Cruising is a wonderful way to see a variety of places without having to pack and unpack or worry about where to find your next meal. It's also great for extended family groups, as you may each do what you'd like during the day, then come back together for dinner in the evening and share about your adventures of the day.
I've been seeing a surge in cruise requests for spring break and next summer, and have loved surprising my clients with a little cruise hack I know of. It saves money and gives families more space to spread out. Today, I want to tell you about it, as it really highlights my point of why you need to plan your vacation early (and use a travel agent-me!)
When new cruises on Royal Caribbean or Celebrity (two of my favorite lines) are released, my travel consortium takes out group space on many of the sailings. This locks in reduced rate pricing and provides some additional perks, such as onboard credit. However, there are only so many of these staterooms allocated, and once they are gone, they're gone. These group rates are for staterooms that sleep 2, not 3 or 4 guests. However, it can end up working out well for families. Based on regular pricing structures for 3 and 4 person staterooms, it can often be cheaper to book 2 staterooms for 2, rather than 1 stateroom for 4. This gives you double the amount of space (and 2 bathrooms), for LESS money. Say what?!? Let me show you an example of what I'm talking about.
Below is sample pricing for a family of 4 in a balcony stateroom on the brand new, very popular Wonder of the Seas. The first price is what you would get if you booked directly with Royal Caribbean, $8836.24. The second is the price you would pay for a balcony room for 2 with my group pricing, $3512.68. So, a family of 4 could reserve 2 balcony staterooms for $7025, or 1 stateroom for 4 for $8836. Reserving 2 rooms will save you $1800 AND give you double the space. Amazing!
One important thing to note is that the staterooms might or might not be connecting. We can usually find rooms side by side, but not always connecting with an interior door. Therefore, this hack consistently works for older kids, but not necessarily little ones. It's great to reserve your cruise early, so that we have the most options available for stateroom configurations.
Let's look at another example for 2 guests on a different sail date, September 15, 2024. Booking directly with Royal Caribbean, an inside room for 2 with a refundable deposit would be $4424. The exact same room type with my group rates is $1946. Wouldn't you rather pay $2478 less for the exact same room?
While these great rates aren't available on every voyage, they are offered on MANY Royal Caribbean and Celebrity cruises. It's always worth taking a look and seeing which configuration might work for you. I'm sure you wouldn't mind using that extra money for shore excursions, a beverage package, or even to upgrade to a larger room.
Next time you're browsing cruises online, be sure to keep this hack in mind. Call your trusted travel agent (me!), and I'll help you take advantage of these incredible rates. The world is waiting, I can't wait to help you get out there and enjoy it!
Lisa is the travel loving, animal adoring, Mickey Mouse hugging owner of Dreams Delivered Travel.