Last week, I wrote about ways to save money while booking your cruise adventure. This week, I wanted to highlight some other items involving cruising that might save you money or might simply make you aware that these expenses exist.
It had not occurred to me, during the booking process, that there might be additional costs associated with the cruise. For example, if you do not have a passport, but you are travelling on an international cruise, which includes a Bahamas destination, a passport is needed. With our cruise to the Nassau and Freeport areas, a passport was not required but was recommended. If you do not have time to get a passport and do not previously own one, you may want to pick up an additional copy of your birth certificate before cruising.
I also had not considered the cost of leaving our vehicle parked somewhere during the time we were on the cruise. Fortunately, the cruise lines seem to have ample parking at their docking stations, as they are typically disembarking one cruise about the time people are arriving to embark on a cruise.
The rate for the time we were on the cruise was about $75. While I figured out this expense about a month before the cruise, I had hoped to pay for this with the money remaining at the end of our cruise. Instead, the money was required at the time we left the car, not when we picked it up. Factor this expense into your overall cruise price.
My husband and I did not book any off-the-boat excursions through the cruise line. While I am all for saving money (you know I rarely tell you ways to spend it), this is one place where, in the future, we will compare and review and spend the extra money.
Arriving in Nassau and trying to quickly decide whether to take a taxi or a boat ferry while comparing the price for both versus their safety was slightly unnerving. As a planner who likes to know what I’m spending, where I’m going and how I’ll be getting there, this part of the cruise was a bit challenging.
When we cruise again, we will book our excursions in advance, taking advantage of any deals we can find along the way.
Factor the price of souvenirs into your trip. Despite my best efforts to limit our shopping, we still bought something for all four of our children and then added to my husband’s coffee mug collection. Just go into this cruise knowing how much money you can spend and refuse to spend more than that!
On the cruise ship itself there are thousands of ways to spend money. From the casino to the live art auctions, from the bingo games to the bars throughout the ship, these cruise ships are moneymakers for their operators.
Be sure you understand before you get on the ship what is included in the way of beverages.
For our cruise, lemonade, juices, coffee, tea and water were endless. Because we drink water, that was great for us. But many people drink sodas -- and the cruise ships know it and make quite a bit of money selling these drinks. One way to decrease your cost for soda on the cruise is to buy the mug that gives you free refills for the day. Each day, on our cruise, you could pay $6 and present the mug that was available for purchase on the first day, and free refills were available.
Our cruise really was a great experience. The time away from our “real life” was refreshing and recharging. We will certainly cruise again -- I will just better know how to plan for the cruising expenses next time!