Cruising with a Big Family

Right now I'm booking a couple of families of 6 on Royal Caribbean. This topic comes up frequently enough that I thought it deserved a blog post! Can I get my family of 6 in one room?


Yup. These are the Royal Caribbean room categories that accommodate 6 passengers. They all have approximately the same 337 square feet and the same bedding configuration: 2 upper berths, 1 pull out sofa bed double, 2 twins which convert to a king:

  • 1K: ultraspacious ocean view - deck 2-9 front of ship.

  • 1Q: ultraspacious promenade (window facing the inside of the ship) - upper decks. Has a 7x5 bayview window with seat - a great place to watch the parade!

  • 1R: interior room - lower decks


Left to Right: 1K, 1Q, 1R.


What's the best rate for these rooms?


RCCL has a recurring promo of "pay 2 adults, kids under 12 just pay taxes and fees". **May 15-Aug 31, spring break, usually mid-Feb, and holidays are usually black out dates.


Now, this promo may not be running when you are looking. Or it may not extend to your desired sail dates. However, they run this and other competitive promos several times throughout the year. There are a TON of factors to take into account. So we'd book now, then ask for a re-price when the next "Kids Sail Free", February Wild, or other desirable sale comes out. With a whole year til your sailing, we have time to keep an eye on their Loyalty Always page.


Why should I book before the promo comes out?


Because the 1R/1Q/1K rooms are of very limited inventory. People "in the know" book as soon as the route/fee is published for the dates they want, so they go fast. Booking that way ensures that you get the ship, route, date, and even specific room that you want. It's locked in.


If you wait for a promo to be released, you're kind of competing against people who already locked in their rooms when the route/fees were published. The rooms you want are already at least half booked!


What kind of deals are we talking about?


The trip I'm quoting right now? The fanciest room - the 1K ultraspacious ocean view - is coming in just under $3700 once repriced. That's under 90 bucks per person per night for travel, lodging, food, childcare and entertainment.


Can you cruise even cheaper with a family that size?

  • Can your 2 youngest sleep in cribs (or cosleep)? If so, the absolute cheapest option is booking 2 adjoining 6V triples.

  • If cribs aren't an option, your least expensive option is booking a double with a connecting 3V quad.

Unlike the "1R/1Q/1K rooms" listed above, both of these options would give you 2 bathrooms as well as the use of at least one sofa even when all beds are in use/pulled out.


Can these be repriced as well?


Well, yes, but perhaps not to as good an advantage as the 1R/1Q/1K rooms. Since you pay regular rate on the first two passengers, and "taxes and fees" on additional occupants per room, under the "Kids Sail Free" promo you'd end up paying 4 reg rates and 2 taxes/fees instead of 2 reg rates and 4 taxes/fees. However, another promo such as "second passenger 60% off, subsequent passengers 30% off" may work for you! Why's all this on Royal Caribbean? Can I travel with my large family on other lines? Royal Caribbean is well known to be a top line for family travel, as their ships are equipped with a ton of options so your kids won't be bored halfway through the week. But other ships offer deals as well. Let me know which carrier you prefer, and I'll get it figured out!


Give me a call at 1-800-990-3614 or hello@marionktravels.com and we'll get your large family set up for a memorable vacation you can afford!

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