Royal Caribbean Robot Bartender

How Cruise Lines Trick You into Spending More Money: 12 Tactics

When you go on a cruise you might think that you have paid for everything upfront when you book a cruise, but that is not the case. Cruise lines have many tricks to make you spend more money on the ship. Below, I will reveal some of the sneaky ways cruise lines make you spend more money. Don’t fall for it!

cruise lines make you spend more money

How Cruise Lines Get You to Spend More Money on the Ship

Priority Boarding Packages

Cruise lines have found a new way to make you spend more money: priority boarding packages. They are following Disney World’s strategy of charging extra for skipping the lines. 

Nobody enjoys waiting in line, so this option can be tempting. Carnival Cruise lines offers a Faster to the Fun package that gives you priority check-in, early access to your stateroom, express luggage delivery, priority dining reservations, priority water shuttle boarding, dedicated guest services, and priority disembarkation. It sounds like a lot of fun, but it also costs a lot of money.

Robot Bartenders

Beverage packages are a way that cruise lines make you spend more money. However, they are making it even more tempting to buy beverage packages by making ordering beverages fun with robot bartenders. 

For example, some Royal Caribbean cruise ships have robot bartenders that put on a show. It honestly makes you want to buy the beverage package just so you can keep ordering cocktails from the robot bartender! 

cruise lines make you spend more money

Thermal Spa Package

Cruise lines know that the pool hot tubs can get crowded with kids. To entice you to spend more money on your cruise, they sell you adults-only thermal spa packages. 

This spa package gives you access to the spa lounge which includes steam rooms, jacuzzis, heated loungers, salt rooms, therapy showers. You can buy a package for unlimited visits or a day pass. It’s hard to resist because they know you want to relax and escape the crowd. Imagine peace and quiet- soaking in the hot tub without kids and the crowd!

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Spa Upgrades

Spa upgrades are another way cruise lines get you to spend more money on the ship. The spa has a lot of upsells that you might not need. You may just want a massage, but they will try to sell you a scented candle, a lotion, a facial, or even botox! They know you are on vacation and you want to feel pampered!

Double Tip

Many cruise lines will automatically add a service charge to your bill. However, some people don’t look at the receipt closely or don’t pay attention and end up tipping twice! 

Check out: 10 Ways to Score Free Champagne at a Cruise (How to Get Free Drinks!)

Limited Time Sale

Another way that cruise lines make you spend more money is by offering deep discount sales for a limited time only. The cruise line gift shops know they have a monopoly and you are only there for a short time. 

They offer many limited time deals and sales. They will have sidewalk sale days where souvenirs are only $10 on that day. The sense of urgency makes it easy for you to fall into buying more than you actually need.

Check out: 8 Reasons Why Balcony Cabins are Worth It on Your Next Cruise

Duty Free

One of the ways the cruise lines make you spend more is by highlighting the fact that things are duty-free. You don’t have to pay sales tax! They are trying to entice you to buy big ticket items like luxury watches, jewelry, or designer handbags. 

Check out: 11 Most Annoying People to Avoid on a Cruise

Room Service Fees

Cruise lines used to offer free room service. But now, they have extra fees for room service. Some cruise lines charge you for each item, some cruise lines add a service fee. This is a sneaky way to make you spend more money!

Specialty Dining

Cruise ships lure you to try specialty restaurants by making them seem like a bargain. They often have expensive dishes like lobster and steak for a small extra charge. For example, Princess Cruises charges $40 for their specialty restaurant, which sounds like a great deal for steak and lobster. 

Some cruise lines have menus created by celebrity chefs, tempting you to try them for less than what you would pay at their restaurants. It seems like a good deal!

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Rides

One of the ways cruise lines make you spend more money is by adding on attractions that are not included in the cruise. For example, you have to pay extra to Go-Karting or to play Laser Tag in Norwegian Encore. Or pay extra to ride the Bolt roller coaster on Carnival Cruise. 

Check out: 10 Food I’ll Never Eat at a Cruise Buffet

Corkage Fee

Many cruise lines will allow you to bring 1 bottle of wine or champagne on board the ship on embarkation day. However, they will charge you a corkage fee if you bring it to the dining room. To avoid paying the corkage fee, bring your own corkscrew and drink your wine or champagne in your stateroom!

Check out: 11 Anti-Theft Cruise Tips that Every Cruiser Needs to Know

Soda, Coffee and Smoothies

Cruise lines also make you spend more money by offering non-alcoholic packages. Cruise ships have really cut down on their beverage offerings. 

Before, many cruise ships had free sodas and juice. Now, they only have water and tea. 

This makes you want to buy an unlimited soda package. Or you might be tempted by their specialty coffee or smoothie packages.

If you need to book shore excursion tours, a great platform to book tours is with viator

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Looking for last minute deals? I recommend searching for last minute cruise deals from Cruise Direct

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