Let’s Talk Money! Tips to Pay For Your Upcoming Cruise/Vacation

So you are sailing on a Carnival cruise in 2020?!?! Or Planning a Family/Baecation for 2020?!?!?

I thought I would share some tips of how I fund my vacations on a budget.


Let’s look at my Carnival Cruise for May 2020

So A Carnival Cruise:

  1. Fare- $$
  2. Gratuity (every cruise line has this)
  3. Drink Package (Alcohol or soft drink/juice)
  4. Casino, Bingo, Pictures
  5. Ports/Shore Excursions


Let’s Talk MONEY

–>Do you know what the cost of your cruise is? 

You placed your deposit, so let’s subtract that.

Will you pre-pay for your gratuities or pay on the last day of your cruise?

***Carnival is $13.99 per person per day

—>Will you purchase the drink package or purchase a la carte?

(If you pre-pay for drink package, it’s cheaper than purchasing on the ship)

FYI:   Carnival offers two beverage packages:

  • Cheers! Package–Alcohol package–Average $60 a day
Age Range: 21+ if 1 purchase in cabin, ALL MUST purchase
Cost: Additional*
Purchased aboard: $56.95
Purchased in advance: $51.95
Prices are per person, per day.
  • Bottomless Bubbles Package–Soda/Juice Average  $10 a day
Cost: Additional*
Adults: $8.50 per day
Kids: $5.95 per day

*with 18% gratuity

So my calculations are per person and NOT TOTAL CRUISE COST.

Example of my Cruise:

May 31, 2020 6-day

Balcony–$2,085.04$1,042.52 per person

Gratuities:  $13.99 x 6 days = $83.94

Drink Package–$60 x 6 = $360.00

Final Payment: March 17, 2020

9 months to PAY IN FULL

So MY total cruise cost is $1,486.46 and this is includes fare, gratuities and drink package

I pre-pay so that I can save money for BINGO, spa, the casino and port stops.

I’ve placed my $50.00 deposit

Balance: $1,436.46

divided by 9 months = $160.00 a month to pay.


***Please keep in mind that you have up to 3 days before you sail to add and pay for your gratuities.

So you if I pay the fare first.

$1,042.56 – $50.00 (deposit) = $992.56

divided by 9 = $110.25 ($55.14 per pay period) or Just pay $60/$120 a month is $1,080



Payment Schedule

Initial Deposit: $50.00 per person

Payment: $110.00 per person

Due By: June 2019

Payment: $110.00 per person

Due By: July  ,2019

Payment: $110.00 per person

Due By: August  2019

Payment: $110.00 per person

Due By: September  2019

Payment: $110.00 per person

Due By: October 2019

Payment: $110.00 per person

Due By:  November 2019

Payment: $110.00 per person

Due By: December  2019

Payment: $110.00 per person

Due By: January 2020

Payment: $110.00 per person

Due By: Feb 2020

Final Payment: 100%

Due by: March 17, 2020


If you follow my example, you should be able to pay off your cruise and have money to spare.

I use several money saving tips for spending money  for casino, specialty restaurants, pictures and BINGO

1. I use an app called Digit  that help me save for upcoming vacations and so  much more  See link below.

Check out Digit. It’s a service that automatically saves the perfect amount for you every day. Sign up with this link and we’ll each get $5. https://digit.co/r/-yvJpNXpD4?ad&twb=true

2. My $5 Mason Jar Challenge

It’s simple every time you get a $5 bill just save and stick in the mason jar.  I had a client to save over 400 $5 bills in 6 months in 2017.

3. Save Your Change.

Extremely simple.  When you spend money, just always USE BILLS and save the change.  Get a piggy bank, soda or water bottle, or a mason jar.  Then you can cash in a week before the cruise to pay gratuities and for your drinks or have spending money for excursions and port visits.

I saved $424.00 once in 6 months.

4. Vacation Credit Card

Only used for vacations.  Apply to your onboard expense account.  Use for VACATIONS ONLY and pay off to use for next vacation.  Make certain its a card that is beneficial for you.  CASHBACK, AIRLINE POINTS, HOTELS AND OTHER VACATIONS.

Pay more towards the balance or pay off during income tax or when you receive a lump sum or unexpected monies.


 5. Vacation Savings Account

Have a small percentage of money come out of your pay and go directly into a savings/checking account that you only save for vacations.  When I worked at the mental health clinic in 2018–I started taking 1% of my pay into my vacay savings–then 3% until I finally was able to comfortably 5%.

Just imagine 5% of $20,000.  That’s $1,000.00.  Just think if you made more than $20k a year.  Add money to the account during income tax or when you receive a lump sum or unexpected monies.

I hope this helps.  It’s not as difficult as one might think it is to vacation.  Simple tips that can save lots of money to put towards your vacation–

  • Make A Budget
  • Brown bag it to lunch everyday except on Fridays
  • Stop buying coffee and invest in an auto-coffee maker and flavored creamers
  • Wear your nails and eyebrows a little longer 0r not at all
  • Plan Ahead or Search for Group Trips from travel companies for lower deposits/cruise fare and sometimes you can even get a sweet perk for booking within a group.
  • Go through your bank account and look for the places where you’re routinely spending just a couple of dollars. It’s likely that you’re spending money just for convenience — and it can add up. Cut out these purchases by stocking up on your impulse buys.
  • Cancel Your Nonessential Subscriptions
  • Eat Out Less
  • Trim Your Grocery Budget
  • Count how many weeks until you’d like to leave and divide your cost by the time you need to save. You now know how much you need to set aside each week in order to be able to afford your dream trip. Consider this “future spending” as opposed to saving or depriving yourself of current fun, a system that Financial advisors think is more mentally-effective.
  • Contrenia Fluker/ Consultant ID: 0095239340



Contrenia L. Fluker
Travel Designer/Consultant/Agent

The highest compliment I can receive is the referral of your friends, family and business associates. Thank you for your trust.


T: (866)680-3211
T: (757) 763-9273
E: cfluker@dreamvacations.com

Home of the Why Wait Wanderers Travel Group

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.