We want to take a cruise but cost is a big factor. We are limited to the summer months for traveling, and would need to sail from a southeastern port. Any advice we can get will be appreciated. The kids are 5,7,9, and 12 and mom and dad. Thanks in advance for your help!
First, find a good travel agent who is knowledgeable about cruises. You'll want to check into prices of family suites, connecting rooms, etc.
Remember that food is included, so you don't have to worry about restaurant prices! You can always get a room service lunch packed for going onshore, too.
Once you book you can begin the research into what's available at the various ports. You don't *have* to spend lots of money on shore excursions, etc. There is PLENTY to do onboard that is free. One of my goals to to cruise and not spend ANY money on my sign and sail card besides tips......okay maybe a few drinks....
CarnivalSensation February 2015
Carnival Dream November 2015
Carnival Fascination April 2014
Carnival Elation March 2011
Carnival Imagination Sept 2007
Carnival Sensation Dec 2006
RCI Sovereign of the Seas Sept 2006
Carnival Miracle Sept 2005
Carnival Glory Sept 2004
Carnival Fantasy Jan 2004
There are lots of departure options for you -- in FLorida (Port Canaveral, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa and Jacksonville) as well as seasonal departures from a number of Southern ports. If you're looking to depart from the south other than Florida, see what Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line have to offer -- they seem to be the leaders in offering many options of domestic embarkation ports. They also have good kids' programs and family friendly facilities.
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor
You might want to try a shorter cruise. We did that last spring. Went on the Sovereign of the Seas out of Port Canaveral on a four day cruise. Booked two inside cabins next to each other and got the 3rd & 4th person rate on the second cabin. My husband and myself were in one and the kids were in the other. The advantage to this was 2 bathrooms! We booked early and got a fantastic price (booked in October 2002 for April 2003). I beleive it was about $1500 for the six of us for the cruise. Good luck and happy cruising!