Frugal Family Friday | Charleston Cruise Deals

cruise ship

Carnival Fantasy in port in Charleston, SC
photo credit: Muffet

Even though I have featured Charleston, South Carolina cruise deals before, it has been a while and there are some great deals if you are willing to book well in advance.  The only ship out of Charleston is the Carnival Fantasy.  It does have cabins that hold up to 5 passengers so it is a great option for families with 1- 3 children especially if you live near the east coast and can drive to the port.

All prices are per person without taxes/fees and are the lowest priced cabin available in each category.

January 9, 2013 – Carnival Fantasy – 5 Day from Charleston to Nassau and Freeport

Inside:
Family of 3 or 4:  $269 1st/2nd passengers, $129 3rd/4th
Family of 5: $289 1st/2nd passengers, $129 3rd-5th

Oceanview:
Family of 3 or 4:  $299 1st/2nd passengers, $149 3rd/4th
Family of 5:  $299 1st/2nd passengers, $149 3rd-5th

January 4, 2013 OR January 14, 2013 – Carnival Fantasy – 5 Day from Charleston to Nassau and Freeport

Inside:
Family of 3 or 4:  $269 1st/2nd passengers, $129 3rd/4th
Family of 5: $289 1st/2nd passengers, $129 3rd-5th

Oceanview:
Family of 3 or 4:  $324 1st/2nd passengers, $149 3rd/4th
Family of 5:  $299 1st/2nd passengers, $149 3rd-5th

January 19, 2013  - Carnival Fantasy – 7 Day Eastern Caribbean from Charleston to Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, and Nassau

Inside:
Family of 3 or 4: $419 1st/2nd passengers, $199 3rd/4th
Family of 5: $444 1st/2nd passengers, $199 3rd-5th

Oceanview:
Family of 3 or 4: $469 1st/2nd passengers, $219 3rd/4th
Family of 5:  $469 1st/2nd passengers, $219 3rd-5th

There are many other cruise dates available with slightly higher pricing if these dates do not work for you.  Simply search Carnival’s website or any of our affiliates to the right.

Cruise Tip Tuesday | Combining Disneyworld With a Cruise

Photo0004FourBySix
photo credit: cdorobek

Wow I can not believe it has been over a month since I have posted.  I have been busy planning a Disneyworld vacation!  Last year we went to Disneyworld during Homeschool Days, and we loved it as the ticket prices are so reasonable.  It was our first time staying on site – All Star Sports – and it was a lot of fun with the 3 kids.  So, we are going back again this year, and I have been busy planning away.  This time we are staying at Pop Century for 9 nights. 

So what does this have to do with cruising as a family?  Well for us, nothing directly, but I just wanted to send a suggestion out there to consider combining a Disneyworld trip or even Sea World or Universal Studios for that matter with a cruise.  There are several cruise ships that depart out of Port Canaveral, Florida.  The best and most direct airport to fly into for these cruises is Orlando International.  There are many transportation companies that offer transfers from Orlando International to Port Canaveral including the cruise lines themselves. 

What cruise lines and ships depart from Port Canaveral? 

Disney Dream

Disney Magic

Disney Fantasy

Carnival Sensation

Carnival Ecstasy

Carnival Dream

Royal Caribbean Monarch of the Seas

Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas

Norwegian Sun

Many of these cruises are only 3-5 days in length, so you could combine a few days at the parks with a short cruise and have a great family vacation.  Also, many of these ships have non-suite cabins that hold families of 5.

Carnival Cruise Cabins for Families of 5 or More

Towel animals!

Below is a list of Carnival Cruise Line ships stating whether they have cabins that hold 5 people and if so, the category type.  From what I have read, the older ships with cabins that hold 4 as stated on the deck plans will actually hold 5 in one cabin with a trundle/roll away bed.  It would definitely be tight, but the cost savings of only needing one cabin could be substantial.

