If you're looking for discounts on Disney Cruises and other lines popular with families, see below for help with bargain-hunting. If you want info about kids' programs, cabins, nurseries, and more, head to Family Cruises.
Disney Cruise Line is known for excellent kids' programs, and for live shows and entertainment with pizzazz. Docking for a day at private island Castaway Cay isn't too shabby, either. Children's rates are available on Disney cruises for kids age 3 to 12 staying in a room with two parents. Tots under three have a special rate as well. Babies and toddlers can be signed up for care in Flounder's Nursery, at an extra charge; other kids' programs are included services.
The Disney Cruise Line website always has a list of specials offers. (For example, discounts on European sailings, or special rates for Florida residents for Caribbean trips.) Be sure to also check Mousesavers.com for all sorts of bargains in Mickey's universe.
- Family Deals at CruiseCompete.com
Handy! This site organizes bargains by category, and has a page for family cruise specials that lists discounts on a variety of lines.
Tips for Finding Bargains
Look here for savvystrategies from SmarterTravel.com for finding cheaper cruises, such as "Timing is Everything" (homing in on the best times to find deals), and "Focus on the Extras" (add-ons like shore excursions can make a deal worthwhile.)
This giant travel site has a section for cruise deals.
Families should be sure to make the most of their kids' ages! For example, Disney Cruise Line has kids' rates for ages three to twelve*, and kids under the age of three sail free. Carnival too has special rates for children under 12. Also, almost all lines charge less for third and fourth passengers staying in the same cabin, so make the most of those years when it's easy to fit a family of four in a small space.
Find Bargains at Popular Family Cruise Lines (Alphabetical)
For families seeking value, Carnival ships are a popular choice.
Costa Cruises: Kids Sail Free
Costa sails "Italian Style" (see a quick profile) and frequently offers deals where "Kids Sail Free," with certain conditions.
Crystal has been picked by readers of Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure as "World's Best Large Ship Cruise Line". Again, check for specials where kids sail free.
Discovery Cruises: Kids Sail and Stay Free
Discovery runs one-day excursions from Ft. Lauderdale to Grand Bahama Island, where families can opt to add on a stay at a resort. Look for promotions where kids six and under sail free, and ages seven to twelve 12 pay a reduced rate.
Disney Cruise Savings
In addition to visiting the Disney Cruise Line website, be sure to check the money-saving Mousesavers.com for cheaper cruising with Mickey. Also check this page at AllEars.Net for discounts on specific sailing dates.
Norwegian Cruise Line
NCL is a major line with several special features that suit families including "freestyle" dining that lets you decide when and where to eat. Look for cruise deals at the website.