Last week, we found an NCL Bahamas cruises for an unheard of $25 a night. This week, the deal that left our jaws on the floor is a special offer from Cruise Club of America: a 21-night trans-Atlantic cruise departing November 22 on Grand Princess for $869 (inside cabin). That's just $41 a night to cover three continents. And that leads us to believe that the final months of 2008 may be the right time to score a fabulous deal on a cruise vacation.
Why is this particular deal special? There are two reasons. One, you'll pay $41 a night for a cruise to Europe, Africa and South America (with one quick stop in the Caribbean) -- a mini world cruise, if you will, for definitely mini prices. Two, the sailing takes place over Thanksgiving, and although holiday cruises are typically the priciest of the year, this one's a bargain -- and fairly last-minute at that.
As the end of the year approaches, cruise lines are racing to fill cabins on fall cruises, and this can lead to tremendous deals, especially for travelers with flexible schedules. And even holiday cruises, which you used to have to book nine months in advance, still have some space.
Finding these deals shouldn't be difficult -- Cruise Critic's Cruise Deals page currently lists several seven-night sailings for between $350 and $500, and we've found holiday deals starting at $449 per person. Or sign up for our e-mail newsletters to have deals delivered weekly to your inbox. And don't forget to check with a travel agent or two. Sometimes agents get access to low fares not found in other places. Plus, they often throw in extra perks, such as onboard credit or prepaid gratuities.
So if you've been concerned that you can't afford a vacation, especially those pricey holiday cruises, this offer proves that deals do exist. Look around -- you might just find your dream cruise … for under $50 a night.
--Erica Silverstein, Associate Editor
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Cruise Fares Are Falling in Fall 2008
October 3, 2008