Updated: May 1, 2018
Family cruises can accommodate a wide range of vacation budgets. There are many reasons you might be interested in examining money saving strategies. Your overall family vacation budget might be slim this year. Or, perhaps you want to keep costs down so that you can cruise more often. Or, it could be that you find pure joy in finding a great deal and squeezing those dollars. Wherever you fall in that mix, take a look at these seven strategies to shave substantial dollars off your final cruise bill.
1. Select Family Cruises Sailing From Nearby Ports.
If you are working with a limited or less flexible budget, the first factor to consider is your departure port. Consider driving to a port that is relatively nearby – a day’s drive or less. Most vacationers in North America live within driving distance of a cruise port. If you drive rather than fly, you will reap substantial savings from not buying air tickets for your entire family. And, if you can comfortably drive in on embarkation day and park at the port, you will also save money on hotel costs. If you don’t want to drive, you can still save money by selecting a departure city that requires cheaper flights.
If you live in the East:
The State of Florida hosts five different cruise ports — Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Port Canaveral and Tampa. Every major cruise line has at least one ship departing from a Florida port. Staying generally along the eastern coast, other major cruise ports include Baltimore, Maryland (sailings from Carnival and Royal Caribbean);Bayonne, New Jersey (Royal Caribbean and Celebrity); Boston, Massachusetts (Holland America, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean); and New York City(Carnival, Crystal, Cunard, Holland America, MSC Cruises, Norwegian, Oceania, Princess, Regent Seven Seas and Silversea). Carnival also sails ships from Charleston, South Carolina and Norfolk, Virginia.
If you live more in the middle:
Moving west into the central time and the ports near the Gulf of Mexico, the major cruise ports include Galveston, Texas (Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Disney); New Orleans, Louisiana (Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean); and Mobile, Alabama (Carnival).
If you live in the West:
Then, moving to the west coast, the State of Washington hosts one cruise port and California hosts another three: Los Angeles, California (Carnival, Crystal Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Oceania, Princess, Cunard, Silversea); San Diego, California (Celebrity, Holland America, Disney, Norwegian); San Francisco, California (Cunard, Celebrity, Oceania, Princess, Regent Seven Seas); Seattle, Washington (Carnival, Celebrity, Holland America, Norwegian, Princess, and Royal Caribbean). Read More …