Most people know about the value that a cruise can provide but, when you keep an eye out for the latest deals, there are even more ways to get something extra from this kind of holiday. But just what is the best ‘add-on’ available and, given the choice, what should cruisers opt for when attempting to squeeze every last penny of value from their booking?
Almost every cruise line will offer a drinks package if beverages are not already included in their all-inclusive offering. Typically, there will be different options available depending on how much you’re planning to drink, whether it will be just soft drinks or alcohol too and whether that alcohol should include premium options or just standard brands and local labels.
If you know you enjoy a few glasses of wine with dinner and a couple of cocktails by the pool, the addition of a drinks package can really save you a lot compared to buying them on board. Throw in a few soft drinks and you’re already looking at about £35pp each day, so you can see why this is often considered to be the first choice package for cruisers. Just remember, every adult in your cabin has to take out the drinks package if you want it – they’ll be no sneaky ordering of drinks and passing them onto someone else here.
One more thing. Sometimes, even ‘unlimited’ beverage packages will have an upper limit. However, this is often set quite high.
In the modern day, connectivity at sea has become more and more important to cruisers, especially younger people hoping to share every minute of their holiday on social media. And, with Wi-Fi being one of the most expensive things to buy on board, you can see why it’s an attractive prospect to have this included for free.
Something else that has made this add-in even more valuable is the improvement of internet speed and reliability on cruise ships. MedallionNet from Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean’s Voom are leading the way in bringing connections on the waves into the 21st century (but still don’t expect it to be as good as at home).
3 For 2 (Or Similar)
Regular cruisers may look to multi-buy deals in order to get the most value for money from their holiday habit. Deals such as ‘3 Cruises For The Price Of Two’, which Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines likes to run every now and again, can lead to massive savings, as long as you’re happy to book that many trips at the same time. Usually, you have the option to choose itineraries from the current and following year and, last time this offer was in place, river cruises were included too, increasing your choice and making this an even more attractive offer.
So, if you enjoy sailing with a certain cruise line and you’re organised enough to plan your movements months in advance, great reductions await.
If gratuities are not included in your cruise fare, it can be an unwanted surprise to find a hefty sum added to your bill at the end of your holiday. It’s obviously important to show your gratitude to the hard-working crew but if you haven’t planned for this it can be a bit of a shock when you go to check out. So, why not take this worry out of the equation by searching for a cruise deal that includes the tips?
This still leaves you with the option to personally thank selected members of staff on the spot or at the end of your trip, but at least you’ll know this isn’t needed if you forget or don’t have the money on you at the time.
Discounted Kids Places
Travelling as a family? Look out for deals that offer third and fourth cabin berths to children for a fraction of the standard cruise fare. Sometimes, this can be as low as £1 or even completely free, resulting in a massive saving if you’re bringing the kids along too. Companies like Norwegian Cruise Line even include a number school holidays sailings in their ‘Friends and Family Sail For Free’ offer that comes part of the Free at Sea promotion, making a cruise a fantastic option when other companies choose to increase their prices at these times.
For those who love to get off the ship and explore, a shore excursions package may well be the best way to add value to a cruise. For a much cheaper price than booking them separately, add-ons like this will give you the option to choose a stipulated number of shore-based activities per cruise, ensuring you can make the most of your time in each port.
It’s worth mentioning that NCL’s Free at Sea offering, which can be added for £99pp, gives you the option to choose from a list of packages that includes many of those above. To learn more about this or how you can add value to your cruise generally, call our team on 0800 035 0701.