11 Ways to Avoid Cruise Ship Rip Offs Ruth Peterkin / Shutterstock.com

11 Ways to Avoid Cruise Ship Rip Offs

The biggest surprise to first time cruisers is often the bill at the end of the cruise; sometimes even coming in at more than the “all inclusive” price you already paid. Cruise companies, like any other big company are out to make money and with thousands of people on a ship they have certainly found the best ways to get people to spend. From alcohol to off-shore excursions to photos to shops; a cruise can end up costing you more than twice the original price if you allow it. Below you will find what we think are the biggest rip-offs offered by the cruise companies and how you can avoid them.

1. Shore Excursions

These cruise lines will push these sanctioned shore excursions on you from the moment you walk onto the ship until the moment you disembark. From booklets to announcements to showings on your TV in your cabin they want you to book their shore excursions. The hook they use is the guarantee that you are back on the ship in time; as these cruise ships don’t wait around for stragglers. Often offering a variety of excursions they are easy to book through ship staff or your television and often easier for families with small children or those who have not thought ahead. Although these shore excursions can be tempting make sure you do your research ahead of time and only choose ones you really feel will be amazing. Or, even better, connect with a local tourism company ahead of time to arrange an excursion, as these are often less expensive and more interesting. Alternatively, rent a car or grab a taxi and go exploring on your own.

horseback riding beach

2. Alcohol

Cruises may be ‘all-inclusive’ but they are missing one big item that most people look to be included and that is alcohol. Prices of drinks are fairly outrageous on all of these ships as they can truly charge whatever they want. And don’t think about trying to bring your own alcohol on board; cruise companies have rules about how much can be brought on board from home and anything you buy from a port of call will be kept for you until the last day. With most cruise lines now on a cashless system it’s all too easy to swipe your card and forget that you’re paying $10 for a beer that normally cost $3. One solution is to refrain from drinking but cruise-goers often like to party so that’s really not a good option. Some cruise liners offer alcohol packages that you can purchase before hand or once you are on the ship and if you like to indulge this may be the best bet for you. Make sure to read the allowance you can bring on board before packing and bring the maximum. Other ways to cut the cost of alcohol are to have your drinks when you are at the Ports of Call where you can pay local prices, attend the happy hour parties on deck or simply drink the cheapest thing you can find.

Cruise drinks
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