For the cruise industry, January and February is wave season, when travelers plan their vacations for the year. Translation: Cruise companies offer up deals and incentives to entice you to book early. We looked at the latest offerings from the biggest cruise lines to pull out some of the best deals for the 2013 wave season. (Note that all prices are per person and based on double occupancy. Taxes and fees may be additional.)
Remember your cruise budget is not the cost of your cabin; it often doubles or triples that expense through onboard spending. Plan ahead and save $100 to $1,000 on your cruise experience.
Hot or Cold Options with Royal Caribbean
If you’re looking for a quick getaway, Cruise Deals has a 4-night Bahamas Cruise that starts at $75 a day, or $349 for an oceanfront cabin, departing on February 18 through February 22. Then, check off a bucket-list adventure and avoid the peak summer crowds when you head to Alaska. Cruise Critic spots a 7-night Alaska cruise departs on May 24 with rates starting at $649, plus you may also be eligible for prepaid gratuities and onboard credits.
You’ll find savings at the tail end of winter with Carnival. Deals abound on their West Caribbean route which hits Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cancun. Cruise Brothers found options that include a 7-night West Caribbean cruise departing February 17 starting at $489, a 7-night West Caribbean cruise with Carnival departing March 23 prices starting at $659, and a 7-night South Caribbean cruise with Carnival departing February 24 starting at $619.
Take a Vacation with Celebrity
For a real break, sail the West Coast with stops up and down California. Cruise Critic highlights a 9-night West Coast cruise with Celebrity departing May 6 starting at $849 for outside cabin, includes complimentary beverage package for two, free upgrades, and up to $250 in onboard credit. If you’re looking to travel soon, on March 16, you can take a 7-night South Caribbean cruise with rates starting at $549, book through Cruise.com to receive up to $75 onboard credit. Upgraded cabins receive prepaid gratuities.
There are some interesting routes and discounts on offer if you book early with NCL. This fall the cruise line has leaf-peeping packages that take you from Boston up to Quebec or from New York to the Bay of Fundy. Rates start at $599 for a 5-night New England cruise departing on September 13 from Boston or take a 5-night Canada and New York cruise on September 28 for rates as low as $499.
Off-Season European Savings with Costa
The value soars when you hit the Mediterranean in the off season. If you’re ready to hit the road now, you’ll find rates that start at under $58 per person, per night for a 12-night Mediterranean cruise with Costa departing February 8. Cabins start at $699 for the trip.
For more travel deals, check out:
- Travel Deals: Top Spots for Healthy Living
- Travel Deals: Big Discounts for January Skiing
- Our Daily Travel Deals and Travel Deals archives
- The Budget Travel section
By Steven Knight for PeterGreenberg.com