Cruise Ships Are Going Cashless And It's Costing travellers A Ton

Norwegian, cruise

Photo: Flickr / Pink Dispatcher

Today, most cruise lines offer passengers a charge card that lets them keep a running tab of every purchase they make on board, from drinks to souvenirs. The card sounds ultra convenient, and it is, but companies are betting you’ll be too relaxed to realise how much you’ve been spending on your vacation. 

Check out the following tips to keep your spending from going overboard: 

Pay more up front: Plan on drinking during your cruise? It might be worth it to upgrade to a luxury line. According to Cruise Critic, upscale companies like Seabourn include all alcoholic drinks in their booking price—not a bad deal since some drinks cost between $12 and $15. 

Book your own shore excursions: Before you leave, check to see where your ship will stop and research some excursions to plan on your own. Chances are, they’ll be a lot cheaper than whatever the cruise line is offering, says Bankrate’s Amy Crane.

Watch your bill: Goes without saying, but you should frequently check with the purser to see how much you’ve been racking up, Crane says. You might not want to do this daily, but doing it at the last minute—or before you get the bill—could be a costly mistake. And if there’s a glitch, you’ll want to get it taken care of fast. 

SEE ALSO: The hidden fees of an all-inclusive cruise >

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