Did you know that there is a cruise line that actually lets kids cruise FREE on every cruise? MSC Cruises, a lesser known cruise company from Europe, offers free cruises for kids 11 and under and typically $99 for those 12-17 years old. The only costs will be government port charges and fees. Gratuities are additional as well for children over 3* but only half the price of adults. The children must be the 3rd or 4th passengers in a cabin with two adults paying Early Booking or Regular Rates.
Unfortunately MSC does not have any cabins on any of their ships that hold more than 4 passengers in one cabin, so MSC is great for families of 3 or 4 OR you could travel with the grandparents like we do and put your older 3rd and/or 4th children in their room and still qualify for the free or $99 child rate.
MSC offers Caribbean and Canada/New England cruises in North America as well as Northern Europe, Mediterranean, South African, South American, and Transatlantic cruises. We sailed the beautiful MSC Poesia over Thanksgiving in 2009 which was built in 2008. This is their ship that currently cruises in the Caribbean and Canada/New England.
If you have any questions about MSC, feel free to leave them in the comments, and I will try to answer them below or in another post.
*I am not positive of the free gratuity policy, but my 6 month old and 3 year old at the time were NOT charged gratuities on the MSC Poesia.