After dozens of sailings around the world, I’ve learned how to pinch my pennies on a cruise vacation budget. A seven-day sail can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, yet I’ve discovered that the cruise basics don’t waver much—and there’s just as much fun to be had when cruising on a budget. When a girlfriend and I recently landed on Carnival Panorama—the one ship I always recommend to friends—for our week-long getaway, I shared with her my tips and tricks for elevating our 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 favorite things about vacationing is slipping into a luxurious bed with high-quality pillows and sheets. Yet, on a cruise ship, it doesn’t matter how expensive the cabin is—all guests benefit from deluxe bedding. When my friend and I sought out ways to save on our getaway, I knew an interior cabin would still have the same high-end linens but with a lower price point.
We each selected our own interior rooms for $300–less than half the cost of an oceanview room–and enjoyed quality linens, a full bathroom with a shower, and more closet and drawer space than needed. Bathrobes were available upon request, and the room steward replaced towels daily. Each of our rooms also had a desk with a chair, flat-screen television, and a small refrigerator.
My friend and I could have saved even more money sharing one cabin, but we loved the idea of having our own dedicated, private space. Choosing an interior cabin for each of us was the best way to trim our budget without sacrificing quality or privacy.
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