CRUISES are a highly popular way to explore the world – and with these insider top tips, you can make the most of the amazing experience while still saving money.

Cruises are great when you know the insider secrets, but if you’re a novice you might not know the best ways to the bag best deals.

It’s easy to miss opportunities when it comes to everything from meals, shopping and shore excursions.

Unearthing the top tips are great for those looking to make their money go that little bit further and take their holiday to the next level.

Simon Hoe, Global Head of Marketing at Cruise1st has shared his top hacks, from dining to the best times of day to bank in on rewards.

“Dining is a prime area to get a little extra,” Simon told “For one thing, you aren’t limited to what’s just on the menu. If something you ate at the start of the cruise is missing that night, see if the chef can whip it up for you again. 

“Or if you’re veggie, see if they can replace the meat with a delicious substitute. Like the look of two courses and can’t decide? There’s nothing stopping you from going for more than one main, or a couple of desserts if you fancy.

It’s also a good idea to try out different dining rooms.

“While many opt for speciality or buffet dining, your ship’s main dining room tends to be fairly empty in the evening, which is great if you’re looking to get away from the crowds,” said Simon.

“If the ship has a place where guests can order pizza by the slice, you can actually just get an entire pizza at no extra cost – a top hack if you’re extra hungry or there’s a big group of you. 

As for drinks, it can be worth investing in an inclusive drinks package in advance of your trip. That way you can save as well as skip queues.

“Read your cruise line’s fine print,” advised Simon. “Some ships actually do allow you to bring your own drinks on board, including a small amount of alcohol, usually wine or Champagne. 

“Most lines also have a Drink of the Day, which is pricier because of the souvenir glass they’re served in. Simply ask for it to be served in a regular glass, and you’ll save a little. It always pays to inquire, so don’t feel like you’re being forward with some of your requests.”

The time of the day can also offer certain rewards too. “Ask about any first-night deals, as sometimes lines offer a complimentary bottle of wine,” recommended Simon. 

“If retail therapy is your thing, then hold off until the day before disembarkation, as this is when onboard shops really knock down the prices.”

When you land, don’t always opt straight away to join the cruise’s excursions. Consider going off and doing your own thing.

“You’re not bound to paying for the cruise’s excursions, whose prices can mount up if you do your fair share,” said Simon. “Likewise, grab some fruit and water in the morning to take with you for extra sustenance at no cost.”

Excursion time is also prime time to stay on the boat and enjoy some discounts. “Cruise lines tend to ramp up the discounts, offers and reductions on things like spa treatments and dining when in port,” said Simon.

“If nothing takes your fancy onshore, staying in port is an excellent way to treat yourself without splashing out.” … 


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Tips to help you make the most of your cruise holiday
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