Author Topic: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise  (Read 16879 times)

Villanelle

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1873
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #50 on: August 08, 2015, 05:23:30 AM »
I've cruised on Princess and Royal Caribbean.  I found them to be more or less the same.  I wouldn't pick a cruise based on line, but on itinerary and price. 

We always do the cheapest cabins--interior.  We pick port-intensive cruises with very few sea days.  Consequently, we don't spend much time in our room.  What do I care if I don't have a window, especially when it saves me hundreds of dollars?  Also, the interior cabins are in the middle of the ship (middle left to right, not necessarily front to back), so they move a bit less, which can be good in high seas.


Potterquilter

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 110
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #51 on: August 08, 2015, 05:47:41 AM »
We have friends who cruise a lot. They go on last minute cruises which works when you are retired. There are websites you can subscribe to that send you lists of deals.

We have gone on a few but I can take them or leave them. But then my everyday life is so great they have little appeal.

iowajes

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4911
  • Location: United States
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #52 on: August 08, 2015, 07:08:16 AM »
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.

Sorry, but there is a world of difference between "won't starve" and "all-inclusive".

Villanelle

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1873
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #53 on: August 08, 2015, 08:40:20 AM »
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.

Sorry, but there is a world of difference between "won't starve" and "all-inclusive".

Sure, but most all-inclusive resorts have extras, and they are commonly called "all-inclusive".  You can pay for that sunset cruise, the snorkeling trip, and sometimes even a lobster dinner one night.

A cruise is the same way.  It isn't just "won't starve".  You can have water, lemonade, tea, and coffee 24/7.  There are buffets open nearly 24 hours.  There are sit down dinners with fairly fancy menu choices and multiple courses.  There are activities and games and lectures and lessons.  All free.

But if you want to climb the rock wall or have a latte instead of a coffee, or you want dinner at the steakhouse, then you have to pay.  It isn't like it's difficult to avoid those things or that you really have to make much of a conscious effort, at least not in my experience.  I suppose there is a guy offering $5 bottled water when you disembark in port, and as you walk in to dinner someone might be there with info about an upcoming wine tasting, but I haven't found them to be aggressive or intrusive. 

Meggslynn

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 251
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #54 on: August 12, 2015, 09:00:43 AM »
The only cruise we have ever done was up to Alaska. Our room was $700 per person. We spent an additional $250 each on excursions. One excursion was a train ride in Skagway to the Yukon and the other was a whale watching tour in Juneau. Both of these were phenomenal additions to our trip and I would do them again in a heartbeat. We plan on taking our son to Alaska when he is older and he would get such a kick out of the wildlife and all the cool boat and train rides.

My only issue with Cruise boats is the grotesque amount of pollution they create :(

Dicey

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5794
  • Age: 59
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #55 on: August 13, 2015, 08:19:49 PM »
I read this thread with interest because I know there are websites that post exact itineraries (subject to change) based on your cruise line and dates, along with frugal hacks that allow you to get the most for your independent excursion dollar. Alas, I've seen nothing yet. Anyone? Bueller??
I did it! I have a journal!
A Lot Like This
And hell yes, I am still moving confidently in the direction of my dreams...

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7249
  • Registered member
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #56 on: August 13, 2015, 10:20:40 PM »
I read this thread with interest because I know there are websites that post exact itineraries (subject to change) based on your cruise line and dates, along with frugal hacks that allow you to get the most for your independent excursion dollar. Alas, I've seen nothing yet. Anyone? Bueller??

Well, tell us which websites and we'll meet there!

loftygoal

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 22
  • Location: Portland, OR
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #57 on: August 13, 2015, 10:57:05 PM »
If you want to be really frugal & drunk on a cruise, this is what I have done...

You're allowed to bring a pack of bottled water with lids sealed. At home, I steam off the lids, pour out the water, and fill them with vodka! I steam the lids again until soft and pop them back on. I don't drink soda anyway, so I help myself to nonstop screwdrivers (OJ is included). I never have a bill at the end of the cruise (besides tip). Good times!

iowajes

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4911
  • Location: United States
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #58 on: August 14, 2015, 07:09:23 AM »
If you want to be really frugal & drunk on a cruise, this is what I have done...

You're allowed to bring a pack of bottled water with lids sealed. At home, I steam off the lids, pour out the water, and fill them with vodka! I steam the lids again until soft and pop them back on. I don't drink soda anyway, so I help myself to nonstop screwdrivers (OJ is included). I never have a bill at the end of the cruise (besides tip). Good times!

