Monday, August 8, 2016

Five Reasons Cruising is an Affordable Way to Vacation

It's no secret that our family loves to go on cruise vacations.  My husband and I took our first cruise in May of  2003, and since then, we've been on more than 15 cruises.  Completely hooked, addicted, whatever you want to call it... we are cruise enthusiasts!

There's just something about those beautiful sunsets on the water that draws me back to the boat over and over again.  Well... that and... the fact that cruising is about the cheapest way for our family to vacation!

Here are some reasons why it's so affordable:

1.  It's All Inclusive.  Your very comfortable lodging and all your food (well most) is included in your cruise fare.  There are some specialty restaurants, coffee shop foods, and some room service items that aren't included, but for the most part, anything you could ever want or need is available to you and is included in your price.

2.  Free Entertainment.  There is usually something going on somewhere on the ship at any hour of the day or night.  There are Las Vegas style musical shows, magic shows, comedians, musical bands of all types, and karaoke all over the ship.  Not to mention most ships have an outdoor movie theater where they show movies at night.  There is always something to do, and unless you are playing Bingo or in the Casino, it's all included in your price.

3.  Conveniently Located Ports.  In the past, if you wanted to take a cruise, you had to travel to Florida or California.  Today, you can cruise from ports that might be located closer to home, like Texas, Maryland, South Carolina, Louisiana, New York, Alabama, Virginia, Washington and more.  That means less travel expenses to and from debarkation ports.  We live just under 5 hours from the port in Texas, so driving makes more sense for us rather than flying a family of six to the port.

Cozumel during the month of December
4.  "Off Season" Pricing is Reduced.  At most vacation destinations, they have "off season" pricing, which is sometimes reduced a small percentage.  But with cruising, "off season" pricing is sometimes about half the price of what a summertime cruise would be.  If you are able to vacation during the winter months, just remember, it's still great weather at most Caribbean ports of call and sometimes you can get pricing that is very affordable, even for a large family.

On a cruise during the month of February
5.  Payment Plan.  When booking a cruise, we try to book at least one year in advance.  That way, we are able to pay the deposit and then make a small monthly payment to the cruise line to get our cruise paid for well in advance of our sail date.  In addition, some cruise lines will credit you for price drops that affect your booking.  So in other words, your price can't go up, but it could come down.

These are just some of the reasons I think cruising is super affordable.  I know that we have taken road trips to Colorado, and spent tons of time in the vehicle, slept in less than comfortable beds, and eaten frozen pizza and corn dogs all week, to keep expenses down, and we still spent more than we would have if we had cruised.  Cruising isn't for everyone, but it sure is an affordable way to spend a week being pampered and spoiled!  And we love it!

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