$$$$Money ?s



Hello - I've been on two cruises - first one Alaska inside passage for our honeymoon, and Nov 06 on 5day Caribbean cruise. We live in Nebraska, so there really isn't a "quick" port to get to. Airline tickets are too bad, so we opt to fly rather than drive. I think the cruise far is okay, but once the shore excursions and other things onboard get tallied up at the end of the cruise, it's quite the expensive vacation! My dh goes to the little sundries shop daily to buy something he just has to have on the cruise - last time was a little watch keychain because he needed to know what time it was. And we both drink a little bit, get the pop card for me and coffee card for him.

I'm looking for some creative and inventive ways to save up for our future cruise. We did purchase the ghost booking on our Nov 06 cruise, which was another $200, but I assume I'll be glad later.

One might say I'm a bit frugal! I would like to cruise every year, but as of now, we plan on every other year.

We are mid 30's and love Princess, and I want to keep moving up the Circle!

Thanks! Wishing you all happy cruising!


Hint! Don't use both of your ghost bookings when you book your next cruise. Keep one in reserve!!! You will be required to pay that $100.00 deposit for the second person (your husband) in the cabin but you will both receive the appropriate onboard credit!! That way you will save the $200 that you will probably want to put out for ghost bookings on your next cruise :grin !

Spend lots of time researching the cruise you have chosen to do! Keep track of the fares! Find an agent that offers discounts or onboard credits of somekind! Lot's of good ones advertise on this site.

Don't eat lunch out! Brown bag it to work and put what you would have spent on lunches or frou frou coffees in the piggy bank!

Return cans and bottles and put refund in a little box or another piggy bank! See if you can collect enough between now and your next cruise to pay your tips! I know we can in this household!

Budget is everything. Everytime you want to buy something consider whether you want to cruise or whether you can't live without the item! There are times when something really needs to be purchased or repaired but people do a lot of spur of the moment buying as well. Try not to fall into that trap.

Have fun saving. Make it a game and part of the planning for your trip! Bon Voyage!!


Hi kjc!

When I was in my 30's I could only cruise every other year too. You are not alone. I have a vacation account that that I set up at my credit union. I would have a ball park idea of what it would cost and then make regular deposits each time I was paid. Anytime I would have a check for a refund I would put it in there too. The kitty would grow over a period of time. Now that my kids are grown, I have a fun part-time job on the side and deposit all the checks into the account to pay for my cruises.

I've read about people selling things on ebay to build up their vacation account, taking on additional odd jobs & services, and other creative means. With a plan, there is a way.

Donna - dsw

Keep a can / jar on your counter - every night when you come home throw all your change into this container. No cheating.

You will be surprised how much money you can save.


I have found that booking tours on your own rather than through the ship can save you a lot. The biggest concern is that you return to the ship in time for sailing. With ship tours they gurantee to wait for you.


Even now that we can cruise more often, we still only do it once a year. That keeps the whole adventure fresh for us and allows for a build up of anticipation.

This is the first time that we have gone ahead and started booking excursions on our own (or rather with a group of fellow travelers). This has really ended up saving us a ton of money - plus they ar all paid from prior to the trip, so it seems like it's cost us even less.

controlling costs on the ship is a little harder, but getting coffee and soda cards is a wise investment if you drink lots of either. At the bars, look for the daily special and when you getting mixed drinks, ask for the bar liquor instead of a brand. You are, after all, on vacation and you should be able to have some fun. Just be careful with your spending at the sundry shop - those prices can be pretty hefty.

Hints from a very frugal Scot-

Brown bagging is essential as is not eating out more than once a week and that includes fast food. That can really add up. We just package up leftovers and use them for lunches. It saves money and we are able to better control calories.

Use coupons and buy store brands as opposed to the national brands. in most cases, the times are made by the same manufacturer and just given different labels.

Don't blow lots of money on trying to keep up with the latest fashion trends or the newest toys. Rent instead of buying DVDs and go to the movies at least once or twice less per month.

Bring your own coffee to work - avoid coffee shops.

This might all seem really hard at first, but if you use the thought of a cruise as motivation, it may help ease the pain. Hope this helps a little.


S&M in Pgh

To save for our future cruises, we set up a seperate savings account and have the bank do an electronic transfer into that account automaitcally each time our paychecks hit the checking account. To avoid tapping into it, it is not connected to our ATM cards. To save spending $$, when I hit the ATM each week, I take out an extra $40 and put it into a wallet that I keep buried in my dresser and we both know that the cash in there is ONLY for vacation.



This may sound dumb, but when I receive money from anywhere (ATM, change, etc) if it is nice and crispy I stash it in my lock box for vacations only. This started out when we would be saving for Vegas trips, since we needed money in good shape for the machines. It ended up being a good way for me to set aside money, since I don't want to spend my "good" money. A little OCD, I realize. :lol


Thanks for the great tips! I've also started using our public library more, since I read a ton - though I still hit the used bookstores. I never buy new - I go thru books too quickly. I also have gotten hooked on audiobooks - and rent those from the library as well. Won't buy those for any price!