Author Topic: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise  (Read 16856 times)

MillenialMustache

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Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« on: July 31, 2015, 10:07:58 AM »
My DH and I love cruising and usually go on one a year or so. We do it pretty cheaply, and spend almost nothing onboard. Food is included, entertainment is included, we do free or cheap excursions off the ship, etc. We typically have less than $50 and then gratuities.

Anyway, I belong to a cruise forum and the topic came up about how much people spend onboard. Several people said nothing, and one person responded, "The same as our balcony cabin cost.......if you're not going to splurge on a great time you may as well not go." UGH. Comments like that drive me crazy!! Their balcony cabin likely cost $1200-$1500 - I couldn't even imagine spending that much on board, and certainly don't think that is the only way to have a good time!

Anyway, end rant. Thanks for reading :)

RunHappy

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2015, 10:11:19 AM »
I thought the whole point of a cruise was that it was all inclusive? 

forummm

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2015, 10:14:31 AM »
Be glad those spendy people subsidize your cabin :)

Chris22

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2015, 10:15:27 AM »
Most shipboard spending is going to be either booze or shore excursions.  A bottle of wine with dinner every night + a couple snorkle trips or an offshore fishing trip and you're there.  I won't tell you what our bill was on our AK cruise last summer ;)
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waffle

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2015, 10:23:56 AM »
I've been on one cruise for my honeymoon. We had a great time and had splurged for a nice balcony suite. The only thing we bought on board though was some aloe vera after we got some bad sunburns. We don't drink so all inclusive really is all inclusive (aside from shore excursions, shuttles, and gratuity)

Rezdent

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2015, 10:24:31 AM »
Someone took me on a cruise once.
While I did enjoy it very much and was so grateful to spend the time with my friend, it seemed a bit odd to me.

I felt like a marketer had figured out how to trap a load of consumers on a boat at sea for a few days, gave them a card linked to their room account, and proceeded to bombard them with expensive ways to relieve the boredom that comes with being trapped on a boat.  Inclusive costs didn't include (overpriced) alcohol, gambling, photos, or the more attractive of the arranged excursions.

FiguringItOut

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2015, 10:27:43 AM »
I've been on plenty of cruises in the past.  I do believe that cruising can be as cheap or as expensive as you choose. 

I do like a balcony, or at least an outside cabin, but other than that, I spend little on board. 

MillenialMustache

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2015, 10:32:50 AM »
Be glad those spendy people subsidize your cabin :)

I know right! Always have to keep it in perspective ;)

KisKis

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2015, 10:41:10 AM »
I do believe that cruising can be as cheap or as expensive as you choose. 

Same as most things. +1

I do see the benefits of the balcony suite though.  We have a couple guys in the family who hate crowds and being corralled on "floating pig pens" with the general population, so the peace and quiet on the balcony saves us from a lot of whining.   

Schaefer Light

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2015, 11:34:32 AM »
I've been on plenty of cruises in the past.  I do believe that cruising can be as cheap or as expensive as you choose. 

I do like a balcony, or at least an outside cabin, but other than that, I spend little on board.
Same here.  The only extra spending we do on a cruise is for alcohol.  And we've found that most cruise lines have introduced beverage packages now, so there's really no extra spending after our room is booked.

boarder42

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2015, 11:46:37 AM »
I thought the whole point of a cruise was that it was all inclusive?

cruises are typically not all inclusive.  alcohol costs extra, pop costs extra, certain things you can do onboard cost extra, shore excursions cost extra. 

More cruises are allowing packages to be booked with booze and 300dollar onboard credit - celebrity is the best i've seen norwegian is a close second. 

for example.

i went on a cruise last year with all my drinks included and 300obc. balcony cabin - cost was 700 per person.  the 300obc covered our gratuities and one of our shore excursions.

There are expensive cruises that come carte blanche all inclusive but you're talking 2k per person minimum on these typically for a 7 day cruise.

My rule of thumb for curising is under115 a day including drinks and tips and taxes/port fees.  excursions are extra but there are relaly cool things you can do with out going on them you can also book off ship and come out way ahead. 
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FiguringItOut

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2015, 11:55:33 AM »
I've been known to walk off a week long cruise with only one $8 drink and one $20 bingo game on my charge card, after paying for the cabin and gratuities.

