Hey guys, just thinking while reading some posts. In quite a few really recent reviews, people would say things like "on my next cruise in november" or "september" or whenever. How can folks afford it? Shoot, I feel bad for only getting a splurge vacation like a cruise or mexico resort once every 4 or 5 years. How can people afford a $1,000 to $4,000 trip more than once a year? I understand if you live close to a port, within driving distance, but the cruises are not that cheap, and then you have extra expenses too. Okay, GO!........
Just to clarify....I love cruising! It's the way to go! I want more of it! How do you do it???
It all depends on income, budgeted expenses and priorities.
I don't go to movies or club-hopping, eat out about once per week, have an affordable home, live in a relatively low cost of living area and make above average salary.
As I assumed...so, what's YOUR average cost to cruise based on flights, amenities, etc. And how often?
I do not cruise every year. I go when i can afford it. For me the flight is as expensive as the cruise.
We are debt free, drive old cars, live in an old house, kids gone, live 32 miles from Galveston (most of our cruises we go from there), instead of staying in a hotel, we pull a pop up camper ($22 a night versus$100 a nite at no tell motel), so if you don't want to impress the "Joneses" and have modern things, you can cruise many times, plus we go the cheap way cruising, interior cabins.
We don't drink or gamble, so our onboard expenses are rarely more than $200 for the 3 of us, and most often less than that. It's a rare thing for us to eat in a specialty restaurant--we are good with the buffet and MDR.
Like BDRebel, we don't go to movies (you could almost pay for a cruise with what some of my family spend on that). I watch for bargains--sometimes I grab cheap Southwest or JetBlue flights and then find a cruise that matches my cheap flight destinations. We cruise on whichever cruise line has the best price. Our youngest daughter is single and we love to vacation with her. The deals where friends and family sail free means it only costs gratuities and port fees for her cruise fare. We don't get the priciest cabins. No fancy hotels unless I find a deal (no roach motels either--I do have my limits on cheapskate standards LOL) We have driven as long as
twelve hours, but we'd prefer not to do that again. But we would if it was the only way we could cruise
It's not the "luxuries" of cruising that appeal to us--it's being unplugged and carefree. We can do that for cheap as well as for $$$$.
Our kids are grown and out of college, so that is a huge weight off the budget. We rent a modest home (tried the home ownership, and hated it. Too many worries and expenses). I am fortunate enough to get a profit sharing bonus and a nice Christmas bonus, so that pays for at least one of our cruises as long as I book wisely.
All in, it's not unusual for us to cruise for around $2500 for the three of us for 5-7 days. Twice a year, spring and fall. One year, we did three, but that would soon break the budget.
Alrighty. I like the answers. I guess, puting into perspective, i do like to shop for myself. I am almost 34, never married, cheap rent from my folks in a duplex. Buuut...I think I take advantage of that and the fact that I'm not accountable for any little ones. I do shop, not worry about grocery prices, and probly eat out one time too many. I guess we spend our money according to priorities huh? If I knew I was going to cruise once a year, I WOULD most definitely utilize my savings account a bit more. Thanks for the comments guys....good discussion! ð
For us, we travel from western Canada to Florida and the flights are always more than the cruise fare. We have to fly in at least 1 day, often 2 days prior to the cruise so that means hotels - often times Quality Inn or LaQuinta, plus meals.
We don't drink alcohol or gamble, book porthole rooms, don't eat in specialty restaurants on the ship, so our cruise cost is minimal. Some ports we book an excursion, but maybe 2 for the week at the most. Our grand total budget for our annual vacation including souvenirs for our grandchildren is $5000 CDN - we stick to it and have a great time.
A lot of it is planning and budgeting If you budget for a cruise, add it into your weekly or monthly budget it helps to make it easier. Then when things like tax return or other bonuses happen throw them into the cruise fund as well it makes things happen..
I guess it’s mostly about how motivated folks are to support their cruising habit (and yes, we’re definitely addicted!).
All we really do is work and travel. We both have two jobs, we don’t go out for dinner (lunch once a week), don’t go to the movies, don’t even have cable TV. Cars last at least 10 years. Biggest savings: no kids. Everything we purchase goes on an airline miles credit card to help get us to our next ship.
So many cruises, so little time!