Budgeting Tips for a Cruise to Niue
Hopping from one idyllic island to the next on a luxurious small-ship cruise is not a bad way to explore the South Pacific. While a small selection of cruises have Niue on the itinerary, these cruises also come with a bunch of unnecessary costs that you can save significantly on if you’re on a budget. We go through those ways on how to save money on a cruise to Niue in the list below!
Before we get into how to save money on a cruise to Niue, bookmark the Niue Travel Budget: How Much Does a Trip to Niue Cost? for its full budget overview, as well as The Travel Guide to Niue on a Budget for more advice.
1. Find a Cruise Deal Six Weeks Before Departure
Although many cruises can be booked more than a year in advance, it sometimes pays to be flexible with your cruise dates and pick up some last-minute deals. By “last-minute” we only really mean about six weeks before a cruise departure date to often get cheaper deals on cabins and suites. However, booking just a few weeks in advance does come with its disadvantages, as many of the South Pacific Island cruises sell out quickly.
2. Stay in an Interior Room
Cruise ships have a wealth of cabin and suite choices, with any suite with a view being the most popular. Any cabin without a window, like an interior room, is much cheaper than other rooms available and honestly, they’re not that bad, especially if you see it as just a place to sleep as you will be spending most of your time exploring the ship and the ports of call.
3. Choose the Cheapest Route
Some of the cruises that visit Niue make return trips, where one way is much cheaper than the other. For instance, Silversea’s South Pacific Islands Cruise is about half the price if travelling from Lautoka (Fiji) to Papeete (Tahiti) than the other way round. That’s despite it being essentially the same trip but in reverse. All in all, be sure to check all possible routes with your chosen cruise liner for the best deal.
4. Bargain for a Deal with Your Travel Agent
It never hurts to bargain for a discount, some extra inclusions or an upgrade. Especially if you are booking a cruise through a travel agent, cruises are one of the most profitable products so they often have a little bit of room to play. Get more tips for negotiating with your travel agent in 10 Things to Ask Your Travel Agent When Booking a Trip to Niue.
5. Book Shore Excursions Independently
Just in case you’re a first-timer to cruises, booking shore excursions and tours directly with the operators rather than through the cruise ship is MUCH cheaper. Cruises are notorious for having huge markups on tours. Sure, it’s more convenient to book through your cruise, but tour prices are very reasonable when booked directly or even through the Visitor Information Centre in Niue. While not all tours in Niue are reachable online (they keep things simple on this remote island), some tours you’ll be able to book yourself before arrival include Explore Niue and Niue Orientation Tours. They’ll provide all of the transport and stop by highlights around the island all for only around NZ$70!
6. Make the Most of the Free and Cheap Things to Do in Alofi
To really save money in Niue, you can just make the most of the free and cheap activities at the port of call, Alofi. Explore sea tracks to amazing swimming spots and stunning coastal scenery. Check out some of the historical attractions and whale-watching viewpoints, such as Tomb Point and Opaahi. Watch the women working on handicrafts or buy some souvenirs at the Wednesday market. The list goes on and on in the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Alofi.
7. Eat Onshore
Cruise ship restaurants don’t give you much room for saving money, so take every opportunity to dine onshore while having some true foodie experiences. Alofi has a small selection of restaurants with big flavours and reasonable prices. See some of the cheapest in the Top Cheap Eats in Niue listed here. For more restaurant options see The 10 Best Restaurants in Niue.
8. Consider Whether You Really Need to Purchase a Food and Beverage Package
Food and beverage packages, also known as restaurant and bar packages, are a common product on cruise ships, but often give you much more credit than you reasonably need. Assess your needs, for instance, are you really going to spend AU$550 on drinks for two people? Hell, if all you want to do is eat and drink, then it might prove to be a good deal for you, so one extra tip we’ll give is to buy your food and drinks package on the cruise ship, not beforehand. Prices start to decrease on the second, third and fourth night of the cruise.
9. Book Some Onboard Activities on Port Days
Obviously, you’ll want to explore each destination you visit, but if you have been eyeing up a spa treatment, for instance, you’ll often find that they’re heavily discounted on shore days. With that in mind, book your onshore activities in the morning or the late afternoon before or after you have explored your port of call.
10. Get Some New Zealand Dollars Before Your Cruise
All of Niue’s businesses accept the legal tender, New Zealand Dollars in cash, while only some accept MasterCard, Visa and New Zealand bank cards. We recommend having some New Zealand Dollars available when visiting Niue, which is usually much cheaper to exchange at exchange bureaus before you take your cruise. Cruise ships don’t exactly have the most favourable exchange rates. Note that only Niue Rentals does currency exchange in Niue, which is a bit of a walk from Alofi town centre. Learn more about spending in Niue in What is the Currency of Niue?