5 Ways to Get Ripped Off on a Cruise and How to Avoid Them

A cruise can be a lovely way to get away from your day-to-day life and to take some time to yourself. You get to enjoy some wonderful amenities such as casinos, spas, and lovely restaurants, all within walking distance of your cabin. If you’re lucky, you’ll even make a new friend with whom you’ll keep in touch even after you’ve all gone home. Cruises are also great for discovering a new location without having to do much planning and navigating. But let’s not forget that they are also great ways to get ripped off. There are, however, several ways to get around that.

1. Art Auctions

Art auctions are great ways to pass an evening while your ashore, but they aren’t so fantastic when you’re on a cruise. The keyword here is captive audience. You’re relaxed, probably too much so, and thus a painting that wouldn’t catch your eye even a little will seem like the most extraordinary and inspiring piece of art you’ve ever seen. Once you get home, you’ll seriously hate yourself for having spent money on that Van Gogh reproduction of sunflowers. Instead, enjoy the art with a glass of champagne, but keep your wallet in your pocket.

5 Ways to Get Ripped Off on a Cruise and How to Avoid Them

2. Bottled Water

You wouldn’t drink bottled water at home, so why would you do so on a cruise ship with more amenities than you will possibly have time to enjoy on your trip? Unless you are traveling somewhere where the water is known to be unsafe to drink, you’ll be fine drinking out of the ship taps. It might not taste as good as the perfectly filtered water that you’re used to, but it will not make you sick. Instead, bring a reusable bottle with a filter function to be as comfortable as possible.

3. “Free” Perks That Cost Money

Sure, everyone loves a free perk as they make us feel special. But perks on a cruise often come with hidden fees. For example, Norwegian’s free Ultimate Beverage Package actually costs about $20 per day, which adds up to $140 per person for a week-long trip. There’s very little chance that you would ever spend that much money on drinks to begin with, which makes you realize that sometimes perks just aren’t worth the excitement they seem to trigger.

5 Ways to Get Ripped Off on a Cruise and How to Avoid Them

4. Cruise Line Trip Protection

While it’s always a good idea to get travel insurance, especially if you’re going somewhere where you might catch a parasite, the cruise company’s trip protection is never the way to go. The coverage offered might come at an attractive price, but the services provided are generally quite poor. Instead, invest in good quality travel insurance such as InsureandGo. It may cost you slightly more, but your health is never worth gambling over.

5. Beach Breaks

One of the best things about cruises is getting to enjoy a lovely afternoon on the beach with a cocktail and your toes in the sand. But it’s making that happen that’s the real issue. All cruise lines offer beach break excursions, which are possibly the biggest rip-off of them all. If being on a crowded beach full of other cruise-goers and being herded around like a flock of sheep is your idea of a good time, be our guest. If you’d rather enjoy a more peaceful experience, jump in a cab and have the driver take you to a smaller beach frequented by locals. You’ll still spend a little money, but the great time had will be infinitely worth it.