When Jess and I went on our first cruise in 2011, we were surprised to learn how affordable cruise vacations are – and how much we enjoyed the cruise itself, even though we usually prefer to travel independently! We happened to find a real bargain deal for the cruise and we are handing over the blog today to Molly Meyers,s a British travel writer whose focus are cruises. Nothing excites her more than gliding across the ocean on a fancy cruise ship and exploring new places during shore expeditions, and she is sharing some great money-saving tips for cruises with you!
Cruising the glittering Caribbean Sea used to be a luxury only afforded by the rich or extremely loaded. These days however, you only have to do a quick search to find countless extremely affordable cruises, and if you can grab yourself a bargain flight to your pick up point, you’ll be even more in the money.
A good way to save money before you even leave the house is to book your airport parking spot. I regularly use Airparks, and I find that avoiding the need for taxis and public transport not only saves me money, but cuts out the stress and worry of whether they’ll turn up, be late, or the general stress of a busy coach or train. You’ll find you can book parking at all major UK airports, as well as more regional airports.
Where you cruise within the Caribbean depends on your preferences of course, and you’ll find many different routes available. The most popular cruises often depart from Fort Lauderdale or Miami, and you’ll find countless flights into Florida all year around.
Aside from the amazing scenery and sure-fire suntan, one of the major perks of a cruise is that your food and drink is all included in the price of your holiday. Alcoholic drinks are sometimes not included, but you can often buy a package that allows you to drink mostly unlimited as part of it. It’s not just a few snacks or limited food either, you will find countless restaurants on board, and the food is often out of this world. On my last cruise I could easily eat myself into a stupor!
Once you know your itinerary, you can look at any shore excursions you might like to do. You will find that the cost of excursions offered by your ship will be more expensive than those you will find online or from street vendors. It’s up to you to decide if the smaller price of an independent vendor outweighs the comfort of a contracted tour operator who will guarantee to get you back on board in time for the ship’s departure. During a Caribbean cruise you often don’t need to take an organized tour though – just grab your towel, walk off the ship and lay down on one of these breathtakingly beautiful beaches with white sand and turquoise waters.
I recommend doing some research on all the Caribbean Islands your ship will stop at beforehand – find out what there is to do on the island, where the prettiest beaches are, and how to get there. Whilst once upon a time cruising was seen as an elderly generation thing to do, nowadays it is quite the opposite and the facilities you will find onboard suit every age group out there, so if you find a bargain that you like the look of, go for it!