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Do Cruise Lines Hate Big Families?

    Is it impossible for big families to cruise?

    We’ve researched the cruise lines to find staterooms that fit big families.  We know the staterooms exist. So why is it so hard to book these cabins?

    For many ships, the big suites are few in number and book quickly, especially on Disney cruises.  Try to book a large suite through the cruise line’s website, Expedia, or Travelocity and you’ll have trouble searching for more than 4 or 5 passengers.


    View Ships with Large Stateroom and Connecting Cabins


    Princess Cruises will only let you book for four. Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines reports: “The total number of guests per reservation may not exceed four.”  Disney Cruise Lines’ website tells us to: “Choose up to 5 Guests total”.

    Expedia will tell you: “No more than five passengers may be booked at a time.”  Travelocity informs us: “Please note that there is a maximum occupancy of 4 people per stateroom.” Even when we chose a suite we know will sleep 6.

    Only Norwegian Cruise Lines let us search and find results for up to 8.


    Often though, it is cheaper to book 2 staterooms instead of the large suites for your big family. But for some reason, the option to book more than one stateroom is not given in the search process.  Why is this?  If I need more than one hotel room, I am given the option to book it.  Why is the consumer not given the option to book more than one stateroom after choosing the number of passengers?

    Do the cruise lines think booking two staterooms next to each other on a ship just too hard for people to do? Is that why I’m required to call some 800 number to proceed?

    Or if I book online, do I really have to go through the booking process twice to book more than one stateroom?

    Wouldn’t it be convenient to ask how many staterooms are needed after asking the number of passengers? Why is something that seems so simple, so complicated?

    Update – Cruise lines that now allow multiple stateroom bookings online: Carnival allows you to book 3 staterooms, Disney allows you to book 4 staterooms, and RoyalCaribbean allows you to book 4 staterooms.


    Or do the cruise lines just hate big families?  Are we a money losing market? Or a neglected market?


    An update to my big family cruise lament.  Also here’s a post on how Disney Cruise Line allows you to book more than one stateroom.


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    Theresa Jorgensen

    Theresa is the mother of four including twins. She is the owner of SixSuitcaseTravel, a travel site for big families of 5, 6, 7, 8. She enjoys helping other big families build life-long travel memories. Her family's travel bucket list includes Washington, DC (done!), Yellowstone (done!), London, and anywhere in the Caribbean.