5 Ways Cruise Lines Appreciate Military Members


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The Cruise Lines International Association is celebrating the US military men and women this Veterans Day, by highlighting travel discounts and appreciation programs just for them.

From discounted booking rates, to onboard spending money and more, here are some special offers that cruise lines offer in their armed services benefit programs:

1. Booking Deals and Discounts

There are lots of awesome cruise deals to be had that are available year-round to active duty and veterans year-round.  For example, Disney Cruise Line offers special military rates on a range of select sailings that changes weekly, so there’s always a chance to get a great deal.

2. Extra Cash

Many lines offer extra spending money to service members to further enhance their cruise vacation.  For example, Princess Cruises offers up to $250 of onboard spending money toward amenities and shore excursions for veterans and active, retired, or disabled American and Canadian military personnel.  This offer is applicable to any cruise, any time of year, though the amount varies based on the length of the cruise.  Veterans can also receive up to $250 in onboard credit on a Cunard voyage when they book at least two weeks in advance. Like Princess, the amount varies based on the length of the cruise.

3. Right to Reschedule

Since service terms can be unpredictable, many cruise lines allow military members special refund and rescheduling policies to ensure that they won’t lose out completely if something comes up.  For example, MSC Cruises offers a 100 percent full cruise credit for a future sail date if a member of the military can no longer travel due to redeployment or revocation of leave. MSC also offers a 5 or 10 percent discount on the cruise, depending on the category of stateroom booked.

4. Civilian Companion Discounts

Service members can also enjoy benefits with their family and friends. Many cruise lines offer compliments to civilian travel companions as well. Royal Caribbean, for example, allows spouses of actively deployed military personnel to book one stateroom if the eligible spouse is occupying them, with discounted rates applying to everyone in that room. Spouses of deceased military members are also eligible for the special rate.

5. Special Deals and Service

Many cruise lines offer even more deals and discounts to service members in recognition of special holidays, such as Veterans Day. Carnival Cruise Line is celebrating Veterans Day this year by offering a discounted Early Saver rate to service members with 2 for 1 deposits, $50 onboard credit, and stateroom upgrades. This deal ends today, November 12, 2018.

Whether traveling alone, with fellow service members, or civilian loved ones, veterans and troops can also take advantage of a myriad of benefit programs and cruise deals by using a cruise travel agent.

Original article published in 2016. Updated and republished on November 12, 2018. 

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