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2015, 11:56:25 AM »
I ordered liquor ahead of time.  It was about 2x liquor store prices, but probaby .25x or less of what it would have cost purchased from one of the ship's bars.  And we brought the allowed amount of wine.  Not quite sure how it happened, but we actually had a small credit on our bill when we left, it was eventually put back on our credit card.

golden1

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2015, 12:01:13 PM »
Quote
I thought the whole point of a cruise was that it was all inclusive?

I am going on my first cruise in over 15 years for my 20th anniversary in August.  It WAS mostly all inclusive in the last 1990s, early 2000s, but you still always had to pay for shore excursions, the casino, alcoholic drinks, any special photographs taken by the ships photographers, and a few other things.  All of the food and non-alcoholic drinks were included.  I don't drink alcohol so I think I might have spent about $200-300 over the price of the cruise back then. 

This time around, there are definitely more little things that aren't included.  I have to pay $50 per person for unlimited soda and non-alcoholic drinks.  I am going on Norwegian and they have specialty restaurants that upcharge you $15-30 per person, per meal (I got free specialty meals as a promotion).  From what I understand, they have more things to do on the ship then they used to, like bowling and rock climbing, but they cost money.  Internet, which wasn't a thing in the old days, will cost me $150 for the week if I choose to get it (haven't decided).  Theoretically, I could just not do any of those things, drink water, and not spend a dime but that isn't realistic.  As it is, I am splurging on a balcony since a) it's my anniversary trip, 2) Alaska, and c) my first trip without the children since they were born.

I do remember on our last cruise people just losing their minds and blowing huge wads at the casino, the ship store, and at an art auction they had on board.  And of course, you can also go nuts at the souvenir shops and jewelry stores at the ports.  I don't do souveniers except the occasional t-shirt or mug. 

Bob W

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2015, 12:03:43 PM »
My idea of a cruise is to put our kayaks on the river and cruise to the cabin overlooking the river.   We cruise as fast or as slow as we like and meet some great people.   With beer and sandwiches, and barbequed ribs,  plus cabin rental, our daily cost is around $150.   No air fare. 

I've read about these "all inclusive, well not really" cruises.   I'm pretty sure we would spend $150 a day just on beer, wine and booze.  So yeah,  I can see a $1,200 additional charge. 
Better living through math.

neil

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2015, 01:55:16 PM »
I thought the whole point of a cruise was that it was all inclusive?

The one I went on, the big hitters were espresso drinks, alcohol and overpriced excursions.  There might have been some paid entertainment things, but we were not there to be on the boat.  And, of course, a casino when in international waters.

I went on a 10-day Mediterranean cruise in 2011 (italy-greece-turkey) and the best part about that region is getting a stop basically every day and usually for about eight hours.  For ~$1000 we got free board and good food.  I prefer to do more exploring, but it isn't exactly cheap to hop along the various islands.  Between breakfast, dinner and a free show, our days were easily booked and we wouldn't have time to spend money on their overpriced stuff.

Atlantic/Pacific cruises look like bore-fests to me.  Multiple travel days and short stops.  With "nothing" to do, I am sure many people resort to being in a constant state of drunk.  There's only one vendor to buy from.  I think I got an latte once because I really "needed" it and it was something like $8 and terrible.  I'm sure if my SO really wants to do one, I'll be sure to stock up on reading material, but I don't know why I would go on a cruise just to lounge on a deck and read.  I can drive to the beach whenever I want.

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2015, 02:21:58 PM »
It's whatever you make it.  Spend as much or as little as you like.  At a minimum, it's a floating mobile hotel that can take you to some pretty exotic places.  Go to bed at night and wake up in a new place.  if you find the right deals, you would be hard pressed to transport, feed and board yourself for the price the cruise lines can do it for.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2015, 02:24:33 PM by Debts_of_Despair »

Bajadoc

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2015, 03:12:13 PM »
I wouldn't go on a cruise if they paid ME the fancy balcony rate. The thought of being stuck on a floating tourist trap makes me a bit uneasy. I don't mind others doing it though.

geekette

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2015, 03:22:45 PM »
Man, I love cruising!  I love being on the water, but dislike the beach, so the balcony is my place to be.  Read, watch for flying fish, knit, chat.  Someone else does all the cooking and cleaning, and the entertainment is usually quite good, especially on the bigger ships.

