Cruising is a wonderful way to take the kids to the tropical islands of the Caribbean and the perfect family friendly vacation. Parents find the convenience of not having to pack and unpack again and again while visiting multiple destinations with entertainment and meals taken care of a hassle-free experience.
While this allows parents to enjoy some quality time on their own, expenditure is an aspect that needs to be considered. Apart from the cruise fare which chops off a major chunk of your budget, there are some additional costs that need to be factored in.
Book well in advance
It is best to book your Caribbean cruise vacations as soon as the sale dates and prices are announced, which is about two years in advance, for confirmed accommodation and good rates.
Next add flights when their schedule becomes available, which again is about nine months in advance. Some airline tickets are non-refundable, so budget accordingly.
Pre-cruise hotel stay
Flights can get delayed and your cruise ship will not wait for you, so there is no point in starting a holiday all stressed up and tense, especially when you are traveling with your family.
For this reason, it is imperative to spend the night before your cruise in a local hotel that is not only family-friendly but close to the cruise port as well. Figure the cost of your one night’s stay depending on comfort and family needs.
Since you are travelling with family and kids it is important to protect your Caribbean cruise investment in case of an interruption or cancellation, even if you are headed to safe Caribbean islands. So opt for travel insurance as it costs approximately 8% of the total cost of your entire cruise price.
More importantly, your family medical insurance may not cover travel to the Caribbean, therefore it is critical to protect your finances and the welfare of your family in case of medical emergencies.
Upgrade your room after booking
Prior to sailing dates cruise ships offer bids to upgrade a stateroom with a higher category cabin. Since you are with your family, getting that extra covered space can make your cruise experience all the more enjoyable.
Try and bid for a room of your choice because if you succeed, you will end up paying only for the first and second guests in the room based on the per-night rate. This travel deal will benefit the whole family.
Know what’s included
Good cruise deals are all about the extra bang for your buck. Look for packages that include incentives like free beverages, gratuities, spa treatments, or onboard credits.
Not all cruise deals are all-inclusive, so check if your price includes all expenses. At times cruise lines may show a higher base fare but they are more inclusive and will save more money in the long run.
Plan your return wisely
Book your return flights at the end of the cruise no earlier than noon of the disembarkation day as shops, like flights, can get delayed for reasons like custom clearance, etc.
Depending on your return flight times, consider a night’s stay following the cruise to explore some local attractions which is far more fun than a stressful long wait at the lounge terminal.