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demichae
April 1st, 2009, 11:30 AM
I'm trying to save for a cruise but I can't figure out what the cost will be. It would be my wife, myself, and our children, ages 8, 5 and 3. I'm assuming we all can't be in one room with a balcony. Do we have to pay for two rooms? Would it be cheaper to get a suite, and if so, how much would each kid be?
We really want to go on a cruise, but giving our youngest up for adoption is out of the question. If anyone knows how to economically do this I'd appreciate it. Thank you.

cherylandtk
April 1st, 2009, 11:44 AM
On most cruiselines the pricing is not so much by age as by whether the passenger is one of the first two in a cabin (who pay full price) or a 3rd/4th pax (who usually pay a reduced price).

The 3rd/4th rate is usually higher in higher grade rooms. Some rooms will hold more than 4, but it is rare, and some of the larger suites charge full price for the first 4 pax, and lesser prices for pax 5-8 or 10. Because of this it's often cheaper for a family to book two cabins in lower grades than one cabin in a high (suite) level. Also, because your children are young, you will need to book one adult in each cabin if you choose to go the two cabin route. In your case, you would probably find it cheapest to book one adult and two kids in one room, one adult and one kid in the other. (Single bookings usually pay almost double, as if there are two pax less taxes for one. )

bqkali
April 1st, 2009, 11:54 AM
I'm trying to save for a cruise but I can't figure out what the cost will be. It would be my wife, myself, and our children, ages 8, 5 and 3. I'm assuming we all can't be in one room with a balcony. Do we have to pay for two rooms? Would it be cheaper to get a suite, and if so, how much would each kid be?
We really want to go on a cruise, but giving our youngest up for adoption is out of the question. If anyone knows how to economically do this I'd appreciate it. Thank you.

The cost will differ substantially based on the time of year you go, the cruiseline you pick, the itinerary it travels on, and the class of stateroom you pick. Some ships have rooms available for 5, others you would need 2 adjoining rooms (or you may find this more comfortable anyway).

To save some money, look into booking far in advance or last-minute. Typically those are the best ways to get cheaper rates. In today's economic situation there are deals on ALL cruiselines, but you can almost always get a cheap price on Carnival or Norwegian.

Once you include mandatory taxes, fees, and service charges I would expect to pay about $150-200 per adult per day for a basic balcony stateroom, maybe less if you find a deal and less if you downgrade to an inside or oceanview stateroom. Your children will be cheaper if they share a room with you. Traveling over the holidays or other peak times such as spring break is always more expensive than traveling in the "low" season, such as hurricane season in the Caribbean or late fall in Europe. You may also need to factor in other expenses such as airfare, a hotel the night before or after the cruise, excursions/activities in your ports of call, beverages, spa, and souvenirs. Your cruise fare includes all meals, dozens of daily activities, nightly entertainment, and of course your room, but there will be plenty of "opportunities" to spend on additional experiences :) Of course, it is possible to just pay your cruise fare and not spend another dime and still have a great vacation.

Arwenmark
April 1st, 2009, 12:24 PM
Go to the cruiseline websites you are interested in and pretend to book the cruise, I assume you know where you want to go and when? if so then pick one and read up on the accomodations available, you will enter the number of people going and their ages and it will list the available categories and some cabins. Pick a category and it will tell you the cost pp for the first two at least then if you continue it will show you the total cost. Remember to go all the way through just not the final step. that way you will get the total including the taxes and port charges.
Also remember that most cruiselines now have an automatic service fee of between $10 and 12 pp per day that WON'T be in the fare quote it will be added to your onboard account daily. If there is not an automatic charge you should still figure that amount in tips. Also remember that on most lines Soda and of course alcohol are extra as is specialty coffees, except at meals. and a few other things, many lines also now have additional restaraunts on board that you pay a surcharge for, though you can always eat at the regular dining rooms or buffet, which is included in your fare, as is most room service, though tip the person bringing room service.
Just do a lot of homework on here before you actually book anything so you really understand what you are buying. Remember too that some lines still have assigned dining where you eat with other people at a set time and others offer anytime/freestyle dining where you eat when and with whom you want, but that may involve a wait for a table just like a land restaraunt would.

Jacky4
April 1st, 2009, 01:00 PM
I would book on Carnival. Not because it's the best (we love them) but in all my research I have found the best bargains. They do have cabins for 5. We have a 6 day Carribbean cruise booked right now (only for 4)and paid:

1st & 2nd passengers - $455.00 each
3rd & 4th passengers - $299.00 each
$10 per day per person for automatic tips = $240.00
taxes & fees = about $250.00
total cruise only = $1998.00

We are not drinkers so we plan about $50 per day on ship for misc. We spend around $50 pp for each shore excursion we book. 3 excursions on a 6 day cruise is an additional $800.00.
You may also want to price a hotel room for the night before. It's better to fly in a day ahead of the cruise.

