Finding a discount cruise vacation to the Caribbean is at the top of every fun-loving, cruising family's wish-list.
The good news is that there are several ways to get a discount on your inclusive family Caribbean cruise.
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Each Caribbean cruise line offers a list of discount triggers to provide your family with several options in discounted cruise packages.
Below are some general ways to snatch up a discount on cruise sailings for your family.
Note that in some instances you will have two options which can be combined to make for more savings on your family's cruise ship vacation.
This option suits some families, but not all. It depends on the ages of your children or traveling companions.
However, if you are willing to sail for 4, 5 or 7 days to the Caribbean with 3 or 4 people in one cabin, you will save big.
Generally, the first 2 people in the cabin (Mom & Dad) pay the posted fare and every other person in that same cabin pays a discounted cruise fare.
Sometimes the discount on the 3rd and 4th cruise tickets is as much as 50% off the price of each of the first 2 tickets for that stateroom.
You may be wondering about the size of the cabin and whether your family can fit comfortably.
My family of five has all stayed in one cabin on cruises - an inside cabin or oceanview and has been fine. (I always say that the cabin is basically for sleeping, so why spend too much on it anyway?)
The stateroom generally has 2 twin beds pulled together into a queen for my wife and I; 2 bunks for the boys and a pull out bed (kept under our bed during the day) for my daughter.
Everyone sleeps comfortably!
Just about every Caribbean cruise line offers its returning guests a discount for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc., sailing and in some cases a free upgrade as well - that is from one deck to one higher, or a better stateroom in the same type of cabin (eg. interior to interior) on the same deck.
One thing to remember is that most cruise lines will not combine two forms of discounts.
Consequently, if you already have the early saver discount, you may not get the returning guest cruise discount.
On a recent Western Caribbean cruise, we booked 10 months out and received the early saver discount. We were not offered any other saving, except some surprising onboard credit.
We had no idea we would get any, but it showed up in our final statement.
A wonderful surprise!
Note: Some times there is a lower cruise rate than the returning guest rate. Check with your Travel Professional for the best rate available.
Generally, if you book your cruise about six (6) months or more in advance, you may snatch up the cheapest ticket price for that cruise.
Three (3) months or less prior to sailing, the cruise package for that particular sailing will go up - sometimes way up.
The increase in the cruise ticket price depends on the popularity of cruise, which will drive demand.
Yes, it is true that if many empty cabins are available close to the sail date the price will drop again.
By the way, if you book the Early Saver Rate on a Carnival cruise always check with your travel agent before sailing. If the price that you pay for your Caribbean cruise package falls up to two days before the ship sails, you will be given the balance as onboard credit.
(For those unfamiliar with cruising - onboard credit means money that you can spend on the ship.)
No, you cannot use cash onboard, but you will set up an onboard account and be issued a card that serves as a key to your cabin, an ID for disembarking and re-embarking at your Caribbean ports of call and as a charge card for onboard purchases.
While your Caribbean cruise is all inclusive, some things are not included such as soda, spa treatments and alcohol.
See our Caribbean Cruise Packages page for more information.
We will be happy to help your family find a discounted Caribbean cruise package. Complete the form below and we will search for you!
Since we just talked about onboard credit, let me say how that can make your discount cruise vacation a reality.
Some travel agencies, online and offline, offer their customers onboard credit for booking their Caribbean cruise with them.
Companies like CruiseDirect.com will sometimes add up to $100 to your onboard account whenever you book an ocean view cabin. The onboard credit is less for inside cabins.
If you choose to book your cruise with CruiseDirect always click on the "Bonus" link that pops up.
Note, however, that the onboard credit bonus is generally awarded on later bookings - the later you book, the better your chance of a cruise ticket bonus.
As I noted before, the early saver cruise ticket price is generally the lowest that your family will pay for an inclusive Caribbean cruise.
Anyway, the point I want to make is that any other booking but the early saver, may attract the onboard credit bonus and that will help to give you a discounted cruise vacation.
Before you give your Travel Agent your credit card number to put a deposit on your discounted cruise package, ensure that it will indeed be a discount cruise vacation by asking about the following saving possibilities:
(By the way, if you book your cruise with CruiseDirect, most of the following discount options will automatically show up.)
A. Senior Citizen Cruise Discount - Cruise lines will offer people of a certain age some sort of discount. The age varies by cruise line, but generally starts at about 55 and older.
B. Military Cruise Discount - U.S. and Canadian military personnel will be offered a discount in the form of a price reduction or onboard credit.
C. State of Residence - Some cruise passengers will earn discounts depending on their home state. Generally, Florida residents cruising from Florida get this discount.
Nonetheless, ask your Travel Agent if you qualify for a discount based on your home state.
Well, there you have it. It is time to pack your bags and set sail for the Caribbean.
Remember, you can always find some cheap Caribbean cruise for your family, if you follow certain guidelines, such as cruising during fall and spring and avoiding holidays.
If none of those works, you still have several options available to land a discount cruise vacation to the Caribbean.
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