Cruise expert reveals top tips for budget-friendly sailing

Cruise expert reveals top tips for budget-friendly sailing

When to book, what to pack and how to prepare

In a climate where money is tighter than usual, travellers are turning to cruising as a more affordable way to holiday. While cruising is generally better value than land trips, it's important to know that there are even more ways to stretch a budget at sea when you're counting the pennies.

“Cruises are an amazing experience, and they really don’t have to be expensive. Making small changes can save you hundreds and allow you to find a cruise no matter what your budget is," says Cruise Mummy founder Jenni Fielding.

Here are Fielding's top tips to share with your cruise clients:

Book your cruise through a travel agent
It’s generally cheaper and easier to book with a travel agent, especially if you are a first-time cruiser. Often, they get access to special fares or packages with flights that aren’t publicly available.

Book last minute or at least a year in advance
According to the experts, you can find the best deals when the itineraries are first released for booking, or 12 weeks before the cruise sets sail as prices start to drop to fill remaining cabins.

Explora Journeys | Celebrity Cruises | Hurtigruten | Norwegian Cruise Line | Oceania Cruises
Royal Caribbean

Look for reduced child rates  
Taking time to research the prices of children’s tickets could save you a dime. Some cruise lines may charge a reduced fee for younger cruisers, while others allow children on board free of charge.

But a wifi package   
While at sea, your phone can’t connect to the satellites it would on land, so it connects to maritime satellites instead, which generally incur a much higher charge from operators. Enquire about onboard wifi packages, which usually offer a better deal, and be sure to download free calling apps, such as WhatsApp and Skype, before getting on board.  

BYO Drinks
If you’re not travelling all-inclusive, consider bringing your own tipple. Many cruise lines allow one bottle per person, and some allow you to bring more for a small fee to enjoy in your own room. Corkage fees will apply in ship bars and restaurants if BYO is permitted at all. Check with the cruise line in advance.

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