Everyone knows that Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) is one of the best times of the year to find sales on clothes, toys, electronics and other items. But did you know that you can also find Black Friday deals on cruises? This year, several cruise retailers -- and even one cruise line, Costa Cruises -- are offering limited-time promotions, specifically for the after-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy. You can also take advantage of ongoing sales, valid over the weekend.
Check out these Black Friday deals:
Costa Cruises: On Friday, November 28, from 4 a.m. to 10 a.m., Costa is offering select seven-night Eastern, Southern and Western Caribbean cruises on Costa Fortuna from $199 (inside cabins). That's $28 per night -- an unheard of price for a winter getaway. The offer is only available on Costa's Web site, but you can transfer the booking to your favorite travel agent when he or she wakes up!
CruCon Cruise Outlet: For those of you who prefer to sleep in, cruise retailer CruCon is holding its after-Thanksgiving sale on Friday, November 28, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (last calls taken by 5 p.m.). For one day, CruCon will offer low fares on cruises to a variety of destinations (Caribbean, Alaska, Europe, Hawaii, etc.) and value-added bonuses.
CruCon is offering these fares only to those who've signed up in advance for the sale. The deadline to sign up was Tuesday, November 25 -- but CruCon has extended the sign-up period especially for Cruise Critic readers until midnight EST on Thanksgiving Day! Those who subscribed by Tuesday will receive the invitation-only deals in their inboxes on Thanksgiving; latecomers will get that e-mail on Friday morning. To book, call 800-493-6609. Visit CruCon's Web site to sign up for the sale.
CruisesOnly: Internet retailer CruisesOnly is offering Thanksgiving weekend discounts on Carnival cruises, with fares from $109, free upgrades and a 15-percent discount on shore excursions. Plus, you can earn up to $200 onboard credit when you pay with a MasterCard. You must book by November 30.
Other Sales: Black Friday isn't the be all end all of holiday shopping, so don't limit your post-turkey cruise shopping to one-day discounts. There are plenty of other sales out there, too! Check out Cruise Critic's Cruises Under $50 Per Night for some of the cheapest rates we've seen all year or our Holiday Cruise Deals page for last-minute Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year's getaways.
You can also check the Web site of your favorite online agent or cruise line to look up their specials. For instance, Holland America is offering a cruise sale from $449 through November 30 (click on Find Cruises in the top navigation bar, then Special Offers), Carnival has last-minute sailings from $179, and Expedia is discounting Caribbean and Mexico cruises on Royal Caribbean through November 30, with prices starting at $159.
For more information on how to save on your next vacation at sea, browse the Features on our new Editors' Money-Saving Tips page -- part of our revamped Cruise Deals area.
--by Erica Silverstein, Associate Editor
Editor's Note: Cruise Critic is a member of the TripAdvisor Media Network, an operating company of Expedia, Inc. Expedia, Inc. also owns Expedia.com.
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Black Friday Sales Offer Cruises from $28 a Day
November 26, 2008