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Mike M July 28th, 2008 03:50 PM

Cruising to Bankruptcy
I was perusing some other boards (yes I do wander LOL ) and noticed some threads regarding how people choose and pay for their cruises.

The things I noticed were:

People have multiple cruises on their credit cards. Even cruises they have already taken.

People book cruises without telling their significant others, husbands or wives (wives do this more than husbands). They don't tell them until final payment so they can't cancel without penalty. This would be grounds for divorce in my house if either of us did this.

Certain people find that cruises are more important than home repairs or upgrades.

Others take out "loans" and use cars or motorcycles as collateral to go on cruises.

I could not understand the logic behind any of these things. I love cruising but not at the expense of "short term pleasure" over "long term debt/pain".

With anonymity of the Internet I wonder if anyone has done some of these things in order to cruise or know someone who has? Or could someone explain the reasoning behind this in a way that I could understand the logic behind it.

Take care,

blueliner July 28th, 2008 05:48 PM

I have put all my cruises on a credit card, but I pay them off before I cruise. On my latest cruise, I made my FP in late July, and since I'm getting 3 paychecks in August, I split the FP up into 3 easy payments and will pay the credit card 3 times in August and have it paid off by the end of August.

I did book this cruise without my wife's permission, but it was her Christmas present! If she had objected, I could've canceled the cruise without penalty.

thecruisequeen July 28th, 2008 06:56 PM

I too just made my final payment however did not get the bill yet but the money is sitting in the acount waiting for the bill. :twisted:

Putting a vacation on a credit card you can't pay right off to me is not right. Or also if you are struggling to make ends meet each month hold off on the vacation the money can be used for other important things.

misguidedangel July 28th, 2008 08:36 PM

I whent nowhere for 15 years because there was no money for anything but food, clothing (barely), and shelter. I now have the means and determined saving for my retirement is useless (unless I want to take 50% of my take home pay each year for the next 10 years to get caught up to where I should be at in RSP savings). I decided to take the money and pit in away for cruising.

My payments are made as soon as they show up on when I check online banking. The credit card companies only make money on me with purchase protection insurance (a few dollars a month). I always carry a zero balance month to month!

One woman I chatted with on the Triumph was on the 10 year plan for her university education and gladly charged and spent money she didn't have on a cruise. I would never do that...I can dream and look at pictures/videos as a reminder!

mehawk July 28th, 2008 09:15 PM

I pay mine off before I go.

Hub July 31st, 2008 06:55 PM

We've never booked one without a plan to pay for it!
You may notice that we've have to skip cruising the last 8 years :(
But now we're back on track!

ToddDH July 31st, 2008 07:33 PM


Most guys will tell you that their wives are the spendthrifts and they manage their family finances, especially those guys in macho professions similar to the one from which I'm retired. Is that really true?

I don't know but it sure ain't in my case. I have always freely admitted that I could be locked in a closet with a hundred dollar bill and when released from that closet eight hours later, I'd have maybe a nickel in my pocket and not be able to tell you where the other $99.95 went. I was the type of person when I was younger that spent money as if I printed my own. That was until I got married.

That is why the little lady handles our finances. If we can't readily afford it, it don't get bought. Period. All things considered, we've done admirably.

And yes, my "party hardy" days have been severely restricted for about thirty-six years. Of course today at my age, it doesn't make a whole lot of difference.

Maybe that's why Dave The Wave is my hero! GET OUT THERE Dave 'cause you too are gonna' get old some day!


seadog2 July 31st, 2008 10:52 PM

I make payments during the year. I pay with my RCI credit card so I can get the points. Soon as I make a payment with the card I make the same payment to the card. It's like paying with cash.

susierphillips August 1st, 2008 11:10 AM

I'd say you're looking at different lifestyles and choices here. All you have to do is pick up any Money Magazine and read about all the crazy things people do concerning finances.
I really don't get into it. I'm rich and I'm happy. Drumroll, please.

susierphillips August 1st, 2008 11:32 AM

just kidding. been working a long time to have fun like this! I make allowances for vacations.....

