Even with a sluggish economy and dismal unemployment numbers, we all need to get away now and then.  You may not be considering a cruise vacation because you think it is going to be way too expensive for you and your family to afford, but once you see what is included with these cruises you might change your mind.

Just to fly to a tropical location and pay for hotel reservations and food, it is going to cost you well over $3,000.   So what’s so great about cruise ships?  Kids can cruise for free.  Not every cruise line offers free passage for children, but there are a number of cruise lines that do.  These include: MSC Cruises, Disney, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Costa Cruises, and a few others.  The cruise lines that do charge for children offer discounted rates as well, so it’s not nearly as expensive as you may think.

If you were to try to plan a vacation to the same tropical islands that a cruise ship sails to, there is no way you could do it for cheaper than a cruise line, especially when you factor in the cost of food and lodging.

So what is included in the far of your cruise ship?  Besides getting as much food as you can eat, and being able to eat whenever you feel like it, you are able to see entertaining shows, play games, go mini-golfing, watch movies, play ping-pong, and much much more all for free.  Not all of the drinks will be free, however.  On most cruise lines you will have to pay for soda or alcohol, but other drinks like water, tea, and juice will be free.

When you consider that on a cruise ship you don’t have to pay any extra for lodging, food, entertainment, or travel, it really is a great deal.  Just to pay for the food for a family of 4 for a week could cost you as much as $750 for three meals a day.  But on a cruise ship you can eat 7 times a day if you feel like it and it won’t cost you a dime more.  Sometimes the most stressful part about a vacation is the trip to and from it.  But with a cruise vacation you can actually enjoy the trip to your tropical island.

I have seen prices as low as $300 a person for a 7 night cruise to the Caribbean.  If you are willing to cruise in the late fall you can get even better deals, as this is considered off season for the cruise industry, since kids are just starting school then.  You can also find a great deal by choosing to go on a last minute cruise.  These cruise ships need to fill every room in order to make as much profit as possible, and they are willing to offer basement prices in order to get someone in a room that was empty.

The kids will have a blast aboard the cruise ship as well.  Most cruise lines offer free games and activities just for the kids, so you can go off and have fun with your partner as your kids enjoy some playtime.  For those mothers with small children, there is also a nursery aboard most ships that will take care of your child for you.  There is an hourly fee associated with these babysitting services, but it can be well worth it for some alone time.

There are so many fun things to do on a cruise ship that are completely free.  You don’t have to pay for anything extra once you get aboard the boat, so just enjoy all of the free amenities your cruise ship has to offer your family.

Jon is a writer for a cruise vacation tips website that has more tips and advice on going on cruises and saving money,  You can check it out at www.Cruisefever.net.