Looking for some solid cruise tips for first timers? Many of the major cruise lines will indicate “all-inclusive” in their promotions and this will usually cover all the basics but there are obviously some things that you need to pay for.
First time cruise tip 1 – Shore Excursions
Shore excursions typically costs $26 – $46 for a half day tour and can go up to $200 for a full day tour. But you really don’t have to take the ship’s tour because you can plan your very own shore excursion independently and you can get it at a much lower cost. You can do this more economically by going on a self-guided walking tour. Call the local tour operators and ask for the price and if you can set it up on your own.
First time cruise tip 2 – Drinks
Alcohol and other beverages are one of the biggest revenue generators for cruise lines. You have to keep a close tab on how much you’re ordering drinks because this can really inflate your cruise bill. Many of the major cruise lines have promos on daily drinks that you definitely should consider. During meals, there are complimentary iced tea, milk and coffee that you can have. If you’re going with your kids, consider getting their unlimited soda packages which costs around $15-$20.
First time cruise tip 3 – Casinos
My advice for you is to just avoid the casinos. If you really have to then make sure that you set a limit to how much you want to gamble and a limit to when you should stop and get out if you lose.
First time cruise tip 4 – Spa
A session in a spa can cost you around $90 – $115 but if you’re being confronted with a sales pitch, then all you have to do is politely decline if you don’t have any interest. You can still go on a spa treatment if you check out the ship’s daily program on special promotions for spas.
First time cruise tip 5 – Souvenirs
I would advice you to be extra careful when it comes to purchasing any souvenirs while on a cruise ship. I’ve read how a cruise staff bought a $5 stuff toy and sold it for over $400 in a souvenir shop! It can be tempting to buy if you’ll look around shops but you have to remember that they are highly overpriced. You can try checking out shops during the last day of sailing because usually they give some discounts to their items.
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