Yes, cheap Caribbean cruises are available!
Like any other family, I believe that you want to give your family the best possible vacation without breaking the bank.
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You have thought of an inclusive family cruise to the Caribbean and so now you search for a family cruise deal.
Where can you find a family cruise deal? How much can you save on an inclusive Caribbean cruise?
The good news is that if you know when to book a Caribbean cruise, you can find cheap Carnival cruises, cheap Norwegian cruises, and even cheap Royal Caribbean cruises.
You will especially find cheap Bahamas cruises!
Finding a cheap Disney cruise is a little harder to accomplish.
Generally, you will always find cheap Caribbean cruises in two main areas:
1. Family cruise deal offers are great on last minute cruises; and,
2. Cheap family cruises are abundantly available during the off peak months and the Atlantic Hurricane Season.
Let us look at cruise deals on last minute bookings:
It is a given that cruise lines do not want to sail to the Caribbean (or anywhere) with empty cabins.
Caribbean cruise lines prefer to drop their cruise prices at the "last minute" to get you onboard, because once there you may spend extra money on items which are not included in your cruise package (spa treatments, soda, alcohol, Internet, casino, etc.).
Therefore, more often than not, if you attempt to book a cruise four to six weeks before the sail date, you will find a price which can be dubbed "a cheap Caribbean cruise."
The price for your family will be less than if you had booked that same cruise about three (3) to five (5) months before.
Booking a cruise ship vacation at the last minute will land your family a cruise deal to the Caribbean!
When my family booked our first cruise in 2004 - a 5-day Western Caribbean sailing on Carnival Sensation - we paid less than $2,000 for four of us for the cruise ticket and the mandatory gratuity charges (Carnival charges mandatory gratuity of $12 per person/day).
Now that was a great family cruise deal!
You will find a cheap Caribbean cruise deal if you can afford to wait for the last minute. Most likely, if you have a flexible work schedule (you can request time off at the last minute) and you love to take chances, then last minute Caribbean cruises will suit you.
Or, like us, you may just decide to make a spontaneous cruise booking for some unexpected days off. This will work to your advantage as I know that your family will find a cruise deal to the Caribbean.
See our last minute cruise deals page for some sailings.
If you have children, you must plan family vacations when they are available - which means out of school.
The same is true for all of us. Unfortunately, Caribbean cruise lines' peak schedules coincide with all those times your children are out of school.
Undoubtedly, a smart business move, but not good for our pockets!
Consequently, cruise prices are highest during breaks - Christmas, Winter Break, Spring Break and during the summer.
This is also true around holidays - Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, July 4th, Memorial Day, etc.
However, you will get lucky and find a cheap Caribbean cruise if for some strange reason it is almost time to sail and several cabins are still available on any cruise ship.
While you will hardly find family cruise deals during the holidays and breaks mentioned above, you can always find cheap Caribbean cruises if you choose to sail at such times as: March, early May (before Memorial Day), early November and December, and almost always from the end August through October - the height of the Atlantic Hurricane Season.
Did someone say hurricane season?
Yes, there is an abundance of cheap Caribbean cruises during that time of the year. The reason is simple: not many people want to sail then (demand is down), and the children are in school.
Luckily for people in some school districts, the kids are out of school one week in mid-September or October and this provides a great opportunity to find a family cruise deal. You may even book this trip in advance as the price will be great.
You may not be lucky to live a school district that gives a week off in September or October, but if you can cruise during the hurricane season - go for it.
It is guaranteed that your cruise ship will not sail if a storm threatens the area. And, if it cannot sail, you will not lose your money - at least not all of it.
You may also want to consider purchasing travel insurance to protect your hard earned investment.
There is a third instance in which you can find cheap Caribbean cruises. There are several online travel providers that sell cruise packages.
In an effort to earn your business, some travel providers offer bonuses when you book your all inclusive Caribbean cruise with them.
Generally, the bonus will be in the form of an onboard credit. While you do not spend cash onboard the ship, you will be required to set up an onboard account and will be issued a card that serves as an I.D. when you disembark at ports of call) and a charge card.
Sellers of cruise packages will offer to add cash to your onboard account, if you book your Caribbean cruise with them. The bonus is usually more if you book an oceanview cabin or higher compared to an inside cabin.
However, this bonus amounts to a family cruise deal as you can use the money onboard the ship to pay for purchases or cover mandatory gratuity wherever charged.
CruiseDirect.com is one such online travel company that offers bonuses on some cruise bookings.
You may click this link to visit their website and search for available Caribbean cruise sailings, and bonuses that could lower the price of your family's inclusive cruise package.
Finally, you may find family cruise deals by simply comparing the rates for similar cruise itineraries.
If you are not bent on sailing with a particular Caribbean cruise line and you are more concerned with saving your family some cash, compare what two or more cruise lines are charging for a similar cruise sailing at the time you wish to travel.
In 2009, we set out to book a 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise. We had sailed with Carnival Cruise Line twice before and decided to check with them first.
The rate we found for 5 people in 2 cabins ranged from the high $3,000's to the low $4,000's. We struggled with the rate for some time, because we really wanted to book with Carnival.
Also, booking with Carnival would have saved us about $200 - the "returning guest bonus."
After debating what to do, we finally decided to check another cruise line - Norwegian. As it turned out, Norwegian was offering a 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise via Norwegian Dawn for about $400 less.
We grabbed that deal and the cruise turned out to be great!
Just like you do with everything else, shopping around may land your family a cheap (or cheaper) Caribbean cruise.
If you wish to see multiple all-inclusive Caribbean cruise prices on one page, you may visit our online travel site PetesTravel.com (Petes Travel Center).
Happy cruise searching! You do not need to sweat trying to find cheap Caribbean cruises - there are many family cruise deals available.
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