IT'S easy to rack up a huge bill if you're holidaying on a cruise ship because of extra fees like tips, food and alcohol.
However, there are some great hacks for first-time and experienced cruisers that can help you get the most out of your budget – and your holiday.
Some cruise lines will let you take your own booze on board, for example, or at least your own soft drinks.
There are also specific cafes and restaurants on certain lines that offer discounts and free food according to Cruise Critic.
So before you take to the seas for your next journey, read on for the ultimate cruise tips:
Most cruise ships offer free ice cream on their ships, as long as it is unbranded.
For example, cruise lines may not have free Ben & Jerry's ice cream, but they will have free soft-serve from machines.
Princess Cruises offers complimentary vanilla or chocolate ice cream on deck, while Carnival have a strawberry option to choose from as well.
Celebrity's buffet also includes free ice cream with toppings on request.
It's also worth exploring the ship as some will have different flavours on different sides of the ship.
Unlimited dining choices in the main room
Unlike in normal restaurants, guests don't have to choose from a starter, main and pudding when eating at the main dining hall.
Instead, you can go for two mains or three puddings, or even starter-sized main courses.
Better breakfast options
Sometimes the buffet options don't look great for breakfast – but there's more choice than you think.
Cruise lines generally have great choices that can be made-to order.
Norwegian will cook up your choice of omelette, while cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean and Carnival have different breakfast venues with varied menus.
Cheaper room service
Travellers usually avoid hotel room service due to the cost but they can be a bargain on cruise ships.
Fred Olsen, for example, offers completely free room service but many will charge a nominal fee for the food.
Usually these are quite good value compared to what you might expect to pay in hotels.
However, they do carry a service charge even when the food is free.
Special dining days
Don't rush to the main dining room or buffet on your first day.
As most guests don't visit the speciality restaurants on the first night, there may be freebies or discounts offered.
Celebrity Cruises will give a discount for example, and Carnival Cruise line guests are sometimes offered a free bottle of wine on the first couple of nights.
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