Wave season has arrived! Now that the holidays are firmly behind us, it is a great time to start planning your next family cruise.
“Wave Season” typically runs from January through March. During this period, cruise lines present some of their most aggressive offers for the upcoming year. These are promotions that are available for sailings throughout the year, but the special discounts and perks accrue for booking during the wave season offer period. While the actual discounted cruise fares may not be the absolute least expensive for the entire year, the discounted fares plus a variety of valuable perks can make for some excellent family cruise deals. Read on to find what 2019 has to offer.
For tips on saving money on cruises year round, visit Try These Top Ways To Stretch Your Family Cruise Dollars.
Current Family Cruise Deals for Wave Season 2019
We have rounded up the current wave season promotions being offered by the major cruise lines. So, start looking for your family cruise deals here. Although numerous luxury cruise lines and river cruise lines are also offering wave season promotions, this round-up focuses on the larger cruise lines that are typically the most family friendly.
Carnival has three basic promotions: Early Saver Sale, Pack & Go Sale, and the Onboard Credit Sale. The Early Saver Sale offers $50 deposits for bookings through April 2021. The Pack & Go Sale offers discounts up to 25% off on select sailings between now and May, 2019. And, the Onboard Credit Sale offers $50 onboard credit on sailings through spring 2019.
Also, Carnival is offering a More=Merrier deal that ends January 11, 2018. You can save additional money on rooms with 3 or more guests on select sailings through spring 2018.
You can find Carnival promotions here.
Celebrity offers the Sale Beyond Event.
This promotion offers discounts on all staterooms plus additional free perks for families booking oceanview cabins and above. Savings start at $100 per cabin for inside staterooms and go up to $400 per cabin for suites. Also, additional passengers in a cabin receive 50% discounted fares.
Families booking oceanview or verandah staterooms can make two selections from the perk menu. Suite bookings earn four selections.
The perk menu includes choices of a drinks package, wifi package, prepaid gratuities, and $150 per person of on board credit. If you opt for a nonrefundable deposit, you’ll receive an extra perk selection. savings of up to $150 per person for the first two passengers in a cabin. The amount varies based on cabin category.
Offer is available through January 31. And, offer valid on travel from Feb. 1, 2019 to May 11, 2020.
For its Wave Season promotion, Disney offers a 50% discount on deposits on select cruises 4 nights or longer. This offer is valid through February 15, 2019 for cruises departing between June 22, 2019 and May 30, 2020. Find more information on this Disney promotions here. (So, this particular promotion won’t actually save money ultimately, but it reduces your immediate out-of-pocket costs.)
While not necessarily Wave Season promotions, families can also currently find discounted family cruise deals on specific sailings of select itineraries:
- Up to 25% off designated Caribbean sailings between now and April. More information here.
- The website mousesavers.com reports additional special deals for specific sailings & specific stateroom categories. More information available here.
For Wave Season, Holland America offers its Why Not Now? promotion.
This offer applies to more than 500 sailings of select 2019 and 2020 departures. It includes stateroom upgrades, discounts on shore excursions, up to $1000 in air credit, and reduced deposits of $99 (restrictions apply).
This promotion ends February 28, 2019.
MSC Cruises currently offers its All-In promotion. Guests booking this promotion receive unlimited drinks and free wifi on Caribbean itineraries. The cruise line also offers reduced deposits of $99 per person.
This offer expires March 31, 2019.
Be sure to check out our review of MSC Seaside!
Throughout the year Norwegian offers variations on its Free at Sea promotion. It is currently promoting “New Year. Big Savings” and offering a selection of 6 different perk offers including free airfare or air credits for select cruises.
On designated sailings, guests may choose from a list of 6 perk offers. The number of your selections varies based on stateroom category. Available perks include: Unlimited Open Bar; Specialty Dining Package; 250-Minute Internet Package; $50 USD Per Port Shore Excursion Credits; 3rd & 4th Guest Sail Free (select sailings); and Roundtrip Air (opportunity for free or reduced flights). Promotion valid through January 27, 2019. (The deadline for this offer has been extended a couple of times.)
Find out more about Norwegian’s promotions here.
Princess has two different promotions running: the Exclusively Caribbean Sale (for Spring 2019 through Fall 2019 sailings) and the All Aboard! Sale (for Summer 2019 through Spring 2020 sailings).
In the Exclusively Caribbean Sale, guests can save up to 40% off of select sailings, stateroom location upgrades, and reduced rates of $99 for the third and fourth passengers in a cabin. This promotion ends January 31, 2019.
In the All Aboard! Sale promotion, guests receive up to $900 in onboard credit per stateroom (amount varies based on length of itinerary and stateroom category). And, everyone in the cabin (up to 4) receives one night free specialty dining. Offer ends February 28, 2019.
This Wave Season Royal Caribbean offers its Explore More Sale.
Cruises booked in January receive 60% off cruise fare of second guest and up to $300 in instant savings. This offer ends January 27.
Find out more information on Royal Caribbean promotions.
More Tips on Finding the Best Family Cruise Deals
As you start checking out different websites for promotions, you may wonder how you should figure out what’s a good deal or not. For insights on evaluating different deals, check out this article on cruisecritic.com:
This article provides great tips on how to objectively evaluate specific wave season promotions, and determine what may be right for your family. In addition, it provides tips on comparing apples to apples when looking at specific fares and itineraries. And, it also flags special issues to look for in the fine print of individual offers.
For more reading on getting the best family cruise deals check out:
And, for more tips on saving money on family cruises more generally, check out Try These Top Ways To Stretch Your Family Cruise Dollars.
Download our one-page 2018/2019 Family Cruise Packing Checklist!
Want more detailed guidance on planning an awesome family cruise? Check out Elaine’s book, The Family Cruise Companion’s Guide to Cruising With Kids (available in print and digital at Amazon).