Details: This fall, Princess Cruises is hosting a four-night fundraiser cruise intended to raise money for Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Inc. and Operation Homefront Inc. Highlights of this themed sailing will include a stop in Progreso, Mexico; a military film festival; and lectures by decorated war correspondent Joe Galloway, former Army sergeant Gregory Melikian and veteran's advocate and Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Justin Constantine. As you sail roundtrip from Houston, Texas, aboard Caribbean Princess, you will have the opportunity to participate in panel discussions, service-branch get-togethers and a deck walk for veterans. There will even be military-themed shows and performances. A donation will be automatically deducted from each cruise fare, and Princess will match donations dollar for dollar up to $500,000. Rates start at $549 per person for an inside cabin.
Details: The Susan G. Komen foundation will be hosting its inaugural fundraising cruise aboard Holland America's Nieuw Amsterdam this November. A Cruise for the Cure will help raise money through fares and various activities for breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment programs. Passengers on the 7-night cruise will sail from Fort Lauderdale roundtrip throughout the Caribbean, making stops such as San Juan, Puerto Rico and Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. Onboard activities include an exclusive sailaway concert performance by a surprise celebrity guest, lunch and learn seminars conducted by breast cancer experts, culinary demonstrations by an onboard executive Top Chef, a silent auction and pink party benefiting the foundation, daily zumba classes and a spa day on November 13, in which 10 percent of the proceeds will be donated. Fares currently start at $599 for an interior cabin. A portion of each traveler's fare also will be donated.
Details: Whimsic Alley -- a Los Angeles-based Harry Potter themed store -- will be hosting a four-night interactive wizard cruise aboard Golden Princess. You'll depart from Los Angeles the day before Thanksgiving and sail to San Diego and Ensenada. During your long weekend there will be "round-the-clock" wizard school style activities, guest appearances, optional wizard-themed shore excursions and more. While kids are allowed onboard, all organized theme cruise activities are limited to passengers 18 years or older. There will also be cruise-line-sponsored holiday-themed and children's programs and activities. Rates start at $764 per person for an inside cabin. Discounted rates for children and third and fourth passengers in a cabin are available.
Details: While many snowbirds will be flocking to warmer temperatures this winter, Crystal Cruises will be hosting an Antarctic Holiday cruise for those who want to celebrate a white Christmas and New Year. The 17-night, Buenos Aires-to-Valparaiso cruise aboard the festively decorated Crystal Symphony will include gourmet Christmas feasts, a champagne New Year's gala, religious services, a visit from Santa for the kids and guest speakers such as an Antarctic expedition book author, shark conservationist and CBS News correspondent. Crystal also will be offering a variety of excursions, including a visit to an authentic Uruguayan ranch, nature hikes in the Falkland Islands and winery tours, plus a chance to fly, hike and zodiac through Antarctica's winter wonderland. Other stops include Argentina, Uraguay, the Falkland Islands, Drake Passage and Cape Horn. Fares start at $9,740 if booked by August 30.
Details:American Cruise Lines is offering three unique ways to spend the holidays this year. Passengers on the Southern Christmas cruise (seven nights from December 21) can enjoy sailing the historic Intracoastal Waterway through Savannah, Charleston, Jekyll Island and Beaufort. The cruise -- which will take place aboard Independence -- includes an oyster roast on Sapelo Island beach, Charleston's Festival of Lights and onboard activities such as gingerbread house and ornament making and Christmas carol sing-alongs. Fares start at $3,750. The Cajun Christmas cruise (seven nights from December 21) aboard Queen of the Mississippi will explore the beauty and culture of Louisiana and the Mississippi, sailing from New Orleans roundtrip. Passengers can enjoy Christmas Eve bonfires on the Levee, a tour of the festively decorated and lighted Oak Alley and Houmas House Plantations, and onboard fun such as a New Orleans traditional dinner and crafts. Fares start at $4,195. The Old Fashioned New Year's Eve cruise (seven nights from December 28) aboard Queen of the Mississippi will boast the same New Orleans roundtrip itinerary, with New Year's-themed activities such as fireworks over Savannah and onboard celebrations like a New Year's Eve cocktail hour and dinner with entertainment, midnight count with champagne toast and New Year's Day brunch. Fares start at $4,195.
