Budgeting Tips for a Cruise to Fiji
Sailing the tropical waters of the South Pacific, stopping off in the archipelago islands of Fiji to experience the stunning beaches and rich cultures, is the dream… But it’s an expensive dream. That’s right, cruises to Fiji have a few considerable costs associated with them, from the initial cruise rate to shore excursions to dining. We share ways to save money on all of those aspects in this guide on how to get a good deal on a cruise to Fiji.
Note: This guide refers to international cruises departing from Australia, New Zealand and French Polynesia. For more advice on cruises within Fiji, see The Guide to Cruises Around Fiji.
Quick Tips to Save Money on a Cruise to Fiji
- Buy souvenirs onshore, which is typically much cheaper and more authentic than what’s available on the ship
- Wait until at port to call home and use the Internet – see Where to Get WiFi in Fiji
- Convert currency onshore, not on the boat
- Don’t feel obligated to tip, as prices on cruises often include the tip.
Speaking of tips, there’s more where that came from in the 12 Ways To Save Money on a Cruise to Fiji.
How to Save Money on the Cruise Rate
How can you shave the cents off the initial cruise rate? A few ideas include booking your cruise closer to the departure date, choosing an interior room and bargaining for an upgrade.
Booking Your Cruise Closer to the Departure Date
A sure-fire way to save money on a cruise is to be as flexible with your cruise dates as possible. The best deals can be found in the final weeks leading up to the cruise, where it’s common to see cruise prices drop within the six weeks leading to departure. Of course, there are a few downsides to this, such as your dream cruise being sold out or being left with the most undesirable rooms.
Choosing the Cheapest Cabins
Speaking of “undesirable rooms”, these are, in fact, the cheapest rooms on the ship. While balcony rooms, staterooms and other luxury options are, of course, the most popular choice, they come at a pretty high price. If you have more of an open mind, knowing that a room is just a room and it’s more about the places you visit, then you’ll likely have no issue with staying in an interior room. Plus, remember that you have access to the rest of a huge cruise ship!
Negotiate for a Deal or an Upgrade
Booking your cruise through a travel agent? Cruises are one of the most profitable products a travel agent sells, so they often have a bit of room to play when it comes to upgrades, discounts and freebies. Be sure to bargain with your travel agent! For more travel agent tips, check out the 10 Things to Ask Your Travel Agent When Booking Your Holiday to Fiji.
How to Save Money on Shore Excursions
Being the Fiji experts, we know a thing or two about saving money on activities and shore excursions in Fiji. There are also ways to save money on onboard activities too.
Save Money on Shore Excursions
Shore excursions are where cruise ships have their biggest markup, with some cruise liners known to increase activity prices by 300%! Our biggest piece of advice is to book your shore excursions independently rather than through your cruise.
Activities can be booked directly through activity providers in Fiji, as well as through activity booking websites like Viator and Tripadvisor, which list a whole array of shore excursions that you’ll find at a cheaper price than what’s being sold onboard. Take a look at the 10 Best Fiji Shore Excursions for ideas of things to do.
Free Activities in Fiji
At every port of call in Fiji, there are free things to do. Mingling with the locals at the market in Lautoka and Suva, checking out the five-star resorts in Denarau, hiking the hilltops of Dravuni Island, and checking out the hot springs in Savusavu are some of the free attractions of Fiji’s five ports of call. Simply dive into our listings of free and cheap things to do in the following articles to enjoy a visit to Fiji without breaking the bank:
- 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Suva
- 11 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Denarau
- 10 Things to Do in Lautoka
- 10 Things to Do in Savusavu
- 5 Things to Do on Davuni Island
Do Some Onboard Activities on Port Days
Some shore excursions in Fiji will only take you a couple of hours, so if you have been eying up one of the cruise ship experiences, port days would be the cheapest days to do them. Between indulging in spa treatments and rock climbing, there are a ton of things to do on cruise ships. You’ll find that the prices of these activities dramatically reduce on port days when most people are off the boat.
How to Save Money on Food
Another area where you can save money on a cruise ship is on wining and dining.
Consider the Restaurant and Bar Packages
When booking your cruise, you’ll be asked whether you want to purchase any restaurant and bar packages. These essentially act as credit for food and drinks on the ship. However, these packages are not for everyone. Assess your needs first, are you really going to spend AU$550 on drinks for two people? If you think you would spend more, then consider buying one of the food and drink packages on the second night of your cruise or the third or the fourth! The further through the cruise you get more the food and drink packages are discounted.
Look out for the Specials
Cruise ship restaurants work hard to get your business, from first-day discounts to nightly specials. Lunchtime is when you will find the best deals, so make lunchtime the foodie event and opt for something a little smaller/cheaper for dinner.
Experience the flavours of Fiji by eating onshore on shore days. Suva and Lautoka have a huge range of affordable curry houses specialising in Indo-Fijian curries, which you can check out in the Top Cheap Eats in Suva and Top Cheap Eats on the Suncoast. Port Denarau has a wide range of eateries, where we list some of the best value in the Top Cheap Eats in Denarau.