Cruising for deals: the Best vacation discounts for active military and veterans

Those who serve in the military and retired government employees deserve a real vacation where they can kick back, relax and sail to paradise– without breaking the bank. This summer, several cruise lines are offering special discounts for the brave men and women who work tirelessly for the protection of the USA.

Whether you want to sail on the turquoise waters of the Caribbean or explore the unspoiled beauty of Alaska, here are some of the best deals that are only to those who serve:

Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival makes it easy to find and book special rates for both active and retired military. With the help of an online calendar, travelers can view available dates, destinations and the start of the military rates. Vacation packages start at just under $300 for a four-day Caribbean cruises from Miami or Charleston, S. C.

Military cruisers can also receive a discount required deposit of just $49. Some Carnival cruises also allows military personnel to transfer to the other three cabins for the same price as an upgrade of the room location free of charge.


Disney Cruise Line

Military families or grandparents traveling with children and grandchildren want to opt for a Disney cruise. Disney’s family-favorite cruise line, travel to the Caribbean, Alaska, Europe, the Panama Canal and other destinations, and offers a military rate on certain cruises.

The discounted rate is extended to all retired and active military– or their spouses– but it is limited to one room per person. The eligible person or the spouse, on the cruise to receive the rate. To see cruises that offer military discounts, please visit

Princess Cruises

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The Ruby Princess sails to Alaska.

(Courtesy Princess Cruises)

In place of a reduced rate, those who serve will receive money back on a Princess cruise, any time of the year. Eligible passengers veterans, as well as active, retired or disabled military members, may hundreds to spend on board, based on the time at sea.

Eligible cruises will receive $ 50 spending money for cruises of six days or less, $100 for seven to 13-day cruises or $250 for cruises 14 days or longer. The money can be used to dine on board the ship, spa treatments, gifts and souvenirs, or excursions for guided tours of one of the ship’s destinations.

The Victory Chimes

For a more intimate experience, the Victory chimes, a National Historic Landmark, ship, welcomes military personnel and veterans to sail along the coast of Maine aboard their 40-person historic schooner with a 25 percent discount.

On their three – and six-day cruises, passengers are not only learning how to help sail the ship, but they will explore Maine landscapes, wild animals and the many fishing villages along the way. The Victory Chimes is the largest passenger schooner in the USA, and the image is to be seen on every Maine state quarter.

Royal Caribbean International

Fans of Royal Caribbean can enjoy a military rate on selected sailings all over the world. The cruise line offers a discount, which varies per route, both for active military and veterans. There are specific identification and other requirements available for review on but the military rate is also available for each guest to the eligible individual stateroom.


Membership Discounts

The accession to the programmes designed for the military can also the net-deals on cruises (among other types of vacations) and make the booking easier. Veteran Advantage of, for example, is a $60 per year to the program for active and retired military personnel who are pre-members are eligible, and works with companies to offer discounts for them. The program offers deals on many different cruise lines, including Holland America, Windstar, Norwegian Cruise Line and Regent Seven Seas. Members can book through the Veteran the Benefit website to secure the special rates.

Alternately, the soldiers who are members of USAA, which provides financial services for retired military and who are currently serving, have access to a variety of travel benefits. These include special deals with all major cruise line plus river cruises in the U.S. as Avalon, Viking and Celebrity Cruises. USAA spokeswoman Rebecca Nelson tells Fox News that they even guarantee members get the best cruise possible price.



Lyn Mettler is an Indianapolis, Ind.-based travel writer. She is the author of The Step-by-Step Guide to Earning Your Southwest Companion Pass. You can find her on or on Twitter via @GotoTravelGal.