Cruise prices are based on double occupancy or first and second passengers. There is a price reduction for third, forth and sometimes the fifth passenger sharing the same cabin. Cruise lines price according to the number of passengers sharing a cabin. One person alone in a cabin pays a surcharge or premium fare. The good news for parents is that there isn't an age break for kids. This often makes cruising a much cheaper option for families with teens and tweens over the age of 12...the age in hotels where kids usually have to pay full adult rates and/or require a separate hotel room.
Understand Cabin Features
Inside Cabins - Are the smallest staterooms offering very basic accommodations. Bedding usually consists of two twin beds that can be fashioned together to make a king. For third or fourth passengers, convertible bunk beds pull down from overhead. There is very little floor space for dressing or moving about. Standard features are air conditioning, closed circuit TVs, music channels, telephones, and a small shower in your bathroom. Generally inside cabins do not have any windows. We say generally because there are now some ships designed with inside atriums or public areas. These newer ships do have inside cabins offering windows overlooking interior public areas of the ship.These rooms do not feel as claustrophobic as regular inside cabins but having a window to public areas affords you less privacy and sometimes more noise. Some ships have an upgrade option to a "virtual window" which is a large screen decorated with with curtains like a window. The screen can be flipped on and off to give you a virtual look to cameras outside the ship.
Outside cabins - offer ocean views with either a porthole or window. These windows are for the view and are not operational and do not open. Outside cabins are priced according to how high they are located. There are also obstructed or partially obstructed views. This means you may have a window but your view to the ocean may be blocked by a pole or lifeboat. Outside cabins are generally a bit larger and offer the twins/king bed for parents. Additional beds can be bunks or convertible sofas for kids.
Balcony Cabins - These are the rooms that most families want and usually sell out the fastest. The are larger, affording more living space. Bedding consists of twins/king for parents with bunks and or convertible sofas for kids. These cabins offer families a doorway onto a porch deck area with lounge chairs to relax and enjoy the ocean vistas and sea air. There are different categories of balcony cabins. Some cabins located towards the rear of the ship offer large, wrap around balconies and of course, higher price tags.
Suite Cabins - Offer plenty more room and plenty of extras. Once again, depending on the price tag you can expect everything from a private room for parents, whirlpool tub, even a grand piano. Many suites have larger occupancy rules allowing more family members to cruise together in guaranteed adjoining quarters. Suites are located in the most prime locations on board and suite guests usually get preferred embarkation and disembarkation privileges so there is much less waiting in line.
If anyone in your family is prone to sea sickness, then it's best to select an outside cabin located as close to the middle of your ship as possible. This is the area on board that the least motion of the ocean.
The cruise lines publish ship plans and allow their guests to choose the exact cabin they want for their family cruise vacation. This is very helpful for families that require adjoining cabins or handicap accessable accommodations. To have exactly what you want, you will pay a bit more
For all these reasons, and many more, it's best to work with a family cruise expert at Vacationkids.com to make your reservations. Our fees are already included in the advertised cruise prices you see online. If you book your own cruise yourself, you do extra work and the cruise line pocket's the profits. We often have exclusive offers that will save you money that you won't see advertised online. In addition, we can monitor your cruise and apply any sale discounts even after your confirmed. Our goal is for your family to get the best value for your family cruise vacation dollar while having a wonderful time at sea sailing with your kids.