Cruise Wisdom: Bottom Lines

Cruise Wisdom: Bottom Lines

How to Better Budget Your Shipboard Costs

By Cindy O’Neil

Q: My wife and I are planning our next cruise. Can you give us tips on how to better manage onboard spending so we don’t suffer from sticker shock when we receive our final bill?
George G., Denver, CO

A: Ah, yes, the final bill, slipped under your cabin door ever so silently in the wee hours of your last night on the cruise. While on board, your room card doubles as your cabin door key and a credit card, so it’s easy to forget that each swipe represents more cash to be paid at the end of the trip. But take heart. There are a few things you can do to better budget those additional cruise expenses.

BYOB. Some cruise lines, such as Disney Cruise Line, Azamara Club Cruises, and P&O Cruises, allow you to bring liquor on board to drink in your own cabin. Other lines allow each passenger over the age of 21 to carry on a bottle of wine on the first day of the cruise. If you bring your bottle to the dining room, a corkage fee may be added to your bill, but feel free to enjoy your wine or bubbly on your balcony. Most cruise lines will allow you to bring a few unopened bottles of water on board, and some, like Carnival Cruise Lines, will even allow you to bring a dozen 12 oz. cans of soda per person….


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