Carnival Cruise offers reduced rates for military members, but they are unable to share exactly what the rates are because they are unique to the cruises and don’t count for every individual sailing. They suggest calling in to make the reservation versus reserving your trip online because they allow for 24 hours for active-duty members to submit their appropriate paperwork, and non-active members to submit their DD-214.
Going on a cruise can be a great way to explore the world in a way that is more contained and includes everything you’ll need, as well as a way to save money and get to sail on the ocean when you might not otherwise get that opportunity. Let’s take a look at the history of Carnival Cruise, ways to save on cruises in general, and any other cruise lines that might offer military discounts as well.
About Carnival Cruise
Carnival Cruise line is an international cruise line that is headquartered in Florida. Carnival is one of ten cruise lines owned and operated by the world’s largest cruise ship operator, the American-British Carnival Corporation. The cruise line was founded in 1972. Carnival Cruise currently has 26 ships, with 5 more in the works for the next few years.
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Carnival Cruise shares a bit about what they do here:
“A Carnival cruise features day and nighttime entertainment like stage shows, musical performances, deck parties, casinos and more. (Like what? Like waterslides!) We invite our guests to come as they are, and we make everyone feel right at home with comfy staterooms, attentive service, casual and elegant dining, plus a variety of bars and gathering places indoors and out. Guests enjoy this unique experience against the backdrop of some of the world’s most beautiful seaports.
Our 25 ships operate 2- to 16-day voyages, departing from every coast in the U.S., as well as Canada, Puerto Rico and Barbados. While we’re best known for Caribbean cruises, we sail to other exotic and amazing destinations like Mexico, Alaska, The Bahamas, Europe, and Hawaii. Additionally, Carnival Cruise Line Australia has two ships, and offers cruises from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.”
Saving on Carnival Cruises and Any Other Cruises
Vacations can get expensive quickly, especially if you’re bringing the whole family. Cruises are a great way to see the world in an all-inclusive way. Often they port at different places around the world, some just within the U.S., and you can spend time in different countries before heading on to the next one. Saving on these trips is very possible if you approach it strategically. Like with any company based on tourism, there are times that people like to travel more, in which costs are typically higher, and times when things are cheaper, but the experience is still stellar, and maybe even more so because there won’t be as many crowds.
Let’s take a look at some ways that you can save on your next Carnival Cruise (although this applies to any cruise really).
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- Go during the off-season! This is the biggest way to save for almost any vacation. People travel in swarms during specific times: Spring Break, Christmas, summer vacation. Are you able to travel at a different time? You can still enjoy the off-season without worrying about getting caught in a hurricane. Do some research and find when the off-season is for the location that you are traveling, and then compare that with the deals and prices offered with your chosen cruise line. This is a great way to save some big bucks, so if you can swing it, do it.
- Utilize military discounts and other discounts that are offered through the cruise line. Cruises and other all-inclusive type vacations need people to purchase vacations with them to make money. They very successfully encourage this by offering some stellar deals that people have a hard time passing up even when the trip is still costly. To figure out what kind of discount you can receive on your trip through Carnival Cruise, you’ll need to know your travel dates, and most likely the destinations you’d like to travel. After speaking with one of their customer service representatives, they said they don’t offer the military discount on all travel, but do for specific ones. They also said that there isn’t a set amount of savings, that it just depends on the trip. When searching their website, there are pages that show some of the deals that they offer here, but it’s best to speak with a representative to ensure you are getting the best offer.
- Unlike airlines, the best way to get a good deal on a cruise is to book it as close to the date as possible. This requires flexibility, a little spontaneity, and also planning ahead. If this is a busy time that will most likely fill up the ship, you might not get a ticket. But if the boat is half full, they’re for sure going to be cutting prices because they don’t want to set sail with an empty boat.
- Sign up for cruise newsletters as well as daily deals sites that keep an eye on a cheap cruise and other travel packages. This is another useful way of finding when there are sales and deals that you might not find on their website or travel pages. Keep an eye on these, and maybe even use them for ideas on what kind of vacation you want to take next.
- Plan your own off-boat vacations. If you are going to dock at different locations, you can plan what you want to do on your own. Usually, when you opt into different itineraries or tour guides, you have to pay them. Put in your own research ahead of time and plan what you want to do yourself. Cruises can have a lot of costs built-in as they start to become less and less all-inclusive. You can save by eating cheaper, drinking less alcohol and soda, and finding other ways to have fun while setting sail.
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Carnival Cruises are one option for family vacations, or even individual and friend-cations. But Carnival isn’t a completely innocent company. Over the past year, they have agreed to pay tens of millions in fines for improperly disposing of plastics and waste by dumping them into the ocean. This was after their subsidiary, Princess Cruises, had already paid $40 million in fines for prior acts of deliberately polluting the ocean. When booking a cruise, you can always look up the company to ensure that they are using sound business practices that you can get behind.
When planning your next vacation, don’t hesitate to contact the company you are wanting to book a trip with and asking if they offer military discounts. If they don’t offer military discounts, ask them what other kinds of deal they can make with you. Businesses, especially those based on tourism, are usually willing to work with individuals if it means booking the trip right then and there.
Carnival Cruises have an incredible amount of options when it comes to the type of entertainment you want: kid-friendly vacations with game shows, water parks, IMAX theaters, “dive-in” movies, candy shops, and so much more; adult-only vacations with trips to the spa, fancy dinners, and nightclubs. Carnival wants to support the military through discounts, and those discounts can make a trip like this more affordable for those who might not otherwise be able to set sail with their families.