The Frugal Cruiser

Nothing is better than setting sail on a relaxing cruise that doesn’t leave your wallet high and dry.

These days you don’t have to drain your bank account to afford a dream cruise.  Instead, you can save a bundle by following a few simple money-saving tips.  For example:

Size:  When it comes to financing a cruise, size matters.  Massive cruise ships that house thousands of passengers and crew members often offer a boatload of amenities that may cost you a pretty penny.  By opting for a smaller vessel with fewer available goods and services you can reduce the price of your trip.  However, opting for a smaller ride doesn’t mean suffering from boredom while you are sailing.  Many smaller river cruises offer a slew of activities, including cooking demonstrations, wine tasting, and historical lectures conducted by experts.  The offerings may seem sedate compared to large oceanliners that feature rock climbing, surfing simulators and gigantic wave pools, but they come at a reduced rate and are highly informative.

Stops:  If you choose to sail on a smaller river cruise ship you can look forward to more stops.  This could be good or bad depending on your preference.  Still, you can often save some money if you select an itinerary with more stops than those found on traditional ocean cruises.  Just remember that you can easily lose that savings by purchasing expensive souvenirs at each stop or dropping a ton of money to pay for shore excursions.

Timing: If you are looking to take a budget cruise, then shoot to sail during the spring and fall. Winter voyages, especially Christmas and New Year’s cruises, are expensive and hard to come by given their popularity. Summer river cruises are also a bit pricey, since demand outweighs supply during the busy travel season when kids are out of school and the weather yields spectacular views of the many gorgeous cities serviced by cruise ships.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.

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