I just got back from a very different (small boat) cruise in the Galapagos, though.  No relaxing there!  Two to four (included) excursions a day.  Exhausting, but wow.  There was a bar, but I never made it there - too much to do.

JimLahey

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2015, 03:38:19 PM »
I thought the whole point of a cruise was that it was all inclusive?

They are mostly. There are just a lot of ways to spend extra on things that aren't included. The markup for alcohol and soda is high e.g. $8 beers. Although on Carnival you can bring a 12 pack of soda with you if you can't live without it and don't want to pay extra.  They also allow a certain amount of wine. However it is possible to cruise and not spend anything extra. They offer plenty of things to do that don't cost extra, it's just a matter of taking advantage of them. I went on my first cruise in March with Carnival and I think I spent <$50 extra. Granted I also had a $75 onboard credit via the travel agency. My GF paid for the one excursion we went on and it was pretty reasonable. I would recommend cruising at least once. If you go during the off season you can find great deals.

MrsPete

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #20 on: July 31, 2015, 07:01:05 PM »
I thought the whole point of a cruise was that it was all inclusive?
You have to pay tips to the staff.  Well, no one will come after you if you don't, but it's unfair to accept their labor and then fail to pay them. 

Anyway, aside from tips, you don't HAVE TO spend anything else -- but most people do spend on things like this: 

- Alcohol (this is their #1 money maker, by far)
- Sodas, specialty coffees, milkshakes -- tea and lemonade are free
- Upgraded meals at specialty restaurants
- Professional photographs
- Excursions during the island stops (dolphin swims, historical tours, cabs to the beach, etc. -- I've found that most cruisers are literally afraid to leave the ship without a ship-approved guide to help them navigate the wilds of, say, St. Thomas)
- Bingo
- Art auction
- Massages and other spa treatments
- Casino

I watched a TV show about cruises once, and the host said that when you buy your cruise ship ticket, it's their break-even price -- and whatever they can get you to buy onboard is their profit.  However, I don't see how that can be true:  A person in a low-priced inside cabin might pay $500, while a person in a suite might pay $1500.  A person cruising the first week of December might pay $1000 for a balcony cabin, while a person cruising over Christmas or New Year's might pay $3000 for the same cabin.  And what about the 3rd and 4th person in a cabin, who pay a lower price?  Which one is the "break even"?  I think the TV show lied.   

MrsPete

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2015, 07:06:47 PM »
Man, I love cruising!  I love being on the water, but dislike the beach, so the balcony is my place to be.  Read, watch for flying fish, knit, chat.  Someone else does all the cooking and cleaning, and the entertainment is usually quite good, especially on the bigger ships.
You and I'd be good cruising buddies:  Sleep in a bit, eat Eggs Benedict, go read or stitch by the pool a while, back to the cabin for a nap, then a nice dinner and see a show. 

I do enjoy shore excursions -- I just won't pay the ship's prices for them. 

okits

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2015, 08:03:50 PM »
I love cruises. Haven't convinced DH to go on one but will keep trying.

If you want to get sh*tfaced, do it on land.  Many shore excursions are to inexpensive places where you can get thoroughly blotto for cheap.

Bring wine aboard if allowed (or if your prior research tells you that you can smuggle booze on.)

You do not need pop.  Don't pay for it, you will obviously not die without it for a few days.  (Or, buy it on shore.)

Cruise ship excursions are fine, but research ahead of time and arrange a local guide for a much lower rate.

Geez. Now I want to go on a cruise!  The ships are fun and I love seeing water 360-degrees.

Mrs.LC

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2015, 09:11:23 PM »
We love to cruise. Last winter we spent 28 days on a ship as our version of "snowbirding". Planning to do it again this winter. We don't buy alcohol or shoe excursions on board so our bill is usually zero. 
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Mrs. Crackin' the Whip

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2015, 11:23:37 AM »
Someone took me on a cruise once.
While I did enjoy it very much and was so grateful to spend the time with my friend, it seemed a bit odd to me.

