Woman in front of Cruise Ships

9 Common Money Mistakes You’ll Regret Making on Your Cruise

Planning to go on a cruise? Here are some tips to avoid common money mistakes that many cruisers make. Don’t waste your hard earned money! Find out how to cruise smartly. Also, I’m sharing my cruise budget planner as a free printable below.

Common Money Mistakes People Make on a Cruise

1. Double Tipping

Many cruisers unknowingly make a common mistake – they often end up double-tipping because they are unaware that the tip is already included in many things on the cruise, such as beverage packages. 

It’s important to note that tipping extra for excellent service is always appreciated, but tipping just because you don’t realize you already tipped is not okay. So, it’s always a good idea to double check- to see if you’ve already tipped or not.

2. Not Buying Cruise Extras in Advance

One mistake that cruisers make is they don’t buy cruise extras in advance. Cruise extras are WiFi packages, beverage packages and specialty dining packages. Most cruise lines will give at least a 20% discount if you buy these extra cruise packages in advance. By not taking advantage of it and waiting until you get onboard the ship to buy, you are wasting money.

Cruise Money Mistakes

3. Not Bringing Cash

One common mistake that many cruisers make is that they don’t bring cash with them. They assume that because everything is cashless on the ship, they won’t need it. 

But, it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand, especially when you’re out at the cruise port. There may be times when you’d prefer not to use your credit card to pay for things, as it can be more susceptible to hacking and scams. 

For example, if you’re taking a cab in the Caribbean, it’s typically better to pay in cash. And if you’re at a small roadside restaurant in Mexico, you might feel more comfortable paying with cash. 

So, when you’re packing for your cruise, be sure to bring along some cash, including small bills. It’s a simple step that can help you avoid any unnecessary worry while you’re on your cruise.

4. Getting Stuck with Foreign Currency

One common money mistake that cruisers make is they bring cash but they don’t bring small bills. As a result they get stuck with a lot of foreign currency. 

For example, when you visit cruise ports that take US dollar, like Mexico, you pay in US dollars but receive change in Mexican pesos. As a result you’ll get stuck with Mexican pesos that you’re probably not going to exchange back to US dollars. So it’s best to bring small bills so you don’t get a lot of Mexican pesos back!

5. Not Shopping Around for the Best Shore Excursion Prices

Many cruisers make the mistake of not comparing prices before booking shore excursions. They just go ahead and buy shore excursions directly from the cruise lines. However, you might be paying more than you should if you don’t shop around. 

Independent tour websites like Viator often offer the same or similar tours at a cheaper price. The only difference is that the cruise line guarantees that the ship won’t leave without you, which is why you are paying a premium for their shore excursions. 

But the truth is, being left behind is not a common concern because many independent shore excursion tour companies are actually the same as the ones used by the cruise line. So, put in the time, do a little research and see if you can save some money on shore excursions on your next cruise!

Suburbs 101 participates in affiliate programs including Amazon Associates Program and may earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

Cruise Money Mistakes

6. Not Getting an International Plan

One thing to watch out for when going on a cruise is accidentally racking up a huge cellphone bill due to roaming charges. No one wants that!

So, before you set sail, do yourself a favor and check with your cellphone provider to see if they offer any international plan options. This way, you’ll be able to text and use your phone while at the cruise port without any worries even if you can’t find a WiFi hotspot.

For example, I have T-Mobile and it comes with international text and data so I sometimes don’t even need to buy the cruise WiFi plan because I can text and check my email while at the cruise port. 

And many cellphone providers these days, like AT&T and Verizon, now offer special cruise cellphone plans. You pay a monthly or daily fee to call and text while on the cruise ship. For example, AT&T charges $60 for 30 days of unlimited text and 100 minutes of phone calls on the cruise ship!

It’s always a good idea to go on a cruise with an international plan, especially if you’re going on a long cruise, so you can stay connected with friends and family.

7. Buying Luxury Goods Just Because It’s Duty-Free

One thing to keep in mind when cruising is that it’s easy to fall into the trap of buying luxury goods on the ship just because they’re duty-free. Sometimes, the price might not be as good as you think it is. And you’re making an impulsive purchase just because you’re on vacation mode.

It’s true you deserve to treat yourself, but it’s always best to make informed buying decisions to avoid making costly purchases! Do your research and compare prices online before making any luxury good purchases on the ship!

8. Credit Card with Foreign Transaction Fee

Many cruisers often make the mistake of bringing the wrong credit card with them. They end up bringing credit cards that charges foreign transaction fees.

This can lead to unexpected fees that can be as high as 5% which really adds up over time. It’s the worst to be in that situation, especially when you could have easily avoided them by bringing a credit card with no foreign transaction fees. 

So, if you’re planning to sail outside the US, remember to double check your credit cards and make sure to bring the ones without foreign transaction fees. This way, you don’t waste money paying unnecessary fees!

9. Not Asking for Onboard Credit

One common money mistake that cruisers make is they miss out on onboard credit. It’s basically free money that you can spend on drinks, spa treatments, photos, and more during your cruise. But here’s the thing – many cruisers don’t know about it! 

If you’re new to cruising, you might not realize that there are ways to get free onboard credit, like referring a friend or being a cruise shareholder. It’s such a great perk that you definitely don’t want to miss out on! Check out my article on ways to get free onboard credit on your next cruise.

Free Cruise Budget Tracker

Get Your Free Cruise Budget Tracker

Sign up once and you will get access to ALL exclusive content on this website. After unlocking the printable, just save the printable image and then print it. I hope you like it!

Cruise Budget Tracker
Cruise Budget Tracker

Check out these free cruise printables

Caribbean cruise packing list

Alaska cruise packing list

Cruise Toiletry Bag & Cruise First Aid Kit Packing List

21 Smart and Easy Ways to Save Money on a Cruise

10 Shore Excursion Mistakes that Will Ruin Your Cruise Vacation

8 Cruise Buffet Mistakes You’ll Regret Making

Sharing is caring!

Scroll to Top