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How can NCL charge nearly full fare for an infant?


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I have a future cruise credit and thought I'd book a cruise once baby arrives but I'm shocked that they charge nearly full fare for an infant. Baby would be just before 1 years old so won't be eating much or using many of the facilities so how can they charge so much.

 

Does anyone know of any cruise liners which offer more subsidised fares for infants.

 

Thanks

Becky

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We have sailed MSC a few times in part because they consistently offer kids sail free promotions. It makes the total cost of the cruise substantially cheaper. We’ve taken advantage of similar promotions on Holland America as well. It has made sailing on this premium cruise line cheaper than on mainstream cruise lines. Our last cruise was on Holland America in big part because the total cost of the cruise for our family of 4 was cheaper than on Carnival, NCL or Royal Caribbean which most families would most likely consider to be more budget friendly for a family vacation.   
 

Cruise lines like Royal Caribbean will offer kids sail free promotions several times a year, but we’ve learned that normally they do so off season and the total savings may not be as substantial because they will jack up the 1st/2nd fare in order to take advantage of this promotion. 
 

To answer your first question, cruise lines have to count every passenger regardless of age. One extra passenger in your cabin (even if he/she is an infant) means one less adult passenger on the ship generating revenue. So the cruise line needs to recoup that lost revenue somehow. I know that it may seem unfair to have to pay for an infant, but keep in mind that sailing on a cruise ship isn’t the same as staying at a hotel where capacity isn’t as strictly regulated. 

 

If you have flexibility with your dates, you may find more generous kids sail free or reduced 3rd/4th guest fare promotions if you’re sailing off season when the 3rd/4th berth occupancy isn’t expected to be as high. 

Edited by Tapi
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Cruiselines don’t spend a lot to feed you, but they get a large portion of revenue from sales, specialty dining, alcohol, spa services, excursions, gift shop - babies don’t contribute at all. Since there is a finite passenger count, Junior could possibly prevent a money spending adult from sailing. 

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Is the infant the 2nd person in the cabin or the 3rd?  If the 2nd think of the pricing as solo adult at almost 200 percent or whatever they charge and then no charge for the infant.

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1 hour ago, Tapi said:

We have sailed MSC a few times in part because they consistently offer kids sail free promotions. It makes the total cost of the cruise substantially cheaper. We’ve taken advantage of similar promotions on Holland America as well. It has made sailing on this premium cruise line cheaper than on mainstream cruise lines. Our last cruise was on Holland America in big part because the total cost of the cruise for our family of 4 was cheaper than on Carnival, NCL or Royal Caribbean which most families would most likely consider to be more budget friendly for a family vacation.   
 

Cruise lines like Royal Caribbean will offer kids sail free promotions several times a year, but we’ve learned that normally they do so off season and the total savings may not be as substantial because they will jack up the 1st/2nd fare in order to take advantage of this promotion. 
 

To answer your first question, cruise lines have to count every passenger regardless of age. One extra passenger in your cabin (even if he/she is an infant) means one less adult passenger on the ship generating revenue. So the cruise line needs to recoup that lost revenue somehow. I know that it may seem unfair to have to pay for an infant, but keep in mind that sailing on a cruise ship isn’t the same as staying at a hotel where capacity isn’t as strictly regulated. 

 

If you have flexibility with your dates, you may find more generous kids sail free or reduced 3rd/4th guest fare promotions if you’re sailing off season when the 3rd/4th berth occupancy isn’t expected to be as high. 

Tapi's third paragraph nails it regarding the why of infant pricing. We haven't had to worry about sailing with kids for a while, but now we are looking at sailing with the grandkids and will be looking for the kids sail free promos that are offered.

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26 minutes ago, PTC DAWG said:

I’ll say it, I don’t get taking an infant on a cruise...I’m glad they charge..

I hear ya. Who in their right mind would take an infant on a cruise, right?? I used to think that way....until I had kids of my own. Then I couldn’t wait to take them on a cruise! I got them started  at 13 and 15 months old respectively. So much for that way of thinking! 😂
 

It’s definitely a different way of cruising, not for everyone, and challenging at times. The same thing could be said about cruising with any family member that poses additional challenges based on their age, mobility, or health. I get that some people may prefer to leave behind anybody who may restrict their enjoyment, but for people like me, the extra hassle is worth every minute of it, and every memory made. 
 

One of the most common things that people like to say is that “an infant will not remember the cruise”. That’s absolutely true. But the parents will definitely will, and that’s what it’s all about. 
 

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Another way to view this as "SOULS ON BOARD" - the cruise line is responsible to account for

everyone on board - and that means everyone !

So many guests (including infants and on some ships non-fare paying children) are assigned to a life boat station.

It is all about accountability.

Often in emergency situations one will hear the request for the "Souls on Board" count to enable the

emergency services to send enough equipment to handle the distress.

