Deal Alert | Norwegian Cruise Line Sale to Offer Kids Free

Norwegian Gem

Norwegian Cruise Line has posted on Facebook and Twitter that they will be offering a special family sale for bookings made May 1-7, 2011.

The Deal:

Kids 17 and under sail free on select fall cruises

I am interested in seeing what dates and ships will be offered.  We are considering going on the NCL Sun in the fall as it has inexpensive cabins that fit our family of 5, and it sails out of Port Canaveral.

I will post more details once the full sale information is released.

photo credit: JeanbaptisteM

Frugal Family Friday | Last Minute May 2011 Cruise Deals

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May is usually your last chance to cruise before the summer rates really rise and the temperatures, too.  Summer cruises are notoriously expensive because that is when kids are out of school, and the only deals to be found would be at the last minute.  If you are within a day’s drive to a major cruise port, you could be at a real advantage for last minute cruises.  If you homeschool, travel with college students, or only have preschool kids you can can probably go on a last minute cruise in May.  For those that can not, the listings below will give you an idea of pricing when comparing to summer cruises. 

Reminders:

  • Norwegian Cruise Line offers discounts for kids under 2 (lower than their 3rd-5th person rates)
  • Carnival Cruises averages out their rates on their website based on the number of passengers per cabin – so my pricing will not match theirs.  I show the true 1st and 2nd passenger and 3rd-5th passenger rates.
  • Disney is not a good cruise line to travel last minute (typically) as their cruises sell out and they raise prices.
  • MSC Cruises offers kids 11 and under cruise free on almost all of their cruises, but they are based in Europe mainly during May and the summer.

So, here are some May deals I found (including April 30th departures).  All cruises listed below start and end at the same port.

April 30, 2011 – Carnival Triumph - 7 Day Bahamas
Starts at New Orleans and visits Key West, Nassau, and Freeport
Inside: $329 1st/2nd passengers , $199 3rd-5th

May 7, 2011 – Carnival Fascination – 7 Day Bahamas
Starts at Jacksonville and visits Grand Turk, Nassau, and Half Moon Cay
Inside: $449 1st/2nd passengers, $179 3rd-5th

May 9, 2011 – Carnival  Paradise – 4 Day Mexico
Starts at Los Angeles and visits Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mx
Inside: $249 1st/2nd passengers, $109 3rd-5th

May 1, 2011 – Norwegian Spirit – 7 Day Western Caribbean
Starts at New Orleans and visits Costa Maya, Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel
Inside: $429 now $379 1st/2nd passengers, $199 3rd/4th,  $160 under 2 years old

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photo credit:Justin Marty

MSC Cruises Holiday Caribbean Family Deal

3 Kids at the MSC Poesia Buffet

My 3 Kids Enjoying the Buffet on the MSC Poesia Thanksgiving 2009

MSC Cruises has just posted a new deal for families on holiday 2011 cruises.  On 3 select cruises -Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years – on the MSC Poesia to the Caribbean, MSC is offering the 2nd cabin at 50% off.  This is a great opportunity for larger families or those traveling with extended family.

We sailed the Poesia for the Thanksgiving 2009 cruise with my parents allowing us to take advantage of the Kids Cruise Free Deal for all 3 of our kids (among 2 cabins) since cabins only hold up to 4 passengers.

If you factor in this 50% off deal and the kids cruising free, their pricing is very good compared with other cruise lines especially for holiday cruises.

As a Bonus, MSC is only charging $100 per person deposit. Full payment is due by 75 days prior to sailling. If you need to cancel, deposits are refundable if you cancel more than 75 days prior to sailing. So, it could be a great idea to book now before this deal sells out (it is capacity controlled).

For more information on dates, destinations, terms, and starting pricing visit: MSC Cruises Caribbean Family Plan

Frugal Family Friday | Best Christmas 2011 Cruise Deals

Queen Victoria shops

Christmas probably seems to be quite far off, but booking a cruise in advance is very smart to do especially if you are planning to cruise over a holiday!  Christmas is a Sunday this year.  Most people that get a day off of work for the holiday will probably get Monday the 26th off.  Cruises the week after Christmas (to New Years) are very expensive!  So I decided to feature cruises here that begin sometime the week before Christmas and end on the 23rd, 24th, 25th or 26th.  Most kids will be out of school by this week, so hopefully school conflicts will not be an issue for you.

When you book a cruise you place a deposit down (typically around $250 per person give or take).  That money is 100% refundable in most cases up to around 75-90 days before the cruise start.  So, if you book a cruise well in advance but change your mind you can get your money back (usually).  Do not book flights until you know FOR SURE that you are going on the cruise.

The Bonus for going on a Christmastime cruise?  You will probably get to enjoy beautiful decorations on the ship!

