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The website AllCruiseHotels.com has gathered an impressive list of 116 ways to save money onboard, leading up to and following a cruise vacation, all of which can be found here, and we’ve chosen our top favorites and perennials to showcase and augment below.
When it’s time to book a cruise, a number of savings can be had while keeping in mind a few simple tricks starting with targeting the off-season when sailings are less full of people. When the supply is high and the demand is low, discounts are available. For other reductions and perks, wave season, from around December until March, is a good time to make a reservation as cruise lines are eager to make the most of the primary sales period.
READ MORE: 7 Cruise Embarkation Tips
Always a good idea is to make a cruise booking through an accredited travel agent who can navigate the best values and offer the best bonuses. Combining three tips in one, also choosing less popular repositioning itineraries in an inside cabin on an older ship will save guests money. Although they are usually the latest and the greatest, the newest ships also command a premium price. Plus, an inside cabin will encourage you to take advantage of the rest of the ship more, which is easy to do with extended sea days on repositioning routes.
Once onboard, the opportunity for saving some coin continues with available drink and dining packages. A la carte beverage prices and specialty dining rates can add up quick, but at least bundles stretch funds a little further. Drink packages can include anything from non-alcoholic to top-shelf options, and dining ones let you prepay a number of specialty restaurant visits with savings included accordingly.
READ MORE: 7 Cruise Disembarkation Tips
Of course, the easiest thing to do is to simply enjoy the complimentary drink options, from basic juices to tea and coffee, and rather than be enticed to dine ashore, hop back on the ship at lunch time to enjoy the free meal options at the buffet, grill and sit-down restaurants. Another surefire way to save money onboard is to bring your own camera or smartphone to capture your own portraits, even if only selfies. Professional photo services and prints are by no means inexpensive.
Lastly, at the point and time you’re ready to consider your next cruise, provided you’re thinking of it while onboard, special incentives can be had by booking it or at least putting down a floating deposit at sea to be applied in the future. Bonuses may even include onboard credits and other rewards for your next vacation.