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Old January 31st, 2012, 01:51 PM
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Default Give me ideas for saving on Onboard Charges

For an article I am researching - what tips do you have for saving money onboard a cruise?

Anything from ordering a drink package to making sandwiches in the buffet for your shore excursion.

If you feel Spa prices are ridiculous say so here... (I do)

How do you save money in onboard charges?
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Old January 31st, 2012, 03:49 PM
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We have got a spa pass for one & both sneaked in...but I doubt if this is what you mean!! :-))
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Old January 31st, 2012, 04:22 PM
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We don't gamble but appreciate those who do and keep our cruise prices low
We generally skip the photo gallery.
Usually bring a couple bottles of vino for enjoyment as we watch the waves pass by.
I usually put my coke fix on hold or get it met on land, and the DW satisfies herself with the coffee on the lido instead of the fru fru stuff in the Cafe
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Old January 31st, 2012, 04:34 PM
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I think bringing a thermos coffee mug is a great idea - yet I have never done it.

I also agree on avaoiding the casino - I have not "won" on a cruise ship in years.

More money-saving tips, please!
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Old January 31st, 2012, 04:35 PM
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Default JTD - You surprise me

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Originally Posted by johnthed0g View Post
We have got a spa pass for one & both sneaked in...but I doubt if this is what you mean!! :-))
In fact not surprised, shocked !

For someone who is such a stickler, - yet you swindle the cruise line?

I am lost for words.

I cannot condone it.

Annie

PS Would you condone a young person doing something similar?
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Old January 31st, 2012, 04:37 PM
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I try to eat all of my meals on the ship rather than on land.
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Old January 31st, 2012, 04:44 PM
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Default We think alike

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Originally Posted by green_rd View Post
We don't gamble but appreciate those who do and keep our cruise prices low
We generally skip the photo gallery.
Usually bring a couple bottles of vino for enjoyment as we watch the waves pass by.
I usually put my coke fix on hold or get it met on land, and the DW satisfies herself with the coffee on the lido instead of the fru fru stuff in the Cafe
Ditto on casino and photo gallery. Same goes for the vino too.

My coke fix is declining - and I mix hot chocolate and coffee together to make a mocha - just about drinkable; otherwise it is one of the few occasions I drink tea.

I have never had an issue with water quality - so no bottled water for me.

I avoid all the 'sale' events in the shops - largely cr$p - if you get my drift.

Take small medic box - so I am not splurging out for painkillers etc - touch wood - never had to use it.

Find an internet cafe ashore - so I don't use the expensive facilities on board.

For group photographs, use a friend or chum.

Bring some travelwash - saves on laundry bills.

I have never made up a packed lunch but the Germans are brilliant at it - huge operation.

Still thinking

Annie
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Old January 31st, 2012, 04:48 PM
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Default Cocktails of the Day

I don't drink a lot - so usually drink cocktail of the day if I want one; I have never found Dubonnet on board - so I generally stick to Prosecco.

Annie
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Old January 31st, 2012, 05:01 PM
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Default Hedge Currency

Buy OBC in advance if exchange rate is good.

Use Credit Card and not Cruise Line exchange rate for conversion purposes.

Annie
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Old January 31st, 2012, 05:03 PM
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Default Royal Caribbean Room Service Charge

They charge, I think 5$, if you place a RS order after midnight - well order it at 2345

Annie
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Old January 31st, 2012, 05:13 PM
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Really had to scratch our heads on this one, all we could come up with were

Buying the wine and soda packages rather than buying drinks individually,
Taking wash powder on as Annie has already suggested,
Taking drink on with us for cabin time
Ordering room service for breakfast - a roll & meat makes a great snack whilst we are off hiking into the hills.

But the funniest one we found, about mid-cruise we start to crave salted crisps/ships, but a packet on board around a pound or dollar on most ships, yet if you order a sandwich from room service, is more often than not comes with them and costs nothing. Plus you get a great sandwich into the bargain

Also on P&O we've often seen 'early bird' dining prices for the speciality restaurants. You still get the table for the full evening, you just had to be there before 6:30.

There must be lots more, and we are always eager to learn

Alan & Katrina
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Old January 31st, 2012, 05:38 PM
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I don't make a conscious effort to save money when I'm onboard but the things that do save us money are:

1. Pre-buying in cabin bar set up. Buying a bottle for even $80 is less expensive than the cost of that number of drinks. Carnival has the least expensive in-cabin bar setup with many bottles of spirits around $40. Celebrity is the worst with costs around $100/bottle.

2. Taking on your own allowed wine. Two bottles of wine can save a few dollars.

3. Booking or doing your own shore excursions. I have always had better results, seen more, had more fun and spent less money when doing private excursions rather than the ship's excursions.