Paul Motter August 1st, 2008 09:36 PM

I have a close friend who made some horrible financial mistakes in her life. She essentially bet everything that her Los Angeles house would continue to go up in value and she always kept it mortgaged to the hilt, living off the equity.

I tried to warn her, I asked many times what her plan was to control her debt. Unfortunately, for many such people money is like an addiction, they lie about what they are doing and maintain their lifestyle even when they know they are hurting themselves.

Now the value of the house has dropped, they cut her home equity line of credit (HELOC), and he has nothing to live on.

Not only is she about to lose a house that once was completely paid off, she will walk away with nothing - no profit from a house that increased in value some 3000% while she owned it, and no nest egg.

Borrowing from your future to live today is not a plan, its a mistake. Its a gamble that doesn't pay off. Don't do it!

homeatlast August 2nd, 2008 05:17 PM

I don't think I would enjoy myself knowing I couldn't really afford the vacation I was taking. Like others that have posted, I tend to book way ahead of time and have most of it paid for before I even take the trip. Usually the only think I have to pay is the actually charges on the ship. The rest has already been taken care of.

colorcrazie August 3rd, 2008 01:53 PM

Same here. As much as I love cruising, I love having a roof over my head even more.

mountain dog August 4th, 2008 12:18 AM

I was gambling at a casino in Oregon one time and a couple next to me were dropping a small fortune in the one armed bandit. They were miserable and stressed to the max. They were dropping the last dollar they had from thier helox and stated they had to win the big one or it was over for them. I was pretty lucky but they went broke. I started noticing the people around me and there were not just a few who were depressed and addicted. I have only been on one cruise last august to alaska and paid with my starwoods cc. I paid it in full online before the due date and used the points for the hotel. The mistake I made was not just making the deposit for the cruise but paying the cruise in full well ahead of time. It worked out fine and I did not have to cancel which could have been tough or recieved a reduced rate if the cruise had been discounted. I think some people think that if they hadn't charged or financed every thing they have they would have nothing so what's a little interest....MD

jackieb August 4th, 2008 01:54 PM

I read an article last week that says even though we have a rough economy you should not give up your vacations, maybe cut down on the expense but still have your vacations, that you need this to get through the rest of the year at work. It helps relieve stress and gives you something to look forward to. But I agree you shouldn't go into debt to go on a cruise. Mine is paid off and I plan on having enough money for our excursions and expenses without charging.

Paul Motter August 4th, 2008 05:33 PM

The cruise industry knows that most people, especially Americans, will not sacrifice a vacation. We work too hard for them. We are one of the few industrialized nations where most people only take only two weeks off or less every year. I know many people these days who do not even take that much off.

For that reason most people will still spend for a vacation because they consider ot to be a necessity more so than a luxury.

I can agree with that, as long as it is in the budget.

fireba11 August 21st, 2008 05:36 PM

We always book with the cruise line and then make payments till it is paid off. It doesn't make sense to pay with a credit card when you can pay this way interest free. A person could actually book a cruise a couple years ahead and pay $25 per week till it is paid off if that is what it takes.

We save for retirement, probably not like we should, and make sure we vacation every year. I want to enjoy my money now while I am young and able and not chance something happening to me later on in life and not be able to enjoy retirement. We tell the kids all the time....Were spending your inheritance......Which is right, after all, we earned it!


1Pita August 21st, 2008 10:23 PM

I can see where it would be easy for someone to become a "cruising addict". It's kind-of like a gambling addict; a lot of people go gambling to "escape" their problems or depression (most of which are middle-aged women). If they gamble enough, the casino hosts will make them feel like they are very important by recognizing them & comping them for various things, like free meals/hotel rooms etc... I have a good friend that is a recovering gambling addict; she has not gambled in 7 years. She also can't go on a cruise if there's a casino on the ship.