If you sail Carnival, they figured this out- and now you can't bring bottled drinks, including water, anymore, only cans.

They used to weed out a lot of the vodka by shaking the water bottles, but that took time; so now everyone gets screwed.

Dicey

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5794
  • Age: 59
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #59 on: August 14, 2015, 07:35:43 AM »
I read this thread with interest because I know there are websites that post exact itineraries (subject to change) based on your cruise line and dates, along with frugal hacks that allow you to get the most for your independent excursion dollar. Alas, I've seen nothing yet. Anyone? Bueller??

Well, tell us which websites and we'll meet there!
I know of their existence, but no specifics. Sorry if it wasn't clear that I was asking a question, not hiding valuable resources. If I knew, I surely would share.
I did it! I have a journal!
A Lot Like This
And hell yes, I am still moving confidently in the direction of my dreams...

JPinDC

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 169
  • Age: 30
  • Location: DMV
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #60 on: August 14, 2015, 08:42:57 AM »
I went on my first cruise (as an adult) recently, and couldn't believe how much the whole thing was designed to keep selling you things -- art auctions, casino specials, massages, fancy dinners, bingo, etc. Every day there was some sort of free activity or raffle that was actually a trick to sell you more things! We did some excursions and bought a souvenir photo and a couple of drinks (in addition to the bottle of wine per person you're allowed to bring on board -- check your cruise line!) It wasn't bad, but I think we decided that cruising's not really for us anyway. Regarding excursions, I just went on tripadvisor to look for highly rated things we wanted to do and then booked on their websites. There was really not much to do in the ports we went to, so I'm glad we booked excursions.

Booking tip: Once we knew what cruise we wanted to take, we went to cruisecompete.com and put in our info. They farm it out to a bunch of travel agencies who all write you back with quotes. One of the agents quoted us the same price as the cruise line (and expedia, priceline, etc.), but with $125 of onboard credit. Score!

wtjbatman

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1323
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Missouri
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #61 on: August 14, 2015, 08:47:38 AM »
Cruise Critic seems to have a lot of info/deals and a very active forums. I like to read and imagine I'm able to take the wife on a cruise.

Dicey

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5794
  • Age: 59
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #62 on: August 14, 2015, 09:08:11 AM »
Booking tip: Once we knew what cruise we wanted to take, we went to cruisecompete.com and put in our info. They farm it out to a bunch of travel agencies who all write you back with quotes. One of the agents quoted us the same price as the cruise line (and expedia, priceline, etc.), but with $125 of onboard credit. Score!

Cruise Critic seems to have a lot of info/deals and a very active forums.
That's what I was looking for! Keep 'em coming, folks. Thank you.

BTW, I'd like to add that cruises can be very efficient at letting you see a lot of places in less time. I loved one I took that circumnavigated New Zealand. Since a lot of the cool things there are coastal, cruising allows you better access than overland travel. Milford Sound on a sunny day was miraculous to behold from deckside.
I did it! I have a journal!
A Lot Like This
And hell yes, I am still moving confidently in the direction of my dreams...

Villanelle

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1873
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #63 on: August 14, 2015, 10:55:19 AM »
Depending on where you are cruising, the Rick Steves book (one for Northern European cruise and the other for Med. cruises) has tons of tips.  He even talks you through how to get from various dock locations into town so you avoid taxis and shuttles when possible. 

I know Cruise Critic also has sections for each specific cruise, and then within them I believe there are subsections for meeting people to share private excursions.  Smaller groups and still cheaper than the ship's excursions if you can find another group or two with whom to share. 

SeaEhm

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 419
  • The Guilt is Real
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #64 on: August 14, 2015, 11:51:20 AM »
I see a lot of these types of people who are persuaded to go on a cruise because they are "cheap" only to spend more than the ticket price on alcohol alone.
Just here to feel guilty about my purchases which are often irrational, wants, and in an atypical budget.

Schaefer Light

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 792
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #65 on: August 14, 2015, 01:35:57 PM »
I see a lot of these types of people who are persuaded to go on a cruise because they are "cheap" only to spend more than the ticket price on alcohol alone.
I've done that before.  But I knew what I would be spending going into it.  And things are better (and cheaper) now with all the unlimited beverage packages.

iowajes

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4911
  • Location: United States
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #66 on: August 14, 2015, 01:53:06 PM »
I've done that before.  But I knew what I would be spending going into it.  And things are better (and cheaper) now with all the unlimited beverage packages.

