I was talking to a co-worker today about all the value a cruise is for the buck. He was trying to pinpoint an exact cost for the cruise. People are on budgets so I understand that very well. One thing I forgot to mention when we were talking was the parking at the port and how that is extra if you drive your personal car to the pier. So Karl, sorry bud. I left this one out but it will give you an excuse to read my blog. 🙂
If you drive to the port parking is going to run you in the ball park of about 10-15 dollars per day. Seems reasonbile enough if you are on a three day cruise — 45 bucks. That can add up pretty quickly on a four, five, or seven night cruise. You do have options if you don’t have a friend that lives close to the port.
A lot of the airports have parking rates where you can keep your car there for a reduced rate (cheaper than the port) and they will bring you to the port for free. Sure you have to drive to the airport but if you can save half your fare on doing it.. why not?
Another idea and I have used this in a couple of ports, most recently Port Canaveral, Fla. A lot of the ports have hotels with a “cruise” package. Since I have done this before in Canaveral, we will use this as our example. I paid 99 bucks to stay at the Radission hotel a couple miles from the port. In that hotel rate there was the option to keep your car there during the duration of the cruise, free transportation to and from the port too. So you figure a seven night cruise will cost you $105 to park if you drove to the pier. For $99 dollars I stayed at the radisson, had a breakfast, free ride, and pick up when we got back into port. Money saved and a great start and end to a caribbean vacation. (if you do opt for this package, make sure you reserve the shuttle to the pier early… it fills up fast)
Rental cars. I know, a real pain in the butt, but a lot of rental car companies will drop you off at your destination. Possibly consider a one way rental — dropping your car off when you get to the pier and do a one way rental back …. or fly home. Southwest airlines has a lot of cheap flights to everywhere. In fact, if I was taking a cruise out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., it would be worth it for me to fly down there and back. I do have friends down there so that makes it a lot easier too.