I am new to this site and I am sure this has been answered but I thought I would ask with my specifics.
We are an experienced cruising family (RCCL 2 times, Disney 1 time).
Each time we cruise we have a new member of the family. Since our last cruise (in 2005), we have had another baby (in 2006) and now are a family of five.
Our heart is set on RCCL because we felt the Disney cruise was overpriced, the food wasn't as good, and my wife (and I) love the big ships. We are interested in cruising on a Freedom class ship this time around. We were on Mariner of the Seas last.
RCCL will not let you book online for a family of five. Speaking to them on the phone they have told me which "higher" class cabins I can book for five. My problem is the cabins we have been in in the past for 4 people are still perfectly fine, since we can still have our 1+ year old in the bed with us. Of course, this has greatly increased the cost of a cruise.
Does anybody have any advice? Is there any way around this issue? What is the best way to go about getting the best deal with respect to a family of five on RCCL?
Thank you very much in advance for your time and any advice/experience you care to share.
YOu can see about getting one of the family suites on Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas. You'd be getting 2 bathrooms, which is a big help when traveling with 4 or 5. Those cabins do book quickly, so I'd check with a travel agent and see about price and availability soon.
Such suites have much higher cost per person. We don't really want to pay higher per person just so a 1+ year old can travel too. We would if we had to, but maybe this is just a disadvantage of having our third little angel.
Do you know if getting, two adjoining rooms, interior for example, is a viable option for saving money?
It can be a really wonderful option to have two connecting cabins and my family of four did that on the Enchantment because their inside cabins are quite a bit smaller than what we are used to. You just need to shop carefully. It only cost us a little more to go with two connecting cabins than a single cabin. We were very happy with the extra space, bathroom and TV, plus no one had to sleep in the top bunks. D/H and I got to have a little privacy which was great.
We all have our personal preferences with regard to what line we like to sail on, but I would strongly encourage you to consider Carnival as well. I can assure you that the food is very good (in my opinion it is far superior to RCCL, but of course food tastes are highly subjective) and their inside staterooms are substantially larger and will allow you to book five in one cabin on most of the ships, plus you can take advantage of the kid's club starting at 2 years old, potty trained or not. The other thing that I love about Carnival when cruising with kids is that they have self service laundry facilities which can cut way back on what you pack and the disgusting stuff you might have to take home with you in your suitcase. This way anything gross or cruddy can be washed right then and there and life is beautiful lol!
We also had this problem, but our kids are 2 teens and an 8 yr old. But I wanted a balcony room. They would not book a room made for 4 with 5 people. We thought about 2 adjoining rooms, but you have to pay the full price for the first 2 people in each room which made it quite a bit more expensive to go the balcony rooms.
We decided on the Family Oceanview, which was a little more expensive, but we have lots of room. This room was not available to book online, we had to call.
Also, we booked for Jan 08 inMarch of this year and the price then vs now is 1 1/2 times the amount so book early!!
RC Navigator of the Seas January 2008
Carnial Elation January 2007