I felt like a marketer had figured out how to trap a load of consumers on a boat at sea for a few days, gave them a card linked to their room account, and proceeded to bombard them with expensive ways to relieve the boredom that comes with being trapped on a boat.  Inclusive costs didn't include (overpriced) alcohol, gambling, photos, or the more attractive of the arranged excursions.

That is hilarious!  I've never been on a cruise but I sure want to.  Kid Rock's Chillin the Most Cruise to be honest :)  Maybe one day....
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patrickza

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2015, 12:01:58 PM »
I love being on the water, my fire plan for a few years is to cruise full time. This guy has it figured out: https://youtu.be/syJXrbWU1Aw

Might even cost me less than my already cheap land life...

wordnerd

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2015, 12:12:29 PM »
I love being on the water, my fire plan for a few years is to cruise full time. This guy has it figured out: https://youtu.be/syJXrbWU1Aw

Might even cost me less than my already cheap land life...

That was great. Thanks for sharing!

It reminds of sailing with my parents as a kid a Caribbean. I don't know if I'd want do it full-time, but maybe...
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kite

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2015, 02:40:38 PM »
I wouldn't go on a cruise if they paid ME the fancy balcony rate. The thought of being stuck on a floating tourist trap makes me a bit uneasy. I don't mind others doing it though.

LOL!
This was me, too.  Until we did it. It's a fantastic way to see Alaska or to cross the Atlantic Ocean. If you don't gamble or drink alcohol, the mass market cruiselines are an economical way to have your vacation subsidized by those who do. 
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But a good time can be had for very little money on the more famous lines, too.


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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #28 on: August 01, 2015, 04:41:59 PM »
My DH and I love cruising and usually go on one a year or so. We do it pretty cheaply, and spend almost nothing onboard. Food is included, entertainment is included, we do free or cheap excursions off the ship, etc. We typically have less than $50 and then gratuities.

Anyway, I belong to a cruise forum and the topic came up about how much people spend onboard. Several people said nothing, and one person responded, "The same as our balcony cabin cost.......if you're not going to splurge on a great time you may as well not go." UGH. Comments like that drive me crazy!! Their balcony cabin likely cost $1200-$1500 - I couldn't even imagine spending that much on board, and certainly don't think that is the only way to have a good time!

Anyway, end rant. Thanks for reading :)
I went on NCL, the only thing I spent anything was for excursions, so basically I would pay at most 400-500$.

UnleashHell

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #29 on: August 01, 2015, 05:31:08 PM »
I love cruising. Great family holiday - other people arranging things to do for you and your family with all differing interests. Then they clean you room, make your bed, cook and clean up afterwards - and then take you to places you haven't been before (and they won't let you drive so you can then have a few drinks).
I cruised  in June with 2 of my kids, my wife and my parents. I haven't been on a cruise with my parents in over 35 years. The times that we all spend together are irreplaceable.

yes you can spend money on board and on the ports but thats entirely under your control. I paid for all of our expenses by playing blackjack. Not to be recommended for all.

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okits

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #30 on: August 01, 2015, 07:18:00 PM »
I love being on the water, my fire plan for a few years is to cruise full time. This guy has it figured out: https://youtu.be/syJXrbWU1Aw

Might even cost me less than my already cheap land life...

Heh.  The way you phrased that made me think of the character in the movie Poseidon (remake) that lives on cruise liners and pays his way by gambling for a living.  The guy on YouTube is cooler!

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #31 on: August 02, 2015, 03:05:24 AM »
Hi

We cruise once a year. We don't do excursions but do eat specialty restaurants sometimes and buy alcohol.

I find a bill for 14 nights, including on shore spending / emergency money, excursions, alcohol, specialty dining, gratuities, congress in at around 800 to 1200 for a family of 3 :)

It's amazing. Love life at sea.  Spend what you want I say, just don't put yourself in debt for it.

RunHappy

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #32 on: August 02, 2015, 07:24:52 AM »
I thought the whole point of a cruise was that it was all inclusive?
You have to pay tips to the staff.  Well, no one will come after you if you don't, but it's unfair to accept their labor and then fail to pay them. 