If you think about it, the cruise lines typically do their best to treat all of the passengers like they are important, making cruising a great escape for people that maybe don't have the happiest of lives at home. I would imagine that it might be pretty depressing for people that go on a cruise that they can't afford to pay for, especially when they get home & have to face the bills etc...

Although I love going on cruises, I would never go on one that we couldn't afford to pay off before we sail. My husband pays for everything on our AMEX, then pays it off monthly. Everyone deserves a vacation & should take their time off, regardless of what they end up doing!!!

lhp August 23rd, 2008 08:46 PM

Unfortunately, some of those stories are probably true.

Personal responsibility does not seem to be very high on our society's list of "things to do" these days.

We are blessed. But we are also responsible with those blessings.

We have no debt. House, new cars, vacations are all paid for.
We live in a pretty affluent town, but live in a 30 year old house while everyone around us builds $500,000 - 1,000,000 monsters. (with the utilities bills to match)

We use credit cards for ALL purchases to get the points, but always pay the balance off in full every month. If we can't pay for it at the end of the month, we don't buy it.

We donate 12% of our gross income every year to various charities
and spend about the same amount cruising every year.

But we did not get here overnight. We are in our mid-50's (late 40's for hubby). Time and proper planning will do a lot to get someone their goal!

Sadly, my best friend is just like Paul's friend. She will never have a pot to cook in or a window to throw it out of....but she has a full collection of Louis Vuitton luggage (and all the purses).

sarapdot September 7th, 2008 01:36 PM

This is just crazy to me!!!! Don't get me wrong I've done my fair share of charging unnecessary items. :shock: However why charge an entire cruise when you can book in advance and pay it out? That's how I cruise. I book about a year in advance and then make payments. I work as much overtime as I can and this year I've even gotten a part time job to help. I usually use my income tax return for spending money and shore excursions.

I did charge my first cruise back in 2004. It was only $800 for the two of us. I paid it off with the next years income tax.

love2krooz September 7th, 2008 02:54 PM

As most of you wrote, our cruises are also paid in full before leaving. This whole credit card gambit is out of control, I see it daily being a business owner of an oil company. Too many people have no idea what a budget is nor how to even begin one! I have had it up to well, HERE with listening to all the sad sack stories and horrendous excuses as to why they didn't pay this or didn't pay that. Now, losing employment or when something unexpected occurs is a different story. I've extended credit to many at times that hit a rough time, and most of them or all of them deeply appreciated it.

And the sadest part is the fact that children learn from parents and if parents max out CC's and then say they are not responsible for paying it back, then sadly the children will do the same thing! It's a vicious cycle that has got to stop.

subtropic September 8th, 2008 11:24 PM

Yes you are all (or mostly) right. Because I don't want to jump in over my head financially for a cruise, I have not been to sea in over a year (and it's killing me !!) Tuition costs and the usual stuff have put the hammer down for now, but "I shall return" someday soon (I hope ).

tbowman September 16th, 2008 12:54 AM

I save.
For this cruise, I will be paying my deposit plus half the cost and then over the next year I will be making payments to the cruise lines fro the remainder. At the same time I will be saving the same amount (equal to the cost of the cruise) for spending money.

I dont take cruises very often. I have only been on one and we booked it last minute. With my military discount I paid a whopping $250 for my share of the cabin, gratuties, ect. I then had about $500 to spend for my sail and sign plus another $500 for shore purchases.

Hobiecat01 September 18th, 2008 09:16 AM

I always use my RCCL credit card to book and pay for our cruises. BUT... I always pay them off as we go. One trick we found is to save all of the change in your pocket from the point you decide to go on the cruise until you leave. You will be AMAZED at the amount if money you will collect just from your daily change! We normally amass enough money to either pay for or put a huge dent in your on-board chanrges for the week. But remember, buy using the RCCL CC, we gain points that can be used for future cruises and on-board charges.

dina September 18th, 2008 01:32 PM

I make payments on my CC for my cruises and pay it off at the end of the month when my bill is due. I don't pay any interest. I save money in my 401k as well as mutual funds. I have enough left over to afford my living expenses, trips and cruises. :wink:

Paul Motter September 21st, 2008 04:48 PM


I really, really applaud you for facing the truth about your debt crisis.

