Affordable Cruise with 4 kids?

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#21
sacramento, CA
721 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
We have taken our three children on two cruises on the Norwegian Star (before we had the kids, we have also gone on RCI, Celebrity, Oceania and Princess). There are suite options and connecting cabins.
#22
United Kingdom
103 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
Occasionally you can find a balcony cabin next and connecting with an inside cabin. I know it sounds strange but they are at the front and the inside is actually on the outside wall of the ship.
We booked them last time, but got upgraded to 2 interconnect balconies!

With the kids I'd happily go for 2 inside connecting if i could find them.
#23
Briarwood, NY
360 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
We have done Carnival Pride with four kids... Two rooms with three of us in each. The downside was that my husband and I had to sleep in separate rooms (our kids were 12, 9, 4 & almost-1). We did not get connecting rooms, as none were available when we booked, but we got adjacent rooms. Just have to be careful with slamming doors and little feet. Two rooms was much more affordable for us than any kind of suite. We are actually doing it again this summer, same ship, there is actually a room inbetween our two rooms but I think we'll be fine.
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Corrie
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#24
Pittsburgh, PA
673 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Originally posted by bus man
To get the lowest prices, figure out when the peak times are for families traveling, then go some other time. School schedules are the big driver of family vacations, so summer and major holidays (especially Christmas and Spring Break) are going to be the most expensive times. If you can cruise in October or May, the fares are much better.

Of course, if you do this, you'll have to decide if you're willing to pull your kids out of school. One way to mitigate this issue is to travel when school is closed due to a teacher work day (professional development day) that doesn't coincide with a standard holiday. You may still have to miss some school, but you might be able to reduce the number of days missed by a day or two by doing this.
On a note about school time off and holidays, Thanksgiving prices are the same or slightly higher than a "normal" rate. For our 11 day we have booked, the only time that it is cheaper is for the 11 days right before Christmas and even then it is only $100 cheaper for the suite we booked. We drive so we have 14 days total we will be gone. With Thanksgiving, my kids will actually be only missing 7 days of school total. Not bad for being gone 14 days!!
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#25
Pepsicola FL
10,043 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by RucaRamona
My husband and I went on our first cruise in October on RCI and we LOVED IT! Now we want to take the kids. Problem is, we have 4 of them The cost of a cruise for 2 is way more affordable then 4! I just tried to check Carnival and it won't even let me put 6 people in? Says only 5 can be booked at a time? Any tips or tricks for me, to make it affordable?

Our kids are ages 9, 7, 6 and 3 ....

TIA!
any cabin on any line that fits more than 4 or 5 must be CALLED to reserve, you cannot book online. additionally these family suites/cabins are mondo expensive and it honestly might be way cheaper to book 2 cabins.. either connecting or directly across the hall. you could get a balcony for yourself and an inside or OV for the kids.

the first 2 people in any cabin will pay full price regardless of age. additionals may pay less, but not necessarily a lot less. on occasion lines Like Disney will offer special promos that give kids sail free( only pay taxes and port charges) but it may be limited to one free child per parent/Adult.
#26
Missouri
1,445 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
We are cruising again with our kids (8) in January. I ran a trial booking for the same sailing and found that you could do 2214 (double) and 2218 (quad) for $3000. This is the 7 day sailing Jan 4, 2014 on the Dream Western itin. These cabins are connecting but not ajoining. You could do adjoining rooms such as 1238/1240 or 1239/1241 for around $600 more. Those are the deluxe ocean views with the extra bathroom. Each room is a triple so you could maybe put the extra kid on the mattress on the floor in kids room for times that you would like privacy . Remember that when you do a mock booking at Carnival, only 10 of the applicable rooms will show as available but there are others that are available as well. They only show 10. I hate this fact, but you can call and ask what's available.
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Tracy in Missouri
#27
434 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
We cruise with 6 kids and get two inside connecting rooms. Last year on Carnival, it only cost us $230 per person for a 7 night western caribbean. We always travel during school tiime and take the kids out of school. My kids get straight A's generally and haven't had a hard time with the missed school. We did sail Disney during a kids sail free promo when we only had 2 kids sailing with us once. Disney is a fantastic ship, but quite a bit more pricey even with the ksf promo! With 8 people traveling, we have to be pretty aware of the budget. This year, we have porthole rooms (which we got for the same price as an inside) on Carnival. I can't wait. It's going to be great. We find cruising to be a great vacation for big families as there is something for everyone to do.
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#28
Briarwood, NY
360 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Years ago NCL allowed kids under 2 to sail for free. We went with our oldest when he was 14 months, and then we went 3 years later when we'd had another kid (paid 3rd passenger fare for him and free for the baby). I don't know if NCL still has this but it was a great deal.
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Corrie
Booked! --> First B2B --> Carnival Pride - August 21, 2016 / August 28, 2016
Carnival Pride - August 30, 2015
Carnival Pride - August 24, 2014
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#29
Ponte Vedra, FL
56 Posts
Joined May 2010
Check around. We have 4 kids and several times we found the "kids cruise free" deals. We just booked a family balcony room for 6 on the Allure of the Seas. Full fare for Mom and Dad and the other 4 kids were something like $400/each. I like balcony rooms but with 4 autistic kids I do worry about connecting rooms and the balcony. I was really happy when I found a room that would hold us all.
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Cruising with DH, and boys ages 9,9,11,13

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#30
Alburtis, PA
950 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Originally posted by RNShelli
Check around. We have 4 kids and several times we found the "kids cruise free" deals. We just booked a family balcony room for 6 on the Allure of the Seas. Full fare for Mom and Dad and the other 4 kids were something like $400/each. I like balcony rooms but with 4 autistic kids I do worry about connecting rooms and the balcony. I was really happy when I found a room that would hold us all.
That's a great deal! May I ask what month you are sailing and how far ahead you had to book?
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WAHM to Richie, Becca & Ryan!
1st cruise 5/06 RCCL's Sovereign of the Seas
2nd cruise 5/09 Disney Magic Western -Only $2900 for 2 Cat. 12 GTY.'s & we got upgraded to Cat. 10's-woo-hoo!!!
3rd cruise 10/11
aboard the Disney Dream (actually cost less than going on the Wonder in Nov. 2010!!!)


#31
Westerville, OH USA
1,762 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Please remember that you need to factor in tips for kids too. Most of the lines, including RCCL starting in March, 2013 put them on your set sail pass automatically. That adds about $84 for each child.
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Donna and Mark
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