Carnival Magic (built 2011 & 130,000 tons):

Oceanview

Carnival Dream (built 2009 & 130,000 tons):

Oceanview

Carnival Fantasy (built 1990 & 70,367 tons):

Inside, Oceanview, Suite

Carnival Ecstasy (built 1991 & 70,367 tons:

Inside, Oceanview, Suite

Carnival Sensation (built 1993 & 70,367 tons):

Inside, Oceanview, Suite

Carnival Fascination (built 1994 & 70,367 tons):

Inside, Oceanview, Suite

Carnival Imagination (built 1995 & 70,367 tons):

Inside, Oceanview, Suite

Carnival Inspiration (built 1996 & 70,367 tons):

Inside, Oceanview, Suite

Carnival Elation (built 1998 & 70,367 tons):

Inside, Oceanview, Suite

Carnival Paradise (built 1998 & 70,367 tons):

Inside, Oceanview, Suite

Carnival Destiny (built 1996 & 101,353 tons):

Inside, Oceanview, Balcony, Suite

Carnival Triumph (built 1999 & 101,509 tons):

Inside, Oceanview, Balcony, Suite

Carnival Victory (built 2000 & 101,509 tons):

Inside, Oceanview, Balcony, Suite

Carnival Conquest (built 2002 & 110,000 tons):

none

Carnival Glory (built 2003 & 110,000 tons):

none

Carnival Valor (built 2004 & 110,000 tons):

Suite

Carnival Liberty (built 2005 & 110,000 tons):

Suite

Carnival Freedom (built 2007 & 110,000 tons):

none

Carnival Splendor (built 2008 & 113,300 tons):

none

Carnival Spirit (built 2001 & 88,500 tons):

none

Carnival Pride (built 2002 & 88,500 tons):

none

Carnival Legend (built 2002 & 88,500 tons):

none

Carnival Miracle (built 2004 & 88,500 tons):

none 

photo credit: jonworth

Best Cruise Deals for 2011 for Families of 5 on NCL

Norwegian Sun
Creative Commons License photo credit: Jemingway

As I mentioned here, Norwegian Sun is the best Norwegian Cruise Line ship for families of 5.  I have read that NCL plans to raise their prices on April 1, 2011, so if you are thinking of going on a cruise this year I would suggest booking soon.

So here are the best deals for 2011 right now for cruises on the Norwegian Sun:

December 3-10, 2011 - 
7 nights out of Port Canaveral, Florida
Goes to:  Nassau, San Juan, St. Thomas, and Great Stirrup Cay (NCL’s private island)
$429 Inside Categories I1 or IC (1st and 2nd passengers)
$439 Family Inside Category IB (1st and 2nd passengers)
$729 Mid-ship Balcony Category BB (1st and 2nd passengers)
$599 Family Ocean-view Picture Window Category O1 (1st and 2nd passenger)
$729 Mid-ship Balcony Category BB (1st and 2nd passengers)
$199 3rd-5th passengers
$160 Children under 2

Government taxes and fees are $100.51 or $81.91 additional per person depending on age.

October 29-November 5, 2011 -
7 nights out of Port Canaveral
Goes to:  Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Falmouth (Jamaica), Great Stirrup Cay
$409 Inside Category IC (1st and 2nd passengers)
$429 Inside Category IB (1st and 2nd passengers)
$459 Inside Category I1 (1st and 2nd passengers)
$699 Family Oceanview Picture Window Category O1 (1st and 2nd passengers)
$719 Mid-Ship Balcony Category BB (1st and 2nd passengers)
$199 3rd-5th passenger
$160 Children under 2
Government taxes and fees are $114.91and $96.31 additional per person depending on age.

December 10-17, 2011 - 
7 nights out of Port Canaveral, Florida
Goes to:  Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Ochos Rios, and Great Stirrup Cay (NCL’s private island)
$409 Inside Categories IB or IC (1st and 2nd passengers)
$429 Family Inside Category I1 (1st and 2nd passengers)
$719 Mid-ship Balcony Category BB (1st and 2nd passengers)
$729 Family Ocean-view Picture Window Category O1 (1st and 2nd passenger) note:Balcony is cheaper!
$199 3rd-5th passengers
$160 Children under 2

Government taxes and fees are $96.46 or $115.06 additional per person depending on age.

BONUS:

  Book with our cruise partner below and you could qualify for a $100 onboard credit!


