16 WAYS TO SPEND YOUR ON BOARD CREDIT ON A CRUISE

Hi my lovely readers!

Cruise lines often have promotions to entice us to book with them and to fill up cruises that don’t sell that well or need a little boost.

One of those promotions is on board credit or as we call it in the travel industry OBC, also known as ship board credit sometimes. This is like getting some pocket money that you can spend during your time on board and a great promotion for us guests.

You may ask yourself what this on board credit can be used for, which we’ll explore in todays post!

16 Ways to spend your on board credit on a cruise

1. SHORE EXCURSIONS

There’re really so many ways to use that on board credit. One way is to use it towards shore excursions. It’s always best to book them in advance to guarantee a space.

I used OBC for this myself and only had to top up the missing amount on the last day of my cruise.

2. SHOPPING

Cruise ships have plenty of shops that sell clothes, sunglasses, bags, souvenirs, most of the items that you would sort of find at the airport. Spending that OBC on some souvenirs is always lovely.

3. SPA TREATMENTS

You can pay for your spa treatments with OBC, too if you want to pamper yourself a little. I bet that massage or facial will feel so much better knowing that it’s paid for by the cruise company or possibly travel agency 😉

4. GAMBLING AT THE CASINO

If you’re a gambler or maybe would like to have a go once, you can use the OBC to pay for Blackjack, Roulette and so on. Maybe you won’t feel that bad in case you spend a lot of money just to lose.

5. DRINKS AND DRINKS PACKAGES

I like using up OBC for drinks. One way is to use OBC towards a drink package. The other way is just to buy drinks whenever you feel like it and then at the end pay with the OBC.

Photo by Ainis Jankauskas from Pexels

Drinks package aren’t really my thing to be honest as I would have to drink a lot for them to be viable. Therefore, I prefer to order on the go.

6. SPECIALITY DINING

Lots of food options are included in the cruise far, but some people like to treat themselves. This is where the speciality restaurants come in and yes, you can pay with your OBC for that lovely dinner.

Two years ago I bought some OBC for my parents to they could dine in one of the speciality restaurants on board one of the TUI ships – Mein Schiff. My parents had their eyes on one of the restaurants as it was serving some rare and really expensive cut of beef and it was their wedding anniversary during the cruise.

They were able to use the OBC and I therefore sort of gifted them their wedding anniversary dinner.

7. GRATUITIES

If you’re thinking now, well I don’t buy extra drinks, I don’t gamble etc, what the heck would I use this OBC for? Not to worry, you can also use it to pay gratuities. Some cruise lines have them included in the cruise fare, but many still don’t and the charges can be around $12 pp/per day +/-.

Gratuities can add up and are a considerable amount of extra cash that you need to take into consideration. OBC can certainly contribute to covering this charge.

8. WELLNESS TREATMENTS

We already explored that OBC can be used towards spa treatments, but it can really be used for any treatments and products you buy in the wellness centre including, getting your hair and nails done, acupuncture and buying cosmetic products.

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

9. CLASSES

Many cruise lines offer different sorts of classes at an extra cost. These can be fitness classes, crafting classes, arty classes. OBC can also be used to pay for those.

10. SHIP AND BRIDGE TOUR

You haven’t probably thought of this, but even a ship tour, tour of the bridge and tours behind the scenes can be paid for with OBC! This OBC is amazing, you can basically use it for anything really!

11. PHOTOS

Loads of people like taking professional pictures during a cruise as everyone always makes an effort to dress up nicely, especially during formal nights. And many people actually use their OBC to pay for the pictures, because let me tell you, they don’t come cheap.

12. WIFI PACKAGES

Wifi packages are becoming more and more popular and for many people nowadays a must. We’re so glued to our phones, laptops, tablet, whatever that many can’t live without wifi for a few days. Use that OBC for wifi is you want to, when I’m on holiday I am off, no one can reach me.

13. ON BOARD ACTIVITES

There are so many on board activities, I already mentioned some in my post 41 Things to do on sea days during a cruise and many of the paid for once such as Bingo are covered by OBC, too.

14. ART AUCTION

I personally never attended an art auction at sea, but there are always a few people that attend them and I guess they must be buying some art pieces as otherwise cruise lines wouldn’t host them and have a small art gallery on a ship.

Photo by Steve Johnson from Pexels

So, if you like to purchase some art at sea, you can also use the OBC for this.

15. ARCADE

Another great way, one of my favourite ways to spend OBC, is to spend it in the on board arcade. Of course not all ships have one, but I always paly a few games of throwing the basketball into the hoops and a few more. I often spend more on arcade games than I probably should, but this is where OBC comes in handy.

16. SECLUDED ADULT ONLY AREA AND RETREATS

I’m not going to deny it, cruise ships can be busy and when there are kids around noisy as well. That’s why many cruise ships have adult only areas and and retreats for those guests that want to escape the hustle and bustle.

Princess Cruises for example has the Sanctuary, but of course many of these come at an extra cost. Still, with a bit of extra OBC maybe it’s worth to splash out.


As you can see, there are so many ways to spend that on board credit. It’s really like someone giving you extra spending money that you can use to enhance your stay and maybe also help you out to pay for those extra that can get expensive quickly.

What would you use on board credit for?


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One thought on “16 WAYS TO SPEND YOUR ON BOARD CREDIT ON A CRUISE

  1. so… when you use credit for gambling and you win, you only win more credit? Or is this way to get cash if you break even and cash out? lol i know it seems like a silly question, like im trying to work out how to beat the system… but its the first thing that came to mind!

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