travel money

Onboard Spending Money Guide

Posted August 27th, 2017

From all-inclusive fares to priority embarkation, there are a few extra special aspects of cruise life guaranteed to get any traveller truly excited. Onboard spending money, otherwise known as onboard credit, is one of them. That’s right, you can access free money via your onboard account to help you get the most out of your holiday. Below, we’ve put together a guide designed to help you realise the full potential of this handy little bonus.

Spa treatments

Want to relax and get into holiday mode as soon as you board your cruise ship? Make your way straight to the onboard spa and book yourself in for a guilt-free spa treatment. Your onboard credit should apply to most, if not all, items on the spa menu, so check with the attendant and then look forward to looking and feeling your best with a rejuvenating facial, pampering pedicure or soothing hot shave. No matter what kind of spa treatment you have in mind, the options are endless.

Shore excursions

While a shore excursion will be one of the more expensive ways to spend your onboard credit, this is your holiday! So if a particular excursion has caught your eye, now’s the time to forget about cost and treat yourself to a wonderful travel experience.


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Specialty restaurants

As cruise lines continue to introduce new alternative dining venues on their ships, passengers must decide whether speciality cuisine is worth the additional cost of cover charges. With onboard credit, this worry will become a thing of the past. You’ll be able to choose where you want to dine without paying an extra cent. 


Unless you’re on an all-inclusive cruise, alcoholic drinks will rarely be free. And while drinks packages can be an attractive option for many passengers, if you only plan to have a glass of wine here and a cocktail there, onboard spending money will be your best friend.

Fitness classes

If staying in shape is a priority for you, onboard spending money can help you achieve your fitness goals. From yoga and pilates to spin classes and bootcamp sessions, onboard credit can be used to pay for a range of fitness activities, so you won’t have to choose between your health and your wallet.


Having a professional photo taken by the ship’s onboard photographer is a great way to remember your voyage. This may normally be one of those expenses you can live without, but thanks to onboard credit, you’ll be able to treat yourself to a fine souvenir.

Internet and phone charges

Another expense that many passengers try to avoid, using your onboard spending money to pay for internet and phone charges means you can stay connected with loved ones back home without feeling guilty about what it’s costing you. Send those poolside photos and post a status update, quick!


Onboard spending money, like any other aspect of a cruise, is subject to certain policies. It’s important to remember that it can only be used while on board the cruise ship, meaning your onboard credit will not apply to any purchases made in advance of your cruise, such as a shore excursion, spa treatment or specialty restaurant bookings.

Many cruise lines also stipulate that onboard spending money is non-refundable and cannot be exchanged for cash. Lastly, every cruise line’s policy regarding onboard credit is different, so be sure to check this information before setting sail. On Cunard’s voyages, for example, onboard spending money can’t be used towards onboard gaming (including the casino), foreign currency, future cruise payments or deposits, visas and any medical charges.

Interested to learn more about onboard spending money and how you can get it on your next cruise? Our experienced cruise consultants can answer all your questions and provide you with further information. Just call us on 1300 954 661 today. 


Set sail on a dream holiday with CruiseAbout

Images courtesy of Getty & Instagram


Cruise Specialist

  Absolutely nobody in Australia knows more about cruising than Cruiseabout. With close to 30,000 nights on ships all across the globe, our consultants’ extensive experience and passion for cruising is unequaled. We're here to share the joys of cruising holidays with more Australians and invite them into our world - because we love cruising!

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