombard you with shore excursions and they aren’t cheap. However, you can always do research before you go and book your own with a local company. My husband and I found one that used to be part of the cruise line’s excursions, but they had gone their separate way. We paid half of what other people were for a similar experience and it was awesome. Remember you are in a foreign country most of the time so be careful and double check the companies you are going with.



  1. Cat February 23, 2012

    Bring your own beach towel. Some ships charge you $25 per towel if you don’t return it/lose it.

    If you want to do a spa treatment – schedule it for a day when the ship is at port. Typically, the spa has great discounts on those days.

  2. Sarah February 23, 2012

    Great tips! Thanks for adding yours, Cat!

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