Take a breath and close your eyes. Imagine warm Caribbean waters, the soft, rhythmic ping of steel drums, and warm sand between your toes.
No, don’t open your eyes…don’t do it.
No, no, you’re right. It’s winter and we’ve got work to do. But at some point we need a break, a chance to get away, right? And there is no better way to say goodbye to the winter work day doldrums than planning a warm, tropical getaway. Or maybe sightseeing across Europe is more your thing.
Either way, there is no better way to step away from the strain and drain of our everyday lives than on the gleaming white decks of a cruise ship. Better still, is planning that trip knowing a military discount is going to stretch your vacation dollars even further.
Wondering which cruise lines offer the best military discounts? Here are 8 cruise lines to check out.
Military travelers on Carnival can snag a discount of $25 to $250 (up to 20% off) per person over regular rates.
However, not all discounts are available all the time on all cruises.
Peak season and holidays might make it difficult to land a discount, so if you can, try booking during off-season for additional savings. Carnival often offers even better discounts for Memorial Day and Veterans Day, so if you can, plan ahead for those dates.
Discounts are available to active duty, Reserve, and National Guard personnel along with retirees, cadets, honorably discharged veterans, and surviving spouses of eligible service members. Discounts are given on rooms in which the eligible service member will occupy. However, Carnival will offer periodic discounts that allow for additional cabins to be booked at the discounted rate.
To get the military discount, eligibility must be met by providing a copy of enlistment papers, military ID or current LES, DD-214.
Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean offers various discounts throughout the year, but not all discounts are available on all bookings. Typically military discounts are given off specific cabin types and specials such as onboard credit during special military affiliated holidays and Military Appreciation Month.
Discounts are offered to active duty personnel, members of the National Guard or Reserves, honorably discharged veterans, retirees, medically retired service members, and surviving spouses of eligible service members. Any discounted rate will be given to all travelers occupying the same cabin as the eligible service member, but the discount may not be extended to other rooms.
A valid military ID will be required to prove eligibility for the discount.
MSC offers one of the most consistent discounts, with military discounts available on almost all bookings. Discounts include: 10% off balcony, suite, and MSC Yacht Club staterooms and a 5% discount on interior and ocean view rooms. MSC also offers the ability to book multiple rooms so you can enjoy your trip with extended family and friends, all at the discounted rate. Plus, kids who are ages 11 and under cruise for free!
MSC offers their military discounts to active and retired service members, plus members of the National Guard and Reserves. A valid military ID must be presented to demonstrate eligibility.
A long-time friend to military travelers, Disney Cruise Lines offers military discounts on select bookings. Special military rates are available to all retired and active personnel, and members of the National Guard and Reserves (with some restrictions).
The discount is limited to one stateroom per military member per sailing. Active duty and retirees must provide valid military ID to qualify. Members of the National Guard and Reserves must provide copy of orders of activation dated no later than January 1 of the previous year to qualify for the discount.
Norwegian & Holland America
On occasion, Norwegian and Holland America will extend a military discount. So if they offer the trip you’ve been dreaming of, check with your travel agent or the cruise line directly for any available military discounts.
As their way of saying thank you to those who serve, Princess offers up to $250 in on-board spending. The military reward offered depends on the length of the cruise booked. Sailings of 6 days or less earn $50, 7 to 13 days earn $100 and if you are lucky enough to book a 2-week trip or long, you’ll receive $250 to spend on board.
Active duty service members, along with honorably discharged veterans and retirees are eligible to receive the spending cash and this reward may be claimed twice per calendar year and combined.
A valid military ID or other proof of service documentation, such as a DD-214, is required and travelers will need to apply for eligibility no less than 2 weeks prior to departure date.
Celebrity offers select rates throughout the year for active duty, National Guard, Reserves, honorably discharged veterans and retirees. Military ID or other proof of service is required during departure check-in.