The unlimited (which really, for Carnival is 15 drinks a day) beverage package, at $57.45 per day, for our cruise costs more per day than an oceanview room would have for the same cruise


My husband enjoys a drink almost every night at home; but he just doesn't drink on a cruise past what we are allowed to carry on. (In 4 cruises, I think we've purchased 4 drinks...).  It's not that hard to go a week without it.  (I don't drink at all.) And it sure saves a lot.

Schaefer Light

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 792
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #67 on: August 14, 2015, 01:58:23 PM »
I've done that before.  But I knew what I would be spending going into it.  And things are better (and cheaper) now with all the unlimited beverage packages.

The unlimited (which really, for Carnival is 15 drinks a day) beverage package, at $57.45 per day, for our cruise costs more per day than an oceanview room would have for the same cruise


My husband enjoys a drink almost every night at home; but he just doesn't drink on a cruise past what we are allowed to carry on. (In 4 cruises, I think we've purchased 4 drinks...).  It's not that hard to go a week without it.  (I don't drink at all.) And it sure saves a lot.
On Celebrity, the unlimited package is really unlimited and it's included in the cost of your room if you book oceanview or better.  Also, the Carnival 15-drink limit would be a problem for me ;).

honeybbq

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 685
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #68 on: August 14, 2015, 01:58:52 PM »
I only spent money on excursions, which I considered experiences and worth the money. And really, they weren't all that more expensive than an independent trip to do the same thing would be. Plus you have the guarantee that the boat will wait for you if you have a problem, which isn't the case if you do your own thing or hire an outside company.

FrugalTravelGal

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 18
  • Location: Illinois
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #69 on: August 14, 2015, 03:00:01 PM »
I love to cruise!   I usually choose a cruise based on itinerary and price, and  I almost always book the least expensive cabin with an online travel agency that discounts. I join the "roll call" thread on Cruise Critic (http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=34) for my particular cruise, and I have frequently joined   private tours  that have been organized by others on my ship.   To check whether cruise prices have gone up or down since they were first available to book - take a look at Cruise Fish: www.cruisefish.net.

I am pretty immune to the "nickel and diming" that occurs on a ship. I don't drink alcohol or soda, don't gamble, and am happy with the food in the dining room/buffet that is included in my cruise. I rarely buy "stuff" in the shops - other than the occasional tee-shirt. Cruise lines don't make a lot of money on me!

northernlights

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 47
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Wisconsin
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #70 on: August 14, 2015, 03:07:19 PM »
We loooove cruising but it sure is crazy how much some people will spend. Between our AmEx and Costco, we usually have at least 10% of the balcony cruise fare in OBC, which is enough to pay for anything we want to drink, a little gambling, and usually a shore excursion. Last time we cruised we ended up cashing out some of the OBC in the casino because we didn't need or want anything else. I think it can be as expensive as you make it, but it's definitely one of my favorite ways to vacation.

Ftao93

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 213
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #71 on: August 14, 2015, 03:37:17 PM »
We go on a themed cruise about every other year, and it is pricey.

I found as much as I drink on cruises, even though my wife doesn't, it's cheaper to get the bar card.  it's stupidly expensive.

I rarely buy things in port, or do anything that isn't totally amazing.

We can 'afford' it, but we're rethinking this (even though it's the cheapest way to see a few hundred friends at once).  seems like a better use would be to save up and go to other countries, etc.

691175002

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 67
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #72 on: August 14, 2015, 04:37:48 PM »
My parents really like cruises so we have done a lot of them as a family.  We used to get balconies and bigger rooms but nowadays we generally just grab the cheapest rooms.

None of us are heavy drinkers and we don't gamble.  Biggest expense is generally shore excursions.

I'm sitting here trying to remember what exactly we do on sea days but I can't seem to recall.  Its never boring though. 

The one exception was that 21 day cruise - I was clawing on the walls after two weeks.

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7249
  • Registered member
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #73 on: August 14, 2015, 06:24:12 PM »
I've done that before.  But I knew what I would be spending going into it.  And things are better (and cheaper) now with all the unlimited beverage packages.

