While you’re searching for your perfect cruise, most of us will look at the price as a key factor, hoping to get the best deal possible. But any seasoned cruise traveller will tell you that this price isn’t always the final one; on-board extras can quickly add up. That’s why people who are in the know pack a few extra items in their luggage to save money later in their holiday.
We’ve put our expert heads together and come up with a list of all the essential items you’re going to need if you want to keep costs down on your cruise. It’s time to unpack that extra pair of shoes, because you’re going to need the space for these handy items!
Rules vary from cruise line to cruise line, but most ships will allow you to bring a reasonable amount of soft drinks and bottled water on board with you. Some lines don’t allow you to bring bottles (it’s too easy for that water to be gin!) but they do let you bring cans on board. This will save you money on buying beverages when you’re on board, a particular godsend if the kids are always nagging for a soda on hot days. Allowances vary, so check with the cruise line before you show up with 42 cans of coke and a bottle of Rubicon Mango.
A Bottle or Two of Wine
Most cruise lines will allow you to bring at least one bottle of wine on board, which can save you quite a significant amount of money depending on your wine tastes. Often, you will also be able to bring a bottle of champagne on board in order to celebrate a special occasion. Some lines even allow a certain amount of beer or spirits to be brought on board, although this is rarer. Remember, however, that the ship is likely to charge you a corkage fee when you actually come to drink what you have brought with you.
Whether you love to grab a sun lounger and refuse to move for the entire trip or you prefer to hide in the shade at the edge of the pool, it’s likely you’re going to need some sunscreen during your cruise. Sunscreen is one of those things that it’s easy to forget about, or think you won’t need, until you’ve fried yourself into something quite closely resembling a lobster on the first day.
Heading to the on-board shop to rectify this mistake is likely to set you back a lot more than it would at the local pharmacy, plus brand choice tends to be very limited. Much better to stock up before you set sail and save yourself having to splash out on a brand with a weird smell once you’re out on the ocean.
Spare Phone Charger Adapters
Few of us can manage without technology these days and cruise ships tend to have very few power outlets and specific plugs. If you don’t want to end up having to buy a charging adapter for your phone from the gift shop at an exorbitant price, it is probably sensible to pack a spare. If you’re bringing two laptops, a tablet, and a couple of smartphones, you should also consider bringing an extension cord. Most cruise ship cabins only have two plug sockets and many a family has fallen out over them.
If you’re planning an international cruise you should definitely consider looking at your itinerary and getting some local currency for the ports you are planning to visit. Getting your money changed on board at the purser’s desk can lead to you paying high commissions and getting poor exchange rates, so planning ahead can work out cheaper. Many restaurants and transport services will accept card, but this can also lead to extra charges while you’re in port. Plan ahead and you just might get more for your money.
Soaps and Shampoos
People often assume that toiletries will be available on the ship, without realising that your shower is likely to have a wall soap dispenser and little else. If you want to be sure of having the soap, shampoo and conditioner that you like to get washed with, your best bet is to make sure you bring your own. Whilst the on-board shop will likely have a range of toiletries available, you’re guaranteed to be paying a premium price even if they do have the brand you want. Save yourself money and annoyance by packing your favourite toiletries before you set off. Just be sure to put them in a zip lock bag, or you might find that your favourite evening dress is also covered in TRESemmé.
Hand Wash Laundry Detergent
The last thing you want to do on holiday is probably hand washing laundry, but bear with us here. Many cruise lines will charge you upwards of $2.50 per item and even the self-service laundrettes often charge around $5 per load. To save money on laundry costs, you can pack enough items to last you the duration of the trip and simply wash any essential items in the sink. Obviously, a little bottle of hand washing detergent won’t be enough to launder your evening clothes, but it will do for washing swimwear and other essential items. Simply hang them in the shower to dry off and do the rest of your laundry at home for a fraction of the cost.
Most of us like to have pictures of our holiday memories to remind us of all the fun we had, but if you’re relying on the ship photographer, this can soon add up. Instead of paying for professional photographs, simply bring a good quality camera with you to capture the best bits of your trip. You might have heard that you can purchase a camera from the on-board duty-free shopping centre, but this might not actually work out cheaper. Often you can get much better deals on land, so invest in your camera before you set off and make sure you capture every moment.
Now that you know exactly what to pack to make the most of your trip, why not save a little extra on your cruise with one of Cruise1st UK’s exclusive deals? Browse the full collection online or call our sales team on 0808 2746 777.