The Dates: January 18 - 25, 2014 and July 19 - 26, 2014
Details: Celebrity Chef Paula Deen will be stirring up some fun aboard her annual theme cruise -- this time, with two dates in 2014. The first cruise (January 18 - 25) will take place on Celebrity Reflection, sailing from Miami roundtrip with stops in San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Maarten. Activities will include her famous pajama brunch, Deen Team Lawn Olympics and cooking demos, as well as a poolside cocktail reception, onstage games, a Q&A, autograph sessions, slot tournament and get-together for solo travelers. The second cruise (July 19 - 25) will be onboard Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas, sailing from Fort Lauderdale roundtrip to Labadee, Jamaica and Cozumel. Even more family-oriented than the first, it will include a family poolside barbeque, dessert pajama party, Deen Family Beach Olympics, singing session, special events for kids and more. Both also will feature photos with Paula and a Paula Deen cruise bag. Fares for the January sailing start at $1,748 for an inside cabin, while fares for the July sailing start at $2,214 for an inside cabin.
Details:Princess Cruises is expecting to raise $1 million for the American Heart Association this winter on Cruise with Heart, a five-night themed fundraising cruise aboard Ruby Princess during American Heart Month. Sailing from February 10 - 15, passengers -- whose cruise fares will apply to the proceeds and be matched by Princess -- will be able to engage in guest speaker seminars and a variety of educational and health-based activities, including a fundraiser run on deck and healthy cooking demonstrations. The cruise will sail roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, with stops in Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Fares start at $599 for an inside cabin and include a tax-deductible donation.
Details: For those looking to celebrate Mardi Gras in a different way, American Cruise Lines is offering a Mardi Gras Cruise for seven nights from New Orleans roundtrip. Aboard Queen of the Mississippi, the cruise will be as close to Bourbon Street as you can get, with a VIP cocktail party, culinary celebration at the world-famous Antoine's Restaurant and onboard entertainment led by the 1940s-inspired musical trio, Victoria Belles. Fares start at $4,195.
Details: Thrill seekers rejoice. In March 2014, Crystal Cruises will be taking passengers aboard Crystal Serenity on a 21-night adventure through some of the world's most fascinating temples and safaris. The cruise will begin in Singapore and end in Cape Town, making stops in Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Mauritius and South Africa along the way. Award-winning broadcast journalist Ken Rees and a number of special interest lecturers and enrichment instructors will be onboard, while available guided tours and shore excursions -- including a scenic Catamaran Sail & River Bank Lunch in Mauritius and endangered species tracking throughout South Africa -- can be enjoyed off the ship. Fares start at $8,220 for an oceanview cabin, although book-now discounts are currently available.
Details: The LEAVES organization provides aid to members of the military and their families, and in the spring of 2014, it will host a fundraising cruise to the Mexican Riviera aboard Carnival Miracle. You'll sail roundtrip from Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta on this weeklong cruise, during which you'll have the option to participate in exclusive shore excursions, including a squad competition and an in-port photo competition. There will also be a welcome reception and a farewell pizza party. Rates start at $593 per person for an inside cabin or $1,186 per person if you choose to sponsor a service member and his or her family.
Details:Windstar Cruises is offering its own view for the 2014 Formula One Grand Prix on May 21, 2014, with its Grand Prix of Monaco Voyage. Aboard the new Star Pride, passengers will cruise through the French Riviera and have a chance to snag seats for qualifying races on May 24 as well as the finals on May 25, which will be followed by a cocktail reception in Monte Carlo's Hotel de Paris. The cruise will be hosted by former Formula One pit reporter, John Bisignano, and will feature special Grand Prix-themed dinner events, a gift package and more. Departing from Rome, it will include stops in Portofino and Cannes. Fares start at $6,499 for an oceanview suite.