The unlimited (which really, for Carnival is 15 drinks a day) beverage package, at $57.45 per day, for our cruise costs more per day than an oceanview room would have for the same cruise


My husband enjoys a drink almost every night at home; but he just doesn't drink on a cruise past what we are allowed to carry on. (In 4 cruises, I think we've purchased 4 drinks...).  It's not that hard to go a week without it.  (I don't drink at all.) And it sure saves a lot.

So it works out to like 5-6 drinks per day as a break-even point.  I don't think I'd drink that much at this stage in my life.  Maybe when I was in my 20s and single.  Maybe I could do a light beer every couple hours in the afternoon, but that's more for hydration than alcohol.

BTW, you could also ferment your own spiked juice in your room.  The first couple days would be weak, but after that you could have a steady supply.  There are a lot of kits out there if your search "spiked juice" or something like that.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2015, 06:27:32 PM by dragoncar »

JoJo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 773
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #74 on: August 31, 2017, 06:46:28 PM »
I finally wrote an article on saving money on cruises... especially for first time cruisers that don't realize all of the hidden costs.

My typical bill at the end of the cruise is for tips only... one time I bought a shore ex (a train where the cruise line had pre-purchased ALL of the tickets) and a bottle of wine for a special occasion.

https://thehotflashpacker.com/how-to-save-money-on-a-cruise/

CheapScholar

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 267
  • Location: The Midwest
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #75 on: August 31, 2017, 09:16:00 PM »
Good article.  Regarding the first section on booking, I'd add that WHEN you book matters.  Book very early or book a few weeks out for a great deal.  I'd also add that once you book, watch the price of your cruise like a hawk and rebook the better rate or cabin - especially before final payment.  I've done this twice with NCL (I always book directly with them). 

retired?

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 625
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #76 on: August 31, 2017, 11:12:53 PM »
Thanks for the article.  Our schools are out until the 11th due to the hurricane, so we figured that we'd look into it.  Dirt cheap

Bon voyage.

talltexan

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 843
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #77 on: September 01, 2017, 07:12:51 AM »
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.

My parents claim they paid for a Reno wedding using this method. They were poor graduate students at the time, so it actually seems kind of plausible.

Debts_of_Despair

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 368
  • Location: NY
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #78 on: September 01, 2017, 07:16:24 AM »
I finally wrote an article on saving money on cruises... especially for first time cruisers that don't realize all of the hidden costs.

My typical bill at the end of the cruise is for tips only... one time I bought a shore ex (a train where the cruise line had pre-purchased ALL of the tickets) and a bottle of wine for a special occasion.

https://thehotflashpacker.com/how-to-save-money-on-a-cruise/

I have just about the same number of cruise days and couldn't have written that better myself.

OurTown

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 410
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Tennessee
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #79 on: September 01, 2017, 07:27:03 AM »
I don't drink anymore, so our cruise last year was not that expensive.  I ordered a couple of Perrier with lime.  The wife ordered one fruity-sugary drink and decided she didn't like it.  We bought minimal shit at the stupid gift shop for MIL.  We did not pay for shore excursions, we did a few DIY and got a little far off the beaten track in Jamaica.  It was never unsafe, just a little rustic for my taste.  I did spring for couples massage, totally worth it!  Never ate at the fancy restaurant.  I actually preferred the buffet to the included sit-down restaurant myself.

JoJo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 773
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #80 on: September 01, 2017, 10:14:03 AM »
I finally wrote an article on saving money on cruises... especially for first time cruisers that don't realize all of the hidden costs.

My typical bill at the end of the cruise is for tips only... one time I bought a shore ex (a train where the cruise line had pre-purchased ALL of the tickets) and a bottle of wine for a special occasion.

https://thehotflashpacker.com/how-to-save-money-on-a-cruise/

I have just about the same number of cruise days and couldn't have written that better myself.

Thanks for the feedback! 

JoJo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 773
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #81 on: September 01, 2017, 10:14:55 AM »
Good article.  Regarding the first section on booking, I'd add that WHEN you book matters.  Book very early or book a few weeks out for a great deal.  I'd also add that once you book, watch the price of your cruise like a hawk and rebook the better rate or cabin - especially before final payment.  I've done this twice with NCL (I always book directly with them).


This is a good one.  I'll make some edits this weekend!