Anyway, aside from tips, you don't HAVE TO spend anything else -- but most people do spend on things like this: 

- Alcohol (this is their #1 money maker, by far)
- Sodas, specialty coffees, milkshakes -- tea and lemonade are free
- Upgraded meals at specialty restaurants
- Professional photographs
- Excursions during the island stops (dolphin swims, historical tours, cabs to the beach, etc. -- I've found that most cruisers are literally afraid to leave the ship without a ship-approved guide to help them navigate the wilds of, say, St. Thomas)
- Bingo
- Art auction
- Massages and other spa treatments
- Casino

I watched a TV show about cruises once, and the host said that when you buy your cruise ship ticket, it's their break-even price -- and whatever they can get you to buy onboard is their profit.  However, I don't see how that can be true:  A person in a low-priced inside cabin might pay $500, while a person in a suite might pay $1500.  A person cruising the first week of December might pay $1000 for a balcony cabin, while a person cruising over Christmas or New Year's might pay $3000 for the same cabin.  And what about the 3rd and 4th person in a cabin, who pay a lower price?  Which one is the "break even"?  I think the TV show lied.   

This is all good to know.  I've only taken a cruise once in my life (10-12 years ago?), but it was a gift trip so I didn't pay for much.  They seems like fun times and I know a lot of people who absolutely love them. 

CommonCents

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #33 on: August 02, 2015, 08:18:24 AM »
DH grew up cruising.  He likes it because you unpack your bags once, don't need to check into different hotels to see different places.  We've gone on three.

You need to go in knowing it's not really all inclusive on the major lines.  Gratuities are virtually required (technically you can stiff the people who worked for you but that's really low in my opinion.)  That's part of the cost to me.  Optional items are: drinks, excursions, fancier food, services (spa or quiet adult areas), gambling, photos, internet, etc.

Like any good mustachian, we will deal hunt, which often means getting some onboard credit offered to us for the same cruise price offered elsewhere.  We also learned that if you own Carnival stock, any Carnival or subsidiary (Princess, which is what we did), will give you onboard credit per stateroom for being a shareholder.  (Our stock has gone up nicely since buying it otherwise we wouldn't keep it.)  Finally, if you put down a deposit of $100 and let them hold your money (fully refundable if you don't cruise in 2 years), then you get more on-board money.  For about a 50% return (varies by stateroom type and length of cruise), sure you can hold a tiny bit of my money. 

With this money (I think we had $300), we were able to pay for our gratuities, buy pretty much all the drinks we wanted and have a fancy dinner at a specialty restaurant.  We do excursions with local tours to get a better experience, better price, and more money to locals.  We learned from reading cruise ship boards how to get free/discounted drinks (returning members attending a presentation get a card for a drink, at the happy hour you can buy two identical items for the price of one.  This included buying beers unopened for the next afternoon, and buying two half bottles of champagne to use over 4 breakfasts we brought back to eat on our balcony (mixed with the orange juice only offered on this line at breakfast) to make mimosas. 

Cpa Cat

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #34 on: August 02, 2015, 09:12:02 AM »
We just came back from a cruise to Alaska, which is our third cruise. It was a lot of fun, and the shore excursions that we chose got us out of our comfort zone. We also spent money on booze, Bingo, and a spa visit. We upgraded to a balcony, which was great - we got to see wildlife and beautiful scenery without crowds. and a cruise really can't be beat for exposing you to multiple locations in comfort.

We had a good time. But the truth is, we've had some very nice vacations for the amount of the total cost (airfair, ship, extras) of the cruise. I came back from this cruise feeling like I'd rather go to a destination resort. I particularly like spas.

Kansas Beachbum

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #35 on: August 02, 2015, 10:06:49 AM »
Liquor is not included, nor are the virgin blended drinks the kids can get from the bar.  If you like to drink, like me and the Mrs. KBB do, the bar tab at the end can be surprising.  There are other things onboard that are not free, but we never really go in to any of those.  Shore excursions are also not free, but sometimes worth the spend.  That said, we haven't been on a cruise in years as we much prefer just going somewhere, renting a condo and a car, and actually seeing a place...instead of spending 4 hours in port and seeing what the cruise lines want you to see.  Not criticizing others choices at all, cruises are a great deal of fun and if that's what you like go for it, we just like to take a little more time and get to know a place. 
At a moment like this I can't help but wonder...what would Jimmy Buffett do?

