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Western Caribbean Cruise!
January 3-10, 2016
Final Payment Date: October 20, 2015

UPDATE: Royal Caribbean cancelled our original cruise for January 2015, so we're shifting forward one year (same ship, same itinerary) to get the best prices, amenities, and discounts.

What we're doing...
We're cruising the Western Caribbean for seven nights on Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas! We'll depart Port Canaveral, Florida on Sunday, January 3 and will visit Labadee, Haiti; Falmouth, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico before returning home to Port Canaveral on Sunday, January 10.

As long as we meet our group minimum, we'll get a $100 per stateroom onboard credit, plus our own group space for dinner each night (5:30 pm). After the first day, we'll be able to sit at any table within our reserved section each night. (So when the kids make friends and want to sit together at meals, they'll be able to!)

Cost and what's included...
Cost will vary depending on the stateroom you choose, number of people in the stateroom, the deck you're on, etc. However, I've reserved a block of balcony and inside staterooms for us (all are on decks with no public spaces above or below so we won't have to deal with the noise). If you choose one of those I've reserved, the price will be:

Inside Stateroom
$662 each for 1st and 2nd passengers, and $622 each for 3rd and 4th passengers in the same stateroom (includes taxes and fees)

Balcony Stateroom
$962 each for 1st and 2nd passengers, and $772 each for 3rd and 4th passengers in the same stateroom (includes taxes and fees)

Family Staterooms
These are great for families of 5 or 6, and are a bargain compared to the expensive suites. They're larger (around 300 square feet), but don't have a balcony. I can't hold these for our group, and they tend to go fast, so register as soon as possible if you want one and I'll book them for you. You must have at least five people in your party to book these.

Here are the rates for the Family Staterooms:

Family Ocean View
$1100 each
for 1st and 2nd passengers, and $672 each for 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th passengers in the same stateroom (includes taxes and fees)

Family Promenade Stateroom
$1023 each for 1st and 2nd passengers, and $622 each for 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th passengers in the same stateroom (includes taxes and fees)

Family Inside Stateroom
$968 each for 1st and 2nd passengers, and $622 each for 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th passengers in the same stateroom (includes taxes and fees).

If you want a balcony and you're a family of 5 or more, consider getting a balcony stateroom and an inside stateroom across the hall for the rest of your party. The "inside" passengers can still enjoy your balcony, but the cost of their cabin is less. If you prefer side-by-side staterooms (whether inside, ocean view, or balcony), I'll book connecting staterooms for you if they're available. The earlier you book, the better chance you'll have of getting connecting rooms.

The prices above (except for the Family Staterooms) reflect a group discount off the normal fare. Any other discounts you're qualified for (past passenger, etc.) can be applied on top of the group discount. Not all stateroom types offer a group discount.

The prices above don't include pre-paid gratuities of $84 per person. This is required for our group if you want to participate in our round-robin dining arrangement.

Read this to find out what food, drinks, and activities your cruise fare includes (and doesn't include).

Most cruise lines limit the total number of children on each sailing, and have a limited number of staterooms with 3rd and 4th passenger berths. Since Freedom of the Seas is a big ship, we shouldn't run into problems with these limits, but I wanted you to know, just in case this becomes an issue.

Deposit and Final Payments...
A deposit of $500 per stateroom will be due when I book your rooms. Final payments will be due by October 20, 2015. (You can mail credit card information to me when you mail the required waiver, or I can call you. Your payment will be to Royal Caribbean, not me.)

Cancellation policy and refunds...
Royal Caribbean's cancellation schedule is as follows:
100% refund through October 20, 2015
October 21 through November 7, 2015: $250 per person forfeited
November 8 through December 5, 2015: 50% per person forfeited
December 6 through December 19, 2015: 75% per person forfeited
December 20 through January 3, 2016: 100% per person forfeited

If we drop below our minimum, we'll lose our discounts, group dining, and $100 per stateroom onboard credit. I'll email updates as we go along to let you know when we reach our minimum.

Your signed registration form and payment acknowledges that you understand and agree with this cancellation and refund policy.

Please don't purchase non-refundable airfare until you're certain you won't need to cancel. You're responsible for your airfare and any cancellation penalties the airlines charge.

Travel insurance that covers trip cancellation is highly recommended. Thoroughly research policies to make sure you can cancel for any reason, and that it covers emergencies and any unforeseen circumstances such as sickness, death of a loved one, and acts of God (natural disasters, etc.). Many suggest using the InsureMyTrip.com website to compare policies and prices, then contacting your top three choices for more information and then to purchase.


Want to go?

Before you register...

Decide on the type of stateroom you want. Here are the different types of staterooms available and the price for the lowest-level stateroom in that category. If you choose a higher deck, or the same style stateroom with a better view, your rate will be higher than what's listed. If there is a group discount for the type of stateroom you want, your price may be lower. Use what you see at the price link as a general guideline to make your choices before you register.

Decide whether or not you want to eat with the group at the 5:30 pm dining, or rather eat at the same time, but separate from the group, or be wait-listed for the 8:00 pm seating (I'll let you know when it becomes available). You also have the option of My Time Dining, where you can make your reservations each day.

Decide whether or not you want to pre-pay your gratuities or have them billed to you automatically when you board the ship. (Pre-paid gratuities are required for group dining and My Time Dining.)

Gather passports (or whatever documentation you plan to use) so you'll have the exact full name to use on the registration. See the Important Things to Know section in the right-hand sidebar for links to information about documentation requirements.

Become familiar with Royal Caribbean's documentation requirements, age requirements, pregnancy policy (if applicable), and other policies before you register. They won't refund your money if you show up at the ship and are non-compliant with their policies.

Your signed waiver and credit card information is due within 7 days of the date I confirm your registration. (I'll send you a confirmation email with payment instructions.)

After you submit the form, you'll receive an automated notification that it posted correctly. This email does not confirm your spots at the event - it just confirms that your registration went through correctly. Please email me if you have any questions or don't receive your automated email within 30 minutes of registering.

To register for this trip, click here.

(I use the same registration form for many of my trips and events. Please make sure you choose the correct event on the form and complete all required fields.)

Important Notes
This cruise will be confirmed as soon as we reach our minimum.



Your signed waiver and credit card information is due within 7 days of my registration confirmation email. Please don't register until you can make your $500 per stateroom deposit.

Important things to know:
Full Legal Names
Required Documents
Ship Information
Itinerary Information
Pregnancy Policy
Age Restrictions
Gratuities
Types of Staterooms
Pricing for different staterooms
Shore Excursions
Weather Info: here and here

Royal Caribbean strongly recommends that all guests travel with a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the end of our cruise.(Read the Required Documents link to find out why.) If you don't already have a passport, start the process early in case you run into problems or delays. (As of mid-April, the processing time is averaging 4 to 6 weeks.) Visit the State Department's passport website for more information, and to find out where to apply for a passport in your local area.

Refunds are not guaranteed. Please read the Cancellation Policy and Refunds section on this page for more information. I have no control over Royal Caribbean's policies.

Travel insurance that covers trip cancellation is highly recommended. Thoroughly research policies to make sure you can cancel for any reason, and that it covers emergencies and any unforeseen circumstances such as sickness, death of a loved one, and acts of God (natural disasters, etc.). Many suggest using the InsureMyTrip.com website to compare policies and prices, then contacting your top three choices for more information and then to purchase.

If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of Carolina Homeschooler, please join my community and ask for references before registering. Don't send money or credit card information to anyone on the internet if you don't trust them.