I have a close relative who is 63 and over $1,000,000 in debt. I'll bet yours doesn't even come close!

And her problem is that she cannot admit she has a problem. We have tried to help her for years, and all she does is accuse us of meddling and even harassment! It is the most frustrating thing I have ever encountered.

You are 27. We all know how the credit card companies target young people these days, often getting your overly committed to debt before you are even old enough to have a full-time job.

I truly believe you will recover because you are now self-aware. You will manage your debt and move on.

The best thing you can do is spend a few years concentrating on making money and paying down your debt. Then it will not be such a financial burden. (maybe I shouldn't dispense advice so freely, I don't know your situation) But in any case - I support and applaud your efforts.

2Littletime September 27th, 2008 04:18 PM

Normally we budget carefully to be able to take our vacations and pay them off in full long before we cruise and the money was not needed to pay for necessities. However, we still have a mortgage on our home (less than 8% of the original mortgage remaining) and although we know that the money could or maybe even should be put on paying that mortgage off we have also determined that because you never know when today is your last day we live for this moment. We are frugal in many areas, choosing to drive our vehicles until they die and not eating out but we do splurge on vacations. Both of our fathers died before they were 45 and both of us remember times when they said "when I retire or when we pay off such and such, or when we've saved for retirement or when we have a nest egg". We don't want this to be us there are no guarantees in life but the priceless memories I am making with my family now are the best nest egg that I can ever imagine owning. The return on this investment has been beyond any of my wildest expectations.
Someone else made the point that vacations are not always a luxury but sometimes a necessity. My vacation has saved me from doing bodily harm to my staff. My vacation has kept me from divorcing my husband over the numerous times that he didn't do his part of the housework. Vacation is a necessity, not a luxury in my house : ) My staff, spouse and children all agree.

brad813 September 27th, 2008 08:46 PM

my thoughts on the subject
I am currently in procees of planning at least 2 cruises, 3 if I can afford it, in the next year. I am going to be doing a 7 day in March, plus definitely a 3 or 4 day in August, and maybe a short one this December as well if I can swing it. I am certain I can afford 2 of them, maybe the 3rd if my budget allows. Even though I will likely apply for a secured credit card to put the onboard expenses on, it is mainly due to the fact I only have a prepaid debit card that I am uncertain if it will work or now. Better to be safe than sorry I think. I am, however, making sure the money is there in advance. I have made some bad financial mistakes in the past and I am unwilling to put my finances at further risk. Being that I am also working on opening a travel agency specializing in cruises, I have the fortune to be able to also use this as a business trip and thus have a potential tax write-off. I did notice someone mentioned that it can be similar to a gambling addiction. I think a gambling addict should never be allowed to go on a line with a casino, as that would be a double whammy for them. I feel that in order to do my job correctly and inform clients about each line I need to go on each line at least once so that I can give a personal recommendation from experience.

hombre September 28th, 2008 10:53 AM

i LOVE cruising, and will be on my 29th in november on maasdam for a 14-day carib. i have just retired as an ex-college prof and, for over 6 years as a priest. i don't have lots of income,, and really never had. HOWEVER, i've never taken a cruise which wasn't planned and paid for in advance; and i always charge it and pay off the card each month. who would want to go to a party, have a great time, and then wake up to the 'hangover' of paying for it later -- it's over.
it always amazes me how people can gripe about 'hidden charges' or whatever on a cruise but think nothing about paying exhorbitant interest rates to a cc. save the interest; put the funds into fun!!! hombre

richstacy September 28th, 2008 09:09 PM

Excellent thinking hombre! But credit card companies make it too easy for many Americans who lack your discipline to run up astronomical credit car bills and spend a large part of their income on interest! Not smart!

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