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2 hours ago, Tapi said:

I hear ya. Who in their right mind would take an infant on a cruise, right?? I used to think that way....until I had kids of my own. Then I couldn’t wait to take them on a cruise! I got them started  at 13 and 15 months old respectively. So much for that way of thinking! 😂
 

It’s definitely a different way of cruising, not for everyone, and challenging at times. The same thing could be said about cruising with any family member that poses additional challenges based on their age, mobility, or health. I get that some people may prefer to leave behind anybody who may restrict their enjoyment, but for people like me, the extra hassle is worth every minute of it, and every memory made. 
 

One of the most common things that people like to say is that “an infant will not remember the cruise”. That’s absolutely true. But the parents will definitely will, and that’s what it’s all about. 
 

I have had  kids of my own.  Took my Son on his first cruise last year...he and his Fiancé loved it..he was 27.  🙂

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6 hours ago, beckyboo1986 said:

I have a future cruise credit and thought I'd book a cruise once baby arrives but I'm shocked that they charge nearly full fare for an infant. Baby would be just before 1 years old so won't be eating much or using many of the facilities so how can they charge so much.

 

Does anyone know of any cruise liners which offer more subsidised fares for infants.

 

Thanks

Becky

Apparently, you missed the recent promo which did included "kids sail free."

If you wait, that offer is likely to be made again in the future.

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11 hours ago, beckyboo1986 said:

I have a future cruise credit and thought I'd book a cruise once baby arrives but I'm shocked that they charge nearly full fare for an infant. Baby would be just before 1 years old so won't be eating much or using many of the facilities so how can they charge so much.

 

Does anyone know of any cruise liners which offer more subsidised fares for infants.

 

Thanks

Becky

 

In case your itinerary has three or more consecutive days at sea do note the following from an NCL website: 

 

"However, for voyages that have three or more consecutive days at sea, the infant must be at least 12 months old."

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10 hours ago, ggTexasGal said:

Apparently, you missed the recent promo which did included "kids sail free."

If you wait, that offer is likely to be made again in the future.

I think the kids sail free promo applies to 3rd and 4th guests in the cabin, we don't know if the OP is going on her own with baby

 

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18 hours ago, PTC DAWG said:

I’ll say it, I don’t get taking an infant on a cruise...I’m glad they charge..

Hopefully we never bump into each other on a cruise 🙂

 

Let me think, why should mummy miss out on travelling just because I have a baby????

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9 hours ago, Silver Sweethearts said:

 

In case your itinerary has three or more consecutive days at sea do note the following from an NCL website: 

 

"However, for voyages that have three or more consecutive days at sea, the infant must be at least 12 months old."

Thanks for the information. Most cruises I look for are only one day at sea at a time.

 

Thanks to everyone who has explained the logic, it does make sense now.

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3 hours ago, SpainAlien said:

I think the kids sail free promo applies to 3rd and 4th guests in the cabin, we don't know if the OP is going on her own with baby

 

I was open to both options. I have a year long maternity so suspected going alone but hubby can always take some time off work to travel.

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23 hours ago, PTC DAWG said:

I’ll say it, I don’t get taking an infant on a cruise...I’m glad they charge..

 

They are less troublesome than some of the adults you might encounter!! 😉

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How can NCL charge nearly full fare for an infant?

Very easily.  they are a business just like all others.  they can charge whatever they want for their services.  It is up to the consumer to decide if they are willing to pay the asking price or not.  In a free market economy, it is the buyer who ultimately sets the prices by his decision to buy or not at the current asking price.

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On 10/15/2020 at 2:57 AM, SpainAlien said:

I think the kids sail free promo applies to 3rd and 4th guests in the cabin, we don't know if the OP is going on her own with baby

 

 

Royal Caribbean's KSF is not on guest 2 if there's not two adults either. Not sure about the other lines mentioned as I haven't priced them for kids. But wouldn't be surprised if it was the same thing. Much like they all charge double occupancy for solos in regular cabins most of the time. 

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By charging a full or nearly full fare, the cruise lines make bringing a baby (even) less appealing for the parents.  Call it a dis-incentive. 

As others have said, the baby doesn't spend any money in the casino, jewelry store or spa -- and might prevent a parent from visiting those profit centers.

Although they don't order a dinner, the high chairs and extra mess are more work for the wait staff.  Room stewards have to work around strollers, pack-n-plays, pull down bunks, and clean up extra spills, crumbs and mess that naturally comes with babies.

On road trips with little ones, I swear we packed more for them than we did for us, all the way down to special sunscreen.  Those were the days!

 

We chose to wait until the youngest was 5 for Disney, and 8 for their first cruise.

 

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Kids make messes.  They are as much work as an adult for the cabin crew, and sometimes the dining crew.  
That said,  the crew usually goes out of their way to make children happy!
We started cruising with our son when he was a toddler.  It wasn't always easy, but I think it was a good experience for him, and we did have fun.

 

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NCL’s “Kids Sail Free” is normally any 3rd or 4th guest (regardless of age). If “mom and dad” want to have a 27 year old kid and his fiancé in the same cabin, the per person cost drops significantly. Just need to lock the cabin door when you don’t want to be interrupted. 

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