We booked our cruise just a few months in advance and also got a small discount as early birds. I love to be an early bird but not in this case. I realised a bit later that the company decided to put a huge discount later one, after I've booked and paid for the whole cruise. But anyway...
All in all, a 9 night Mediterranean cruise cost £2336 for two people. We had a room with a balcony on the 6th floor, which for this cruise ship means a room with an obstacle view. We also paid an extra charge in advance for the staff (this charge is essentially their salary). Otherwise your account would be charged daily on the ship. Your debit card would be set up with their company card and your room number, and all expenses on the ship would automatically be included in your bill and deducted from your debit card at the end of your trip. But the amount won't come as a surprise to you, as they have a very cool app where you can track all expenses daily.
We also pre-purchased internet on board for £200 for two devices. We didn't buy any extra packages for drinks or restaurants. In addition, our bill at the end of the cruise was over US $3,000. Yes, you've heard right. Let's look into where that amount came from.
First of all, for every request to bring a paid drink you will definitely be charged an 18% tip. Secondly, casinos are evil and most of our money was spent there as well as on drinks. As it turns out, they are quite expensive on the ship. If you find yourself on this particular cruise ship, my recommendation is to use the Bionic bar (although they do take tips there too), but it still comes out cheaper or buy alcohol in advance. Every day of the cruise, one person can bring on board one bottle of something. You can even not buy glasses, as we did, but just take them from the restaurant. Believe me, you'll save a lot of money that way (if you drink, of course). Besides, the extra paid restaurants are not worth it in my opinion. There are enough places on board where you can find delicious and varied food included in the price of the cruise.
Also, I don't take into account how much we spent in the cities, as we visited every port in the 9 days of the cruise. You should check places beforehand so you know how expensive a city is. For example, when you go to Santorini and Mykonos, you should expect to spend some money there because these islands are the two most expensive in Greece.
I have lots of tips and tricks on how to save money on a cruise. Write in the comments below and I'll try to answer all your questions. Just remember that money is not that important when it comes to holidays.