Since returning from our cruise, Ray has been researching cruise lines, deals, and family-friendly destinations. We are excited to keep our eyes peeled for the best cruise for our family for sometime next year. We plan to set sail when Noah is just a bit older, so we can take our kiddos with us and let them participate in the children’s activities!
Here’s what Ray has to say…. Apparently it’s possible to cruise at $30-$45 a day!
Four days, one cruise ship, two stops in the Bahamas and one stop at Key West, Florida. Must be expensive? Not in this economy. Out of Miami, this cruise started at $120 per person! At $30 a day, that’s cheaper than taking the kids to the local pizza pit, and a whole lot more fun than eating cardboard pizza and getting accosted by giant costumed rats.
How about this one? Seven days out of Los Angeles, three stops along the Mexican Riviera at places like Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlan where you can snorkel in caves, horseback ride on the beach or deep sea fish. At $300 per person…that’s less than $45 a day.
With the economy out of whack, cruise lines are offering all sorts of deals these days. Disney cruises is even offering two free kids passes for every two paying adults – and every trip includes a stop at Disney’s own island in the Caribbean.
The dirty little secret is that the cruise lines make up for the cheap rates by gauging you for all your alcoholic drinks. And nickel and diming you for all the extras, like photos, knickknacks and outrageously expensive massages – Chris and I fell victim to this one on our recent cruise, but it was really nice!
But if you’re a good little boy or girl, you can have a great vacation on the cheap.
However, a few recommendations – if you don’t want the party crowd atmosphere for your kids, avoid Carnival. The longer the cruise, the less of a party crowd you’re apt to experience. Also, consider what kind of people go to certain destinations and don’t buy any pot in Jamaica. One of our “excursion mates” on the zip line / river raft tour bought a pre-rolled joint and got chewed out by his girlfriend who pointed out that there was no way to tell what he was about to smoke.
One other point, a cruise vacation will only be cheap if you don’t have to fly to the port city. Fortunately, there are cruises departing all along the Eastern seaboard, from Boston to Fort Lauderdale, in the Pacific from San Diego to Seattle and all along the Gulf Coast. But you folks in Middle America, you’re out of luck…you’ll have to fly.
Do you have any cruising advice for us? How about tips for taking the kiddos? We could use some extra pointers!