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Old March 2nd, 2011, 10:13 PM
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Hello all! Pursuant to the topic of my other thread about gas prices rising and considering driving to the port versus flying, here's what I'm interested in discussing: Having just checked the prices of the flights I was using to estimate my total expenses and found them to have increased significantly, I am thinking, "Ok, what can we do without on the trip? What do we have to give up to cover the rise in airfare?"

So what is the first thing to go when you decide you'll have to reign in your cruise spending? What do you plan to cut out of your experience? For me, I'm thinking first of all, my spa treatments. (thermal suite and massage or relaxation accupuncture.) I've never gotten them on land, and there's no real reason for me to get them on the ship, except to just enjoy the being pampered and the "whole experience."

Second, would be formal night hairstyling services. I had wanted us to really dress up on formal night. Again, for the experience. We have few opportunities to "get fancy" as a family. I was planning on the girls and I getting our hair styled in a lovely updo for the evening. Adding that to the scratch-able list.

And that's pretty much it. I could skip the internet time I'd planned to use and I wouldn't miss that. I could skip my planned lunch at Giovanni's and taking the kids to the Samba Grill, which was my only planned 'upcharge venue' for the whole family. Not knowing what kinds of souveniers are available or how much they cost on average, I'm not willing to drastically reduce the amount I've budgeted for that. I want the kids to come away with something besides memories and a sunburn!

And I could possibly plan to not have as many 'Mama drinks' as I wanted, but that will be the last bastion!! (I know, I have priority problems, huh?)


So. What's the first thing all of you cut out when you find your budget threatened??
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 10:52 PM
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Be prepared for your jaw to drop when you see the salon prices, especially for an updo...The prices are just much higher at sea
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 11:01 PM
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Yeah, unfortunately, that's why I figured they'd be among the first to go. Frivolities, you know. I just know how un-talented the girls and I are at fixing our hair. None of us are what you'd normally call high-maintenance! So I thought if we could afford it, it would be nice to have them done. But... probably not.

ETA: But what are we talking about, anyway? $60pp? $75?
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 11:44 PM
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The only things I ever spend money on are post cards and tee shirts .
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 06:55 AM
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Why cut anything you really want to do? If you drive, which is most logical, the price of gas will not break someone's wallet to the point of desperation. One hairdo less will offset the gas price. As stated previously in a post, any service on a ship is soooo much more expensive than at home.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 08:29 AM
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We never cut anything for the cruise. We cut before the cruise, don't eat out as much, spend less on groceries, make a night out a night in, ect, ect.

Vacations are supposed to be fun and if you have to watch every nickel and dime then somehow, it just doesn't seem as much fun.

happy sailing
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 09:51 AM
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i have a cruise savings account just for the little extras, direct deposit right out of my paycheck, you have a year to save at $10.00 per week thats $520.00 in a years time. This is also a great way to teach your kids how to save, if they have an allowance, if the girls work, have them set aside some extra $$ that will be all theirs to spend on the cruise at they wish, but when its gone thats it, no more money from mom.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaK View Post
i have a cruise savings account just for the little extras, direct deposit right out of my paycheck, you have a year to save at $10.00 per week thats $520.00 in a years time. This is also a great way to teach your kids how to save, if they have an allowance, if the girls work, have them set aside some extra $$ that will be all theirs to spend on the cruise at they wish, but when its gone thats it, no more money from mom.
True. So much is "handed" to them if they so much as whine, they are clueless to money. If they see it go before their eyes, often they decide they don't really want it.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 10:08 AM
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I guess I view the whole thing differently than most people.

I would rather enjoy life all year long, then go without only to live it up for one week.

Like others, I work really hard for my money, so in general, I don't like to throw it away. i'm a value based spender. If I can't see "value" in something, I won't waste my money on it. totally, subjective I know.

I have been known to take a massage on a cruise ship; generally on the first day, to increase my state of relaxation for the cruise. I see value in that. But, I will take the most basic of massages, and not splurge double for some shi-shi massage, just because I'm on holidays. A tip .... if you go to the "spa talks" that you will see advertised in the daily planners .... you will often have access to coupons or specials to save money on spa services. Drop by the spa the first day to see what sail-away specials they have .... and then go to the spa talks. They sometimes have auctions where you can bid on spa services.


For us, we spend very little on a cruise; other than gambling. We enjoy playing blackjack, and for us its like buying entertainment. We don't run up big bar bills, and we don't use the speciality restaurants. I'd sooner "waste" $100 at the tables than spend $100 in a specialty restaurant.

to each his own.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 10:14 AM
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Thanks, Lisa, that's a good tip. The girls don't work yet, but I think as soon as one of them gets her license, she will at least find a paying job. She's an intern right now, getting paid in lessons, but I think soon she'll want to find something that actually pays.

