A cheap Disney vacation for a family of five is not easy. We chose to go on a Disney cruise with our family of five because we felt it was safe, great for the kids, and it would be an unforgetable trip – and it was.

Many cruiselines claim they are kid-friendly, but I have to say that Disney goes all the way. I had no worries on board the ship with my family. The 10 and 12 year olds walked throughout the ship on their own (no more than 1 hour or so a way from us.)

The Disney line is a premium cruiseline, but with an all-inclusive package – the best on the seas. They have very few add-on costs, your ground transportation and baggage handling is included. All non-alcoholic beverages are included as well, your kids can have soda, milk or juice at the self-serve fountains anytime – no beverage cards needed.

You’ll also find supervised children’s programs on-board for kids 3 to 17: Oceaneer Club (3-7) with activities for 3-4 and 5-7yrs; Oceaneer Labe (8-12) with separate activities for 8- to 9-year-olds and 10- to 12-year-olds;Aloft for the teen hangout.Infants from 3 to 36 months are sat for in the Flounder’s Reef Nursery (this is one of the only fee-based, additional cost you’ll see.)

For a full round up of information about amenities, activities and ship detail visit Disney Cruises

Disney Cruise Line’s options include family staterooms that can sleep up to five; suites that sleep up to seven; and connecting staterooms. Note that all Disney staterooms have split bathrooms (one room has a toilet and a sink, while the other has a bathtub/shower and a sink).

When it comes down to budget my suggestion for cruising with a family of 5 or more is that you should book TWO connecting Category 9 outside staterooms or Category 10 inside staterooms (Categories 11 and 12 do not have connecting staterooms).

The combined price of two connecting lower-category staterooms is often about two-thirds to three-quarters the price of a single Category 4 cabin, and you end up with more space (over 400 square feet total), two full bathrooms, and more privacy.

Make sure to take advantage of the onboard credits that may be available.

Using the right travel agent can save you as much as $200. So booking through a Disney Specialist travel agent is key. It doesn’t cost extra and they can make your trip that much better.

Kids 12 and under sail at 50% off on most 3-, 4- and 7-night sailings through September 5, 2009, with two full-fare guests in the same stateroom. Government taxes and fees are not included.

Two paying passengers must be in the stateroom. You can have up to 3 children in the stateroom at 50% off (if you choose a stateroom with that capacity).

For most dates this offer is good for Category 8 through Category 12 staterooms only. However, select dates have this offer for Category 3 through Category 12 staterooms:

* 7-Night sailing on August 15, 2009 and September 5, 2009
* 4-Night sailing on August 16, 2009
* 3-Night sailing on August 13 and August 20, 2009

This offer applies to new reservations only. No refunds apply to anyone already paid in full and within cancellation penalty period. Anyone outside of the penalty period would have to be rebooked at current rates. Money can be transferred from the existing reservation to the new one. However, you may lose your stateroom and dining time.

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