4. Not buying photographs. We have bought a few over the years but it is not something we normally do. There have been cruises where we haven't even went to look at them.

5. Get OBC from your travel agent, shareholder credit or booking incentive. Always ask your agent if they can sweeten the deal with OBC. Do this before you book because you may not get it later. If you have cruise line stock then take advantage of the shareholder credit. Buying 100 shares just for a $100 OBC isn't a great idea but if you have the stock in your portfolio or purchase it as an investment then you should take advantage of it. Look for bookings that give you OBC incentives. If the price is good and they are giving you OBC then it's just a better deal.

6. You can always smuggle booze. If you are caught you will have to face the embarrassment of having to go to the "Naughty Room" and get your luggage but you won't be kicked off the ship for trying. I don't condone this but it will save some money.

7. Set a realistic per diem for expenditures and stick to it. Don't set your budget so low that you feel you are depriving yourself but set a budget you feel you can live with and enjoy yourself.

Take care,
Mike
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Old January 31st, 2012, 05:57 PM
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We don't drink or gamble so that saves a lot. Same with ship photos, way too overpriced. And as a rule, any souvenir buying done off the ship unless of course we want a shirt or hat with the ship name on it. And if you're a snacker and like chips, etc buy all that on shore when you hit the ports.
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Old January 31st, 2012, 06:15 PM
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Default Potato Chips/Crisps

Quote:
Originally Posted by kandajones View Post

But the funniest one we found, about mid-cruise we start to crave salted crisps/ships, but a packet on board around a pound or dollar on most ships, yet if you order a sandwich from room service, is more often than not comes with them and costs nothing. Plus you get a great sandwich into the bargain

Alan & Katrina
Alan

I was just about to post the same thing - I didn't realise if you ordered a Club sandwich - the crisps came free - I soon caught on.

Annie
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Old January 31st, 2012, 06:19 PM
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I am perfectly happy with the ice tea, lemonaide and coffee you can get onboard, so I rarely order a coke. I do however, sometimes order a glass of wine with dinner or a cold drink if out by the pool. Also, eating all meals onboard is enough, don't need to eat in ports...It does save $, even though I don't not eat at ports to save money, but I find plenty enough food to eat onboard, I am not the least bit hungry when out in ports or doing excursions.

For the gamblers, limit yourself to so much $ per day and stick to that.
After I loose $20 that is it for me, not much of a gambler and don't like to loose. I would rather shop than spent it in the casino.
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Old January 31st, 2012, 07:43 PM
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Default Spa prices

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
For an article I am researching - what tips do you have for saving money onboard a cruise?

Anything from ordering a drink package to making sandwiches in the buffet for your shore excursion.

If you feel Spa prices are ridiculous say so here... (I do)

How do you save money in onboard charges?
Spa prices are ridiculous ,I agree .
We do not drink alcohol so that is a saving for us .
We probably overpay by booking cruise excursions from the ship .
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Old January 31st, 2012, 07:45 PM
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Default more

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
I think bringing a thermos coffee mug is a great idea - yet I have never done it.

I also agree on avaoiding the casino - I have not "won" on a cruise ship in years.

More money-saving tips, please!
We have never purchased a photo or anything from the ships stores (other than post cards).
We do go to the casino and I've won more than lost .My BDW however ,does not usually fare as well.
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Old January 31st, 2012, 09:06 PM
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I do bring my steel water bottle, actually break it out and fill it once we go through the TSA check at the airport.
Our best photo from our last cruise was taken by a crew member, but it was a bartender not the ship photographer
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Old January 31st, 2012, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anniegb View Post
Buy OBC in advance if exchange rate is good.

Use Credit Card and not Cruise Line exchange rate for conversion purposes.

Annie
Wow - that is really going the limit. The after hours room service charge is (I believe) $2.99.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 01:50 AM
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We take our own sodas on board and occasionally beer too.
We get many photo's taken and only pick the best.
We don't go to any of the sale programs they put on.
We buy phone cards in port if we wanna call home
We leave the computer at home so we aren't tempted to buy internet user time on the ship.
We usually do our own shore excursions which saves us quite a bit of money since ship excursions have gotten so high priced.
We stay away from bingo and only play in Casino's every so often.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 03:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
Wow - that is really going the limit. The after hours room service charge is (I believe) $2.99.
Paul:

OBC, if you time it right, can improve your buying power by 8-10% - yeah I would rather have that in my pocket

My memory is that the after hours SC was $5 - I hope you are correct - but I did not notice a similar charge on the other lines I sailed.

Annie
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Old February 1st, 2012, 10:31 AM
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Annie...

