Cruising with kids doesn’t need to break the bank. Follow our top tips for an affordable family cruise. With hundreds of cruises on offer from ports all around of Australia, it’s never been easier to find a family cruise that fits your budget.
One of the best thing about cruising is you can step onboard knowing that meals, accommodation and entertainment are included in the fare. And family cruises take your budget further still, with fantastic adventure parks, swirling water slides, creative kids’ programs, family activities, parades and more all included as part of the package.
Here are our top tips to plan an affordable family cruise:
1. Research, research, research
Affordable family cruises are out there – you just need to know where to look. Take some time to research and compare different cruise deals. Start by exploring the cruise websites. Check out what other family cruisers have to say in the forums. Sign up to newsletters and social media sites. Speak to the cruise experts at Ozcruising Australia. Then, and only then, can you be sure you’re getting the best deal.
2. Start planning early
Forget a spur-of-the-moment adventure. If you want to cruise during peak times, like school holidays, you need to get in early. You’ll save on the price of your cruise, as well as any flights and accommodation before and after. The earlier you book, the cheaper it will be and the more like you are to secure a spot on the family cruise of your dreams. Save any last minute deals for a romantic weekend away instead.
3. Pre-book onshore excursions and special meals
While most things are included in your cruise, be sure to budget for a few extras, like shore excursions and special dinners. Booking before you set sail offers a few advantages. Not only do you secure your place on popular tours, shows or venues, but you might be able to snag an exclusive deal too. And it’s one less thing to worry about once you’re relaxing onboard!
4. Tell them “No” before you go!
Ice creams, lolly shops, souvenirs, photos… there are so many things to tempt kids while onboard and some of these come at an extra price. Take the time before you travel to have a talk with your children about their limits. Set a budget and give your kids a daily allowance they are free to spend on what they really want. But make sure they know that once the money is gone, it’s gone!
5. Set a budget for adult activities too
Parents, you need to be strong too! Set a budget for wine tastings, workshops and specialty dinners you desperately want to try. If you’re on a week-long cruise, book in one night for adult-only indulgence. Pay for an in-cabin babysitter and enjoy dinner in the best onboard restaurant. Go on, you deserve it…
6. Be self-sufficient
If you really want to cruise on the cheap, don’t rely on the cruise line to do everything for you. Go on your own on-shore adventure – just be sure to get back to the ship on time for departure!