15 Tips to Save $$ on Your Next Cruise

Jul 22, 2023

15 Tips to Save $$ on Your Next Cruise


Hello! Welcome back to Byte Size Cruises, coming to you today with 15 tips to help you save some money on your next cruise. Let’s get into it.


  1. Be flexible on your cruising date. Remember, cruises are more expensive when kids are out of school. If you are bringing your kids and you have the ability to pull them out of school or you’re not bringing kids at all, choose a time frame during the school year to find a cheaper rate. 
  2. Book as far out as you can! A lot of people think that you get the best rates by booking last minute but the reality is that is just not true. You find the best deals when you book early and the difference is thousands of dollars, so if you can definitely look to lock in your cruise a year or two in advance. 
  3. Leave during the week. Most cruises leave on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, but if you’re able to leave midweek it can save you some cash because a lot of people aren’t able to do that.
  4. Drink Packages. How do you know if a drink package is right for you? Different cruise lines include different things and each has several options, so do some investigation. If you are potentially going to get a drink package, really ask yourself; how much will you use it? On a week-long Carnival cruise, where the drink package is $700, you’ll have to drink between 6 and 10 drinks per day just to break even. There is also something to be said for convenience. If you have the extra cash and you just don’t want to worry about it while you’re on vacation, maybe this is worth it for you, but it won’t then be about saving money. 
  5. Brink some wine. Most cruise lines will let you bring 1 or 2 bottles of wine with you on the ship. You might still be charged a corkage fee, but it will be far less than purchasing a full bottle on the ship. Remember to bring a plastic corkscrew with you (not metal.)
  6. Bring ziplock bags for snacks. This is a great tip if you are cruising with kids or you are an adult who snacks a lot throughout the day. When you go to the buffet or snack bar, bring the ziplock bags with you and grab a snack for later on in the afternoon or evening. Some cruise ships close up the all-included snack bar overnight, and if you’re an early bird or a night owl, or if you just have young kids and don’t want to leave the cabin, this will save you some cash. 
  7. Don’t buy the photo package! If you’re celebrating a special event, such as an anniversary or birthday, absolutely gather your family for one professional photo. Other than that, to save money, don’t invest in the photo package. 
  8. Buy souvenirs in port OR when they have a sale on the ship. There will be certain days they will have sales at the shops on the ship or just wait until port and then get off the ship to purchase items. Buying at full retail on the ship is the most costly option. 
  9. Say NO to specialty dining. So, we love specialty dining here at Byte Size Crusies, however we are talking about saving money. If you do want to splurge on specialty dining, try these specialty restaurants for lunch vs. for dinner. Often the lunch price is up to half off of what the dinner price would be. 
  10. Look for Park and Cruise packages. We always recommend flying or driving to your departure city the day before to make sure you don’t miss your cruising departure time. If you drive to your departure city, often the hotel you stay at overnight before your cruise will allow you to leave your car in their parking area for the week while you are away and it will be far cheaper than parking at the port. 
  11. Use the internet at port. If you can wait, wait until port to use the internet and bypass the cost of an internet package on the ship. Often the internet in port at cafes or restaurants will be free to use and save you money on your cruise. 
  12. Drink in port. If you can wait for a drink, wait until you exit the ship at port to purchase beverages rather than on the ship. The drinks at port will be far more affordable than on the ship and will save you both overall and on a drink package on your cruise. A lot of times you can find an excursion that will include a few free drinks in the cost of the adventure, such as a rum tour or a brewery tour. 
  13. Eat on the ship while at port. A great way to save money is to eat breakfast before you get off the ship at port as that meal is included in the cost of your cruise. Also, maybe use those ziplock baggies to pack a few snacks to take with you while you’re touring the port. Remember, you can take food off the ship but you will not be allowed to bring food back on to the ship with you, so if you are going to purchase food at port make sure to eat it before returning. 
  14. Do a Repositioning Cruise. This is when a ship is simply moving from one location to another vs. stopping at a bunch of ports. For example, a ship may have finished a European tour and now needs to travel across the Atlantic to dock at Miami. This cruise will be far more affordable than a traditional cruise and still a great experience. 
  15. Buy supplies in port! If you forget something and you can afford to wait, do not buy it on the ship. Wait until port and buy it there. Simple items such as advil, bandaids, shaving supplies etc. will be very expensive on the ship. 


That is our list of 15 tips to SAVE $$ on your next cruise! All in all, do your research and we highly recommend talking with a travel agent to help craft the best cruising experience for you and your wallet. Do you have any tips to save money on a cruise? Subscribe and comment below! We would love to hear from you.


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