December 19, 2011 – December 23, 2011 – Royal Caribbean Monarch of the Seas - 3 Day Bahamas
Leaves from Port Canaveral and visits Nassau and CocoCay
Inside: $259 1st/2nd passengers, $249 3rd/4th (Illinois Resident rates – other states may apply)
Oceanview: $309 1st/2nd passengers, $279 3rd/4th (Illinois Resident rates – other states may apply)

December 19, 2011 – December 24, 2011 – Carnival Fascination – 5 Day Bahamas
Leaves from Jacksonville, FL and visits Key West and Nassau
Inside: $379 1st/2nd passengers ($399 1st/2nd for families of 5), $279 3rd-5th
Oceanview: $429-454 1st/2nd passengers, $299 3rd-5th

December 18, 2011 – December 25, 2011 – Carnival Pride – 7 Day Bahamas
Leaves Balitmore, MD and visits Port Canaveral, Nassau, and Freeport
Inside: $549 1st/2nd passengers, $419 3rd/4th
Balcony: $589 1st/2nd passengers, $449 3rd/4th (Great Price!  Obstructed view, though)

December 18, 2011 – December 24, 2011 – Carnival Valor – 6 Day Caribbean
Leaves Miami and visits Key West, Grand Cayman, Montego Bay
Inside: $449 1st/2nd passengers, $339 3rd/4th
Oceanview: $529 1st/2nd passengers, $369 3rd/4th

December 17, 2011 – December 24, 2011 – Carnival Liberty – 7 Day Caribbean
Leaves Miami and visits Cozumel, Belize City, Roatan, and Grand Cayman
Inside: $499 1st/2nd passengers, $379 3rd/4th
Oceanview: $599 1st/2nd passengers, $409 3rd/4th

December 17, 2011 – December 24, 2011 – Grand Princess – 7 Day Caribbean
Leaves Fort Lauderdale and visits Aruba, Curacao, and Princess Cays
Inside: $579 1st/2nd passengers, $304 3rd/4th
Oceanview: $694 1st/2nd passengers, $359 3rd/4th

December 17, 2011 – December 23, 2011 – Carnival Spirit – 6 Day Mexico
Leaves Los Angeles and visits Cabo San Lucas (2 days) and Ensenada
Inside: $544 1st/2nd passengers, $239 3rd/4th
Oceanview: $549 1st/2nd passengers, $269 3rd/4th


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photo credit: slideshow bob

Frugal Family Friday: Best Disney Cruise Deals for 2011

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Castaway Cay – Disney’s Private Island

Disney Cruise Line is typically a cruise line that is best to book early!  The new ship, Disney Dream, is very expensive right now and many cruises have sold out.  With that said, you can still get some decent pricing (compared to typical Disney prices) on cruises this year.  Many of the deals will be for repositioning cruises that start and end at different ports.

There are cabins that will hold 5, but they are typically expensive verandahs (balconies).  If you are a family of 5, it could actually be cheaper to book 3 people in one cabin and 2 in another if you are willing to go with insides or oceanviews.  You could probably get two interconnecting cabins.

Cruise prices are posted with the lowest price per cabin category type (i.e. lowest inside, lowest oceanview, lowest verandah).  There could be other more expensive options within the cabin category type.  Tax is additional and varies by age of passenger.

October 29, 2011 –  Disney Magic - 7 night Western Caribbean from Port Canaveral
Visits: Key West, Grand Caymen, Cozumel, and Castaway Cay (private island)

  • Family of 3 (2 adults and 1kid under 13 – ages 13-17 and additional adults are slightly higher than listed):
    Inside 11B: $839 1st and 2nd passengers, $589 3rd, under 3 $374
    Oceanview 9D: $1029 1st and 2nd passengers, $639 3rd, under 3 $399
    Verandah 7A:  $1349 1st and 2nd passengers, $689 3rd, under 3: $424
  • Family of 4 (2 adults and 2 kids under 13 – ages 13-17 and additional adults are slightly higher than listed):
    Inside 11B: $839 1st and 2nd passengers, $589 3rd/4th, under 3 $374
    Oceanview 9D: $1029 1st and 2nd passengers, $639 3rd/4th, under 3: $399
    Verandah 5C: $1469 1st and 2nd passengers, $689 3rd/4th, under 3: $424
  • Family of 5 -in one cabin (2 adults and 3 kids under 13 – ages 13-17 and additional adults are slightly higher than listed):
    Verandah 4E: $2009 1st and 2nd passengers, $689 3rd-5th, Under 3: $424
    This date is slightly higher than others in October for cabins holding 5.

Bonus: Inside $75, Oceanview $100, Balcony $125 Onboard Credit

May 17, 2011 – Disney Wonder – 7 Day Alaska From Vancouver
Visits: Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan

  • Family of 3 (2 adults and 1 kid under 13 – ages 13-17 and additional adults are slightly higher than listed)
    Inside Guarantee: $739 1st and 2nd passengers, $649 3rd, under 3 $474
  • Family of 4 (2 adults and 2 kids under 13 – ages 13-17 and additional adults are slightly higher than listed):
    Inside Guarantee: $739 1st and 2nd passengers, $649 3rd/4th, under 3 $474

Bonus: $75 Inside Onboard Credit

April 27, 2011 – Disney Wonder – 6 Night Pacific Northwest Repo from Los Angeles to Vancouver
Visits: San Francisco and Victoria, BC

