You’re a military family, so many of your vacations come in the form of holiday leave blocks or for pre or post deployment leave. I know I’m not the only one who doesn’t consider ‘going home’ a vacation; it usually winds up being a series of appointments which oftentimes results in family member or friends complaining that they didn’t see you enough.

After years of being guilted and constantly running around, I decided that I wanted to go somewhere I could actually catch a break.

If you haven’t cruised before, I want to introduce you to the possibility.

Now You Can Finally Relax

What if you could go away and didn’t have to worry about cooking a meal? Or there was someone who could watch your kids so you could relax by the pool?  Or go for a walk in the sand in the tropics?


Those are just some of the reasons why I love cruises; everything is built in. We’ve cruised Carnival for years because they are one of the most affordable and kid-friendly cruise lines out there. They are considered a starter cruise line, which means they’re not the most luxurious, but at the end of the day if my child has a meltdown at dinner, I don’t worry about it because it’s the “fun ship”… that’s why we keep going back.

The kids couldn’t get enough of the 24 hour ice cream bar

Your extended family wants to see you, right? Invite them to meet you on the ship. Now you’re not the only one having to fork out the expense of going home, they can pay to play, get a break from daily life, and catch up at the same time. Think about how much easier family reunions could be if you let the cruise lines do all the work!

New this year: Carnival is now offering the Carnival Live Concert Series for all you music lovers, check out some of the concerts are sea this year from REO Speedwagon, Chicago, Trace Adkins, Jewel and more.

Save Some Dough

Take advantage of your military service and cash in on that military discount for active duty, retirees, and card-carrying military spouses. If you’re meeting others on ship, book one room under the military spouse’s name and the other under the servicemembers – win/win. Pass the discount along and maximize your savings.

Take Advantage of Free Childcare

We all need to get a break from our kids but want to know that they’re having a blast as well. My kids have been going to Camp Carnival for years and are actually upset when I pick them up. Camp Carnival’s childcare starts for children ages 2 years and older.

They even have teen and preteen programs on ship as well. They make instant friends and always have an activity prepared from face painting, to a scavenger hunt, to making build-a-bears on ship. If you want to have a night out, they offer special paid late-night babysitting options.

Camp Carnival

Did I mention Camp Carnival is free? When you book your cruise ticket, child care is included at Camp Carnival – and your child’s cruise ticket is usually half of the adults. So let’s say for a week’s vacation the adults are $400/piece…. Your kids may be priced at $200/piece – so that is a $1200+ vacation for a family of four for one week, and includes all your food and entertainment.

If you still think that’s a lot of money, think about how much you’re spending on gas, hotels and meals just in getting home alone. Then what are you spending once you get there? Maybe it’s not an even trade, but knowing that you’re getting an actual vacation may make spending a bit more money that much easier.

What’s Included in a Cruise?


Included in your cruise price is food, beverages including iced tea, water, coffee, hot tea, juice and more. The entertainment is free as well, so you can dance your heart away with a live band, or see a show.Cruises have many options and upgrades from the type of room you book, to where you book on the ship. The higher the floor, the higher the price. We always choose inside cabins because we don’t want the light bothering us for naps or early mornings; it also happens to be a less expensive cabin as well.

Pages: 1 2