How to Enjoy a Luxury Cruise on a Budget


Editor’s note: This blog post was last updated on by

A holiday should bring an escape from the normalities of life; a chance to relax and rejuvenate away from the stress of the 9 to 5 grind. Of course, holidaymakers have a very different opinion of what makes for a stimulating getaway, with some favouring an adventurous sojourn somewhere far flung and others a peaceful break closer to home.

No matter what your holiday preference however, we think no one could say no to a luxury cruise. Offering complete relaxation amid sumptuous surroundings, luxury cruises present the perfect opportunity to completely unwind and enjoy the extravagant side of life — at least for a short while.

Sadly, luxury cruises tend to be tad pricey, meaning they’re above and beyond the budget for average earners — or are they? At Cruise1st Australia, we reckon that with a little belt tightening and bit of savvy shopping, you can enjoy a luxury cruise on a shoestring budget — and here’s how.

Choose the Right Ship

They say good things come in small packages, and when it comes to luxury cruising, that seems to be the case. Unlike mega-liners which are capable of carrying over 4,000 passengers, smaller ships benefit from intimate proportions and fewer passengers — providing a sense of exclusivity that’s difficult to find aboard larger liners.


While expensive cruise lines like Celebrity and Seabourn specialise in smaller ships, other cruise lines, including P&O Australia and Norwegian Cruise Line, also have a number of intimate vessels in their fleets. P&O in particular has just launched two ships, Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden, both of which offer style and luxury in a compact package — meaning you can enjoy the luxury feel of a smaller ship for less. 

Look Out for the Best Deals

Given just how pricey some luxury cruises can be they’re often the first to be discounted when no passengers turn up to book — giving you the perfect opportunity to bag a bargain. Cruise lines don’t make any money without bodies in beds, and will therefore offer huge savings on selected routes, even aboard the most luxurious ships.

To keep tabs on the latest cruise deals, why not sign up for email alerts from Cruise1st Australia? We’ll only send you details about the types of cruises you’re interested in, so you can get in early and nab a great deal on your next luxury holiday. 

Book Independent Shore Excursions

When it comes to luxury ocean travel, nothing comes cheap. So, in order to shave $$$s from the cost of your luxury cruise, it’s a good idea to book things like excursions independent of your chosen cruise line. While cruise lines offer a great range of on-shore excursions and activities, they carry a hefty price tag — setting you back a small fortune before you’ve even set sail.

To avoid costly cruise overheads, we’d recommend booking shore excursions before you travel with an independent excursions and activities supplier like

Take Advantage of Spa Discounts

One of the great joys of a luxury cruise is paying a visit to the on-board spa to indulge in a soothing massage or facial. However, daily spa trips don’t come cheap — particularly if you choose to travel with a luxury cruise line. There are ways to save on spa visits however, the easiest way being to look out for spa discounts.

Discounts on spa visits are offered at specific times throughout a cruise itinerary, normally during calls to port when the majority of passengers are taking part in trips and excursions.


Don’t be Fussy About the Destination

Luxury cruise breaks are all about relaxing, unwinding and doing very little but enjoying the lavish perks found aboard your selected ship — so it doesn’t really matter where you’re going. As touched on previously, selected routes are often a lot cheaper than others — particularly if it’s a relocation itinerary with few calls to port. If you aren’t fussy about the destination, it’s possible to book a luxury cruise on the cheap and enjoy all the little extravagances that come with sailing aboard a lavish ocean liner.

Further Tips

To prove just how easy it is to enjoy a little luxury on your next cruise, we spoke to Jane Archer, a travel expert from The Telegraph, who imparted these words of wisdom for those seeking an indulgent break:

  • Most passengers go ashore as soon as the ship docks, so this is the time to treat yourself to a bit of pampering in the spa. Prices can be anything up to 50% cheaper. Look out for the deals in the daily paper that’s delivered to your cabin each day.
  • Take advantage of the exclusive excursions offered by the luxury cruise companies. They are a bit special and free! Azamara Club Cruises has one complimentary AzAmazing Evening on most cruises – anything from a Edvard Grieg concert in Bergen to a private reception at Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in Saint-Jean-Cap Ferrat. Seabourn has Caviar in the Surf beach parties and complimentary water sports.
  • Look out for early-booking offers such as cabin upgrades and free drinks packages, which will certainly help to eek out the budget. If you can be flexible on travel dates, hold on for last-minute deals such as free flights or pre-paid gratuities.

To browse a range of affordable luxury cruises, visit the Cruise1st Australia homepage or call us today on 1300 306 318.

Image credits: Roderick Eime




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