Cruise Lines That Let Kids Cruise for Free

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Cruises are a popular family travel option for good reason. Almost all cruises include meals, lodging, and entertainment in one low price, although you may need to fork over more cash for “extras” like excursions, premium dining, or alcohol. At the end of the day, having the bulk of your vacation bundled into a single price can make planning – and enjoying – your vacation that much easier.

If you’re considering a cruise with kids, however, it’s crucial to know how much more you’ll pay. Where some cruise lines offer discounted cruise fares for children sharing your cabin, others make kids free altogether. Obviously, not paying more to bring kids along can be a huge boon for your travel budget – and leave plenty of money to pay for fun cruising “extras” that can make your vacation much more special.

Here are a few cruise lines that let you bring the kids along for free:

MSC Cruises

While a lot of people don’t know this, kids under the age of 12 always sail free on select MSC family cruises. MSC cruises that let kids sail free reach more than 150 different destinations around the world. In addition to free fares for children, MSC Cruises offers a supervised kids club for children ages 3 – 6, a “Junior Club” for kids age 7-11, and teen clubs for kids ages 12 and older.

Kids can also follow along with the new “Kelly and Khloe” onboard experience and web series. Before and during their cruise, kids can experience magic, video games, 4D movies, and entertainment designed around the “Kelly and Khloe” theme. During their cruise, kids can play just like Kelly and Khloe and participate in the same activities as the web series.

While MSC Cruises is known as a big player in Europe, people may be surprised to know that MSC Cruises offers cruises in the Caribbean, too. The MSC Divina departs from Miami and explores destinations such as Ochos Rios, Cayman Islands, St. Maarten, Puerto Rico, and the Bahamas.

Norwegian Cruise Lines

Norwegian Cruise Line is offering a promotion that lets kids cruise free to select destinations. Balcony upgrades and on-board spending credits are also available on certain cruises to the Bahamas and the Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean, Holland America Line, and Crystal Cruises also offer periodic cruise offers that allow kids to sail free, so make sure to shop around before you book. As always, my favorite place to search for cheap cruise fares is VacationtoGo.com. With their 90-day ticker, you can get up to 82 percent off cruises departing within three months.

 

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Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
Apply Now
Add to Favorites
Sign Up Bonus
$0 first year
$89 after first year
50,000 bonus miles
When you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
Annual Fee
Already have this card? Maximize your rewards.
Read the FTG Review »

 

Booking a Cruise with Credit Card Rewards

If you have the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard, you can book a cruise (or any other type of travel) with ease. Simply book the cruise you want then redeem your miles for a rate of one cent per point. The 50,000 point signup bonus on this card is worth $500 off your cruise, for example.

If you have the Citi Prestige or another card that earns Citi Thank You points, you can also book cruises directly through the Citi travel portal. Same thing with AmexTravel.com if you have American Express cards that earn Membership Rewards.

Booking a cruise with Ultimate Rewards points can only be done by calling 1-866-951-6592. You can still use your UR points to book, and you’ll get the associated travel discount if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Sapphire Reserve. If you have a ton of Ultimate Rewards, make sure to call and price out cruises as you explore your options!

Final Thoughts

If you’re planning a cruise with kids, it’s wise to shop around for the best deal. Most of the time, you’ll save money if you can book a cruise where kids cruise free. Also make sure to check your favorite travel portals for deals that let you book your entire cruise with credit card rewards.

Do you have any cruises planned next year? What is your favorite cruise line?

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