LiveLean

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 590
  • Location: Central Florida
    • ToLiveLean
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #82 on: September 01, 2017, 10:41:11 AM »
Cruising isn't for everyone. But it can be a great value. My in-laws get back tomorrow from a five-night cruise we bought them for their 50th anniversary. It went to Havana and Cozumel, in and out of Tampa where we live. We bought them a nicer cabin, took care of the port taxes, pre-paid gratuities and trip insurance for $1,880. SIL and BIL, pointing out that my in-laws drink a fair amount, bought them the booze package for $300 or so, which I'm guessing my in-laws more than covered.

The whole passive, consumer, gluttonous cruise experience has no appeal to me. But it works for some.
Living lean at www.tolivelean.com

JoJo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 773
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #83 on: September 01, 2017, 11:00:53 AM »
Cruising isn't for everyone. But it can be a great value. My in-laws get back tomorrow from a five-night cruise we bought them for their 50th anniversary. It went to Havana and Cozumel, in and out of Tampa where we live. We bought them a nicer cabin, took care of the port taxes, pre-paid gratuities and trip insurance for $1,880. SIL and BIL, pointing out that my in-laws drink a fair amount, bought them the booze package for $300 or so, which I'm guessing my in-laws more than covered.

The whole passive, consumer, gluttonous cruise experience has no appeal to me. But it works for some.

Cruising certainly isn't my favorite way to travel but it's allowed me to visit some parts that are difficult to get to otherwise (fjords of Norway & Chile, Antarctica, and all the little island nations of the Caribbean) and it's a great way to spend quality time with family.  I traveled all 3 times with my parents when they were in their 70s, now in their 80s and will remember that time fondly as I don't get to see them that often since I live across the country.

force majeure

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 95
  • Age: 42
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #84 on: September 01, 2017, 11:07:40 AM »
A cruise ship was in port here recently, named www.aboardtheworld.com
People own the cruise ship cabins, and travel continuously. Most of the cabins are empty - imagine that?
What a crazy waste of money.
The only owner name I heard was Judge Judy.
p.s. I get this from friends a lot…

"What will you do?”
"Whatever the hell I feel like doing on any given day."

UnleashHell

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3041
  • Location: Florida
  • climbing out of a dark hole
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #85 on: September 01, 2017, 11:09:57 AM »
I finally wrote an article on saving money on cruises... especially for first time cruisers that don't realize all of the hidden costs.

My typical bill at the end of the cruise is for tips only... one time I bought a shore ex (a train where the cruise line had pre-purchased ALL of the tickets) and a bottle of wine for a special occasion.

https://thehotflashpacker.com/how-to-save-money-on-a-cruise/

I'm guessing the train ride was St. Kitts?
If so i couldn't stomach that price and actually did an independent tour. Four of us for the same price as one train ticket!
made more entertaining by the guys clutch giving out as we started up Brimstone Castle!!
_____________
JTF 96

JoJo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 773
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #86 on: September 01, 2017, 11:23:04 AM »
I finally wrote an article on saving money on cruises... especially for first time cruisers that don't realize all of the hidden costs.

My typical bill at the end of the cruise is for tips only... one time I bought a shore ex (a train where the cruise line had pre-purchased ALL of the tickets) and a bottle of wine for a special occasion.

https://thehotflashpacker.com/how-to-save-money-on-a-cruise/

I'm guessing the train ride was St. Kitts?
If so i couldn't stomach that price and actually did an independent tour. Four of us for the same price as one train ticket!
made more entertaining by the guys clutch giving out as we started up Brimstone Castle!!


No, it was in Flam, Norway.   They have one of the steepest train rides in the world that goes up through valleys, stops at a waterfall, and then at a hotel at the top of the hill.  It's actually on the national train line of Norway.  However, when the cruise is in port, the line buys up all the tickets and charges you 3x the cost (to be fair, they gave us coffee and a waffle at the top!).   We had some ship credit anyways from a promotion so rather than blow it on booze, we did this overpriced trip.  I guess it was worth it but would have preferred to walk up and pay the real price.  It didn't even include transportation... the train station was 2 blocks from the ship!


boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5377
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #87 on: September 13, 2017, 06:27:55 AM »
I finally wrote an article on saving money on cruises... especially for first time cruisers that don't realize all of the hidden costs.