  • Family of 3 (2 adults and 1 kid under 13 – ages 13-17 and additional adults are slightly higher than listed):
    Inside 10C: $1009 1st and 2nd passengers, $389 3rd, $264 under 3
    Oceanview 9A: $1219 1st and 2nd passengers, $409 3rd, $274 under 3
    Verandah 7A: $1269 1st and 2nd passengers, $439 3rd, $289 under 3
  • Family of 4 (2 adults and 2 kids under 13 – ages 13-17 and additional adults are slightly higher than listed):
    Inside 10C: $1009 1st and 2nd passengers, $389 3rd/4th, $264 under 3
    Verandah 5B: $1429 1st and 2nd passengers, $439 3rd/4th, $289 under 3
  • Family of 5 -in one cabin (2 adults and 3 kids under 13 – ages 13-17 and additional adults are slightly higher than listed):
    Verandah 4B: $1759 1st and 2nd passengers, $439 3rd-5th, $289 under 3

Bonus: $25 Inside, $50 Oceanview, $75 Balcony Onboard Credit

May 14, 2011 – Disney Magic – 14 Night Transatlantic from Port Canaveral, FL to Barcelona, Spain
Visits: Castaway Cay (private island); Funchal, Portugal; Cadiz, Spain; Gibraltar

  • Family of 3 (2 adults and 1 kid under 13 – ages 13-17 and additional adults are slightly higher than listed)
    Inside Guarantee: $799 1st and 2nd passengers, $639 3rd, $459 under 3
    Oceanview Guarantee: $1099 1st and 2nd passengers, $699 3rd, $489 under 3
    Verandah Guarantee: $1499 1st and 2nd passengers, $89 3rd, $589 under 3
  • Family of 4 (2 adults and 2 kids under 13 – ages 13-17 and additional adults are slightly higher than listed):
    Inside Guarantee: $799 1st and 2nd passengers, $639 3rd/4th, $459 under 3
    Oceanview Guarantee: $1099 1st and 2nd passengers, $699 3rd/4th, $489 under 3
    Verandah Guarantee: $1499 1st and 2nd passengers, $899 3rd/4th, $589 under 3
  • Family of 5 -in one cabin (2 adults and 3 kids under 13 – ages 13-17 and additional adults are slightly higher than listed):
    Verandah 4E: $2649 1st and 2nd passengers, $909 3rd-5th, $594 under 3

Bonus: $50 Inside, $100 Oceanview, $175 Balcony Onboard Credit

September 10, 2011 – Disney Magic – 14 Night Transatlantic from Barcelona, Spain to Port Canaveral, FL
Visits: Gibraltar; Funchal, Portugal; St. Maarten; Tortola; Castaway Cay (private island)

  • Family of 3 (2 adults and 1 kid under 13 – ages 13-17 and additional adults are slightly higher than listed)
    Inside 11C: $1059 1st and 2nd passengers, $639 3rd, $459 under 3
    Oceanview Guarantee: $1099 1st and 2nd passengers, $699 3rd, $489 under 3
    Verandah Guarantee: $1499 1st and 2nd passengers, $899 3rd, $589 under 3
  • Family of 4 (2 adults and 2 kids under 13 – ages 13-17 and additional adults are slightly higher than listed):
    Oceanview Guarantee: $1099 1st and 2nd passengers, $699 3rd/4th, $489 under 3
    Inside 11B: $1199 1st and 2nd passengers, $639 3rd/4th, $459 under 3
    Verandah Guarantee: $1499 1st and 2nd passengers, $899 3rd/4th, $589 under 3
  • Family of 5 -in one cabin (2 adults and 3 kids under 13 – ages 13-17 and additional adults are slightly higher than listed):
    Very Expensive – much better off getting two cabins

Bonus: $75 Inside, $125 Oceanview, $175 Balcony

**REALLY want to go on the new Disney Dream??  Here is the best deal this year right now**

October 27, 2011 – Disney Dream – 3 Night Bahamas from Port Canaveral
Visits: Nassau and Castaway Cay (private island)

  • Family of 3 (2 adults and 1 kid under 13 – ages 13-17 and additional adults are slightly higher than listed):
    Inside 11A: $529 1st and 2nd passengers, $259 3rd, $189 under 3
    Verandah 5C: $759 1st and 2nd passengers, $299 3rd,  $209under 3
  • Family of 4 (2 adults and 2 kids under 13 – ages 13-17 and additional adults are slightly higher than listed):
    Inside 11A:  $529 1st and 2nd passengers, $259 3rd/4th, $189 under 3
    Verandah 4D: $849 1st and 2nd passengers, $299 3rd/4th, $209 under 3
  • Family of 5 -in one cabin (2 adults and 3 kids under 13 – ages 13-17 and additional adults are slightly higher than listed):
    only suites available

Bonus: $25 Inside, $25 Oceanview, $50 Balcony

All Bonus Onboard Credits are available via our affiliate:


CruiseDirect - Cruise Price Guarantee - Book Now
 

Interested in more Frugal Friday money saving ideas?

Visit www.LifeAsMom.com every Friday for dozens of ideas.

photo credit: Wyscan

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