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Deal of the day: Caribbean cruise on the cheap from New Orleans includes perks

What: Just two days remain to book a seven-night Caribbean cruise on Norwegian Spirit beginning at $399 that includes a $25 onboard credit, $50-$100 for using an American Express card, 15% off shore excursions, an onboard savings book valued at $200 and reduced rates for third/fourth passengers ($199-$249) in a cabin.

Where: Norwegian Spirit sails from New Orleans with stops in Honduras, Belize, Costa Maya and Cozumel.

When: Travel dates are November 28, December 5 or 12, 2010, but must be booked by the end of Friday, June 11, and is available only through Travelocity.

The fine print: The advertised rate does not include taxes and fees, which for a $399 inside cabin pushes the price to $498.28 per person. Rates are higher for oceanview and balcony cabins.

Alternative thinking: Not feeling New Orleans? This $399 deal also applies to Norwegian Cruise Line sailings out of Miami to the Caribbean and New York to the Bahamas on select dates.

Travelers think: Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Norwegian Cruise Line marches to its’ own beat with “freestyle cruising,” especially in dining options where guests can choose when and with whom they dine. And the truth is, most other major cruise lines have added an “anytime” dining option to their ships over the last few years based on the desires of guests.

Getting there from Nashville: The current cheapest available flight to New Orleans is $415 on American Airlines with a three-hour layover in Dallas. Southwest has yet to release dates for November or December. However, why bother flying when The Big Easy is an eight-hour drive from Nashville. Come in a day early and sample some of that Cajun cuisine before you sail the next day.

Bottomline: If you’re looking for a cheap cruise within easy driving distance of Nashville, and you love the appearance of a bargain with onboard credits, coupon books and excursion discounts, then book this cruise.

For information: Click here to book through the Travelocity website, or call 877-815-5446 to book by phone.

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