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Military cruise deals: Save big if you’re a service member, first responder or teacher

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Many cruise lines honor those who serve our country with various year-round discounts. Some cruise lines extend deals beyond active and retired military personnel, offering special rates to first responders, medical personnel and educators.

From onboard credits to a free cruise, here’s a line-by-line list of discounts worth checking out.

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Active and retired U.S. service members can take advantage of a special military discount of $100 off an AmaWaterways river cruise using the code MIL100 at the time of booking. You can also combine the discount with other promotions or offers.


Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Venezia Heroes Bar
The Heroes Tribute Lounge on Carnival Venezia. CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

Active and retired military members receive discounted cruise rates, onboard credits and reduced deposits on Carnival Cruise Line sailings. The line also hosts military appreciation gatherings for service members and their families. Additionally, you’ll find a Heroes Tribute Bar & Lounge aboard several Carnival ships.


Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises offers active and retired U.S. and Canadian military members $25 off bookings of inside and ocean-view cabins and a $100 discount on veranda cabins and above on select sailings. This discount applies to the first and second guests in the same cabin.

The offer applies to select cruises of four nights or longer and excludes Galapagos sailings.


Disney Cruise Line

Active and retired U.S. military members and their spouses receive special rates on select Disney Cruise Line sailings. Prices start at $184 per person per night. The offer is only valid for new bookings and is limited to one cabin per service member per sailing.


Holland America

Active U.S. and Canadian military members and veterans receive a $100 onboard credit per cabin on every new booking of a Holland America cruise. The same discount is extended to educators in the U.S. You can apply the credit to products or services, such as shore excursions, beverages and spa treatments, while on board.

Details: Military discount

Details: Teacher discount

Margaritaville at Sea

Margaritaville at Sea’s popular Heroes Sail Free program offers all active and veteran military, first responders, law enforcement officers and educators in the U.S. a free three-day, two-night cruise to Grand Bahama Island. The offer applies to ocean-view and windowless inside cabins. Any additional cabin guest who does not qualify for the program must pay the standard cruise sailing rate. While the cruise is free, guests are required to pay all port taxes, fees and gratuities.


MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises offers discounted fares to all active and retired U.S. military personnel and family members traveling with them. You can receive a 5% discount on inside and ocean-view cabins, a 10% discount on balcony cabins and suites and a “kids sail free” promotion on select sailings.

Additionally, MSC will not penalize cancellations due to deployment. You will receive a 100% future cruise credit for two years from cancellation (with verification from the commanding officer).


Norwegian Cruise Line

Family enjoying cruise ship

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Military Appreciation Program provides exclusive benefits to U.S. military members, veterans, the National Guard, reserves and their spouses. Members of the program receive a 10% discount on all cruise fares. It’s also combinable with the Free at Sea program, which includes free drinks, Wi-Fi and other perks.

NCL also runs its Giving Joy contest each May during Teacher Appreciation Week. Winning educators within the U.S. receive a seven-day cruise for two.

Details: Military discount

Details: Giving Joy contest

Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises extends up to $250 free onboard spending credit to U.S. and Canadian veterans and active, retired and disabled military personnel. You can apply the credit toward specialty dining, onboard shopping, shore excursions and spa treatments.

Throughout the year, the line also has special promotions for first responders, medical professionals and teachers (no specials were available at the time of publication). Those who qualify can verify their status through Princess’ website and sign up to receive notifications of promotions.

Details: Military discount

Details: First responder and medical professional discount

Details: Teacher discount

Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean offers military rates to active and retired personnel, veterans and their spouses in the U.S. and Canada. The line also extends discounts to police officers (local, state or federal) and firefighters. The discount applies to friends and family members staying in the same cabin as the eligible service member or first responder.

The special rates vary from sailing to sailing, and the best way to access the discount is by booking through a travel agent or booking directly with Royal Caribbean over the phone.


Bottom line

Many of these discounts are minor but are still nice if you want to shave a few dollars off the cost of a cruise vacation. For the best deals in addition to military discounts, do your research, look for sales and compare prices across travel sellers. Enlisting a travel agent to help with vacation planning is another great way to unlock cruise perks and discounts. 

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