Years ago, active duty personnel turned to travel offices located on installations in order to book a military discount cruise. In recent years, however, the options for cruises at discount rates for military personnel have increased greatly as travel companies seek to honor today's heroes.
Active Duty Discounts
When a cruise company or travel agency advertises a military discount cruise this usually pertains to active duty personnel. Unless Reservists or National Guardsmen are currently serving on active duty they may not be able to enjoy these discounts unless the company providing the discount accepts non-active military. Retired military personnel are usually not included in these promotions either.
Military personnel will be asked to show proof of service before receiving a discount. Most companies accept an active duty military identification card as sufficient proof of service. If the company extends the discount to military veterans, a DD Form 214 (or a certified copy) should suffice.
Find a Military Discount Cruise
The two best ways for military personnel to find discounts on cruises is to check with ticketing offices located on military installations or by utilizing discounts offered directly through cruise companies.
Tickets and Tours Office
Many military installations have on-site tourism offices that not only act as information sources for local sites and activities, but also offer generous discounts for cruises as well as other tourism activities. Cruise companies distribute these discounts to the various Tickets and Tours offices on military installations, and the offices in turn offer them to the personnel stationed on the base or post.
You may need to request these discounted tickets far in advance, so be sure to check with the Tickets and Tours office of your local military installation as soon as you decide to take a cruise to see what type of reduced price you may be able to get as a small perk for your service to the country.
Direct Discounts from Cruise Lines
Check directly with your preferred cruise line to see if you are eligible for a military discount. Plenty of cruise lines offer generous discounts to military personnel, and some may also offer a payment plan that is interest free and that features very low payments.
If your preferred cruise line does not offer military discounts then you may want to check with other cruise lines because the discount you receive from another cruise line may be substantial enough to merit a switch to another company.
After all, you honor the country with your service; don't you want to deal with a cruise line that honors you with a discount?
There are various times of the year when the public turns their eyes upon the military, and these are some of the best times to look around for a military discount cruise. Merchants of all kinds are eager to advertise specials for military personnel, and cruise lines are usually included in this trend.
Optimum time periods to search for military discounts on cruises include:
- Veterans Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
Check beforehand to see if cruise lines are offering discounts for these holidays because you may need to book in advance. You may not even need to book your actual cruise for these holidays but instead purchase the tickets during the promotion period.
Military Websites and Publications
You may be able to find special discounts on cruises for military personnel advertised on websites or within publications specifically marketed toward military personnel.
Great places to look for advertisements for discount military cruises include:
- Any newspaper or tourism publication published and distributed on your local military base. For example, the Base or Post newspaper may have cruise discount offers featured within its pages.
- Any publication offered to the public, yet marketed specifically to military personnel. Two examples include The Air Force Times and The Army Times. If you're in the Coast Guard, you may find good deals in Coast Guard Magazine.
There are hundreds of websites to choose from which cater to military personnel, such as Military Cruise Deals. You may be able to find a discount cruise offer from a sponsor of one of these websites.