I've been trying to save $20 out of every paycheck or child support deposit that I get, and I've estimated that at $100/month X 13 months (the last three months before the cruise, savings will go toward clothes!) So that's a pretty good chunk.

You know what? I'm fine. I just created a spreadsheet, increased what I had estimated on air, included baggage fees, DIDN'T take off the Samba Grill, Giovannis, internet time, or part of the spa treatment, DID ditch the hairdos, and even with a $500 cushion for wiggle room, I'm still at $6500. I've already put X on the cruise itself, I'll be saving that monthly amount to total $1300, I've got my ex-husband's tax return coming in the fall, from which I'll take X, and the final X will come from my tax return next year in Feb. or March. All in all, we're still all good, and I need to quit obsessing!

Sorry. Thanks for bearing with me.

ETA: Hey, Queen- you replied while I was in the middle of my post. I get what you're saying. Everybody cruises differently. Thanks for the response!
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Last edited by OklaCruiserMom; March 3rd, 2011 at 10:19 AM.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 11:24 AM
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I also think massage prices have gotten out of hand - and salon. I would not pay or buy anything special for a formal night on a mainstrem cruise ship anymore (unless it has other uses) because they just are not that formal anymore.

But as someone said - how about cutting back before you get to the ship.

You will not get a meal like Sambas on land for as little as $20 per person. So skip the fine dining at home a few times before the cruise.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 11:56 AM
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I think you are cutting out more $ than we spent on our last cruise Different strokes.

You can save on excursions by doing your homework before hand and booking privately with reputable companies.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaK View Post
i have a cruise savings account just for the little extras, direct deposit right out of my paycheck, you have a year to save at $10.00 per week thats $520.00 in a years time. This is also a great way to teach your kids how to save, if they have an allowance, if the girls work, have them set aside some extra $$ that will be all theirs to spend on the cruise at they wish, but when its gone thats it, no more money from mom.
LisaK - you are so right.

Annie
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 12:26 PM
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We never cut anything for the cruise. We cut before the cruise, don't eat out as much, spend less on groceries, make a night out a night in, ect, ect.

Vacations are supposed to be fun and if you have to watch every nickel and dime then somehow, it just doesn't seem as much fun.
Exactly the way we feel. Sadly, we are not rich so we can't live as if we are all year. BUT for that short time that we are traveling we can "play rich"!! We are not cutting anything from our cruise budgets, we will just cut back a bit the rest of the year.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 07:14 PM
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I don't know what your itinerary is....but if you include a beach, such as the all inclusive in Cozumel, then one can normally get a really good massage right there on the beach for about half the cost of a ship massage.

I agree about doing your own thing in the ports. Most ports are pretty safe and a taxi to the beach or shopping is much cheaper then doing a equal type excursion from the ship.

If you were to drive.....get a hotel that lets you park your car there for the cruise and shuttles you to the cruise port. Even with the hotel cost you save around $100.00 in port parking fee's.

hope these help
Tim
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Old March 4th, 2011, 01:13 AM
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Lol. Paul, fine dining at home? Not unless you count Sonic and Subway, but we could cut back on these!

Truck- We're going Eastern Carribean- St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Nassau.
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Old March 4th, 2011, 04:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OklaCruiserMom View Post
Lol. Paul, fine dining at home? Not unless you count Sonic and Subway, but we could cut back on these!

Truck- We're going Eastern Carribean- St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Nassau.
Ive been to all 3 ports your gonna hit. All are fine for doing your own thing there. Taxi's can be had much cheaper then the ship shore excursions, there is even private tour operators right at the dock in St. Thomas and St. Maartin.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 11:45 PM
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Hi again. Just thought I'd use this thread to say that I'm going to take a small hiatus from the boards for a while. I've been over at "The Other" board too, (never know if it's ok to mention it, like if there's any animosity between boards like there was on my figure skating boards) and I found I was just obsessing over things about the ship and the cruise when it is seriously 15 months away! I have to focus on real life stuff and get things done around the house. If anyone wants to keep in touch until I get closer to my cruise date and start driving people crazy again posting a million questions, my email is ldrd580 at yahoo dotcom. And of course, my beloved blog, linked in my signature below. Love new friends, so drop me a line. I'll be back when I get my house and some other stuff under control!

Affectionately,
D.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 10:57 AM
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OklaCruiserMom, we will miss you, just pop in every now and then just to say hi if you want
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Old March 8th, 2011, 11:22 AM
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Like that old line from the Godfather...just when you think you're out,,they pull you back in.we'll see you soon.
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