Katsplaying

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #36 on: August 02, 2015, 10:56:34 AM »
My boss & his wife are fairly frugal, hardcore cruisers as a couple but when they "host" groups, all bets are off. After returning from yet another sea-jaunt last week, he complained that their bar bill, usually under $50/cruise, was over $500 and his was one of the lowest of their group. Their group? His fellow church members! I guess once they're off-shore, it's party time!

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Villanelle

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #37 on: August 02, 2015, 11:50:17 AM »
I wouldn't go on a cruise if they paid ME the fancy balcony rate. The thought of being stuck on a floating tourist trap makes me a bit uneasy. I don't mind others doing it though.

I thought this, until we did our first European cruise.  I think it was 7 days, with only 1 day we didn't pull in to port.  We spent very little time on the boat, other than dinner, a couple hours after dinner, and sleeping.

I've done 3 in 2.5 years, two with my husband and one with my mom and sister for my mom's 70th. And husband and I have one last cruise planned before we move from Europe.  We rarely spend much.  Mom enjoyed a daily happy hour and sprung for drinks to make that happen.  DH and I typically buy a bottle or two of wine (they store it for you so you can drink it across several nights and in various places).  One trip he bought a few speciality coffees.  (Regular coffee is free.)  At meals, we drink the free water, tea, and lemonade. 

We typically explore on our own.  Not only is it much cheaper, I prefer to get to spend more or less time at a site depending on our interest, and not to be in a horde of 45 people.  With mom and sister, mom wanted more structure so we research and arranged our own excursions.  We used sites that allowed us to share excursions with other people from our boat.  We had groups of about 7, for the same price or cheaper than the cruise tours, with far more flexibility.  It was definitely pricey still, and wouldn't have been how I choose to tour, but mom felt secure and liked that option, and was willing to pay for it (and can afford to do so). 

To me, when people say cruises are expensive or that there are so many things that aren't included that you'll be shocked when you disembark, they are like those who say that no one can live in $60,000.  The food on most lines is good to very good, and free.  So why do you "need" to spend $25+ on a speciality restaurant? Coffee is free, so why do you need a $5 latte?  Getting off the boat is free (and works just fine in most ports, and there are books to help you navigate the ports--notably Rick Steves for Euro cruises, with his cruise-specific books) so why do you need a $90+ excursion.

Just like everything else, they can be done for cheap, or in the most fancy-pants ways possible. 

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #38 on: August 07, 2015, 06:18:25 AM »
Liquor is not included, nor are the virgin blended drinks the kids can get from the bar.  If you like to drink, like me and the Mrs. KBB do, the bar tab at the end can be surprising.  There are other things onboard that are not free, but we never really go in to any of those.  Shore excursions are also not free, but sometimes worth the spend.  That said, we haven't been on a cruise in years as we much prefer just going somewhere, renting a condo and a car, and actually seeing a place...instead of spending 4 hours in port and seeing what the cruise lines want you to see.  Not criticizing others choices at all, cruises are a great deal of fun and if that's what you like go for it, we just like to take a little more time and get to know a place.

liquor is becoming more and more inclusive on cruises.  Just saw a 7 day cruise on norwegian for early Jan 2016 with a balcony and alcohol included for 550 per person. 
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2lazy2retire

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #39 on: August 07, 2015, 08:19:42 AM »
Liquor is not included, nor are the virgin blended drinks the kids can get from the bar.  If you like to drink, like me and the Mrs. KBB do, the bar tab at the end can be surprising.  There are other things onboard that are not free, but we never really go in to any of those.  Shore excursions are also not free, but sometimes worth the spend.  That said, we haven't been on a cruise in years as we much prefer just going somewhere, renting a condo and a car, and actually seeing a place...instead of spending 4 hours in port and seeing what the cruise lines want you to see.  Not criticizing others choices at all, cruises are a great deal of fun and if that's what you like go for it, we just like to take a little more time and get to know a place.



liquor is becoming more and more inclusive on cruises.  Just saw a 7 day cruise on norwegian for early Jan 2016 with a balcony and alcohol included for 550 per person.


