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A Sneaky-Affordable Trip for Backpackers: A Luxury Cruise

Celebrity Silhouette

Celebrity Silhouette in Valletta, Malta (photo: Steven Straiton)

I know what you’re thinking – this is a backpacker’s site and a luxury cruise is anything but budget traveling. That was my thought, too, until I ran into Celebrity's cruise deals, which make an efficient and cost-effective way of seeing multiple destinations on one trip.

Imagine yourself, the typical backpacker, used to sharing a room with twelve other people, carrying a few changes of clothes, and sometimes going too long without a shower, on-board a luxury cruise set to see some of the most beautiful destinations around the world by sea.

If you’ve never been aboard a cruise ship, you are missing out. It feels like you’ve instantly been transported to an island and there is no world outside of that ship.

Not every cruising experience is like the Titanic where fancy people dress up in fancy clothes and are served their every demand.

The great thing about cruises is you can make it whatever experience you’d like!

All passengers have a different experience tailored to the type of traveler they are.

I will tell you how I managed to still feel like a backpacker aboard a luxury Celebrity Cruise.

How Can Cruises be Affordable for a Backpacker?

Have you ever wanted to island hop around the Caribbean Sea or check out the Mediterranean?

Well, here’s a bit of reality: it’s not cheap.

Flights between islands are usually expensive as most island destinations have small airports. Boats and ferries between the islands can be few and hard to come by.

Cruising affords you the possibility to see multiple destinations in some of the most beautiful and maintained areas of tropical regions.

The best part is that you only have one fee and cruise lines, like Celebrity Cruises, have found a way to make their packages so affordable it will blow your mind.

The reality is some places in the world are impossible to travel on an extreme budget. Cruises have changed that reality, at least, a little.

Who to Bring

The first thing you need to decide after you’ve booked your cruise is who to bring with you.

It’s not completely necessary to bring anyone with you, but it’s always comfortable taking on a new experience with a friendly face by your side.

I’m not one who typically likes to travel with others, but when on a cruise, it helps to have someone around as you’re trying to meet new people. It is not always as easy as walking into a hostel and making friends with your bunkmate.

Finding other solo-travelers or backpackers aboard cruises takes patience. However, if you can’t find a friend to tag along, don’t worry, you’re bound to find friends aboard the cruise.

What to Pack

Most people suspect you cannot travel with a backpack when you go cruising. This is completely untrue. I’ve now gone on several cruises with nothing but a backpack.

It’s true, most cruise lines have a dress code as dinner etiquette, but depending on which cruise deal you choose, the etiquette is usually very laid back.

On the cruises I’ve been on, khaki shorts and a collared shirt was all that was required – hardly difficult to fit in your backpack when you’re literally in your swimwear the entire week and don’t need to remember near as many clothes as when you’re backpacking regularly.

Remember sunscreen! It can be expensive (it’s expensive anywhere, but particularly on secluded island destinations).

Managing Excursions Cost-Efficiently

The most expensive part about cruising is the excursions which aren’t typically included in the price of your boarding pass.

Don’t sweat it; you’re not required to spend any money on excursions. You’re a backpacker, after all – when do we splurge on fancy excursions?

Isn’t walking around the city and finding the alternative, more affordable ways to experience the culture what we’re good at?

Here’s what I suggest.

Take advantage of the free food aboard the cruise ship (yes, free). Have a meal before you get off the boat and (if you’re very budget conscious) don’t eat while you’re at your destination.

Instead, save your hunger for when you get back on-board – this usually isn’t more than seven or eight hours. Extremely do-able if you’re focused on saving money.

If you’re savvy, you may never spend a penny on excursions. I hardly spent any in comparison to other cruisers I’ve talked to.

Celebrity Cruises Backpacker-Friendly Budget Deals

Have a look at the Celebrity Cruises website for the lowest prices and easiest way to book your trip.

Sometimes, in order to cruise as a backpacker, it takes a little bit of flexibility and spontaneity. Luckily, that’s what we are good at.

Good luck on finding a price that fits you. Just know that cruising as a backpacker is absolutely affordable and even a budget-friendly idea if done right.


This story was brought to you in partnership with Celebrity Cruises. 

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