Wednesday, July 17, 2013
If you follow me on Facebook, this may be old news but on July 28 we'll be talking our first cruise as a family of 5 on the Carnival Conquest! This will be my husband's third cruise (with Carnival Cruise Lines) and my second (also with Carnival).
Cool story - while on our 1999 honeymoon Carnival Cruise to the Virgin Islands, we won a 7-Day cruise while playing Bingo (yes real people actually do win those). So, the next year we sailed the Mexican Riviera for our anniversary and, to this day, we still reminisce about how fabulous both cruises were.
Truth is, we've been dying to take our daughters who are 16, 11 and 5 on a cruise, so it is with sheer bliss that we get to bring them along on this exciting adventure.
How does one cruise with a Family of 5?
I actually did a fair amount of research on several all-inclusive type of vacations, including private resorts and cruises. All-inclusive meaning that you pay a set amount for your room(s), food and some beverages, entertainment/activities, and other miscellaneous expenses.
The set prices were very attractive when budgeting for a vacation with the family, but the more I searched, the more it felt like these vacations were tailored more toward a family of of 4 or less. Most only had rooms that slept up to 4 people, and when you're talking resorts, it can get really pricey when booking more than one room.
With that in mind, my mission was to find out just what Carnival had in store for my family of 5 during a recent one-day press trip onboard the Carnival Conquest. I'll be honest, I fully expected the cruise director NOT to have a ready answer when I asked about this topic, but, to my surprise, he was very knowledgeable about it.
Here's what I found out.
Carnival offers adjoining cabins fleetwide. These are in different categories and price ranges so that groups of five or more can sleep together. On select ships in their fleet, there are even rooms that sleep up to 5 people per cabin (The Carnival Dream, Carnival Magic, Carnival Breeze and Carnival Sunshine). My advice would be to call their 1-800 number (instead of booking online) to make sure you get the room(s) you want. The sooner you book your cruise, the better your chances are for getting together.
Carnival lists their prices per person (not per cabin fee) which means that even if you need two adjoining or separate cabins, you'll get a fair price. Plus, there is a discounted price for the third and fourth person per cabin.
A record 725,000 children will be sailing with Carnival in 2013, the most in the company’s 41-year history. That's more kids than any other cruise line and it may be in part to their top-rated children’s programs -- Camp Carnival, for kids ages 2 to 11, Circle “C,” catering to the 12- to 14-year-old set, and Club O2, geared toward 15- to 17-year-olds – with supervised activities and dedicated staff for each group.
Camp Carnival, Circle "C" and Club O2 are all included in your cruise rate which means the kids will have a blast and mom and dad won't have the extra burden of child care expenses while on vacation. This alone adds a great amount of value to your package.
I look forward to sharing more about Carnival Cruise Lines' onboard experience with you in real time. I'll be posting, tweeting and sharing pictures on Facebook of our adventure. I hope you'll enjoy seeing what Carnival has in store.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I guarantee that all opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own.
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