A CRUISE connoisseur has revealed her top tips for booking a cruise for next to nothing.
The expert, dubbed Cruise Mummy, who has been in the industry for almost two decades has six hacks to stop you from stretching your budget unnecessarily.
Cruise Mummy knows that the wealth of options available when choosing a cruise can be overwhelming.
Comparing booking online, directly with the cruise line and using a travel agent, she says it’s always better to go with an agent.
She revealed that travel agents often get access to packages, like those including flights, that aren’t readily made available otherwise.
Sacrifice those extras
The cruise expert also said that cruise prices are hiked up through option extras – like room types.
Balcony rooms for example, although luxurious, can add a hefty pricetag.
She suggested opting for an inside cabin instead. These cabins have no balcony or windows – but they tend to be half the price.
Consider booking times
Although slightly controversial, she said that cruise goers should either book at least a year in advance, or very last minute.
She revealed that the best deals are found when cruise liners first release their itineraries – or a handful of weeks before they set sail.
Cruise Mummy admitted booking last minute comes with its risks, but she says the price drop is worth it.
Find cheaper child rates
Although many cruise ships have a set price for all passengers – regardless of age – some have a reduced fee for children.
Some even allow children on board for free, while others might offer complementary kids classes or night nurseries.
Cruise Mummy asserted that taking the time to research the price of children’s fares could save you hundreds when booking a cruise.
Bring your own beer
It goes without saying that paying for drinks can dramatically increase how much you spend on a cruise.
If you aren’t going on an all-inclusive cruise you should consider taking your own alcohol with you, Cruise Mummy suggests.
She added that most cruise ships allow one bottle per person, and that you can usually bring more for just a small fee.
Pay for WiFi
Obviously, data roaming can send your phone bill sky-rocketing, and this is even worse while at sea – as your phone can only connect to maritime satellites.
You can return to the stone age for the duration of your cruise, and choose to switch it off to avoid charges completely, or you can pick a WiFi package on board.
While they do come at a cost, they are often far cheaper than any data roaming bill would be whilst at sea.
Cruise Mummy added: “Cruises are an amazing experience, and they really don’t have to be expensive.
“Making small changes can save you hundreds and allow you to find a cruise no matter what your budget is.
“And especially during a time when a lot of people are short on money, it is important to make savings where we can.”
Another mum has taken to TikTok to reveal the 11 items she can’t live without when on a cruise.
One of which was wall hooks – which cost about 50p each and use a sticker to stay on the wall.
The mum pointed out it’s a handy way to store items, and can come in handy when there is not enough space in the cabin to hang wet clothes.
Read more on the Irish Sun
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