You can still afford a family cruise these days…if you seek out the deals – and a great Cruise Planners/American Express Agent to help you.

With gasoline prices soaring to an all-time high, you may be looking for alternative ways to vacation with your family this summer. In today’s market, taking a cruise can provide you a floating vacation for the family, and you can still budget your spending just as you do on a regular vacation by car. The exception… you find all the amenities and entertainment right on board the ship. By the time you pay for gas, hotels, food, entertainment,  plus fight traffic – you may find it more economical to go on a cruise, which offers all the above in one place, minus the traffic. Today, cruise lines have made it affordable for families to vacation at sea. Families can go on short lasting 3-5 day trips or a week long and beyond.

There ARE discounted family cruises and cruise deals that feature children’s programs at sea, and provide tips for cruising with teens, grandchildren, toddlers and with great discounts. Family reunions are VERY popular on cruises now.

Here are some tips to cut your cruise budget for your summer cruise vacation:

  • Choose a ship where kids cruise free. Normally, kids 12 and under, sail free when they share a cabin with Mom and Dad.
  • Take advantage of reduced rates for 3rd/4th passengers with many of the ships.
  • You can purchase a coke card for $20.00 for unlimited sodas for thirsty kids that want lots of refills!
  • Check with your Cruise Planners/American Express agent about family deals, as many are not well publicized.
  • You can limit your spending on art auctions, shore excursions, jewelry, casino and drinks and spa services. Budget beforehand – where you want to spend your money.
  • You can budget how many times you will eat in the specialty restaurants, and enjoy the food in the free on-board dining room.
  • If you want to cut cost, you can check your emails in ports contrary to paying for internet fees aboard the ship.
  • Look for free upgrades. Often, ships offer upgrades of an inside cabin to an outside cabin.

Normally, you won’t find these deals advertised, but your agent can find the deals for you.

If these tips can’t justify your budget right now, don’t give up… you can still take your family on a cruise, just change your summer vacation to an off season like the end of August – or any cruises before Christmas. September and October months for sailing are the cheapest. During the off-season, senior citizen rates, regional promotions, past cruisers and last minute deals are all available and CAN fit your budget, and that dream of taking an exotic cruise can be realized!