After dozens of voyages around the world, I learned how to pinch a penny on a cruise vacation budget. We’ve found that seven-day voyages range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, but the basics of cruises aren’t that swaying. Cruising on a budget can be just as fun.When my girlfriend and I recently landed on the Carnival Panorama — a ship I always recommend to my friends— During the week’s vacation, I shared with her tips and tricks to improve the wallet-friendly experience. Read on to discover how I turned a budget cruise into a luxury experience without breaking the bank.

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One of my favorites on vacation is to slip into a luxurious bed with high quality pillows and sheets. nevertheless, Cruise ship, The price of the cabin is irrelevant. Luxury bedding is available to all guests. When my friend and I sought a way to save on getaway, I knew that the interior cabin had the same high-end linen, but at a cheaper price.

We chose our interior room for $ 300 each. At less than half the cost of an ocean view room, we enjoyed high quality linen, a full bathroom with shower, and more closet and drawer space than needed. Bathrobes were available on request and Room Steward changed towels daily. Each room also had a desk with chairs, a flat-screen TV and a small refrigerator.

My friends and I could have saved even more money by sharing one cabin, but we loved the idea of ​​having a dedicated private space. Choosing an interior cabin for each of us was the best way to save money without sacrificing quality or privacy.

Bowls of different types of pasta on a black table
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The Carnival Panorama has a great selection of free eateries and specialty restaurants at a reasonable additional charge. Panorama’s three specialty restaurants offer a free lunch menu, so you can enjoy Italian, Asian and barbecue dishes at no extra charge. Italian restaurant, Cucina del CapitanoOffers a free lunch with homemade pasta. JiJi Asian Kitchen We offer a free Mongolian grilled lunch menu with a customizable entree. Eating at these specialty stores in the evening costs $ 15 per person, so a free lunch saved $ 30 per person.

Another popular specialty venue is Guys Pig & Anchor Smoke House, Guy Fieri’s fame for a la carte prices. On Marine Day, Pig & Anchor offers a completely free barbecue lunch with several meats and sides. Enjoying the two Marine Day spreads could easily save $ 30 each.

In addition to these fine restaurants, my friends and I ate in the main dining room Lobster Night offers stir-fried lobster tails and stir-fried steaks at no additional charge. For the rest of the cruise, we enjoyed grilled salmon and pasta. Dining room and buffetTacos and burritos Blue iguana cantinaAnd some incredible burgers Guys Burger Joint— Everything is included in the cruise price.

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Hand holding a pink cocktail on a cruise ship
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My friend wanted to be able to easily order his favorite drink at any time without worrying about the cost.So she Cheers beverage packageIn addition to unlimited specialty coffee and soda, we offer 15 alcoholic beverages daily. On our 7-day cruise, my friend saved over $ 40 by paying in advance instead of buying on board.

I prefer coffee to cocktails, so I decided not to buy a package and instead pay for a fruity cocktail as I like. I’m still cutting costs because happy hour promotions tend to offer “buy one and get one” options.And I also saved specialty coffee at Java Blue Cafe They have punched cards, so for every 6 cups of coffee you buy a 7th cup for free.

Another great thing about the carnival is that the cruise line can carry a bottle of 750 ml of wine per adult at the start of the cruise. We also allow up to 12 cans of soda per person on boarding days, so bringing some of your cola saves you money.

Towels and stones placed on the massage bed
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On the first day of the cruise, I always take the time to take a simple tour Onboard spa facility.. After dozens of cruises, I’m already familiar with the ship’s spa, but there’s good reason to take a tour. It’s a discount. During the tour, guests were offered a boarding special, which was very appealing to my friends.

However, this activity is free and usually includes some sampler treatments, so it’s budget-friendly. In this particular sailing, at the end of the tour my friend and I each had a free mini massage. In addition, there are spa raffles that can be used for full treatments by earning gift cards.

What we also scored at the spa was attending a luxury party. Basically, this is a short session with up to 20 guests attending a DIY spa party. Includes a free 5-step DIY facial with all the great products offered by Onboard Spa. It didn’t cost us anything, and our faces were shining with joy after such a lovely treat.

We chose one extravagant experience on this cruise. It was a one week thermal spa pass. The Carnival Panorama has several thermal suites with options for dry heat, sauna and steam bath. There is also an oversized spa tub, perfect for relaxation after a long day at the harbor. A weekly pass costs $ 149 for one person, while it costs $ 249 for two people. Therefore, paying with friends is easy. A cheaper one-day pass is also available on most ships, so that’s another way to splurge and save.

Two bikes next to a palm tree by the sea
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I always have friends who spend money on guided group tours, but I prefer to reduce my costs and take self-guided walking tours.When we depart that day MazatlanFor example, my friend and I focused on the various landmarks included in the official sightseeing tour and walked around town to find these attractions.

Before you start your cruise, it’s helpful to download a walking map of each port on your itinerary. Then review the tour content and become familiar with the landmarks you need to find on the Self-Guided Walking Tour. We used this tactic in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas and had a great time tasting snacks at local cafes, finding sea-facing sculptures and exploring boutiques.

In addition, most of the attractions on the Carnival Panorama are included in the cruise price, so you can dive the waterslide, balance on the rope course and play a round of mini putts as needed at no additional cost. I was able to do it. Or you can easily lay it out by the pool, knowing that thanks to some clever savings tricks, you’ve turned your budget escape into a dreamy luxury vacation.

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