Spring brings a slew of special deals for families wanting to relax, recharge and regroup with their peeps
Keep calm. It’s almost spring break.
The upcoming school holiday — a little later in some districts this year because religious holidays with which they sometimes coincide don’t occur until early to mid-April — is a good time to embark on a family adventure.
Whether you’re looking for a blast of sunlight to recharge your batteries or a chance for some outdoor fun, trips for spring break (or for those districts that end their year early also represent a savings because they fall in the “shoulder season” — that is, outside the more popular and usually more expensive summer season.
Long Beach resident Anne Johnson had the family in mind when she chose a spring break cruise for her daughter and three grandchildren, ranging in age from 7 to 13.
They weren’t disappointed after hopping aboard Disney Cruise Line’s Fantasy in Port Canaveral, Fla., for a week-long sail that took them to the Cayman Islands and Cozumel, Mexico.
“It was really well done,” Johnson said. “There was plenty for everyone to do — lots of things to keep the kids happy and adults-only areas to keep the adults happy.”
Cruise lines make things easy for parents and grandparents, said Bob Levinstein, chief executive of CruiseCompete, which helps travelers compare fares from multiple agencies.
“Book your cruise, pick some shore excursions, and your travel planning is largely done,” he said. “Unpack once; all of your food and entertainment options are there.”
Another plus: “There’s time together and time apart,” Levinstein added. “Cruise lines have professionally staffed kids clubs for various ages where they can make friends their own age in a summer camp-kind of atmosphere.”
It isn’t too late to book a cruise this spring. Among the options, including several sailing from Southern California ports:
— A five-day Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, getaway with Princess Cruises that will take you from the Port of Los Angeles (San Pedro) to the tip of Baja, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Gulf of California. For departures April 15 or 24, rates start at $499 per person, based on double occupancy. Add two kids, sharing the same stateroom, for $139 each.
— Looking for a shorter trip? A four-day Princess getaway from the Port of Los Angeles sails to Ensenada, Mexico, and Santa Barbara on April 20. It’s also $499 per person, double occupancy, with two kids in the same room for $99 each.
— You also can set sail from Long Beach this spring on a three-day, four-day or weeklong trip to Mexico aboard Carnival ships. The shorter cruises are available throughout the spring, visiting Ensenada on three-day trips or Ensenada and Santa Catalina on four-day cruises.
Rates for a family of four in an inside cabin start at $675, plus government fees and taxes
The weeklong Carnival cruise will take you to Cabo San Lucas and the Mexican Riviera city of Puerto Vallarta. On both the March 4 and April 22 sailings (other dates are available too), rates start at $1,616 for a family of four, plus government fees and taxes.
— Disney Cruise Line also has some West Coast trips, scheduled later this spring, sailing from the Port of San Diego. On April 27, May 4 or May 11, you could take a two-day Baja trip; with four people sharing an inside stateroom, rates start at $2,053.
— A five-night San Diego to Vancouver, Canada, cruise on Disney departing May 17 starts at $3,737 for four sharing an inside cabin, or $3,937 for an ocean-view cabin, or $5,047 if you decide to splurge on a balcony room.
Disney also has frequent sailings from Florida to the Caribbean, as do several other cruise lines, including Celebrity.
— Among Celebrity’s spring break deals is a five-day southern Caribbean trip that sails from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, St. Martin and St. Kitts on March 27. Rates begin at $699 a person, double occupancy, for an ocean-view room or $2,696 for a family of four in a veranda room.
Other dates and ports of call are available.
To learn more, contact the cruise line or your travel agent.
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