HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- More than 30 million people worldwide are expected to take a cruise in 2023, which is more than ever, and maybe you're one of them.
ABC13 is sharing tips all week long on how to save big on your getaway.
Vacations usually seem to cost too much money. Still, it's possible to save on sailing, especially from a nearby port, because on a cruise, you don't have to worry about flights, hotels, rental cars, or paying for food or entertainment.
Here are five ways to save:
- Compare cruises like you do flights, using search engines and online travel agencies like Expedia, Priceline, Trip Advisor, Cruise Critic, Cruise, Cheap Caribbean, and Costco Travel. You can also book cruises through many airline and hotel websites, which may offer different kinds of bonuses like free meals, onboard credit, or cash back. Be flexible on dates for the best deals, like flights, and if you're in the Houston area, save on flights by not flying. Sail from Galveston!
- Try booking an inside cabin, the cheapest room on the ship. You have the same access to everything on the boat. You likely won't spend a lot of time in the room anyway.
- Remember that a cruise line's newer ships, with the newest attractions, are always more pricey. Sometimes significantly more. Book on an older ship to save!
- Consider booking excursions directly when you arrive at the port instead of booking through the cruise line, which costs extra. Chances are good that the same excursion is available for less if you simply wait. Just make sure you can make it back to your ship on time!
- Turn your phone on airplane mode as soon as you walk on the ship, and don't turn it off airplane mode until you get off to return home. Buy a cruise phone package ahead of time or pay for cruise Wi-Fi (you will also need an international plan for your destinations - cruise phone plans and cruise Wi-Fi don't cover those). Whatever you choose to do, remember airplane mode!
"The number one rule when you step on a ship, you have to put your phone in airplane mode," Shayla Northcutt of Northcutt Travel Agency in Houston said. "Once you're about 30-45 minutes out of port, you're at sea. You've lost that service from land, and you'll start getting text messages from your carrier saying, 'You're over. You've now been charged.' And if you stay on that data, it will continue to grow your bill."
Roaming on the ship and at your destinations can cost you hundreds and even thousands of dollars that will show up weeks later on your phone bill.