We are a family of 5 ( 2 adults, kids are 4,5 and 10) and was wondering if we can all stay in one cabin or will we have to get two? If we have to get two, what would be our best bet and how do you figure the cost of each room?
Your best bet would be to contact your travel agent and have them find a ship that still has space for 5, those are usually the first to fill up and are limited to begin with. You can also try posting here at Cruisemates in the bargain finder. Then travel agents will e-mail you with what they have for the ship and date you want to go. Good luck and hope you find the right cruise for you and your whole family!
Carnival can put 5 in a cabin (2 fold-down bunks, 2-under bunks and a roll-away) in some cabins. When we had 5 in a cabin, our kids were close in age to yours. The cabin was really cramped and I learned that two of my kids snore. We got an inside cabin, and I ordered flowers to look at so I wouldn't think about not having a window. We learned to keep the suitcases packed and under the beds, since the closets didn't have enough room for clothes for 5 people. I discovered the laundry on Carnival's ships, not that I wanted to spend a few hours inside a ship's laundry room. . . This was our first cruise and I was so excited that the crowded cabin was part of the adventure. (Now that my oldest is 15 and 6-6, we can't fit 5 in a cabin anymore.)
Some ships do have family suites, that can accomodate up to 6 people (Royal Caribbean, Disney). The cost of these suites are generally quite a bit higher, but the net cost might not be too bad if you get a lower rate for 3rd, 4th & 5th passengers in the cabin.
Some of the newer shps have connecting rooms. We had two inside-connecting rooms on Celebrity's Mercury, for the cost of a balcony cabin. We had to pay for 4 adults and 1 extra person in a cabin. We had looked at putting 4 in one cabin and taking an extra cabin with a single supplement, but for most cruises that wasn't a saving.
Your TA will be able to work with you to identify the least costly way of travelling -- and if you decide to get two cabins, will be able to book them next to each other or adjoining. Our first cruise hooked everyone in our family - your kids will love the kids' programs.