My typical bill at the end of the cruise is for tips only... one time I bought a shore ex (a train where the cruise line had pre-purchased ALL of the tickets) and a bottle of wine for a special occasion.

https://thehotflashpacker.com/how-to-save-money-on-a-cruise/

you probably should add to cancel your tips at the end of a cruise and go tip the staff that supported you then.  Those tips dont go to the staff its just another way they profit.  We cancel and hand out cash to our people who helped us.
PM me about how to save 6% on your annual grocery Bill!

There is a 35k starwood bonus right now as well. PM me for the info.

RedBaron3

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 25
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #88 on: September 13, 2017, 10:26:09 AM »
I take it I'm the only one who filled stealthily filled a 12 pack of water (still in plastic wrapping) with vodka and didn't spend a dime on alcohol?  I did buy the (non-alcoholic) beverage card for unlimited mixers.

iowajes

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4911
  • Location: United States
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #89 on: September 13, 2017, 10:42:07 AM »
I take it I'm the only one who filled stealthily filled a 12 pack of water (still in plastic wrapping) with vodka and didn't spend a dime on alcohol?  I did buy the (non-alcoholic) beverage card for unlimited mixers.

No, you aren't the only one.
And you're the reason that they now open all the packs of water and shake every single bottle individually to make sure it isn't vodka. (They used to shake the whole pack at once, which was impressive strength, IMO)

I've been on 5 cruises and only paid for one drink. The bar waitress at dinner was so nice I felt bad to never buy anything.  But we always bring on two 12-packs of soda and 2 bottles of wine and that's enough for me and DH.

There are entire industries around sneaking alcohol onto cruises though. I've seen so many products- like liners for shampoo bottles, or jugs that supposedly don't get seen on the scanners, etc. People will go to huge lengths to get alcohol on.
(My BIL was quite successful with the "buy lots of bottles in port", give one to the checker and keep the rest in the backpack.)

RedBaron3

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 25
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #90 on: September 13, 2017, 10:48:00 AM »
I take it I'm the only one who filled stealthily filled a 12 pack of water (still in plastic wrapping) with vodka and didn't spend a dime on alcohol?  I did buy the (non-alcoholic) beverage card for unlimited mixers.

No, you aren't the only one.
And you're the reason that they now open all the packs of water and shake every single bottle individually to make sure it isn't vodka. (They used to shake the whole pack at once, which was impressive strength, IMO)

Good to know to not try again.  I haven't gone on one since 2010 and lifestyle/risk preferences have shifted greatly over the past 7 years. 

iowajes

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4911
  • Location: United States
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #91 on: September 13, 2017, 10:52:01 AM »
I take it I'm the only one who filled stealthily filled a 12 pack of water (still in plastic wrapping) with vodka and didn't spend a dime on alcohol?  I did buy the (non-alcoholic) beverage card for unlimited mixers.

No, you aren't the only one.
And you're the reason that they now open all the packs of water and shake every single bottle individually to make sure it isn't vodka. (They used to shake the whole pack at once, which was impressive strength, IMO)

Good to know to not try again.  I haven't gone on one since 2010 and lifestyle/risk preferences have shifted greatly over the past 7 years.

They just take it away. They aren't going to deny boarding for vodka water bottles.

JoJo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 773
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #92 on: September 13, 2017, 11:23:56 AM »
I finally wrote an article on saving money on cruises... especially for first time cruisers that don't realize all of the hidden costs.

My typical bill at the end of the cruise is for tips only... one time I bought a shore ex (a train where the cruise line had pre-purchased ALL of the tickets) and a bottle of wine for a special occasion.

https://thehotflashpacker.com/how-to-save-money-on-a-cruise/

you probably should add to cancel your tips at the end of a cruise and go tip the staff that supported you then.  Those tips dont go to the staff its just another way they profit.  We cancel and hand out cash to our people who helped us.

I've been told if you cancel your mandated tips and give to individuals, the individuals are mandated to give that full amount back to the pot or they will be fired.  The individuals can only keep it if you've paid the mandated tips.    Also the mandated tips get paid to all the people behind the scenes that do work to serve you, from the cooks to the people who wash the sheets.

I'm not going to mention on my website to not pay the tips... the people work so hard and even with tips probably make less than minimum wage.  This is a fine line between being frugal and cheap.


iowajes

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4911
  • Location: United States
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #93 on: September 13, 2017, 12:01:44 PM »
A friend who spent 3 years working on RCCL said they absolutely receive their share of the "mandatory" tips. They don't go to the company.
And they do have to turn in cash tips to share.