I have always booked a year in advance and made payments. I pay the deposit and then send them a little each week/month whatever. Hope this helps.

morecruise4me
April 1st, 2009, 02:01 PM
I would book on Carnival. Not because it's the best (we love them) but in all my research I have found the best bargains. They do have cabins for 5. We have a 6 day Carribbean cruise booked right now (only for 4)and paid:

1st & 2nd passengers - $455.00 each
3rd & 4th passengers - $299.00 each
$10 per day per person for automatic tips = $240.00
taxes & fees = about $250.00
total cruise only = $1998.00

We are not drinkers so we plan about $50 per day on ship for misc. We spend around $50 pp for each shore excursion we book. 3 excursions on a 6 day cruise is an additional $800.00.
You may also want to price a hotel room for the night before. It's better to fly in a day ahead of the cruise.

I have always booked a year in advance and made payments. I pay the deposit and then send them a little each week/month whatever. Hope this helps.

I was also going to suggest you could all stay in one room if you wanted to. Some cabins have 2 beds that combine into a queen or king, 2 pullman beds that are twin size, and a sleeper sofa. A larger interior, or a jr suite or balcony cabin could all accomadate you depending on how cramped you want to be. We cruised 4 to a cabin with our 2 adult children. Since we spend little time in the cabin, it didn't matter to us (except that Mom and Dad get no private time). Hope this helps you make your decision.

fann1sh
April 1st, 2009, 02:06 PM
Here is a thread I bookmarked about 5 in a Carnival cabin. Note post number 20, listing ships:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=824565 (http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=824565&highlight=cabin+capacity)


There was a recent thread this is possible on Holland America ships, but only with children under 2. This doesn't help you, but I post it for other readers:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=959304

RoofingPrincess
April 1st, 2009, 02:11 PM
FYI, some cruiselines (like RCCL) will not quote/book more than 4 persons online.... despite the fact that they have Family staterooms with a minimum of 5 people...
The Carnival website lets you input 5 people, but won't give you any information if they don't have any cabins that accommodate 5.

wrp96
April 1st, 2009, 02:41 PM
It will depend on cruiseline, ship, time of year, etc what your price will be. On some ships your only option will be to book 2 rooms, but on others you will have multiple options. Many times you can only book a maximum of 4 people online so I recommend you contact a travel agent for pricing or call your desired cruiseline if you want to book directly.

Carnival allows you to book 5 people to a cabin on their older ships, but not the Spirit class or Conquest class. The Dream will have some cabins that will accommodate 5 people. I believe they have been adding a suite to the Conquest class that will accommodate 5 people. I believe the Spirit class has some balcony cabins that connect to insides so you might consider that as well.

Royal Caribbean has multiple types of staterooms that will accommodate a family of 5, depending on the ship. This includes Family insides, family oceanviews, family suites, etc. RCCL will also allow you to book 5 people into Grand Suites and Owners Suites. Some RCCL ships have some balconies that connect insides or oceanviews.

Celebrity has the Family Oceanview w/ Verandahs which will accommodate a family of 5.

Norwegian offers some suite categories that will accommodate 5 people. In addition, NCL Sun has a regular category (I believe it is Cat J) that can accommodate 5 people.

Princess has a family suite that will accommodate 5 people, but because it is a full suite it can be pricey.

QLUVS2CRUZ
April 1st, 2009, 03:15 PM
Seems that a lot of people have luck booking connecting rooms (if you can book in advance.) That way the rooms are next to each other with a connecting door...even if an adult is booked in each, you can arrange the sleeping any way you want to. I don't know what kind of staterooms have this (inside, OV, balcony), but it might be cheaper than a family suite...you'd just have to price it out.

cb at sea
April 1st, 2009, 03:33 PM
You need to speak with the cruiseline---prices vary from week to week--even for the same itinerary.
Just call them---it's no big deal to ask!

eandj
April 1st, 2009, 05:19 PM
Please not that family suites are VERY popular in the summer and holiday vacation times. You'd have to book extra early to reserve one.

cherylatwork
April 1st, 2009, 08:11 PM
One suggestion. Don’t wait until the last minute……………

Last year our friends had to buy three rooms for a family of 5. This was one month before the cruise and booked directly with the cruise line……..

They had three inside rooms with (2) in two of them and a single in the third…….All fares were charged at full price, plus a single supplement. All 3 rooms could hold a 3rd & 4th passenger but the ship was filled to “capacity”……….so they could only sell them as doubles………

Cheryl

powelweb
April 1st, 2009, 09:07 PM
yes, echoing a previous poster that you need to book early for a family suite- we booked in April 2008 for Feb school vacation week 2010 on RCCL.

Peg_S
April 1st, 2009, 10:26 PM
Some ships have balcony cabins that connect with ocean view or inside cabins. Keep the door between open the whole time. Less expensive (and one less door!) for the kids if you and your wife are in the balcony cabin.

Fredr
April 2nd, 2009, 12:12 AM
Hello,

Consider repositioning cruises which generally are very inexpensive. Our 4/26/2009 RCCL cruise from Valparaiso Chile to San Diego California, cruise only for two people, is approximately $1,444.00 or $722.00 per person for a 15 day cruise in a balcony cabin. Air fare, gratutities, and alcoholic drinks are extra.

