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Families of 5

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Starting to look for next summer, the kids will be 2, 8, and 10.  Are we better off with 2 rooms or a room that fits 5?  Any recommendations on boats the hold 5 or the best sites that allow you to search for families of 5, most sites make you call and speak to someone if you have more than 4 people, but I just want to shop around and don't really feel like dealing with making calls.

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Cabins for five are not common.  Carnival has them in Deluxe OV, twin/queen, two uppers and a couch.  Split bath with two showers, two sinks, one toilet.  Most will suggest you book two connecting cabins to have two toilets.  MSC Seaside has groups of connecting cabins (up to three) intended for family groups.  There have been several threads here over the last several years about cabins for groups of five.  EM

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On RC, because there are so few cabins for five we really couldn't take advantage of the kids sail free promo they had recently.  It would cost almost the same to have a minisuite as a balcony plus interior room, and you get a lot more room plus a bathroom if you chose two cabins close together.  It's frustrating, but you do need to call to price out the options, especially if you are dealing with a kids sail free situation.

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Unfortunately, there are very few cabins for five, and the few there are do require you call.

 

Personally, I probably would do 2 cabins.

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We're doing two cabins, but I think it depends on the age and maturity of the kids. We're comfortable having all the kids in a separate room at their ages, so we'll do that -- we did upgrade them to an ocean-view knowing that they'd have issues with the darkness of an inside. We priced out a suite, but with five even with the kids sail free promotion, it was about half again as expensive as two separate cabins. 

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I would also base your decision on whether or not you can trust the kids to be in their own room (or at least the older two) or not.  We were going to do that for our next cruise, and had one booked that way on Liberty of the Seas.  When we decided to sail on Harmony of the Seas, the two cabin option was no longer anywhere near affordable, so we ended up booking a balcony for 5, I believe it’s a 1A.  We had previously been in a Promenade Family on Freedom of the Seas.  The cabin was plenty large, and our kids at that time, were about the same age as yours are now.  We were fine and managed ok with one bathroom.  That particular cabin had a rather large walk in closet, that we also used as a changing room, so we ended up having two private places to change clothes.

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NCL’s newer ships have them, but you have to call. We are a family of 7, we get connecting cabins, I’ve always have had to call to book.

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I would book 2 connecting cabins....kids in one, adults in the other.  The connecting door give immediate access...they'll be closer there than they are in their bedrooms at home.  Keeps their messes out of your space, too!  

 

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NCL's newer ships have family oceanview cabins that hold 5 and are significantly larger than a regular oceanview or balcony cabin. They are kind of like mini suites without the balcony.

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RCI has ultra spacious ocean view rooms.  These have the king bed, a set of bunk beds, and a pull out sofa.  They do sell pretty quickly, but keep an eye out for them.  Our family of 4 had one on our last sailing and loved it.  One thing though, if you get two rooms, this will give you two bathrooms. This could be beneficial with five people.

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We took our first cruise last summer on the Allure of the Seas and lucked out with the kids sail free promo for the last week in May (no longer a kids sail free option). We booked a suite and got it for about $750/person. It worked out really well. We had a rollaway bed, the couch in one area and the king size bed in another separated by a curtain at night. We booked really late and there were no connecting rooms left and our kids ranged from 6-11. I was not comfortable having them in a separate room.

 

Our next cruise will be next February on Carnival Vista. We got two connecting rooms for about 40% less than what I paid on RC. My kids will be 13, 9, and 8. Of course I won't be in a suite this time, but we honestly were not in the room but to change and sleep. We also priced some of the 5 person family rooms on this ship and I would have payed more than booking two connecting rooms. 

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15 minutes ago, LSUMom10312 said:

We took our first cruise last summer on the Allure of the Seas and lucked out with the kids sail free promo for the last week in May (no longer a kids sail free option). We booked a suite and got it for about $750/person. It worked out really well. We had a rollaway bed, the couch in one area and the king size bed in another separated by a curtain at night. We booked really late and there were no connecting rooms left and our kids ranged from 6-11. I was not comfortable having them in a separate room.

 

How many bathrooms with toilets did your suite have?

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I was able to book an outside oversize family cabin online on RCCL Serenade (#8002).  Sleeps 6 with one bathroom:  regular 2 twin or 1 king bed; sofa bed for 2 and small separate room with twin bunks.  We're using it for the 3 of us - it was cheaper than a balcony and MUCH cheaper than a suite, but with lots of space.  Limited in number though, so they go quickly.  

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We are a family of 5.  if you look at my signature you can see all the cabins that have cabins for 5...except on carnival we did two connecting cabins...though they do have oceanview family cabins.  

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We'll be a family of 5 on our upcoming cruise (myself & hub, 2 kids, and grandma). We are booked on RCI Liberty of the Seas in an Ultra Spacious Ocean View (category 1K). It has one royal kind bed, a pull out which converts into a double, and two pullman bunk beds in their own separate room. Can fit up to 6 guests, but only one bathroom. Still, looks pretty roomy at about 300 sq ft. We'll be in room 8200 because it looks a little bigger than the others and judging by the videos we've seen online, we like the layout. 

Best of luck!

Screen Shot 2019-05-09 at 11.45.28 AM.png

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On 5/6/2019 at 10:15 AM, OCruisers said:

 

How many bathrooms with toilets did your suite have?

Only one, but it was a very large bathroom with a full size tub and two sinks. 

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We are traveling with 3 kids, ages 6, 10 and 14 and chose the two connecting rooms option... two bathrooms was the main reason..  

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Our 3 kids are still quite young so we prefer just one cabin right now. We have managed to book the following directly online without calling:

Family oceanview cabin on Norwegian Getaway, Concierge inside family 2 bedroom on Norwegian Joy and Family Oceanview stateroom on HAL Nieuw Statendam. 

Disney also let's you book a cabin for 5 without calling. RCL doesn't, although they have ultra spacious staterooms and unfortunately on Princess it seems you have to do two cabins.

 

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I would do a balcony with an inside across the hall. Put you and the little one and one other kid in the balcony and your husband and another kid in the inside. When you get on board, IF you feel comfortable, put the 8 and 10 year olds in the inside and you, your hubby and the baby in the inside. You can get extra keys to open both doors and what we did when the kids were your kids ages (9 and 10) is we bough walkie-talkies with a monitor function so that we could set it up in the kids cabin and hear if anything happened. We also set rules for them, which they were good at following. It gave us 2 bathrooms, which was huge!

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We were in an Ultra Spacious Ocean View on the Serenade in July and it was wonderful.  Just three of us, but easily would sleep 6 (two on queen/2 twin beds; 2 in small separate quarters with bunk beds; 2 small people on pull out couch).  Only one bathroom, but really would be great for a family.  Curtains separate all the sleeping areas for a little privacy/darkness and plenty of storage.  Bathroom is small, which could be an issue, but a wonderful value for a family on a budget.  

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Not sure if you are on a budget as well.  We have friends who just booked Holland America 11/17/19 for $2059 for 5 people.   That price includes port fees/taxes but not gratuities.  I have not been on the Statendam, but the price is amazing. Incredibly, it is even cheaper Thanksgiving week.

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We mostly cruise with our 3 kids...3, 7 and 9 now...We are loyal to royal.  We stay in either Ultra Spacious Oceanview, some junior suites fit 5, or the VO or VP cats which all fit up to 6...hope this helps!

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