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Cruising for a Bruising!

Wow! It’s been a crazy but wonderful summer! I have so much to share with you about travel and your money. Recently I went on a Carnival cruise to Mexico with my sister in laws, my niece and a family friend. It was a joyous occasion! One of my sister in laws was celebrating her 50th birthday. We had a ball!  We sailed from New Orleans and  I can’t wait to go back to spend more time there!

I have not been on a cruise in several years. To my surprise some things have changed! Do you know that it is mandatory that you pay $10 per day per person for gratuities for the general staff?  I always tipped but I guess too many people didn’t so its mandatory now. The drinks had tips added and some drinks even had taxes added to them.   The average drink ran from $8 to as much as $16.
I did learn that you can purchase a bottle from room service at a much higher cost but it may be worth it in the long run. For example a bottle of Absolute that might run $20 normally, would cost $40 from room service. Depending on how you drink it might be more cost effective in the long run.  The ships don’t advertise this choice but it is available.  This year I also travelled to the Dominican Republic to an all inclusive resort.  To me it was like a cruise on land! The best thing was I didn’t have to have money for anything else.  Gratuities and your drinks are rolled into your trip price so I didn’t feel like I was “nickle and dime”d out of every penny.

My Financial Lesson
The first night on the ship they had a “sale” on liqour. They promised the lowest price guaranteed! “If you find it anywhere cheaper, we will match the price”. How would we prove it? You would have to bring a picture or “something”.  Do you know how hard it is to start taking pictures in a store? Especially when they probably know why you’re taking it?

Well as fate would have it some things I bought on the ship were cheaper in Mexico. Some people would say “forget it I just lost money on the deal”. Not me! That attitude can have you lose hundreds of dollars per year! The end result for my venture was a savings of about $ 20.  It may not seem like much but my motto is “a dollar in my pocket is better than a dollar in someone elses.”. I get excited when I save money!  It’s like a agaist them in a battle for my money!  I like a win even if it’s a small one.

Lesson 1- Be diligent about your money. Follow up on challenges that companies make. It might be a little work but the benefit will be yours!

Lesson 2 – on a cruise wait till you get to port to check out the prices so you don’t have to work so hard to save money!

Till next time remember “You are not broke, your finances are broken”

Naomi The Financial Medic

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