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1st time cruising family! Questions!


bluebirdmama

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Is it possible for a family of 3 (2 adults, 1 child) to take a cruise for under $2,000? We would like to go during either the last week of May or during August. My dh was doing some research and discovered that rates go UP in the summer, which surprised me. I would have thought they'd go DOWN.

 

We are willing to drive to our ship in order to save airfare. Although, we live in the midwest and aren't sure where the nearest would be...are there any other than Florida or San Diego?

 

Do ships have family cabins so that we can all bunk together? Can you tell I know absolutely nothing about cruises?!? LOL

 

Thanks so much if you read this and answer!

 

~ bluebirdmama

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You won't need a family "suite" for 3-- a regular cabin or mini-suite will give you plenty of bedding.

Ships sail out of Galveston, too!

Sounds like you should go to a travel agent, and get some info and brochures. They can give you price comparisons, and the brochures will help you decide which cruiseline will be right for you, along with the available itineraries. Using a TA shouldn't cost you a penny--they get their pay from whomever you book with.

For a 1st timer, a good travel agent is the way to go.

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Where in the Midwest? Remember that ships also sail from New York/New Jersey, Baltimore, and other points on the East Coast, in addition to Florida and from the West Cost. And Carnival has ships out of Galveston, Texas, New Orleans, and Mobile Alabama during the summer.

 

If you do drive to save money, remember to calculate the driving and parking costs.

 

Consider a 5 night cruise over a 7 night cruise to save some money.

 

Most cruiselines have inside staterooms that will accommodate 3 people, which will be your cheapest option on any ship.

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Is it possible for a family of 3 (2 adults, 1 child) to take a cruise for under $2,000? We would like to go during either the last week of May or during August. My dh was doing some research and discovered that rates go UP in the summer, which surprised me. I would have thought they'd go DOWN.

 

We are willing to drive to our ship in order to save airfare. Although, we live in the midwest and aren't sure where the nearest would be...are there any other than Florida or San Diego?

 

Do ships have family cabins so that we can all bunk together? Can you tell I know absolutely nothing about cruises?!? LOL

 

Thanks so much if you read this and answer!

 

~ bluebirdmama

 

Aside from the cost of getting to a embarkation city...sure. If your child isn't in school yet or is homeschooled, then you can easily go on a cruise during a time when most kids can't go. Demand is down for families cruising between a week after Easter through late May, and then between mid-September through early December. A TA who is familiar with the cruising market should be able to help match you up with a ship and itinerary.

 

We're a family of three who usually gets an inside cabin, which helps keep the cost down. On many ships, the beds for a third or fourth person comes down from the wall or ceiling (the cabin steward will pull the beds down while you're at dinner and then put them back up again in the morning when you're out of the cabin).

 

It just takes a bit of planning.

 

For many people, it's the cost of flying or otherwise travelling to the port to begin the cruise and then getting home. My family is lucky that we live an hour's drive from San Pedro, where many of the Mexican Riviera and Hawaiian cruises originate from.

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How old is your child? If your child is not in school- I highly recommend doing the cruise in May. There will be far fewer children (but still enough to play with) and the rates will be better.

 

Yes, you can do a cruise for under $ 2000 with three people. There are family suites available but these tend to be pricey. As are balcony staterooms

 

From the midwest, you can do a cruise out of Seattle to Alaska, San Diego or LA to the Mexican Riviera, Florida to the Caribbean or from NYC to the Caribbean.

 

Since you are a cruise novice- I highly recommend that you contact a travel agent. They can often get you the best prices, will be able to answer all your questions and usually they send a gift to the stateroom (might be a free dinner at the specialty restaurant or a fruit basket- but a nice touch).

 

My favorite cruise lines are Princess, Celebrity and Cunard. Next I like Holland America. Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Carnival are my least favorites but fun can be had on any cruise! There are kids programs on all of these and Celebrity has the best youth program bar none.

 

Princess- sophisticated, fantastic freshwater pools, nice kids program

 

Celebrity- white glove service, understated, great kids program, saltwater pools.

 

Cunard (QM2)- most beautiful ship I have sailed! Lackluster service, nice freshwater pools, nice indoor pool that kids can use, good kids program.

 

Holland America- nice cabins, great service, good food, freshwater pools, ok kids program.

 

NCL- very small cabins, good food and service, fun ships, good kids program but can be overcrowded. Don't cruise during summer or holidays.

 

Carnival- fun ships, waterslides, indoor pools that kids can use, free softserve ice cream, more casual, saltwater pools, ok kids program- can be over crowded and have crying babies.

 

Royal Caribbean- casual, family friendly, action packed, freshwater pools on Freedom class ships, nice size cabins, good food and service, nice kids program.

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We live in Kansas. In 2 weeks we are leaving on a 5 day cruise out of Galveston for about $1000 for the 3 of us. But, we have to drive, we will need a hotel for 1 night (we stay in cheap hotels), we will buy a few drinks, 1 or 2 pictures, and I booked a shore excursion outside of Carnival (it's cheaper that way). We will easily spend $2000 by the time that all adds up. Oh, and the dog is being boarded for another $15 a day.

 

What I'm getting at is that it can be done, but you have to pay attention to everything you spend!:)

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