So you’re thinking of going on a Carnival cruise! Here are some helpful tips that are sure to help you save money and enjoy your cruise to the fullest! These 7 cruise tips for Carnival cruises are guaranteed to maximize your cruise experience.
Cruise Tip #1 – Book your next cruise while still aboard the ship. Carnival cruises will many times offer great incentives and discounts when you take advantage of this offer. Many ships will have an agent on board to serve you with significant savings and credits to passengers who take advantage of this great option. You always have the option to alter or cancel the reservation if your plans happen to change. Carnival cruises will allow you to alter the reservation with no penalty if it is done 75-90 days in advance of your date of sail. If you can’t take advantage of booking while on the ship, timing is crucial in getting the best price off board. The best way to get discounted pricing on cruises is to either book far in advance or else take advantage of last minute deals. The further in advance you are able to book your cruise, the cheaper it will be. Carnival cruises also always prefer their ships to be full, so they offer fabulous discounts and incentives available very last minute. This is a wonderful option if you live near a cruise port or have a flexible schedule.
Cruise Tip #2 – Try to stay away from the casino and gambling areas, as well as other costs that are not covered in your cruise fee. Carnival cruises are pretty good about being all-inclusive, however many ships do not have gambling as a covered cost. Try to ignore the temptation, as the ships are commonly designed to draw you in with this extra expense. Stick to the activities that are already covered…such as movies, cooking classes or other demonstrations. There are plenty of free options that will keep you busy and entertained. Many Carnival cruises will offer great options such as wine tasting as a quality alternative to gambling.
Cruise Tip #3 -Always pay for your gratuities in advance when Carnival cruise offers you this option. Many experts in the cruise industry talk about this in depth. It’s customary for most cruise lines to pay tips to the crew, and many times this is done the last night. However, if you have the option to add it into your initial expense, take advantage of it! This is a great budgeting tool because it gets this cost out of the way early and will help you to make sure you stay within your designated budget amount.
Cruise Tip #4 – Be adventurous! Try exploring a port on your own as opposed to paying for an expensive on shore excursion. You’ll be amazed at how much more you can immerse yourself in the culture and feel of the place if you only stay open to what you might discover on your own. You can also fend for yourself when you’re on shore and book your own tours! If you prefer a guided tour or experience, try booking directly through a vendor upon your arrival as you will skip the cruise lines expensive mark-up. Carnival cruises make a ton of money on these day trips from various ports. If you book your day trip at the actual port directly through a vendor, you will be sure to skip the inflated cruise cost offered. Many popular options such as nature tours, tequila tasting and pirate tours are available to anyone, not just cruise customers. It’s really easy to book all of these excursions on your own!
Cruise Tip #5 – You can have your massage and not pay an arm and a leg for it. Inquire with the on-board spa if it offers day port specials. Many Carnival cruise ships offer this option. Cruise Diva author Linda Coffman recommends this option as massages can be pricey. However, spas on board sometimes struggle to attract customers when the boat is ported, and will offer impressive discounts to those who take advantage of port days. If you don’t mind missing some of your time ashore, explore this option. Another way to take advantage of spa facilities is to find out which spa comforts are free and use them as much as possible. Much of this information is not publicized and can be really useful if you’ll only ask! Many Carnival cruise ships have free saunas, steam rooms and don’t forget the pool! You will usually have access to the exercise equipment as well. Ask if your Carnival cruise offers complimentary exercise classes or facials through out the cruise.
Cruise Tip #6 – If you like to partake in alcoholic beverages, pack your own booze! Bringing your own alcohol may be discouraged, but most Carnival cruises will allow you to bring it aboard. Prices on the ship are drastically inflated, not to mention the gratuity fee we already discussed being added, and the liquor you buy at duty free must be set aside till the trip is over. That being said, if you plan to drink, you should take advantage of whatever allowance you can bring on board. Free drinks are sometimes handed out at events like the captain’s welcoming reception or the cruiser’s return party. Make sure you know when these events are and make good use of them. Also, if you do drink at meals, you can avoid the corkage fee by ordering room service or bringing the food back to your room.
Cruise Tip #7 – Stay committed! You’ve done your homework and know that Carnival cruise suits your needs. Now make sure you’re rewarded for staying to committed to the same line. If you do, you can often get large discounts for customer loyalty. After you’re on the mailing list you’ll be able to take advantage of disounted rates on cruises, and you’ll get special offers and perks, including on board credits and free on board meal upgrades.
It’s not hard to see the appeal of taking a cruise for your next vacation. We know these cruise tips for Carnival cruises will help you save so much money that you can easily control your costs and continue to cruise for years to come!