2FD 096: Coder Cruise and Frugal Cruise Hacks

On this episode of 2 Frugal Dudes, we’ll hear about CoderCruise, Kevin’s experience there, and some frugal cruise hacks that will help you take a cruise vacation on a budget.

Kevin and Swift Kick

For those who don’t know, Kevin owns the company Swift Kick and provides personal and corporate software training packages.
Kevin started his business by building a brand while working another full-time job. He did this by writing articles for various businesses and getting his name out there. Over time, this evolved into a passion for sharing his knowledge through training. Additionally, Kevin works on software development and implementation for clients as the need arises.
Work continues at Swift Kick to offer one-on-one coaching to aspiring developers and consultants.

All About CoderCruise

Kevin has just returned from CoderCruise which is, as the name implies, a conference at sea. Specifically, it took place in the Bahamas. Kevin did two talks on CoderCruise, including one about Mastermind Groups.
Kevin said that the conference was really well planned so that participants gained lots of knowledge in addition to having time to explore. This experience was quite different from his previous cruise ship experience, which was through Royal Caribbean— it was quite a party scene. CoderCruise was on a  Carnival ship.

Diamonds, Expenses, and Shore Excursions

 
There are a lot of upsells on a cruise. One of the common ones that’s hyped up by cruise lines is diamonds being more affordable. Have you been on a cruise? Share your thoughts on whether the cheap diamonds are real or hyped up.
The cruise also offered an all-inclusive package for around $60 per person per day to cover all alcohol for cruisers. Kevin opted out and ended up paying $30 for himself and his wife for the trip. It is worth considering the deal for bottomless soft drinks, which is often as expensive as an alcoholic drink. For those passengers looking to party on the ship, it’s worth doing the math and evaluating if you’ll drink enough to justify the all-inclusive cruise fare.
The one upsell Kevin paid for was the premium wifi. Even so, the wifi was lackluster at best. Something to consider when you go on a cruise and have to work. It’s also worth purchasing all packages– drink packages, scuba diving, spa treatments, shore excursions, etc.– in advance as they increase the price when you’re onboard.
If you’re looking for a cheap cruise experience, one upsell worth considering is a “fast pass” package that allows you to check into your cabin early as well as get priority luggage. That upgrade was around $50.
Kevin didn’t opt for any shore excursions during this trip, though he has in previous travels.

Budget Cruise Hacks

One of the great ways to get on a budget cruise is to do so for a work event, which makes the cruise fare tax deductible. Who doesn’t want to work on a ship sailing through the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean? Well, maybe those who would rather take a Mediterranean cruise, but you catch our drift. For those who don’t have this option, consider looking for last-minute deals. You’ll obviously have to be fairly flexible for this to work.

Luxury destinations, like taking a Mediterranean cruise or sailing on a luxury cruise liner through the Norwegian fjords is going to be substantially more expensive than Caribbean destinations.  When looking for a budget cruise option, consider the additional money that will go toward specialty restaurants and luxury services. Compare the cost of booking through a travel agent vs. sorting out itineraries and money concerns yourself.

It’s hard to find a cheap cruise, as it is a luxury service. However, if you plan your trip well and keep a budget in mind while looking for last-minute deals, you can take a cruise vacation on a budget.

Where Our Money Went

Kevin just signed a new client which happens to be a very large, recognizable organization that will remain unnamed. His money came from that, rather than going out.
Sean’s money went toward his dog, who had had two ACL repairs in addition to other health issues related to aging. This has all culminated in more expensive vet bills, medicine, and supplies.

Show Links & Related Episodes

Music: https://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music

Disclaimer: Kevin and Sean are not professional financial advisors. Do not take any advice they give without first speaking with a professional and performing your own due diligence.