What is GovX, anyway?
GovX is a military and government employee discount site. In addition to federal employee discounts on brand name products like Oakley, YETI, and Under Armour, GovX also has its own travel discount site, which claims to offer exclusive cruise deals to government workers, military personnel, and first responders. Having been a member of GovX from its inception in 2011, we feel uniquely qualified to offer an unbiased opinion of the types of deals that the site offers. Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF)- GovX can be a great place to discover federal employee cruise discounts, but the discounts offered may not be exclusive to the GovX website, and we can’t conclusively say that GovX can guarantee the cheapest cruise rates. Let’s dive into this a little deeper.
Joining GovX for free
GovX membership is free for a wide variety of people who serve or who have served the United States governments and it’s communities. Here are the categories of professionals who are eligible to be GovX members:
- Military Personnel: This includes those who have served, are currently serving, or have been honorably discharged from the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, National Guard, or Navy. This also includes military spouses and dependents (ages 18-24).
- First Responders: First responders such as police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel.
- Healthcare Workers: Healthcare professionals, including registered nurses; trauma nurses; nurse practitioners; hospital physicians, physician’s assistants (PAs), technicians; and other staff.
- Government Employees: All full-time employees at federal, state and local government agencies.
In order to join GovX, simply visit their registration page and enter your email address. You will then be directed to fill out a registration form where GovX will verify your work affiliation using one of three methods:
- Work Email Address (such as a .gov or .mil address)
- Document Upload (such as DD214; department ID card; pay stub; award certificate; benefits stub; etc.)
- Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) for active military or those who served in the military after 1984
After your account is verified, which usually happens fairly quickly (within a day or two), you will be directed to set up an account and then you can begin to enjoy the benefits that GovX has to offer.
Military and Government discounts galore
The sheer number of different goods and services that GovX offers discounts on is massive and ever-expanding. You can see a complete list of their brand categories here. Here’s just a few highlights of the discounts they offer:
- Lifestyle Brands (including Under Armour; Vuori; Oakley; Garmin; and Brooks Running)
- Outdoor/Hunting/Tactical Gear (including 5.11; Vortex Optics; Benchmade; and Viktos)
- Sporting Event Tickets (including NBA; NFL; MLB; and NHL teams in multiple cities)
- Theme Park Tickets ( including Disney Parks; Busch Gardens; SeaWorld; Universal Studios; and more)
- Concerts and Music Festivals
- Movie Theater Tickets (including AMC and Regal)
- Auto Buying (both new and used vehicles)
And, of course, the reason why most of you are here……
GovX Cruise Discounts
GovX has a “Travel” page that offers deals on hotels, rental cars, and other forms of vacation travel, but, ultimately, the best place to navigate to find their best cruise deals is the GovX Cruise and Vacation Desk site. This site highlights the different cruise lines deals being offered to members and it even has its own search engine for cruises based on date, destinations, and cruise line:
The page looks straightforward enough. You will notice a lot of picture ads and cruise promotions, but our analysis of the site has shown that the majority of these ads are promoting deals that are NOT GovX exclusives, meaning that these promotions are the same deals available to the general public on the cruise line’s website. That’s not to take away from the deals (sometimes they are EXCELLENT), but if you are looking for the best cruise bargains, I recommend comparing the prices being offered to the general public on the cruise line websites along with the deals provided through a GovX search, which is what we will cover next.
The GovX Cruise Search Engine
The GovX cruise search engine is very robust and intuitive to use. You can conduct your search based upon several criteria, including sail dates; departure/return ports; destinations; and cruise lines. The most useful aspect of GovX’s advanced search options is the ability to filter and sort search results by promotions and deals. Want to search only cruises that offer a military discount? There’s a filter for that. Want to only search cruises that offer a Buy One Get One (BOGO) promotion or special group rates? You can do that as well. The screenshot of the cruise search that I conducted on February 4, 2024 highlights how intuitive the search results are. The filters are displayed on the left hand side of the page. The search results also break down cruise prices by date and room type and display helpful icons that show available promotions and discounts for each sailing.
Because the features of GovX cruise search are tailored to maximizing promotions and available discounts to military and government employees, the website is almost always the first place I check when I’m planning a cruise vacation. Once I get a baseline for what the GovX prices are, I can then do some comparative analyses to make sure that the GovX price is the cheapest price I can find. Since GovX offers discounts that are exclusive to its members, you might be tempted to think that GovX is the only site you will ever have to visit for future travel. Which leads me to my next point……
Does GovX always have the cheapest cruise rates?
Realists understand that it’s dangerous to throw around terms like always or never. This rings true when it comes to cruise planning as well. Finding the best cruise rate for your next cruise vacation is never as simple as searching one source and saying “Yep, that’s the best I’m going to be able to find”. If you’ve been to our site before, you probably know that we are huge fans of Expedia for finding cruise deals. This doesn’t mean, however, that you should only check prices with Expedia when you book. Shop around and compare prices. Check Expedia, GovX, and a travel agent so that you have more data to base your decision on. Taking the time to do the research is the ONLY way you can feel confident that you are getting the best deal possible.
We have found spectacular deals on cruises with GovX in the past. Other times, however, Expedia has ended up having the best discounts. Sometimes that just the way things work. A general promotional cruise rate may trump a special military and/or first responder discount when the two deals can’t be combined. A travel agent may have access to special cruise perks that are more valuable to you than all the discounts that GovX can offer.
The main reason we are highlighting GovX is to equip you with another tool in your cruise hunting arsenal that is tailored specifically to those who serve. Hopefully, you have as much success with GovX as we have had in the past.
We are huge proponents of GovX membership. No, Fedcruise is not even a GovX affiliate. They didn’t sponsor this post or give us any free stuff to write it. We just like what the GovX offers that much! Even if you never use GovX to book a cruise or any other type of vacation, membership is free and allows military members and federal government employees to unlock a wealth of deals and discounts that you otherwise may not have access to.
If you have used GovX to book cruises in the past and have any feedback, please contact us and let us know about it!