Family Travel Question:

Q | Any suggestions for a family cruise that is fun for adults? With a group of 16 is it possible to get group rates?

Any suggestions for a family cruise that is fun for adults? With a group of 16 is it possible to get group rates? -Bill, PA

A | Cruise with a group to save vacation dollars

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Sixteen is the magic number for taking advantage of a group discount with most cruise lines. According to Molly Watts, owner of The Family Travels agency that specializes in family and cruise vacations, ”Group discounts apply for 16 or more guests–basically the discount will be the dollar amount of the cruise fare (not including non-commissionables) for the 16th passenger and depending on the cruise line, it will be in the cabin with the most amount of cabins booked or an average of all the cabins.”

If your travel party’s size is smaller than 16, don’t despair. Watts says, “If people use a travel agent, even with less than 16 passengers, Carnival Cruise Line family funthey will get group amenities and often discounts.” Depending on the travel agent, Watts believes you should expect a better discount with each incremental cabin booked, starting with the second cabin.

To get the best cruise deals available, Watts recommends booking your family cruise with a trusted travel agent. She says, “I encourage people all the time to book their own air and hotel vacations online…it’s easy and fast! But when you are looking at packages, cruises, resort stays….find a good agent who you trust and they should be able to beat, or at the very worst, match the best online deals you see.”

Using an agent to book your cruise comes with other advantages too. An agent adds value by answering questions, giving expert advice, and helping you make the best vacation choices for your family. Plus, if anything goes wrong with your cruise or booking, you have an expert ”in your corner” help resolve the problem.

If you are looking for an affordable family cruise, many cruise lines offer plenty of fun for all ages at a reasonable price. Much of your costs are included and paid for upfront such as accommodations, childcare (depending on the cruise line and children’s ages), and on-board meals and entertainment. For more cruise budget ideas, read these tips on how to save money on a family cruise.

Photo courtesy of Colleen Lanin.



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