Would there not be some valid safety concerns when you have a boat load of people with unlimited alcohol for 7 days;)

geekette

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #40 on: August 07, 2015, 09:41:30 AM »
Eh, they lose a few, but there are plenty.

(While it's true that passengers occasionally fall over the balcony rails while attempting drunken sex, that was actually paraphrased from a conversation with someone talking about spaying kittens at 4 weeks over 20 years ago. Yeah, it stuck with me).

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #41 on: August 07, 2015, 10:14:54 AM »
Liquor is not included, nor are the virgin blended drinks the kids can get from the bar.  If you like to drink, like me and the Mrs. KBB do, the bar tab at the end can be surprising.  There are other things onboard that are not free, but we never really go in to any of those.  Shore excursions are also not free, but sometimes worth the spend.  That said, we haven't been on a cruise in years as we much prefer just going somewhere, renting a condo and a car, and actually seeing a place...instead of spending 4 hours in port and seeing what the cruise lines want you to see.  Not criticizing others choices at all, cruises are a great deal of fun and if that's what you like go for it, we just like to take a little more time and get to know a place.



liquor is becoming more and more inclusive on cruises.  Just saw a 7 day cruise on norwegian for early Jan 2016 with a balcony and alcohol included for 550 per person.


Would there not be some valid safety concerns when you have a boat load of people with unlimited alcohol for 7 days;)

That's what the brig is for.  :)

The price of admission usually keeps the rifraf away though.

dragoncar

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #42 on: August 07, 2015, 01:50:20 PM »
Liquor is not included, nor are the virgin blended drinks the kids can get from the bar.  If you like to drink, like me and the Mrs. KBB do, the bar tab at the end can be surprising.  There are other things onboard that are not free, but we never really go in to any of those.  Shore excursions are also not free, but sometimes worth the spend.  That said, we haven't been on a cruise in years as we much prefer just going somewhere, renting a condo and a car, and actually seeing a place...instead of spending 4 hours in port and seeing what the cruise lines want you to see.  Not criticizing others choices at all, cruises are a great deal of fun and if that's what you like go for it, we just like to take a little more time and get to know a place.

liquor is becoming more and more inclusive on cruises.  Just saw a 7 day cruise on norwegian for early Jan 2016 with a balcony and alcohol included for 550 per person.

Which one?  I'm looking for cruise deals right now.  What lines/ships do you cruisers recommend?

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #43 on: August 07, 2015, 01:51:54 PM »
I thought the whole point of a cruise was that it was all inclusive?

Only very few cruises are all inclusive! The ones that are cost an effing fortune.


We have done 4 cruises; and my bill has never been more than $10 (not including mandatory tips).  One cruise I bought a pashmina (and it is freaking awesome) for $10. The others I only bought a plate of chocolate covered strawberries. We do not book shore excursions through the cruise lines, but often manage to do very low budget days (now that we scuba dive, the days are a bit more expensive...)

One of these cruises (Celebrity Xpedition) WAS all-inclusive, but I don't drink, so that isn't a feature I would normally look for in a cruise, as I don't want to pay for alcohol I don't consume. Xpedition is a bit a-typical as cruises go, the ship holds fewer than 100 people.

We go for the balcony if it is under $100 per person per night; otherwise we go with an oceanview.  The balcony is nice; especially as we are not party people, and we typically cruise Carnival due to it's value pricing.

We really like port-intensive cruises (not a huge fan of sea days, I can relax at home...) because they give us a chance to explore lots of new places without multiple expensive airfares! Then we get an idea of where we want to go back to. My husband loves the ocean, but I hate beach vacations... although now that we scuba dive, we've done 2 land trips that were really nice. So the cruise breaks that up a bit.


