Post # 1
We are going on a 4 day carnival cruise to the bahamas in April
We plan to drink
We plan to eat
And whatever else I guess… My fiance is a HUGE soda drinker so we’ll want one of those coke cards.
So how much money should we plan for the cruise for the tipping, drinks, whatever else we may want to do? Maybe two “excursions” or whatever but we don’t know.
We’re trying to budget for the cruise and my fiance went on them when he was a teen but his parents footed the bill, I’ve never been on one so I don’t know the average amount to bring on a cruise to be sure we have enough
It’s the Carnival Sensation
Post # 4
Also commenting to follow.
Post # 5
lol hopefully we’ll get some answers 🙂
Post # 6
I think you can prepay the tips and drink program, and then you’ll have the exact fee out of the way. I’d budget about $200-250 for an excursion. Most of the more elaborate ones run about $99-129 kinda thing. You can look on the carnival website and see exact prices as well. Even if you don’t prepay the tips, click the button as if you are and see how it adjusts the prices, and that should give you an idea what to expect. I think it was about $7.00/day per guest between the room steward, waiter and banquet captain.
I’d plan for about $7.00-8.50/drink if you like the fancier ones, I think beers were about $6.00, but our cruise was a Mediterranean so those prices may have been a bit more.
If you’re talking about cash, we brought very little. Typically a cruise ship is a cashless system and everything’s attached to your room key. Certainly important to budget out, but you won’t need that much cash here and there except in port.
Post # 7
You can check out cruisecritic.com for pretty much all the information you’d ever want in the world about cruises.
Other things that will nickel and dime you here and there are the occasional tip for baggage handling or room service. If you want a photo package at all those can also rack up quickly. Or if you decide to dine one night in a specialty restaurant. For example, we did a murder mystery night in the Italian themed restaurant, and there was an additional $25 cover fee for that. But on a 4 day cruise I wouldn’t think you’d get too sick of the dining room. Or if you decide to get your hair done before a formal night or a spa treatment. I didn’t get hair, but we had a compliementary spa treatment included in our cruise, and of course had to tip there.
Post # 8
Shore excursions can (and should bc they fill up quickly) be booked and paid for in advance. Same with soda/wine packages. Everything else is charged to your shipboard account, which gets charged to a credit card at the end. I’m not sure if there is an option to pay your bill in cash. Tips are automatically added, so unless you want to give extra, you won’t need cash for that either.
Post # 9
I voted 9-12 but that’s because you definitely want to have more than enough. If I remember correctly the atms on board charge a HUGE fee, 20% or $20 fee or something (this was like 9 years ago). I was 14 when I went on a cruise to the bahamas so I’m not sure how much we spent but I know the excursions were a couple hundred that we went on & I think that was per person. I’m sure you can research what the optional excursions are to get a good idea of how much you’ll spend on those & then just bring enough for spending money & food/drinks
Post # 10
There is a popular saying on cruise forums- Pack half the clothes you think you will need and take twice the cash/budget you think you’ll need.
Also another tip- don’t book the cruise line excursions. They will charge you 30-50% more than booking it yourself with another vendor. Do your research and check out the cruise critic forums as these sort of things are discussed all the time.
And work out if the drink package is actually worth it. Most of the time you will save more by paying per drink (unless you plan on drinking 10 plus drinks a day).
Post # 11
@j_jaye: But isn’t a plus of booking your excursions through the cruiseship is that they are in communication with the ship? Meaning that if the shuttlebus coming back gets a flat or something like that they are able to contact the ship and you are not left by the ship.
Post # 12
+1 with the tours, go onto cruise critic, find your ‘roll call’ it’s a place where you get to chat with other cruisers on the exact same cruise as you – they will be discussing private organised tours that are much cheaper than those advertised ont he ship. If you do some research into this, you will be better off $$.
Post # 13
Excursions range anywhere from $30/person to $200/person, it just depends on what you’re doing, how many people are in the group, and how long it takes. If you want to go snorkeling it’s usually $25-40/person depending on if you need a boat to get to the site. History tours are usually $20-30/person/hour. All of your food is included as part of the cruise package, minus any specialty restaurants and alcohol. Alcohol runs pretty normal, $5-9/drink. My advice if you two are big drinkers is to find one bartender and stick with them, tipping $1/drink. Don’t order alcohol through a waiter or waitress. The waiter will keep the tip, whereas if you order from the bartender they keep the tip and they’ll make your drinks stronger, especially if they get used to your face. Spa packages are pretty expensive on cruises, usually starting at $100/person for massages.
For a 4-day cruise you’ll be pretty comfortable with bringing $500-1,000. You could spend less if you don’t plan to ever eat at the specialty restaurant, or if you do most of your drinking at port.
I’ve been on several cruises because we live half an hour from a port. Do the excursions through the ship. They treat you better, and if something happens the ship won’t leave you behind.
Post # 14
@nursemel: The chances are slim and very few people ever get left behind on cruises. And if you do your research well you can normally pick the company independantly that the cruise ship contracts to and save the 30-50%.
The independant operators are in business to stay in business so it is in their best interest in this online age to run a smooth operation.
It is also a myth that the cruise ship will wait for passengers on cruiseline excursions. Port fees are expensive so if they miss their allotted time slot then the cruiseline has to pay out again and possibly delay the cruise. It is often more cost effective for the cruiseline to leave the 15-30 passengers behind and make alternative arrangements to get them to the ship at the next port. So they will wait for the buffer time that they already have built into the schedule but after that time they will leave.
If it was 300 passengers then things might go differently.
Post # 15
I’m cheap, so I stick to drinking water, iced tea. Juices are free in the morning.
If anything, I end up spending money at the gift shops on board, since they are duty free.
For tips, it’s usually $10-12/day, per person. Check out Carnival’s website for their excursion options.
So in my case, I usually spend $150-200 or less.
Post # 16
They take your credit card when you check in, I’m not sure if you can settle your bill with cash at the end of the cruise. Everything is charged to your room while you’re on the ship.