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How To Find Affordable and Cheap Family Cruises

Updated on August 25, 2009

One of the best ways to spend a family vacation together is on an engaging family cruise. A cruise is similar to a resort. There are restaurants and bars where you can relax and be catered to. There are shopping centers that can be explored for hours, much to the hubby’s chagrin. Evening shows that range from comedians and magicians to broadway-style productions for your viewing pleasure. And activities and events are always vast and various.

Another great reason to go on family cruises? Cruises are making their travels more kid friendly. Did you know that the number of children that board has increased heavily? Carnival Cruise Lines reports that 600,000 kids come aboard yearly compared to 100,000 from ten years ago.

In addition, family-friendly accommodations are provided. For example, Disney lines have cabins with 1-½ baths and sleeping areas in the living room that can accommodate a family of five. The Royal Caribbean offers family cabins with alcoves that can be occupied by up to six members.

There are many age-appropriate events for children. There’s tennis, pool, shuffleboard, climbing, and bowling. And all children love the video arcades and movies! Some even offer ice-skating rinks and wave pools for onboard surfing.. how cool is that?! I would love to be a kid again!

If stimulation is desired, there are educational activities. Princess and Royal Caribbean offers science experiments aboard their decks. For the artistically inclined, animation art lessons are provided on Disney lines.

How To Find Cheap and Affordable Family Cruises

Finding a fun family cruise for everyone to enjoy doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. There are ways to find and compare different cruises for the most economical family venture.

Sure, you can Google it. You’ll find lots of information that will need to be sorted. If there are any trips that catch your interest, bookmark them and join their newsletters and announcement lists so that you can receive new or upcoming bargains.

If you have a travel agent, ask them to keep an eye out for special family cruise deals. You may get lucky. I’ve found some great bargains that I couldn’t pass up this way. Specifically ask your agent to look out for fax specials. These are deals that are often so low they aren’t permitted to publicize them, so you have to ask if they’re available. If you’re flexible, you can often get quick trips for rock bottom prices.

Either book your trip very early.. or find last minute cruises. Cruise lines often have empty cabins or suites that need to be filled. Last minute cruises can offer significant price deductions. Sometimes up to 75% off!

Don’t forget that sometimes the best family cruise deals are offered by cruise lines themselves. Periodic mailings are usually sent to people who have been on their ships in the past. When they have empty cabins they will often try to unload bottom dollar deals to the public. Maybe you have a friend that is a ship connoisseur? Ask this friend to forward any information to you regarding these types of deals.

Cruise Ship
Cruise Ship

More Ways To Find Cheap Cruises For Family Vacations

A rare, but possibly very cheap, way to get cheap cruises is through silent auctions or raffles. Many times, charities have fundraisers that use this method to save raise money for their causes. Raffles are more of a gamble, so I prefer silent auctions. But I have bought a few tickets in the past. If it’s for a good cause, then I don’t really mind if I spent some money on them.

You may be able to find cheap trips in classifieds such as Craigslist or your local paper. Many times, people plan for trips in advance only to have to abandon them due to different reasons. Just be very very careful of scams. If your employer has classifieds directly for employees, like mine does, this would be a great place to look. After all, I would trust a colleague more than I would a complete stranger. And besides that, I know where they work.

Search for your trip early. The closer you book your cruise to a departure date the more expensive it will be. And just as with any type of trip, there are times that are cheaper than others. Summer and holiday cruises will cost you more money. Off season trips are less expensive. Generally, most Caribbean cruises are cheapest in September and October.

Look for closeout deals at the end of the year. Near the end of the year, many cruises are scheduled to leave ports from all around the world. Cruise lines will want to outsell their cabins at this time. Substantial savings are awarded during this time of the year.

Also, make use of online travel sites. Be sure to compare the rates from one site to another. Although not set in stone, you can usually find a better deal with a world cruise agent or travel broker than if you were to buy a trip directly from the cruise lines.

Don’t be afraid to ask people online. This is one of the best ways to find bargain deals. The internet is a great way to exchange information. Online groups and forums about traveling or cruising can yield valuable information. There may be a great deal going on that you weren’t aware of.

Family Cruise At Port
Family Cruise At Port

There are so many different cruise lines and online booking facilities available that the travel market has gotten very competitive. And with the many free resources of information available, an affordable cruise can definitely be found. I’m sure there are other methods of finding great deals. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please feel free to share. I know it will be greatly appreciated.

If you haven’t gone on a family cruise yet, this is definitely something you really should do at least once in your lifetime. With more and more themes available and so many different trips to chose from, there is a cruise vacation for anybody to enjoy!


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    • EnrapturedFlame profile image

      EnrapturedFlame 8 years ago

      Thank you Ladybird!

    • Ladybird33 profile image

      Ladybird33 8 years ago from Fabulous USA

      Great tips