[by Ryan Mark Garcia]
A cruise ship provides a great, one-price, vacation, and one of the main attractions of booking a cruise ship is that just about everything is included in the price.
When many people think about a budget vacation, they picture an intrepid traveler in a roach-infested hotel room eating stale sandwiches and riding around on the city bus. However, one of the best ways to save money on a vacation is also one of the most luxurious and most thrilling: the cruise vacation.
In addition to a cheap place to stay, a cruise also offers unlimited food, including many amazing buffets that are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition, the food on cruise vacation ships is often better-quality than those in all but the best land-locked restaurants, and once again, the food is included in the price.
Of course, it is possible to save money by traveling in the off-season, and this can often be a great plan. For instance, even though it is the middle of the winter, and most people are not thinking about vacations where you are, it may be warm and tempting in many tropical cruise ship destinations.
It is important, however, to check out the local weather, and to avoid the rainy season in the destinations you are considering. Steering clear of hurricanes, tropical downpours, and other weather problems can help you get the most out of your cruise ship.
If you have never taken a cruise ship before, it is a good idea to get advice from those who have experienced cruising. These people can give valuable insight on the best balance of cost and comfort for your first cruise ship experience.
The location of the cabin is another important consideration when booking a cruise ship. The interior cabins on the lower parts of the ship are generally the least costly, while the higher, larger cabins with ocean views are the most expensive.
Discounts and Cheap Cruise ship Deals
It is not always necessary to shop early, of course. Cruise ship lines have been known to offer some fantastic discounts at the last minute in order to move unsold cabins or avoid leaving with a less than full passenger load.
There are many last-minute travel newsletters that provide details on these types of cruise ship deals, and these last-minute travel deals are a big hit with retirees and others with the time to see the world.
Food and Gym
After eating all that food, you will probably feel the need to work out, and the cost of the cruise vacation also typically includes unlimited use of the gym, the weight room, and the sports locations. While many hotels tack on a surcharge for the use of the hotel gym, with a cruise vacation it is generally included.
The cost of a cruise vacation also includes all shipboard entertainment and classes. The entertainment options of a cruise vacation are often one of the best parts of the experience, and many cruises offer such things as movie nights, theatres, spas, nightclubs, discos, and even casinos.
There are also some great classes offered by cruise lines, in everything from origami to bridge to ballroom dancing. And again, these classes and entertainment options are included in the price you pay for the cruise.
Among the only things that are not included in the typical cruise vacation are alcoholic beverages and shore excursions. Many of the higher-priced cruises even include these extras. If the shore excursions and drinks are not included, be sure to get a price list for shore excursions and drinks.
It is often possible to save money on shore excursions while on a cruise vacation by booking the tours locally at the portside instead of going with the cruise line. Just be sure, however, that the book-it-yourself excursion will get you back to the ship on time.
For all these reasons, cruise vacation can be among the best, and most economical, of all vacation opportunities. The ability to enjoy a week or two-week cruise vacation at one low price is one more reason to love cruising. ###