[Part 2] The penny pincher’s guide to cruises


Last week we treated new cruisers to three of our fantastic penny-pinching tips.  We showed you how to be money-smart and advised against spending out on those frivolous extras, such as speciality drinks, meals onshore and expensive children’s activities.

Today we’re going to provide you with two final tips in the series:


After spending weeks looking after everybody else at home, you may wish for a bit of “me time” aboard the ship and hope for a relaxing experience, taking full advantage of the onboard spa.  That is, until you the notice the price!   Although many would argue the spa is well worth the money, first time cruisers may not have enough money set aside to really enjoy everything that’s on offer.

So, here’s our top tip: try and wait until your boat has a port day and see if treatments are reduced or on special offer.  As others leave the boat, the spa owners may want to lure people into staying onboard and spending their holiday money with them instead of visiting other attractions onshore.  They may try to attract new clientele by slashing their prices.  It’s well worth keeping your eyes peeled!


If this is your first cruise and you’ve never travelled before, it can be really tempting to buy LOTS of souvenirs as a way to remember each and every place you’ve visited.  This can become really costly, and sometimes souvenirs can be generally quite low quality.  Not to mention that once you get home they just sit in a draw or cupboard gathering dust.

If it’s your kids who are demanding a new souvenir for each place they visit, or who insist on trying to buy something every time you pass a shop on board, you should make a pact with them.  Allow them to spend their holiday money as they choose, but remind them you won’t be giving them extra towards anything else should they run out.

Before you go on holiday you could buy your children a cheap digital camera (or disposable one if they’re younger) and encourage photography by way of collecting memories, rousing their inner “David Bailey” at the same time!  Hopefully the excitement of a camera will quash the desire for little flags, trinkets and badges.

Top tip:  If your kids just can’t resist that cap with the ships logo emblazoned on the front, why not try to tempt them to wait for the last day of the cruise, when the store owners may just slash the prices?


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Claire has worked in the travel industry since leaving college in 1994. One of this blog's most regular contributors, Claire covers cruise news and industry trends.

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