Summer vacation season officially kicks off on Memorial Day as many travelers take off to warm weather destinations in North America, the Caribbean and around the world. Some have travel plans that have been in place for months or years in advance. Others will wait for summer cruise bargains or simply take off on a whim. This year, more than in the past, a cruise vacation is an extraordinary summer travel value with many cruise lines still offering deep discounts across the board. For those who have stayed away from the normally premium-priced summer cruise season, this summer might be worth taking a second look. Here's a rundown on some outstanding limited-time offers that end or begin this weekend.
Carnival Cruise Lines Upgrade Your Summer
Almost always the low price leader, Carnival Cruise Lines has some summer cruise bargains with budget watchers in mind. This one allows a reduced deposit of just $50 per person with final payment not due until 30 days prior to sailing. So, cash flow? Check. Add that this one gives free upgrades along with low pricing and all of the sudden those who thought a summer vacation was out of reach have hope. Prices for sailings through June 17 start at $299 per person +tax which is good. Even better, pricing during the dead heat of Summer start at $359 per person + tax
Try Before You Buy
Checking prices on the Carnival website is easy and the cruise line will allow consumers to go all the way through the booking process on their own, putting a stateroom on a courtesy hold for 24 hours. Do that first, then turn the idea over to your travel agent.
Norwegian Cruise Line Hot Deals
How about a trip to Bermuda this summer with 7-days priced starting at $449 per person + tax? That's typical of what Norwegian Cruise Line is offering right now on new Norwegian Breakaway, sailing from New York. Typical of Bermuda sailings, this one is two days at sea on the way to the Royal Naval Dockyard on Bermuda's west end then three full days in port. A favorite for golfers, Bermuda has nine championship courses and plenty to do for everyone else too.
Royal Caribbean Short Sailing Onboard Credit Offer
Book a 3-5 night Short Caribbean & Bahamas sailings departing between June 1 - August: 31, 2014 and get
- $25 OBC per stateroom - Interior
- $50 OBC per stateroom - Ocean view / Balcony
- $100 OBC per stateroom - Suite
Not enough? Have kids and like them? Royal Caribbean also has a Fall promo where kids (or anyone who is the 3rd/4th in the same stateroom) sail free promo
Royal Caribbean Fall Kids Sail Free Offer
Also good on 3-5 night Short Caribbean & Bahamas sailings, these departing between September 1 - December 15, 2014. Easy offer: Kids Sail Free - No age restrictions / must be booked as 3/4th guest(s) in a stateroom.
Princess Cruises Regal Princess Inaugural Sale + Alaska On Sale
Not all that long ago, the words "inaugural" and "sale" did not go together at all. Traditionally, inaugural sailings of new ships were premium-priced as cruise fans all wanted to sail 'the new ship'. These days, there are so many new ships that cruise lines use the attention they still draw to highlight the extraordinary value a cruise vacation can bring. Case in point: Deep discounts on new Norwegian Breakaway noted above.
Earlier this week in Regal Princess Sale A Bonus Bargain, we detailed the offer. In a nutshell, guests booking voyages five days or less on Regal Princess or other ships will enjoy a special reduced deposit of $50 per person during the sale, or $100 per person for longer voyages.
Still thinking about Alaska this year? It's not too late with Princess Cruises summer cruise bargains offering May sailings starting at $499 per person +tax and June starting at $649 per person + tax. Check Princess Cruise Deals for more.
Alaska is a wonderful destination and one we don't normally suggest booking at the last minute; there is just too much to be gained by planning a year or more in advance. But for those who have been there before and know the lay of the land, this year is bringing some outstanding last-minute values.
Check With Your Travel Agent First
Your travel agent can verify, expand on and maximize these and other summer cruise bargains. Even with last-minute sales, this is no time to go it alone. What might seem like a very good deal online can often be blown away by a travel professional looking out for your best interests.
But I Hate Sailing In The Summer Because Of All The Kids
We began this report with Carnival Cruise Lines, known for sailing with the most children of any other cruise line in the world. Those without children might dismiss Carnival during the Summer, choosing a Fall sailing when those kids are back in school as a preferred time to sail the most popular cruise line in the world.
Those 21 years and older take advantage of all the adults-only areas on Carnival Cruise Lines cruises, creating perfect "me-time" moments as they recline in the sun in a kids-free area. They can drink, dance and laugh the night away at the variety of cruise bars and lounges such as RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar and win big at the (also adults-only) casino.