Onboard Spending and the Best Ways to Use It

young and elder couple sitting on deck drinking wine and mixed drinks bought with onboard spending

During your stay at sea, consider your cruise ship your home away from home. With your daily necessities covered by the cruise line, onboard spending (also known as onboard credit) is a cruise-issued pass attached to your account that allows you to pay for all the extras that make a vacation memorable.

Luckily, special deals can help offset these costs before you embark on your voyage. Cruise lines often provide generous onboard spending offers (and many exclusive to Cruises.com!), which help you get what you want on board without digging into your vacation budget. But what’s the best way to use this extra cash?

Cover Your Essentials with Onboard Spending

girlfriends on deck chairs with fruity drinks laughing and having a great time.

Drinks: While cruise lines provide complimentary drinks like water, juice, and tea, you’ll often need to pay for most other specialty and alcoholic beverages — and they can add up quickly. Afterall, why wouldn’t you pair your sun-soaked getaway with a fruity cocktail, or your Alaskan adventure with a cozy, steamy latte? You may even opt to purchase a beverage package, which can cover up to unlimited drinks, including soda. This can be especially advantageous for families traveling with kids or teens.

Wi-Fi: Another everyday “must” for most people is reliable Wi-Fi. Purchasing an internet package ahead of time can be a very practical way to use your onboard spending. Before you set sail, select a package that best fits your usage so you can share all those ’gram-worthy photos in real time.

Use Onboard Spending to Indulge in Luxury

Couple man and woman laying on their back enjoying a massage with hot stones while at sea and view the ocean.

Nothing compares to the peaceful lap of cerulean waves or endless seascape reaching toward a melty sunset. Don’t miss the opportunity to lean into the relaxing experience that cruises are famous for.

Specialty Dining: Cruises cover a range of dining options to cater to every taste bud during your stay, but you can also opt for specialty dining for an elegant night out. While these restaurants aren’t included in your cruise fare, this is where you can discover extraordinary culinary masterpieces from award-winning chefs on your next voyage. Keep your glass (and wallet) full by taking advantage of your onboard spending at one of these swanky gourmet restaurants — be sure to make your reservation early!

Spa Treatments: For an ultra-luxurious experience, treat yourself to an at-sea spa treatment. When you’re using free onboard credit toward a decadent massage, facial, or pedicure, it can feel much easier to justify some well-deserved pampering.

Splurge on Memories

Man zip lining over the water at port destination with mountains and water. Purchase shore excursions with onboard spending or onboard credit.

Shore Excursions: Cruises are an excellent way to cross several destinations off your bucket list and give you the opportunity to fully immerse yourself during your ship’s port stops. Snorkel in the Bahamas’ crystal waters with gentle stingrays, zipline through abundant Alaska rainforests, or stroll the expansive vineyards of Italy. Whatever you choose, your onboard spending can be put toward countless one-of-a-kind adventures. Insider tip: Book your shore excursions before you set sail, as spots can fill up quickly.

Shopping: If you prefer to shop ’til you drop, do so without dropping a penny. Use your extra onboard credit to buy memorable souvenirs, emergency toys for the kiddos, a designer item that catches your eye, or any forgotten necessities at onboard shops.

Photos: And finally, pictures or it didn’t happen. Treat yourself and your crew to a souvenir photo package and capture all the best at-sea memories forever. Plus, you can always count on a professional cruise photographer to snap the dreamiest vacation photo. Your onboard spending is sure to help you curate the perfect getaway, and all the memories to match.

Is your onboard spending already burning a hole in your pocket? Visit Cruises.com for the largest selection of cruise line deals — we can help you book the smart way! We give you our exclusive bonus offers (including onboard spending) and all qualifying cruise line offers, plus all of the cruise line loyalty program benefits. Book online at Cruises.com or call 800-288-6006 today.

Related: The Best Cruise Deals are Made Even Better at Cruises.com

Author: Lizzie Schott

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