Tipping only people who served you actually leaves out HUGE numbers of tipped employees who directly influenced how enjoyable your cruise was. Were you glad your table was wiped clean on the Lido deck? Happy that the elevators were cleaned? Glad the bar was well stocked so the bartender could make your favorite drink? Did you seek those people out to tip them?

My friend was in a highly visible position, so he got tons of extra tips. But a lot of other people on the ship do a lot of work, and the ship's economy is set up that they rely on tips too, and don't always see passengers.

pachnik

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1550
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #94 on: September 13, 2017, 12:10:10 PM »
A friend who spent 3 years working on RCCL said they absolutely receive their share of the "mandatory" tips. They don't go to the company.
And they do have to turn in cash tips to share.

Tipping only people who served you actually leaves out HUGE numbers of tipped employees who directly influenced how enjoyable your cruise was. Were you glad your table was wiped clean on the Lido deck? Happy that the elevators were cleaned? Glad the bar was well stocked so the bartender could make your favorite drink? Did you seek those people out to tip them?

My friend was in a highly visible position, so he got tons of extra tips. But a lot of other people on the ship do a lot of work, and the ship's economy is set up that they rely on tips too, and don't always see passengers.

I am glad to read this.  I just spent 7 days cruising in Alaska with Celebrity Cruises.  Each person on the boat had daily mandatory tips put onto their account.  Both my husband and I were pleased to do it this way.  For us, it made sure that the workers got their tips.   Like you said above, the people who bussed tables at the buffet, the housekeeping people who cleaned the public areas of the ship are just two categories of worker that I can think of that should get their share. 

Elderwood17

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 523
  • Location: Western North Carolina
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #95 on: September 13, 2017, 03:00:19 PM »
My sister stated she spent as much on booze and excursion as her cruise itself cost.   She does like good booze but that just makes me shake my head.

JoJo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 773
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #96 on: September 13, 2017, 03:06:20 PM »
A friend who spent 3 years working on RCCL said they absolutely receive their share of the "mandatory" tips. They don't go to the company.
And they do have to turn in cash tips to share.

Tipping only people who served you actually leaves out HUGE numbers of tipped employees who directly influenced how enjoyable your cruise was. Were you glad your table was wiped clean on the Lido deck? Happy that the elevators were cleaned? Glad the bar was well stocked so the bartender could make your favorite drink? Did you seek those people out to tip them?

My friend was in a highly visible position, so he got tons of extra tips. But a lot of other people on the ship do a lot of work, and the ship's economy is set up that they rely on tips too, and don't always see passengers.


Thanks for sharing this.   Yeah, I feel for the people down in the bowels of the ship cooking & doing laundry.

It's similar to restaurants.  Why do the cute girls or guys that get to wait tables and bartend get so much more than the people slaving away preparing food and washing dishes?  Washing dishes is the worse.  I did it for a quarter in college and was sick all the time... constantly touching germy food & dishes.

JoJo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 773
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #97 on: September 13, 2017, 03:09:24 PM »
My sister stated she spent as much on booze and excursion as her cruise itself cost.   She does like good booze but that just makes me shake my head.


Excursions I could see.  I'm looking at excursions on a possible pacific cruise and if you want to do the good stuff (like the road to hana in maui), it's going to run you $149.   I'm looking at alternatives like renting a car for the day and sharing with a few people.

Cruisecritic roll calls give some contacts for organizing tours independent of the cruiseline.  I've taken tours that are 1/2 the cost and include more perks (smaller groups, included meals & samples, less stops at commissionable shops, etc)

libertarian4321

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1169
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #98 on: September 13, 2017, 03:51:12 PM »
A cruise ship was in port here recently, named www.aboardtheworld.com
People own the cruise ship cabins, and travel continuously. Most of the cabins are empty - imagine that?
What a crazy waste of money.
The only owner name I heard was Judge Judy.

Owners need a net worth of at least $10 million, and the cheapest residence costs $3 million.  And you have to meet the approval of the current residents before they let you aboard.

The upside is, you can bring your own alcohol on board! :)

Channel-Z

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: Rant on Spending While Onboard A Cruise
« Reply #99 on: September 13, 2017, 04:54:56 PM »
For those of us who are single, is a cruise worthwhile at all? I would like to do it once, even though my co-workers make it sound like a Golden Corral on water. But I don't want to be charged a double-occupancy rate.