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Planning Your Next Cruise on a Budget

Cruise on a Budget

Reason number one why I enjoy traveling so much is the low cost. Everything you need, from lodging to dining to activities to transportation, is conveniently located aboard a cruise ship. A cruise trip is the perfect way to unwind and enjoy your time off.

A cruise gives you the feeling of an all-inclusive resort without breaking the bank because of all the extras that are included in the price of the ticket.

A day on a cruise can cost as little as $50, making it an affordable option for groups of all sizes and solo travelers. There will be no need to repack your bags between destinations, so you can spend more time enjoying your travels.

It takes some forethought and organization to plan a cruise on a tighter financial budget. Doing some preliminary planning can help you stay within your cruise vacation budget. No one enjoys the feeling of stinginess during a cruise.

We’ve compiled all the information you need to know to plan the best cruise possible without breaking the bank. Whether you’re treading a Caribbean cruise or a Mediterranean beach cruise across Europe, you will definitely need these tips. Check out for the best beaches to land on your next cruise.


You should determine your cruise trip budget before making any other plans. The cost of your cruise ticket likely accounts for the majority of your vacation budget, but there are other costs to think about. Consider the cost of airfare if you need to travel to the port of embarkation. You should also book a hotel the night before the cruise leaves and arrange for transportation to and from the port.

Think about how much money you’re willing to spend on vacation so that you can enjoy the activities that mean the most to you. Is it your intention to participate in port-sponsored shore excursions at every stop? Which, if any, of our specialized meal and drink packages are you interested in purchasing? Prioritize your spending and save accordingly. Unless you have an infinite amount of money to spend on a cruise, you’ll need to make some tough choices about what you value most.

Do some homework on cruise lines

Finding the finest cruise line for your holiday is the next step after figuring out your finances.

Planning a cruise holiday may be expensive if you don’t take the time to learn which cruise line best suits your budget. Depending on the cruise company, you can get amazing discounts and offers, or you can choose for a more deluxe experience at a higher price.

Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise Line are among the most cost-effective options. While luxury lines like Princess, Holland America, and Celebrity Cruises may offer some attractive deals, budget-conscious travelers are more likely to discover suitable itineraries with the smaller, less well-known cruise companies.

Book an inner isle room

I stand by this advice 100%! When trying to cut costs on a cruise, inside rooms are your best bet. Though these cabins are the lowest on the ship, you may still have a good cruise experience.

Inside, staterooms may lack windows but provide all the comforts of home. Inside cabins may be the smallest category of staterooms, but I’ve found that they have plenty of space for my belongings.

Since inside cabins are the most reasonably priced option, that’s the one I choose almost every time. If I can go on cruises more frequently and spend less money doing it, I will. Plus, I’ll have more money for the things that really matter to me, like trying out new restaurants and seeing the sights at each port.

In any case, nobody really spends much time in their cabin. When the day is done, all you want is a quiet place to rest your head and a place to freshen up with a shower and some clean clothes.

What’s more, since it’s completely dark in there, you can take a fantastic nap whenever you like!


Similarly, if you want to save money on your cruise, you should make your reservation as far in advance as you can. If you plan ahead, you can reserve a stateroom that fits comfortably within your price range.

The cheapest cabins are the first to sell out when new routes are released. You may end up paying a hefty premium for a higher category stateroom if you wait until the last minute to book your cruise.

Experienced cruisers will tell you that planning ahead gives you time to set aside money for your trip. There’s a chance you’ll save money in the long run, too, thanks to discounts and special offers.

Prices change often

Pre-departure cruise discounts and special offers are still available for those who plan ahead. If the going rate for your cruise is lower now than when you booked, the cruise line may re-price your trip.

You may take advantage of a lower rate up to 48 hours before your voyage with Royal Caribbean’s Best Price Guarantee Program. In order to apply the revised pricing, you must either contact the cruise line directly or have your travel agent do it on your behalf.

Make sure you get the best price on your cruise by frequently recalculating the cost of your trip. Your refund will be made using the same method of payment used for the initial purchase, or you may choose to have an onboard credit applied to your next cruise.

I’ve saved so much money on our vacations thanks to frequent price adjustments. Recently, I was able to save my family $3,500 on our upcoming Holy Land cruise due to a significant price drop. I’ve renegotiated the cost of our forthcoming Alaska cruise three times in an effort to shave over $300 off the cost of a trip that was already reasonably priced.

Last-minute boarding

If you’re thinking this goes against everything we’ve been saying, you’d be correct. Waiting until the last minute to make a purchase can be risky and doesn’t always result in the best deals. However, if you wait until the last minute to book your cruise, you could get lucky and save a lot of money.

An inexpensive way to go on a cruise is to book a last-minute trip. If a trip doesn’t sell out or there isn’t enough interest, the cruise line will likely lower the price as the departure date approaches. However, in order to benefit from a last-minute sailing offer, you will need to be adaptable. If you need to travel to the departure port, check the cost of your flight. Although your cruise could be very affordable, it doesn’t guarantee your ticket will be.

Don’t bother with shore trips

Skipping the shore excursions is a simple method to cut costs on a cruise. This may add up rapidly, especially for parents taking their families on a cruise. The price of cruise line-sponsored shore excursions will be high due to the comfort, safety, and versatility they provide. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t feel compelled to reserve shore excursions in order to get the most out of your cruise.

Do not discount the possibility of taking a trip on your own and arranging it through a travel agency. Depending on the number of people in your party and the excursion you choose, you may be able to split the cost with other cruisers going on the same trip. When you get off the ship at the port, you’ll find a plethora of tour options waiting for you. A lot of the time, you can find tour operators offering same-day excursions at a fraction of the cost of what you’d pay on a cruise ship.

Keep an eye out for pre-cruise deals

It’s normal practice for cruise lines to have sales events geared toward helping you prepare for your trip before you even set sail. Package deals for onboard amenities like internet access, food, and shore excursions are all fair game.

Your pre-sailing purchases are refundable, subject to a time limit, so you may change or cancel almost anything at any moment. Pre-cruise purchases are often refundable up to the final two or three days of the voyage. Therefore, if the price of anything you recently bought drops, you should cancel your original order and place a new one at the reduced price. Getting as much as 30% off during a pre-cruise sale might make those high-end items seem more reasonable.

Book cruise packages

It is possible to save a significant amount of money by purchasing one of the many onboard packages offered by cruise companies, which include everything from gourmet meals to upscale drinks. Make sure you’ll get enough food and drink to justify the price of the package before you book it. It takes around five or six drinks per day on average to justify the price of an unlimited package’s booze. Check out the cruise line’s fine dining establishments to see whether you wish to spend on a meal.

If you know you’ll be tempted to indulge in extravagances on your cruise and have problems adhering to a strict budget, it may be wise to purchase a pre-cruise package to help you save money. Because the cost is set in advance, this also makes for a more hassle-free vacation.

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