10 Money-Saving Cruise Holiday Hacks

The inclusive nature of cruise holidays make them perfect for holidaymakers who like to squeeze every last penny from their vacation budget and every bit of excitement from their two weeks off work. Here we offer 10 cruise holiday hacks helping you stretch that vacation budget even further and create an unforgettable holiday experience.


1 – Research your Destinations

One of the great benefits of cruise holidays is the number of destinations taken in by many ships, giving passengers the opportunity to enjoy new countries, cities and cultures. There is a common misconception that to fully enjoy these destinations, it is necessary to employ the help of an in-port tour guides.

However, a little research into your destination using tools such as TripAdvisor can help you successfully parade as your own tour guide and save money on employing a local guide.

2 – Enjoy the Complimentary Dining

All major cruise lines offer complimentary dining options and eateries throughout the entirety of the holiday. These are often complemented by speciality restaurants at an extra cost – but the complimentary food aboard cruise ships in traditionally plentiful and of a high standard. Understanding the growing demographics enjoying cruise holidays, the free culinary fare is often varied – suiting a wide range of palates and tastes, meaning you can eat well for free throughout the holiday.

two deckchairs on the idyllic white beach in front of the turquo

3 – Lunch at the Speciality Restaurants

If there is a speciality restaurant you simply cannot resist, book a table for a lunch sitting. The prices in many cruise ship speciality restaurants are often lower during lunch than at dinner, offering the same dishes and quality.

4 – Visit Spas on Port Days

Spa treatments are often charged at an additional cost to the rest of the holiday – putting off budget holidaymakers. However, these prices often drop on days the ship is in port visiting a new destination. If you are not interested in visiting one of the ports, book into the spa for a little relaxing and reinvigorating treatment during the excursion days.

5 – Check the Gratuities

All the major cruise lines add daily gratuities onto the overall bill – rewarding the crew for their hard work and service. Check the gratuities of your cruise ship on the first day of your cruise at the customer services desk and ask to alter it, if you believe you are being charged an unreasonable amount.


6 – Release your Inner David Bailey

Whilst cruise ships often host on-board photographers offering to capture your likeness, it is always cheaper (read: free) to take your own camera with you and take your own photos. Modern cameras make it increasingly simple to capture in-focus, high-clarity images. Furthermore crew members are usually more than happy to take a picture of your whole party.

7 – Turn off the Data Roaming

This simple trick should be employed whenever travelling outside of the country. Turning off data roaming ensures your phone is not sneakily trying to connect to WiFi and phone networks whilst you travel around the world.

8 – Enjoy the Captain’s Dinner

If you are invited to the Captain’s Dinner or any other formal night on the ship, jump at the invitation – these events are often jam-packed with free food and cocktails. Even if these events are not to your taste – simply whirl in, get your fill of cocktails and then hotfoot it to the burger restaurant or the bar.


9 – Check Last-Minute Deals

Empty cabins aboard cruise ships are lost profit for cruise companies so they are often prone to offering fantastically low last-minute deals. Companies such as Cruise1st are often granted exclusive last-minute deals to help cruise companies fill all their empty cabins by passing savings on to savvy cruisers.

10 – Consult the Bible

Even if you are not particularly religious, it is always worthwhile consulting the Gideon’s Bible in your cabin as many passengers will leave unused food and drink vouchers inside the pages. A quick flick through the holy book could help you fund a night on the cocktails.

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