CruiseDirect - Cruise Price Guarantee - Book Now
 

Norwegian Cruise Cabins for Families of 5 or More

Norwegian Sun Cruise Ship
Creative Commons License photo credit: Suomi Star 

 

Norwegian Cruise Line has many suite level cabins that hold 5 or more people in one cabin.  They also offer connecting cabins which will be discussed at another time.  I will list below which cabins in each ship offer space for 5 or more passengers in a single cabin.

The absolute best cruise ship in the Norwegian Line for families of 5 looking for an economical option would have to be the Norwegian Sun.  There are actually inside cabins that hold 5!  This means that you only have to pay the 1st and 2nd passenger rates for the first 2 passengers.  Passengers3-5, would then be charged the usual reduced rate.

Another great reason to cruise on Norwegian is that children under 2 are charged a reduced rate below the normal 3rd-5th passenger rate.  For example, when we cruised on the Norwegian Spirit in January this year, my 1 year old was only charged $140 + port/fees.  The 3rd and 4th passenger rate was $199 + port/fees.  Also children under 3 are not charged a gratuity

Here are the room categories that have cabins holding 5+ passengers in a single room (all based on cruises after mid to late April/early May 2011):

Norwegian Dawn:

  • Category SC: 2-Bedroom Family Suite with Balcony (10 cabins on Deck 11) Accomodates 5- All Connect with Category MB: Mini-Suite with Balcony accomodating 4.  For a total of 9 in the 2 cabins.
  • Category S1: 3-Bedroom Garden Villa (2 cabins on Deck 13) Accomodates 8

Norwegian Epic:

  • Category S4: 2-Bedroom Family Villa with Balcony (19 cabins on Deck 16 and cabins on 23 cabins on Deck 17) Accomodates 6

Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Jade, Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Pearl (Jewel Class):

  • Category SC: 2-Bedroom Family Suite with Balcony (10 cabins on Deck 11) Accomodates 6 – All Connect with Categories MA or MB (Mini-Suite with Balcony) that accomodate 4 for a total of 10 passengers.
  • Category S4:  2-Bedroom Family Villa with Balcony (8 cabins on Deck 14) Accomodates 6
  • Category S1: 3-Bedroom Garden Villa (2 cabins on Deck 14) Accomodates 8

 Norwegian Sky:

  • Category SB: Owner’s Suite with Large Balcony (2 cabins on Deck 8 and 2 cabins on Deck 9) Accomodates 5
    Connects with-
  • Category SF: Penthouse with Large Balcony (2 cabins on Deck 8 and 2 cabins on Deck 9) Accomodates 5 (deck plan only states it accomodates 3 on Deck 8 – so not sure)

Norwegian Spirit:

  • None

Norwegian Star:

  • Category SC: 2-Bedroom Family Suite with Balcony (10 cabins on Deck 11) Accomodates 5 – All Connect with Categories MA or MB (Mini-Suite with Balcony) that accomodate 4 for a total of 9 passengers.
  • Category SJ: Family Suite (16 cabins on Deck 12) Accomodates 6
  • Category SA: Owner’s Suites (4 cabins on Deck 12) Accomodates 6
  • Category S1: 3-Bedroom Garden Villa (2 cabins on Deck 14) Accomodates 8

 Norwegian Sun:

  • Category I1: Family Inside (14 cabins on Deck 8, 12 cabins on Deck 9, 5 cabins on Deck 10) Accomodates 5
  • Category IB: Mid-ship Inside (10 cabins on Deck 9, 12 cabins on Deck 10) Accomodates 5
  • Category IC: Mid-ship Inside (8 cabins on Deck 8 ) Accomodates 5
  • Category O1: Family Oceanview Picture Window (16 cabins on Deck 8 ) Accomodates 5
  • Category BB: Mid-ship Balcony (10 cabins on Deck 8 ) Accomodates 5

 Pride of America:

  • Category SD:  2-Bedroom Deluxe Family Suite with Large Balcony (2 cabins on Deck 9) Accomodates 5
  • Category SH: 2-Bedroom Family Suite with Large Balcony (2 cabins each on Decks 7, 8, 9, & 10) Accomodates 5 – All connect with cabins accom0dating 3 (B1: Aft-Facing Large Balcony)
  • Category SI: 2-Bedroom Obstructed View Family Suite (4 cabins on Deck 7) Accomodates 8
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