Tips & Tricks To Save On Your Next Cruise

It used to be only the wealthy took cruises. There you were, relegated to miserly quarters in steerage, or set on top of the world in palacial state rooms of pure luxury. Think of the class structure in the movie ‘Titanic’.That’s changed (somewhat) in the new age of fierce competition for cruise dollars. But there are very important ways my fellow Paupers use to dramatically lower their costs and to upgrade their accommodations on oceanic cruises.

NEWSLETTERS

How about an upgrade? Better cabins, discounted certificates, 10-40% savings off advertised prices all offered by your cruise line through their respective newsletters.
I recommend you subscribe to the online newsletter from several cruise lines to get these bargain offers. They sometimes announce fantastic ‘sweepstakes’ for free cruises, too. You can always unsubscribe at anytime.

EARLY BIRDS

The early bird still gets the cruise, just like with the airlines. If you’re good at long-range planning you can save mucho dinero. The earlier you book your cruise the more you save. Typically 10-40%. It’s funny, but on the converse side, last minute deals can also set you free to save much money. So, be early or really, really late and save.

CONNECTIONS

If you belong to an association, organization, if you have a wedding party, family reunion, belong to a church group or are planning a corporate outing you can get hefty group discounts. As always, don’t be afraid to ask! Here’s the idea: let’s say you and you significant other are planning a cruise to the Bahamas. Why not post your plans in the company, church or association newsletter or bullitin board, inviting others to join you. You’d be surprised how much of a discount you can arrange by inviting others along.

STAND BY!

Yes, it happens with cruise ships, too. Typically you’re notified three weeks prior to departure if there is space. Late notice like this means you get a nice discount fare.If you employ this strategy, it helps to be on a floating vacation schedule with your employer. If you’re self-employed, you’d be a fool not to use this trick. The more flexible your schedule the more money you save.

BONUS: Paupers Secret Confessions #14

The four ideas above are standard issue tricks of the trade.They work very well for booking a cruise. But what about an idea to save money once you’re already on board? Here is one you may not have considered before. One of the biggest expenses on a cruise ship are those delicious cocktails!Who doesn’t like to embibe a sparkling beverage of choice while soaking in the sun on deck? Buy liqour onshore or at the cruise line liquor store. Drink in your room or poolside. Get a steward to bring ice and mixers. Our Pauper hates to spend $10. for a glass of wine. If you add up the price of a drink or two for two people over a 7-day cruise—ouch!