Royal Caribbean

Cheap Cruise Secrets That You Should Know About

So you want to go on a cruise, but you have a tight budget. That is OK!! We want to share with you our secrets to a cheap cruise!

Cruise in Off-Season! Each destination has a peak season and an off season depending on how nice the weather is (or may not be). Watch our video on "When Is The Best Time To Take A Cruise" for more information!

Book far in advance. You'll want to look for these deals for cruises that are over a year out. Or if it's brand new ship, the bookings open up at least 2 years prior to the first sailing. Specifically for Disney, they release new bookings a year- a year and a half out, you will want to book your cruise during that FIRST week of openings. This is a big deal in the DCL world. The cruise prices will never be cheaper than the first week that they announce the new sailings!

Book Last Minute - This is a good option if you can make quick decisions on when to take a vacay, or don't need a long time to plan out activities or finances. Most cruise lines try to sail at full capacity (or close to it) so they will reduce rates near the sailing date to entice potential passengers to book. We booked our next cruise on the Freedom of the Seas 45 days out because we found an INCREDIBLE deal. I've heard of people booking the DAY BEFORE! That is crazy to me!

Book Interior Cabins. You are rarely in room anyway, and you can save some serious cash! Don't get me wrong, the balcony staterooms are wonderful! But if you are looking to save some money, definitely look into interior cabins.  You can even book and guaranteed interior cabin (which just means you don't get to choose your cabin location), but you will save even more that way! Trust me, your wallet will thank you!

Book shore excursions through 3rd party like shoreexcursioneer.com! The Shore excursions can be the same as the ones that the cruise line offers, or they could have a few different ones, but the majority of the time, the tours are much cheaper. We booked our Amber Cove Waterfall excursion through shoreexcursioneer and we saved at least $100. Plus- there were less people on our tour and it felt more personalized and local. Another option for on shore activities, is to go at it on your own! Take a taxi to a beach, rent a car and explore the island or walk downtown and find a local restaurant. There are things to explore that doesn't have to cost you a fortune!

Now, let's talk Alcohol for a minute.

You can certainly buy the drink package if you think you will get your money’s worth. It typically costs over $50/day per person, so that may save you money if you think you will be drinking more than 5 drinks every day.

BUT- There are a few options here to save money and still enjoy drinks on board!

1. Bring 2 bottles of wine or champagne on board (per stateroom) - if you are cruising with Disney you are also allowed a 6 pack of beer/person in place of the wine or champagne… and I believe you may bring back some from every port.

2. Free drinks at parties! Occasionally at the captain's reception or a few other ship-hosted parties, they will pass out free drinks!

3. Art Auctions= Free champagne! Yes, the only reason I go to Art Auctions is for the champagne.. mainly because we can't afford those paintings... yet. LOL

4. It pays to be loyal! If you have a status with a cruise line ( like Carnival's VIPF or Royal Caribbean's Crown & Anchor) you may score a free drink depending on the length of your cruise! We got a coupon in our room for a free drink to use after the 5th day and could use it at any bar.

5. Free liquor tasting! There is almost always a free liquor tasting in the shops (to obviously get you to buy bottles duty free), but its a good opportunity to try things that you may never have had before! 

6. Celebrate something! If you are celebrating and let the cruise line or your travel agent know, you may find a surprise bottle of wine or champagne in your room. Often times, travel agents will place bottles in your room simply as a thank you for booking with them! This is a very nice gesture and a great treat for you!

 

Do you have other ways to cruise on a budget?? Let us know in the comments! 

WE'RE GOING ON A CRUISE!!

Ok, the secret is out! We are going on a cruise!!

Now, before everyone freaks out (mom), we got an EXCELLENT deal and couldn't pass it up! We will be sailing on the Freedom of the Seas on August 11 for a 7-Night Southern Caribbean cruise out of San Juan! We did sail on the Freedom of the Seas to the Western Caribbean in 2015 and it was our ALL TIME FAVORITE cruise that we have taken. It was actually our first cruise with Royal Caribbean and we have been itching to go back. And what better way to really amp up our cruise vlogging efforts than to go back to the ship where it all started!

Griff & Alyssa on Formal Night

Griff & Alyssa on Formal Night

Freedom of the Seas docked in Falmouth, Jamaica

Freedom of the Seas docked in Falmouth, Jamaica

The Promenade on Freedom of the Seas- 2015

The Promenade on Freedom of the Seas- 2015

Now for itinerary! Besides the Freedom herself, we found the itinerary to be very intriguing. Neither of us have been to the Southern Caribbean and there has always been something exotic and prestigious? about exploring the Southern Islands...

As I mentioned earlier, we will be cruising out of San Juan. Since we live in Florida, we have only cruised out of Tampa, Port Canaveral and Miami since they are all within driving distance. SO this will be the first cruise that we have to fly to. We will be arriving Friday evening and staying at an Airbnb near the cruise port! The ship doesn't leave until 8:30 pm the next day, so we plan to do some exploring that first day!

From San Juan, we will be revisiting St. Thomas for the first time since our wedding! Our Carnival Magic cruise in December was supposed to sail to St. Thomas, but because of the hurricanes, they changed our ports to the Bahamas.... We are very interested to see how the island has recovered and bring back some of those wonderful wedding day memories!

The other ports we will be exploring are Curacao, followed by Aruba and then St. Kitts. We have been doing some research to see what we want to do, but we would love some advice! If you have ever been to any of these ports and did something AWESOME, let us know in the comments!! We were thinking about Swimming in Caves in Curacao, Kite Surfing in Aruba and exploring the rain forest in St. Kitts on ATVs?? We will see!

We will be vlogging the entire trip... these will be different from our previous vlogs, as our equipment has upgraded and our techniques continue to develop!

Also be on the lookout for our packing videos! As part of our 31 Day video challenge, we will be bringing you a week full of packing tips! *We've never booked a cruise so close to the sail date before, so we are extremely excited and frantic all at once! LOL So much to do to prepare, but we cannot wait!

Majesty of the Seas

 

3 Day Bahamas: September 15-18, 2017

 

Itinerary

Sept. 15- Departing from Port Canaveral

Sept. 16- Grand Bahama Island

Sept. 17- Coco Cay, Bahamas

Sept. 18- Arriving in Port Canaveral 

Coco Cay, Bahamas. Photo Courtesy of Royal Caribbean

Coco Cay, Bahamas. Photo Courtesy of Royal Caribbean

 

Facts about the ship

Royal Caribbean Sovereign Class

Launched in 1992

74,077 Gross Tonnage

880 ft. in length

Cruising speed: 18 knots

 

Features:

Rock Climbing Wall

Basketball Court

Top Deck Running Track

Photo Courtesy of RoyalCaribbeanBlog.com

Photo Courtesy of RoyalCaribbeanBlog.com

 

Why did we book?

We booked this cruise for a few reasons:

1. We still had 8 months until our next cruise, and we didn’t want to wait that long.. ;)

2. We wanted to experience an nice little weekend getaway to the Bahamas.

3. We LOVE Royal Caribbean!

Photo Courtesy of Cruise Only

Photo Courtesy of Cruise Only

 

What we are looking forward to?

Since the Majesty of the Seas is one of RC’s oldest ships, we are interested in seeing how different it is from the larger class ships they have. We didn’t really get to have a real “honeymoon,” so this will be a great opportunity for us to unplug and spend some quality time with each other. Also, the food. If you have ever been on a Royal Caribbean cruise, you will understand!