Cruising for $30 a Day?

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on September 14, 2009

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!

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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!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

John Pruitt September 14, 2009 at 11:04 am

Howdy,

One of the best places I have found for cruise advice is http://www.cruisecritic.com/ So many of these different constant cruise people write about every think they bought or excusion they took. It’s great to do your research there and ask questions. No I don’t work for them but between Yelp and Cruise Critics I do love my review sites to find the tricks and secret best places out there.

I hope you have a terriffic cruise!

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bobbie September 14, 2009 at 1:15 pm

We’d love to take the 12-14 day cruise one day out of Spain to the USA. They leave port in December, to cruise the Caribbean and are mostly out to sea with the exception of a couple of stops, one being in the Canary Islands which are owned by Spain. It’s a goal to do this one day! These cruise ships can go to Boston, Miami, or Texas if I’m not mistaken.
By the way, I’ve just discovered your blog and I’m enjoying it.
~Bobbie (in Spain)

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Andrew September 14, 2009 at 8:35 pm

My family and I love Royal Caribbean, in fact we spend a week on one of their ships with 20 or so family members every other December. The ships are great for families … with ice rinks, rock walls, the FlowRider, mini-golf, large sports courts, amazing gyms and then there is always the mall through the center that is pretty cool. Also I would strongly recommend a stop in Labadee (RCL’s private beach), we thought it was going to be boring, but it ended up being one of our favorite stops and we can’t wait to go back, especially if we get to go on the Oasis sometime soon. Here is a link to my family’s most recent cruise on the Liberty of the Seas …http://mrandrewbradley.blogspot.com/2008/12/caribbean-cruise.html

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Kasey@All Things Mamma September 15, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Thanks for the tips! I would LOVE to go on a cruise with my husband and do a separate one with kids. One day…..
LOL!

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Bobbi Jo September 15, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Cruise prices are amazing these days – but I actually have a cruise for just $49 (plus port charges & Taxes) that the entire family can enjoy. Who do you know that would like a $49 cruise? Bobbi Jo

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