Tweet (4:40 p.m. EST) -- Who says Black Friday is only good for steals on electronics, jewelry and toys? While shoppers are out prowling the malls on the day after Thanksgiving, savvy travel fans can score discounted rates and added bonuses on cruises. While industry-wide specials or even the lowest rates of the year are not to be expected, several cruise lines and retailers are getting in on the post-Turkey Day action by offering limited-time promotions. Some sales are valid for the entire weekend, and at least one is available for two whole weeks. Check out these Black Friday deals: Costa Cruises: Beginning at 5 a.m. on Friday, November 26, Costa is offering select 5- to 11-night cruises from $199 (inside cabins). This offer is valid for one day only and must be booked on Costa's Web site, but you may be able to transfer the booking to your favorite travel agent when he wakes up. Cruise.com: At 8 a.m. on Friday, November 26, Cruise.com will be launching its first ever Black Friday sale. The first 35 callers will be able to book a seven-night Caribbean cruise from just $249 per person, but additional discounts will be available throughout the day. Free airfare, onboard credit and half-price offers will be available for cruises to places including the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska and South America. Deals can be booked online or by calling 866-401-0895.
CruCon Cruise Outlet: For those of you who prefer to sleep in, cruise retailer CruCon is holding its after-Thanksgiving sale on Friday, November 26, 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. The only catch is that you must register for the sale by 8 a.m. on Wednesday, November 24. For more information and to sign up, visit CruCon's Web site.
Norwegian Cruise Line: From Friday, November 26, through Tuesday, November 30, NCL will be running its "Book Sail Save" promotion, which features half-off deposits on select sailings fleetwide as well as up to $250 in onboard credit per stateroom. Members of Latitudes, the cruise line's past-passengers program, will have access to a special preview sale on Thursday, November 25.
MSC Cruises: MSC Cruises is offering rates as low as $269 per person for a seven-night cruise -- that's just $40 per night -- when you book between Friday, November 26, and Monday, November 29. This offer is valid on select Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings aboard MSC Poesia departing this winter. For more information and to book, visit MSC Cruises' Web site.
Paul Gauguin Cruises: On Friday, November 26, Paul Gauguin Cruises is launching a two-week sale featuring savings between $750 and $2,775 per person and free airfare from Los Angeles to Tahiti. Those who book on Black Friday or on Saturday, November 27, will also receive a $100 spa credit per person. For more information and to book, visit the Paul Gauguin Cruises Web site.
If you can't manage to swing a Black Friday cruise bargain, don't fret. Keep in mind that deals pop up continually. For some of the cheapest rates we've seen all year, check out Cruise Critic's Cruises Under $50 Per Night. Also be sure to look for last-minute cruise deals -- we've seen an influx of bargains for cruises departing within the next two months.
-- by Shayne Rodriguez Thompson, Web Content Producer
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Deals Alert: Snag a Cruise Bargain on Black Friday
November 23, 2010