Sticker shock

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#1
Vancouver, BC
11 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Just got back from our local travel agent and are in shock with the cost to take our 20 month old on a Caribbean cruise with us and 2 other family couples. How do people do it? I can't bear to spend $5k for an 11 day cruise for a balcony! Do I just keep my eye out for a kids sail free promotion? Not interested in msc.
#2
Toronto
3,517 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
For an 11 night cruise for 3 people in a balcony, $5K isn't all that bad. It all depends on what time of year you are sailing, cruise line, particular ship, itinerary etc. I'm paying that for a 7 night on Quantum of the Seas for a family junior suite for 3.

If you are looking for a bargain, don't restrict yourself to kids sail free promotions. You may miss some cheap cruises.

I have a bucket list of cruises that I'm interested in. I book when one of my bucket list cruises is cheap. So far it's been special ships or special itineraries. We often sail in an inside or ocean view. Any time I've been in a balcony, it hardly ever gets used. On one cruise, I spent about 1/10th the cost of a balcony for an inside. On another cruise, I booked an inside guarantee and got upgraded to a balcony.

Be flexible. Decide whether or not the cost is acceptable to you. Do you need a balcony? Do you need to be on that particular ship? Do you need to sail at that time of year?
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#3
RI
986 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
My 11 night cruise on the Pearl for January 2015 came to $2801 for 3 of us in a balcony. I booked it during the free upgrade promotion. There are deals out there...just need to find them. And remember, most lines will let you take advantage of price drops or promotions up until final payment date if a better deal comes out. Just make sure any TA you use doesn't have a change fee.
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Jeff

Now I know this Joe down in Mexico He went there to work on his tan For years hes been plugged into blenders and songs They call him the Twelve Volt Man---Jimmy Buffett




Upcoming Cruises:





6/13/2015 NCL Gem - 8 Day Bahamas and Florida Cruise with the family to celebrate dad's 70'th birthday. First Aft Penthouse

10/15/2016 NCL Gem - 8 night repo cruise New York to San Juan. 2 bedroom suite with mom and dad.

Past Cruises
2/19/2006 NCL Jewel - Western Caribbean
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#4
Hamilton, Ontario
1,916 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
I don't know if you are flexible as to the cruise line you want to sail with, but we got a great deal on Holland America for a cruise with our 2 sons. We were in a balcony cabin on the Westerdam and DH and I paid regular fare, and sons were free (except for taxes which were $51.00 each) so in essence a family of 4 cruised for the price of 2 people plus $100.00 . HAL often offers these kind of deals for 3rd and 4th passegers in a stateroom. It will be certain sailings only, but worth checking out.
Also you could consider an inside cabin. It would be a lot cheaper. We have been booking those lately and been quite pleased.
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#5
Fredericksburg, va. USA
83,749 Posts
Joined May 2001
I think a balcony is a good thing when you have a child that naps or goes to bed early....it gives the adults a place to be!!!
#6
Michigan
6,883 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by misskermie
Just got back from our local travel agent and are in shock with the cost to take our 20 month old on a Caribbean cruise with us and 2 other family couples. How do people do it? I can't bear to spend $5k for an 11 day cruise for a balcony! Do I just keep my eye out for a kids sail free promotion? Not interested in msc.
We are sailing with 2 Adults and 3 Teenagers next week on Carnival Freedom 6 day with 2 connecting Balcony Rooms for a total of $3k. Sometimes you need to shop around and be willing to compromise if budget is a driving force in your decision making process.
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Cruise History Summary: 16 Cruises, 93 Nights, 13 Ships, 4 Cruise Lines, 20 Ports of Call, 6 Embarkation Ports
Norwegian Escape Sept. 2017 - 7 Night Eastern...oops Irma says Western, Carnival Sunshine Oct. 2016 - 5 Night Canada, Carnival Dream May 2016 - 7 Night Western, Carnival Splendor April 2015 - 7 Night Eastern, Ruby Princess March 2014 - 5 Night Western, Norwegian Jewel Oct. 2013 - 7 Night Western, Carnival Freedom Aug. 2013 - 6 Night Western, Norwegian Epic Dec 2011 - 7 Night Eastern, Carnival Glory July 2011 - 5 Night Canada, Carnival Destiny Nov. 2010 - 4 Night Western, Carnival Freedom July 2009 - 8 Night Eastern, Norwegian Jewel Nov. 2007 - 5 Night Western, Carnival Elation Dec. 2006 - 5 Night Eastern, Carnival Inspiration Nov. 2005 - 5 Night Western, Disney Magic June 2004 -7 Night Eastern, Disney Wonder Nov. 2001 - 3 Night Bahamas
#7
NY
372 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
11 nights seems long with a 20 month old too! We're taking our son who will be 20 months on his first cruise this December on a 6 nighter. We got a balcony. It was a cheap week and the 3 of us came to $2K.
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Royal Caribbean Majesty 2/14/93 - 7 day Western Caribbean
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#8
Minneapolis, MN
185 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
Originally posted by cb at sea
I think a balcony is a good thing when you have a child that naps or goes to bed early....it gives the adults a place to be!!!
It is good, but may not be totally necessary. On our last cruise we took turns staying with DD at nap/bed time, and the other would go to the pool, etc. No balcony needed. Our next cruise we got a deal with Holland America, 3rd passenger $99.

