Can Kids Sail Free on Cruises? Tips for Saving Money on Vacations

Kids Sail Free Cruises: When making a reservation for a cruise, you’ll discover that the cost is per person as opposed to per night as in regular hotels.

This may cause some sticker shock. Is your family of four going to have to pay $4,000 for a balcony cabin if the normal rate is $1,000 per person?

Not even flights, motels before the trip, shore excursions, or any cruise add-ons are included in that price.

Throughout the year, several cruise lines provide “Kids Sail Free” promotions. Although there are typically some restrictions, such as blackout dates or itineraries, making a reservation during one of these sales can occasionally result in a price reduction!

Are Kids Sail Free on Cruises?


Usually not. Even though they are younger than the first and second passengers in a stateroom, the third and fourth passengers still have to pay for their tickets.

Guests who are 12 years of age or younger can obtain a complimentary cruise fee during the limited-time Kids Sail Free program. This promotion is only accessible while it’s in effect. All relevant names and dates of birth must be provided when making a reservation to qualify for the Kids Sail Free promotion. Exclusive to specific sailing dates. There are dates of blackout.

In addition, a cruise line’s “Kids Sail Free” deal isn’t always available. There’s no way of knowing when the discount will be given again once it expires. If you are a single parent with two children, you will have to pay the full rate for one of them because the discounted rates usually only apply to third and fourth passengers.

This implies that booking two cabins is not possible. You and your family will need to share one room (as well as the bathroom) in order to take advantage of any “Kids Sail Free” offers.

Top Family Cruises: The Ultimate Vacation for All Ages

Additionally, the age may differ. According to a recent Holland America Line marketing, “On certain cruises, guests ages 18 and under (also known as “children”) are eligible to travel free (taxes, fees, and port expenses are extra).” No more than two complimentary kids per qualified reservation.”

By contrast, Royal Caribbean usually only offers their “Kids Sail Free” promotion to visitors who are 12 years of age or younger. This makes sense because Royal Caribbean sails a lot more kids than Holland America Line, so if the age was raised to 17 or 18, they would be handing away more free tickets.

What is the cost for infants?

Are kids free on cruises? How family cruise pricing works

Given that they don’t consume much food or take up much room, you would think that babies and toddlers would be free. False!

If there is only one adult and a baby in a cabin, the baby must pay the full adult cost because most cruise lines treat babies and children under the age of two the same as any other youngster. There will be a discount if the infant is the third or fourth passenger, but there will still be a fee.

MSC Cruises and Cunard are two exceptions to this norm, as they never charge for children under the age of two. No matter what cabin grade is reserved, P&O Cruises always offers discounted pricing for parties under two, so it doesn’t matter if they stay in an inside stateroom or a suite.

Difference between regular hotels, all-inclusive resorts, and cruises

A hotel is rarely the real destination when you book it. You’ll be eating, watching, and doing your activities somewhere else. This implies that since the hotel’s nightly tariff won’t cover anything else, you will need to account for such expenses while planning your holiday budget.

Regular hotels are smaller than all-inclusive resorts. There are several eateries and pubs on the premises, along with a variety of activities. A water park, theatre, kids’ club, etc., might be present. Additionally, all of your meals and beverages are included.

Between hotels and all-inclusive resorts are cruises. Select drinks, unlimited food at some restaurants, entertainment, lodging, and transportation between ports of call are all included in your base ticket. Certain items are not included and may require additional payment, like drink packages, internet, specialized dining, and shore excursions.

Reasons Why Cruise are the Best Option for a Family Holiday

If you take advantage of pre-cruise deals through your line’s online portal, you may probably have your vacation paid for by the time your cruise arrives, unless you intend to make a lot of extra purchases. You can reserve add-ons once your deposit has been made.

With traditional vacations, this is not the case because the majority of your meals and entertainment will be covered while on the trip.

How to take a family trip for less money

As previously said, the cruise fare in any stateroom for the third and fourth passengers is often less than that of the first and second passengers. If your family is larger and you would like to stay in the same cabin, be prepared to reserve a suite, even though some ordinary rooms will accommodate five people.

Booking a single cabin for your forthcoming family vacation is one way to ensure that you will pay less than if you were to book two adjoining rooms, even if there isn’t an ongoing “Kids Sail Free” promotion.

The starting price for a balcony on a 7-night cruise on Carnival Magic in July 2024 is $1,199 per person. The final two passengers, however, only pay $319 and $419 if I increase the number of travellers to four, bringing the total cost down to $3,725.64.

Cruise lines where Kids Sail Free Cruises

  • Holland America Line
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Royal Caribbean International
  • Costa Cruises
  • MSC Cruises

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