Quote
liquor is becoming more and more inclusive on cruises.  Just saw a 7 day cruise on norwegian for early Jan 2016 with a balcony and alcohol included for 550 per person.
That is an unusually low fare!  NCL's pricing has gone way up since they have offered the ultimate beverage package as a perk.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2015, 02:12:01 PM by iowajes »

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #44 on: August 07, 2015, 01:57:31 PM »
A cruise can be all-inclusive, except you can't drink alcohol or go to specialty restaurants, but you can still have fun by eating at regular buffets and go to excursion on your own (it's at your own risk of course). All I am saying, it is possible to go on a cruise without paying a dime on food or paying to be with an excursion group offered by the cruise line.

iowajes

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #45 on: August 07, 2015, 02:03:48 PM »
A cruise can be all-inclusive, except you can't drink alcohol or go to specialty restaurants, but you can still have fun by eating at regular buffets and go to excursion on your own (it's at your own risk of course). All I am saying, it is possible to go on a cruise without paying a dime on food or paying to be with an excursion group offered by the cruise line.

No need to eat at buffets unless you want to.  Every major cruise line includes a sit down main dining room in their fare.


I wouldn't call it all-inclusive though if you can't partake in all things offered. Yes, you can cruise without paying anything extra; but the offerings of the cruise are not all-inclusive. You have to make a conscious effort to not choose things that cost money; because they really are presented to you at every turn. For some people, this is really difficult because they feel if they are missing out.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2015, 02:07:47 PM by iowajes »

twojabs

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #46 on: August 07, 2015, 02:40:00 PM »
next cruise for us is in November, but reading this, i'd be happy to go on one tomorrow (but cant because work :( )

you can spend what you like and "upgrade your experience" but you dont neeeeed to because it is good anyway.  a simple inside cabin is all you need.

we done a balcony once, but that was for our honeymoon so totally wasnt going to do anything else.

eurgh... this scottish weather truly is depressing lately... must be 40+ days of consecutive rain.

boarder42

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #47 on: August 07, 2015, 02:45:06 PM »
Liquor is not included, nor are the virgin blended drinks the kids can get from the bar.  If you like to drink, like me and the Mrs. KBB do, the bar tab at the end can be surprising.  There are other things onboard that are not free, but we never really go in to any of those.  Shore excursions are also not free, but sometimes worth the spend.  That said, we haven't been on a cruise in years as we much prefer just going somewhere, renting a condo and a car, and actually seeing a place...instead of spending 4 hours in port and seeing what the cruise lines want you to see.  Not criticizing others choices at all, cruises are a great deal of fun and if that's what you like go for it, we just like to take a little more time and get to know a place.

liquor is becoming more and more inclusive on cruises.  Just saw a 7 day cruise on norwegian for early Jan 2016 with a balcony and alcohol included for 550 per person.

Which one?  I'm looking for cruise deals right now.  What lines/ships do you cruisers recommend?

looks like those are gone.  I recommend subscribing to travelzoo.com and crucon.com Crucon is where most of the crazy deals i've seen recently come from.  it was about a month ago i saw the norwegian for that price.  best drink package cruise line is probably celebrity if you want more than just booze.  it includes specialty coffees and bottled water and OJ.  if you just want booze norwegian has the highest limit on the package they include with their sip and sail promotion. 
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okits

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #48 on: August 07, 2015, 07:02:45 PM »
This thread makes me badly want to go on a cruise!  DH is very resistant.  :(

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Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #49 on: August 07, 2015, 07:44:19 PM »
A cruise can be all-inclusive, except you can't drink alcohol or go to specialty restaurants, but you can still have fun by eating at regular buffets and go to excursion on your own (it's at your own risk of course). All I am saying, it is possible to go on a cruise without paying a dime on food or paying to be with an excursion group offered by the cruise line.

No need to eat at buffets unless you want to.  Every major cruise line includes a sit down main dining room in their fare.


I wouldn't call it all-inclusive though if you can't partake in all things offered. Yes, you can cruise without paying anything extra; but the offerings of the cruise are not all-inclusive. You have to make a conscious effort to not choose things that cost money; because they really are presented to you at every turn. For some people, this is really difficult because they feel if they are missing out.
What I meant is that you won't die from starvation on a cruise line, you get free meals if you feel like it just like a resort in some hotel, the only difference is the alcohol which is also not necessary to survive.