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6 Tips for Cruising on a Shoestring Budget

Cruising on a Shoestring BudgetSearching for affordable cruises? These six tips make cheap cruise vacations a reality!

If you have ever shrugged off the possibility of taking a cruise vacation because of the price, you might be surprised to learn about the variety of affordable cruises available to you. From cheap all inclusive cruises to off-season adventures, there are countless opportunities to sail to your desired location for less than you originally imagined. Plus, knowing how to save during the booking process and once onboard the ship can also keep your money where it should be – in your wallet. Here are our top six tips regarding cruising on a shoestring budget:

1. Book with a skilled travel advisor

Did you know that booking directly on a cruiseline’s website can sometimes be the more costly option? Working with a skilled travel advisor at who can share current or upcoming specials, discounts, or waivers can typically be the most cost effective way to go when booking a cruise. Knowledgeable travel advisors like those at know how to make affordable cruises a possibility for those on a budget.

Happy Traveler Comment
I started the week singing in my Senior Choir and one of my members cornered me and said, "I know you know Hawaii better than anyone. I want to take some friends there....who do you recommend?" I told her I would hook her up with my California connection and the very best travel agent in America and gave her your phone number! - Betty Dunnam

2. Consider cheaper cabin options

When cruising on a shoestring budget, you have to pay attention to the cabin you choose as your home away from home. Inside cabins will usually be your cheapest option and can save you up to several hundred dollars. (They are also ideal for those who like to sleep in!). While a cabin with a porthole or balcony may pique your interest, these options can increase the price of your vacation quickly. Keep in mind, there are so many places on a cruise ship to take in sights of the water and surrounding scenery, and you most likely won’t be spending too much time in your room. Your best bet is to select the cheapest option and spend that money elsewhere.

3. Steer clear of specialty restaurants

On many cruiselines, there will be specialty restaurants that offer unique menus and experiences. The catch is you are typically charged to dine in specialty restaurants and this could quickly inflate your final cruise bill. Thankfully, cruise ships are loaded with a huge variety of dining venues that are included in your cost – speak with your travel agent about the options available on the ship you choose.

4. Watch onboard spending

It is easy to spend a lot of money onboard, especially during “at sea” days. Steer clear of shopping (especially the first few days into the cruise), the casino, spa services and more if you are trying to cruise on a budget. If something at the gift or specialty shop catches your eye, wait until the last day or so of the cruise when items are typically marked down.

5. Avoid expensive drinks

If you or anyone in your party enjoys an alcoholic beverage or soda on a regular basis, you should ask your travel agent ahead of time about alcohol and soda package options. These packages will allow you a certain number of drinks each day for a fixed price and can literally save you hundreds of dollars depending on the length of the cruise.

6. Book excursions through your travel advisor

Your travel agent has a partnership with and can help you find the best prices for the excursions you’d like to. Booking your own excursions with your travel advisor can save you significant money and still offer you the opportunity to explore a select port of call.

These are just a few tricks and tips that can make affordable cruises a reality. Check in with a agent to learn more about cheap all inclusive cruises or for other cruising on a shoestring budget tips. Visit or contact us directly at 1-888-804-CRUISE (2784) to learn more. And, don’t forget to like us on Facebook and join our InnerCircle for exclusive offers and cruise news you can use! Also, check out our new Resource Center, where you can receive expert knowledge from us before your next cruise or cruisetour!

Our team of cruise consultants and support staff, based in Central California, counts nearly a century of combined talent, knowledge, and enthusiasm in the travel industry. We’re not just another internet upstart; our seasoned team has gained the trust and business of thousands of satisfied cruise and land vacation customers from all over the country since 1995. We ARE the original Cruise Experts.

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