I am including links to make it easy for you to see what I’m taking about, but no I’m not making any money. We paid for the cruise with our own money.
I’ve had a lot of interest from people curious about our cruise experience in general, but I also wanted to share how we were able to make it more budget friendly, and didn’t completely break the bank. This was our first vacation as adults, so we wanted to keep it relatively inexpensive. meaning we didn’t spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on our vacation. Here we go!
1 // Check your cruise line’s water + soda policy. We took Carnival and they allow a certain amount of water and soda to be brought on board, per person. The amount they allowed was plenty for the amount of time we were gone. We actually ended up taking some home at the end of our trip.
2 // Find something where meals are included. Could you imagine having to pay $20-50+ per meal, times the number of days you’re gone? We had food available to us 24 hours a day, including ice cream. :)
3 // Do your reseach on alcohol policies. This is where cruise lines make bank, because people assume that paying per drink is their only option. They DO NOT allow alcohol to be brought on board. They will confiscate it and you will be screwed. Carnival offers something called “In Room Gifting” of beverages and gifts. So a week before we left, I bought a package deal that included a bottle of Jack Daniels and a six-pack of Coca Cola. This was just for Josh, as I don’t really drink. We figured that even though this drink package was fairly pricey, buying per drink would be even more expensive. He ended up taking a 2/3 bottle of JD home.
Carnival also offers a deal where you can purchase a pass for unlimited alchohlic drinks per day, but all persons over 21 in the same room have to purchase it, so it wasn’t the right choice for us.
4 // If you’re going to gamble or spend money on other extras, set a budget. We decided to splurge on a spa experience. It was amazing and totally worth it because we decided not to spend much money elsewhere. Also know that there is so much free entertainment going on, pretty much at all times. We went to the comedy club several times, which was really great. Even when you’re not going anything, you’re doing something. We loved people watching, since there were hammered people by like 11a.
5 // We didn’t have to pay travel fees (flight, taxi, etc), which saved us a ton of money! The port we left from is only about 45 minutes away from where we live and we had my mom drop us off and pick us up.
6 // If your vacation budget is small and your time off work is limited, go on a short vacation. We left on Sunday afternoon and woke up on Thursday morning back in port. It was the perfect length for us!
I really hope this helped those of you who are also on a budget and can’t afford to travel for weeks and weeks! Carnival, if you read this I’d really like to go to Turks & Caicos. :)