Visit our travel agent friends at MEI Travel

Royal Caribbean Kids Sail Free 2024-2026 Dates & Tips

05 Sep 2023
Matt Hochberg

Kids Sail Free is a promotion Royal Caribbean offers from time to time on select sailings that are usually a great vacation discount.  Throughout the year, Royal Caribbean will offer Kids Sail Free deals as a way to encourage new bookings. 

 In this post, we will cover information about the promotion, tips for booking it, and offer answers to frequently asked questions.

For starters, Kids Sail Free is an offer Royal Caribbean offers selectively throughout the year.  It is not available all the time and there is no way to know exactly when it will be offered again. 

We always post new cruise promotions on this site, so be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for notifications when a new Kids Sail Free promotion begins.

What is Kids Sail Free promotion?

Kids in splashaway Bay

The exact offer details may vary, but Royal Caribbean's Kids Sail Free offers are usually consistent in their basics. Third guests and higher who are 12 years old or younger on select 4 nights or longer sailings are eligible for free cruise fare.

The "catch" with a Kids Sail Free deal are the blackout dates that prevent you from booking the promotion.

There are usually many blackout dates associated with any Kids Sail Free offer, which means if your cruise begins on or in any of the blackout dates, the Kids Sail Free offer does not qualify. Not surprisingly, most of the black out dates are over major school holidays in the United States calendar year. 

Here are some sample blackout dates from past Kids Sail Free offers:

  • Spring break sailings departing March 8, 2024 – March 22, 2024
  • Holiday sailings departing December 20, 2024 – January 3, 2025
  • Easter sailings departing March 22, 2024 – April 4, 2024

Kids Sail Free dates

Family eating ice cream in Boardwalk

Last updated April 2, 2024

Royal Caribbean is offering Kids Sail Free in April 2024.

The offer runs on bookings made between applies to new bookings made between April 2 – May 1, 2024 on sailings 3 nights and longer departing from May 2, 2024 – April 25, 2026.

It provides $0 cruise fare for additional guest 12 years old and younger as of Offer Cruise departure date booked in the same stateroom as the first full far paying and second guests. 

Kids Sail Free excludes all sailings departing on or during any of the following dates November 22, 2024 – November 29, 2024; November 20, 2025 – November 28, 2025; December 20, 2024 – January 3, 2025; December 18, 2025 – January 6, 2026, March 8, 2024 – March 22, 2024; March 7, 2025 – March 28, 2025; March 6, 2026 – April 9, 2026, March 22, 2024 – April 4, 2024; April 12, 2025 – April 24, 2025, May 22, 2024 – August 30, 2024; May 22, 2025 – August 29, 2025 and Radiance Alaska Cruise Tour sailings departing May 17, 2024 – September 13, 2024; May 16, 2025 – September 12, 2025. 

Taxes, fees, and port expenses are additional and apply to all guests.

How often does Royal Caribbean offer Kids Sail Free?

There is no pattern to how many times a year or when the offer will become available.

Kids Sail Free is usually available a few times throughout the year. In fact, Royal Caribbean has been offering Kids Sail Free deals far more regularly than ever before.

Is it really free?

Assuming your kids qualify for the deal, their cruise fare cost will be zero.

You are still responsible for paying for the taxes and port fees associated with the children, along with any other charges onboard.  But if you look at the cruise invoice, their cruise fare will be zero. 

Kids stuck at home? Check out these Royal Caribbean coloring sheets! | Royal Caribbean Blog

Like all guests, a daily gratuity will be charged per passenger, including the kids.

Be sure to check the fine print before booking to understand exactly the full price of the cruise.

When comparing prices, it is critical to compare the exact cabin type to each other. 

Royal Caribbean's Junior Suites: What you need to know | Royal Caribbean Blog

Often, people will look at the price of a cabin designed for two people and then increase the amount of people in the cabin to four people, and get a different cabin category.

The easiest cabin category to see how much money Kids Sail Free can save are suites because most suites can accommodate up to 4 people all the time. Not to mention the per-person savings in a suite will be significantly higher than in lower cabins.

Kids Sail For Less

Best reader tips for having fun with kids on a cruise | Royal Caribbean Blog

In addition to the Kids Sail Free offer, Royal Caribbean may also offer the Kids Sail For Less offer, which is typically 25-30% off cruise fare for third guests and higher booked in the same stateroom as the first two qualified guests.

The primary advantage of Kids Sail For Less is there are no blackout dates associated with Kids Sail For Less.  This means if you have a couple of kids in your stateroom, you receive a discount on them. 

Moreover, Kids Sail For Less often does not have age restrictions in place, so really any guest of any age who is a third guest, fourth guest, fifth guest, et al in the same stateroom as the first two guests can get a discount.

Is Kids Sail Free a lie?

A common question asked is when comparing prices, adding kids to a reservation in order to take advantage of a Kids Sail Free offer ends up increasing the overall price.

The reason why this occurs is when you select a cabin for two passengers, the system assigns you a stateroom designed just for two guests. When you add kids, it selects a different stateroom that is larger in living space so it can accommodate four people.

The vast majority of cabins on a cruise ship can only sleep two people.  Because they are plentiful, there is more supply, and higher supply means lower prices.  

Generally speaking, cabins that can sleep more than two people are fewer in supply.  There are not nearly as many, so they are in demand, they sell out quicker and that demand drives up the rate.  

If you were to compare booking a cabin as if everyone in your party was an adult and then compare that to two adults plus kids, you would see the price difference.  Only then is it apples-to-apples.  

Matt started Royal Caribbean Blog in 2010 as a place to share his passion for all things Royal Caribbean with readers. He oversees all the writers at Royal Caribbean Blog, and writes a great deal of content on a daily basis.  He has become one of the foremost expert on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Over the years, he has reached Pinnacle Club status with Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program.

Get our newsletter

Stay up-to-date with cruise news & advice

    We never share your information with third parties and will protect it in accordance with our Privacy Policy