Ok so you've decided that a cruise vacation is for you, now what?
You can cruise more than you ever dreamed by following as many of these simple rules as possible or making up your own in the same spirit:
Do not go see any movies in movie theatres- on a yearly basis this adds up really fast- if you and one other person (let alone if you bring the kids) go see a movie for, say, $30 with popcorn and drinks thats $1560 a year, easily and inside cabin for two or more than enough for a balcony for one
Skip dinner out- if you went out to eat at a casual dinner restaurant like Olive Garden or Red Lobster before or after the movie where the check average is $10 to $15 per person that's another $1500 a year- now your cruise is paid for
Reevaluate those household priorities- Do you really NEED that new Barbecue grill, deck, landscaping, or car? I'm not saying to neglect your property. Keep up on maintenance and repairs. For us, though, once we discovered cruising the "keeping up with the Jones'" game became meaningless and we funnelled all that money into cruising.
Avoid being on "the cutting edge"- having the latest and greatest is expensive- be happy with the good (insert "thing" here) you have that does the job
Give cards instead of gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and special events - on the card include in the signature "__ days till we cruise! again"
Cook. You'll save money and eat better, live longer and go on more cruises.
DO give back to the community. Continue or start giving to a charity that means something to you. You can be thrifty, cruise often, and still do your part to make the world a better place
Should I charge it?
Well I sure wouldn't, not when there are so many ways to save for it. I think one of the best parts of a cruise vacation is that the majority of it is paid for before you go. No after-vacation debt hangover to deal with, only post-cruise depression- a malady affecting most of us that can be cured only by immediately booking the next cruise.
| If You Use A Travel Agent |
Be sure you have one that is not only a member of CLIA, the Cruise Lines International Association but is also a Certified Cruise Counselor or Certified Master Cruise Counselor. If they're not, don't talk to them. These people go through an extensive certification process which includes classroom study, practical application and cruise ship familiarity inspections. For a CLIA endorsed Travel Agent close to your stoy by their website at http://www.cruising.org/ . Look for this sign that certifies they belong.
Visit the Cruise Critic web site daily for the very latest information. Pick a favorite cruise line, go to their message board and save that location on your computer as a favorite so you can get back there easily.
And don't forget me!
Bookmark this site too and tell your friends, I'm always adding more stuff and (hopefully) finding the answers to the questions we all want to know about.
thanks for coming !