While repositioning cruises usually take place in April and September /October, the time away from school will be minimal and you wil have a wonderful time. And you may get a nice break in a down economy, that is, you and your wife will go as full fares and the cruise ine will reducrt the children's fare considerably.

Fred

bl4330
April 2nd, 2009, 01:05 PM
Hello to DeMichae - Cruising is fun and relaxing ! Best family vacations ever in my opinion. been on 15 - yikes !
I know that Carnival and NCL have staterooms that hold 5 passengers. These are limited though. There is ALOT of info out there and can get confusing. Here is something I found on ***********- I picked random date and Los Angeles port to give you an idea. Prices can vary considerably - but here is a "special deal" that I found online: (and no, I am not a travel agent :-) 4 night cruise for $1474.

4 Night Baja Mexico (Los Angeles roundtrip)
Cruise Line: Carnival Cruise Lines
Cruise Ship: Carnival Paradise

Departure: 05/11/2009
Cruise Length: 4 Nights
# Passengers: 5
Dining Pref: Early Dining (around 6:00pm)

Stateroom Category: 6C
Cruise Subtotal: $1,285.00
Tax: $188.40
Total: $1,473.40

Qualified for residency rate (I used Los Angeles, CA zip code for "discount")

Cruise Itinerary:
Day Ports of Call Arrival Departure

1 Long Beach (Los Angeles), California --- 5:30 p.m.

2 Catalina Island, California 8:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m.

3 Ensenada, Mexico 9:00 a.m. 10:00 p.m.

4 At Sea --- ---

5 Long Beach (Los Angeles), California 8:00 a.m. ---

Like other posters mention, alcoholic beverages, sodas and excursions are extra costs. But your meals are included, coffee, tea, juice, hot chocolate, tap water also included.
Kids' club is included until a certain time at night. Then they charge extra per hour if you want to stay out late for a date night.

Hope this helps you somewhat. I sometimes go through my AAA travel agent and sometimes via internet websites. I have had good luck with both !

yogi2929
April 4th, 2009, 11:52 PM
The Carnival Elation is a sister ship to the Paradise but sails out of San Diego.

The Enesenada/Catalina runs all probably be cheaper than the Cabo/Cabo runs.

Beyond the cruise costs there are the gratiuty of $10per person/per day or $50 per day for your family. Some people tip out the counselors for the kids.

If you can go in when traditional school is in session it is very inexpensive. The weeks after Thanksgiving before Christmas and early February are the times that come to mind.
Inside Cabins (no windows/portholes) are usually less.

teacherme
April 5th, 2009, 01:39 AM
I myself looked into a cruise for 5 once. It's best & probably cheapest to book early, like Carnival has the early fares deals, and pay it off daily or regularly. Book early not only for price & payments, but booking for 5 in one room is tough, the 5 person rooms go early, and it's not likely you can get one room for 5 persons at a last minute booking. Keep in mind, I know for Carnival when you book early, you can fill out price reduction forms if the price goes down, up until like 45 days before sailing, just in case you were thinking, what if I book early and a better deal come along later. Sorry, that's all I have to offer from my own experience. Hope you find what you are looking for.

brzymom
April 5th, 2009, 08:35 AM
When we sailed the Celebrity Century, we had out family of five in one cabin. These cabins were at the back of the ship and they were set up as though it were two rooms, with a sliding screen in between. In the main cabin area, there was a double bed. Then the opaque screen doors, and the smaller area was an upper and lower on the right, with another bed just under the window. My DH would hang by the pool while I showered, dressed and laid out the dress, etc. for dinner. I swear we got those three kids in the cabin, washed and dressed and out the door for dinner in twenty minutes (course the girls hair went up or in a braid and was still wet--but who cared?). This was a great trip and we had tons and tons of fun!

This was perfect for our three kids, who were 9,7 and 5 at the time. Am not sure if they still sell it this way or if remodeling has done away with this arrangement. They sure don't make it easy for those of us with three children! Of course, now that mine are 17, 19 and 21, I would not dream of sharing a cabin with them!! Then again, some of the deals are so good right now, why would you want to? Happy sailing!

electro
April 5th, 2009, 10:52 AM
I would look into MSC cruiseline.
They often have a "kids sail free" premotion where you just pay taxes for kids under 18, and I'm pretty sure that they have cabins for 5.

I did a mediteranian cruise with them and loved it.
If you like real italian food, you will be in heaven!:D

Lois

traken
April 8th, 2009, 11:57 AM
We just got back from first cruise 3kids 2 adults family ocean view cabin lots of room by the way. King size bed separate room with 2 Pullmans and a queen that was made up at night by the attendant. With air fair (I got a good deal by booking early) This was freedom of the seas. 7 nite western C. cruise hotels on the way and back plus excursions we spent about $15 000 Canadian. It was not a cheap holiday. I would say we were frugal compared to some. Good luck.