Good luck, whatever you do! Cruising can be very affordable!
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RCCL Anthem of the Seas, August 2017 (Bermuda)

Past Cruises
RCCL Adventure of the Seas, Mar. 2017
NCL Escape, Nov. 2016
NCL Getaway, Jan. 2015
RCCL Freedom of the Seas, Nov. 2014
Carnival Ecstasy, Dec. 2013
HAL Nieuw Amsterdam, Nov. 2013
RCCL Oasis of the Seas, Halloween 2012
NCL Pride Of America, May 2009
RCCL Serenade of the Seas, Nov. 2008
#9
Toronto
3,517 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by misskermie
Just got back from our local travel agent and are in shock with the cost to take our 20 month old on a Caribbean cruise with us and 2 other family couples. How do people do it? I can't bear to spend $5k for an 11 day cruise for a balcony! Do I just keep my eye out for a kids sail free promotion? Not interested in msc.
Just noticed you are from Vancouver. Is airfare included in the $5K? That would account for a lot of the cost, especially if you plan to fly on a Friday or Saturday to Florida. I just spent $5K to fly from YYZ to the west coast for my family of 4. That was just airfare! Not doing that again.

Maybe look at Alaskan cruises that leave from Vancouver or Seattle. Or perhaps one of the repositioning cruises out of Vancouver that goes to Hawaii or thru the Panama Canal. They can be excellent deals.
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49 nights with RCCL, 7 nights with Carnival, 11 nights with Disney, 14 nights with Princess, 45 nights with HAL
#10
Buffalo, NY
1,200 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by BDsquared
It is good, but may not be totally necessary. On our last cruise we took turns staying with DD at nap/bed time, and the other would go to the pool, etc. No balcony needed. Our next cruise we got a deal with Holland America, 3rd passenger $99.

Good luck, whatever you do! Cruising can be very affordable!
Agree. We have 2 young kids. Last year we got a balcony. It was nice because we could sit out there if the 18 month old wanted to nap or if the 2.5 yr old slept in later in the morning. It was only an extra $300 so we went with it. This year we got an inside room as the balcony would have been an extra $700. NOT worth it to me. It worked out fine. One of us would take the 3 yr old out while the other stayed with the 2 yr old to nap. One of us was usually tired anyways so we napped with him We are now booking our cruise for next year and probably going with the inside again as the balcony is much more expensive for our sailing. That's fine with me as my kids will be 3 and 4 and most likely not napping anymore anyways.
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#11
Central Indiana
391 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
If you don't mind not having a balcony, we are going as a family of 5 on a 7 day cruse on Dream for $2495 over spring break with an oceanview room. Could never afford to cruise with 3 kids anywhere but Carnival. They are way cheaper than anyone else a lot of the time.

We are doing a 5 night in October on Fascination with the Grande Suite Extended Balcony for $2395 total.

I wouldn't do 11 nights with young kids. Too long for us. The kids would be bored of the kids club and limited play facilities after a few days. And, kids that age can't get left in the kids club or the pool (kids have to be potty trained to go in the pool--no swim diapers), so I would be really tired of looking at the room, and really tired of chasing kiddo around the decks after a few days. Mine are 6, 4, and 2.
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Kristen
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Constantly dreaming about cruising

RCL Explorer of the Seas--Dec. 18, 2005
Carnival Fascination--Oct. 19, 2013
Carnival Dream--Mar. 29, 2014
Carnival Fascination--Oct. 20, 2014
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Anxiously Awaiting Carnival Magic--March 25, 2017
Anxiously Awaiting Carnival Dream--October 15, 2017


#12
We live on a small lake in rural Nebr.
7,305 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
That price seems really high, unless there is some reason for the price, such as, premium/new ship, it includes airfare, it's a suite, over Christmas, etc.

If you are at all flexible as to time of year or cruise line, you can probably get a much better deal, especially from some of the bigger online agencies.
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SciFi
#13
Vancouver, BC
11 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Thanks everyone. - we are at the mercy of extended family vacation schedules and have to stick with January or February. That cost did not include airfare, just the cruise. We have found a cruise on the Norwegian sun for a much better price ($3500) for 10 nights so I am quite happy with it.
#14
We live on a small lake in rural Nebr.
7,305 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
Originally posted by misskermie
Thanks everyone. - we are at the mercy of extended family vacation schedules and have to stick with January or February. That cost did not include airfare, just the cruise. We have found a cruise on the Norwegian sun for a much better price ($3500) for 10 nights so I am quite happy with it.
That sounds much more reasonable. Have fun!
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SciFi
#15
563 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Glad you found something better, I was having sticker shock from your price too!
Depending on the line, location and time of year prices can vary.
We did a 7 day Carnival cruise in a spa balcony and paid for an inside room for my mother and son and were able to keep the price well under 3 grand.
We also did a 7 day Celebrity to Alaska(2 rooms, same 4 people) at about 3 grand.

Have fun!
#16
OH
24,137 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
So glad to hear you found a better price and opportunity to still go. I was like on the price. We "normally" cruise in NCL and always take advantage of the kids sail free promo when it's available (booking way in advance if we can) and the most we have EVER paid for 3 on a cruise is $1910.25. But then again, we cruise as cheap as we can with an interior (although have been upgraded once to an oceanview), but whatever it takes to cruise more often at the moment, we do. I have a limited time frame for cruising (only 2 times during the year) and I don't have much of a choice for dates.
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