I realize you are talking about the European lines. I was thinking Royal Caribbean. When lines like MSC or Costa come to the West the actually drop the nighttime service charge (last time i checked, anyway).
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Old February 1st, 2012, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
Annie...

I realize you are talking about the European lines. I was thinking Royal Caribbean. When lines like MSC or Costa come to the West the actually drop the nighttime service charge (last time i checked, anyway).
It was actually Royal Caribbean on a European cruise who had the charge.

European lines - don't sail them.

Annie
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Old February 1st, 2012, 11:36 AM
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Unhappy Sneaking in?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnthed0g View Post
We have got a spa pass for one & both sneaked in...but I doubt if this is what you mean!! :-))
Hey, John, I like you and most of your posts are right on.

But I have to go with Annie on this one. It is a little hard to believe that grownups would do this, and then boast about it.

Soooo High School ...
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Old February 1st, 2012, 11:46 AM
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Default Playing Rich

Well, for us, the best part of cruising is "playing rich"!

Before the cruise, we work hard to get the best fares, find the cheapest parking, overnight at a hotel with good rates and save all the money we can.

BUT on embarkation morning, we like to have the limo with uniformed driver waiting to take us to the ship. From that moment on we "play rich"! I will not pinch pennies by schleping my own booze aboard or filling water bottles in the buffet.

Want a bottle of wine at dinner? Have a nice discussion with the steward, choose the one you want and wave your hand for it. That is the way to "play rich."

Pose for a formal portrait, check it out, and if you like it, don't ask the price. That is the way to "play rich."

Like the Thermal Suite in the spa? Buy the couple's pass for the entire cruise, and spend at least an hour twice a day lying on the heated couches. That is really "playing rich"!

Book the shore excursions you want for your convenience. Helicopter ride to the glacier? Book the ship's excursion, let them take care of you all the way, and have a picture taken at the top. That is the way to "play rich."

Want to beat the crowds to the ancient temple? Book a private driver who knows the back roads and will get you there half an hour before the ship's buses arrive. That is the way to "play rich."

Now we are naturally light drinkers and very light gamblers, and certainly don't go to the art auctions. So that helps keep the bill reasonable even when we "play rich"!

When we get off the ship our limo whisks us to the airport or our car. Our last chance at "playing rich".

Then we fly home economy class and look for the gas station with the lowest prices, and eat beans for the next six months. No more "playing rich"!
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Old February 1st, 2012, 07:46 PM
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I do my best to save us money, but then my wife figures out a way to spend it :razz:.

The best savings for us is to find what shore excursions we want and then do them ourselves. The cruise lines charge way to much. The only exception that we make is if an excursion might be limited to the number of people, such as swim with the dolphins.

Other than that we don't really save much. My wife always buys photos, even though I think we have a million of them by now. A friend and I did think it was funny that we spent so much time bargaining in port to save a dollar, but then spent like $7.00 on a beer. Oh well, all part of the fun!!!
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Old February 1st, 2012, 10:13 PM
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I have been thrifty all my life, but when I go on vacation, I usually splurge and don't worry about the cost of drinks and other fun stuff.

TM
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Old February 1st, 2012, 11:00 PM
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In my household one of us likes to splurge and the other one does not .Therefore ,rather than debate the issue I splurge and my BDW does not .
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Old February 2nd, 2012, 04:25 AM
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My husband and I are young and we have 2 kids (5 and 3). We have to save where we can but love to cruise!! The thing I love most is that most of your expenses are up front. We can book a cruise with a small deposit, pay in "payments" up to the 90 day mark, then save what we can to spend.

We do not always have a lot of margin in our finances and to be honest, on our last cruise we had only enough "spending" money for the tips and a few photos and drinks. But you know what??.... We still had a blast!!

We try to save by not drinking much if at all, only getting a couple photos if we really like them, not gambling, and eating mostly on the ship.

Almost everything you need is included, so why pay for special drinks and specialty items? We do not go for the things, but rather the experience. Some ports we just get off the boat and walk around, sightsee, window shop, and take lots of photos.

I would rather cruise on a budget once a year or every other year than live like the rich for a cruise once in a great while. Those are our only options for the time being... but I am okay with that.
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Old February 2nd, 2012, 04:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manuel View Post
I have been thrifty all my life, but when I go on vacation, I usually splurge and don't worry about the cost of drinks and other fun stuff.

TM
I go with that - I am thrifty during non-holiday time but enjoy myself on hoiday.

However I can never lose all my thrifty habits on holiday esp internet.

If I am canny on minor things, it allows me to have a really big splurge if I want one.

Each to their own

Annie

PS Re hotels pre-cruise ; because I have to fly - I like to spend a 2 or 3 days in port and that is where I do splurge - I so like a nice hotel in the right location.
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