Update! Holiday Season Bargains Abound Now

October 20, 2006

If the thought of decorating, cleaning and cooking for this year's holidays makes you want to run in the opposite direction, perhaps you should consider doing so -- and head toward the nearest cruise port!

And the best (or worst, depending on your mood) part about it is you won't have to leave festive celebrations at home. Depending on the calendar, most big ship lines feature religious services (Catholic, Protestant and Jewish religions), traditional holiday dinners (Christmas brunch, eggnog in the atrium, and milk and cookie snacks for the kids), holiday decorations, a Christmas tree lighting ceremony and strolling carolers, Santa visits, and a New Year's Eve gala.


So far, a handful of cruise lines have fessed up -- they still have space for you. Among them is Holland America, whose options are priced to sell and include: seven-night Caribbean itineraries that start at just $799 per person, and third and fourth passengers on the 11-night Southern Caribbean cruise for Hannukah are just $99 each for an inside cabin; so don't forget the kids! Remember, check our holiday bargains section, your local travel agent or the cruise line's offical web site for up-to-date prices, as they may change frequently depending on the date and/or as space sells out.


Here are a couple of options:


Celebrity Cruises

Thanksgiving Cruises

Date: November 17, 2006

Ship: Zenith

Itinerary: 10 nights to the Western Caribbean


Date: November 20, 2006

Ship: Constellation

Itinerary: Seven nights to the Western Caribbean


Date: November 20, 2006

Ship: Galaxy

Itinerary: 11 nights to the Eastern Mediterranean


Date: November 20, 2006

Ship: Mercury

Itinerary: 11 nights to the Mexican Riviera


Hannukah & Christmas Cruises

Date: December 17, 2006

Ship: Infinity

Itinerary: 13 nights to South America


Date: December 18, 2006

Ship: Zenith

Itinerary: 11 nights to the Eastern Caribbean


Date: December 18, 2006

Ship: Constellation

Itinerary: 11-night Ultimate Caribbean


Christmas & New Year's Cruises

Date: December 22, 2006

Ship: Galaxy

Itinerary: 11 nights to the Southern Caribbean


Date: December 23, 2006

Ship: Mercury

Itinerary: 16 nights Westbound Panama Canal


Date: December 23, 2006

Ship: Summit

Itinerary: 14 nights to the Hawaii and Mexico


Date: December 24 & 31, 2006

Ship: Millenium

Itinerary: Seven nights to the Eastern Caribbean


New Year's Cruises

Date: December 29, 2006

Ship: Zenith

Itinerary: 10 nights to the Western Caribbean


Date: December 29, 2006

Ship: Constellation

Itinerary: 10-night Ultimate Caribbean


Date: December 30, 2006

Ship: Century

Itinerary: Five nights to the Western Caribbean


Date: December 30, 2006

Ship: Infinity

Itinerary: 15 nights to South America


Costa

Thanksgiving Cruise

Date: November 19, 2006

Ship: CostaMagica

Itinerary: Seven nights to the Western Caribbean


Crystal Cruises

Thanksgiving Cruises

Date: November 12, 2006

Ship: Crystal Symphony

Itinerary: 12 nights to the Southern Caribbean


November 15, 2006

Ship: Crystal Serenity

Itinerary: 10 nights to Bermuda and Lisbon


Christmas & New Year's Cruise

Date: December 21, 2006

Ship: Crystal Symphony

Itinerary: 14 nights to the Mexican Riviera


Holland America Line

Hannukah Cruise

Date: December 16, 2006

Ship: Noordam

Itinerary: 11 nights to the Southern Caribbean


Christmas Cruises

Date: December 24, 2006

Ship: Westerdam

Itinerary: Seven nights to the Eastern Caribbean


Date: December 24, 2006

Ship: Maasdam

Itinerary: 11 nights to the Southern Caribbean


Christmas & New Year's Cruises

Date: December 19, 2006

Ship: Amsterdam

Itinerary: 14 nights to the Panama Canal


Date: December 21, 2006

Ship: Zaandam

Itinerary: 15 nights to Hawaii


Date: December 22, 2006

Ship: Statendam

Itinerary: 20 nights to South America and Antarctica


Date: December 22, 2006

Ship: Rotterdam

Itinerary: 14 nights to Australia and New Zealand


New Year's Cruise

Date: December 31, 2006

Ship: Westerdam

Itinerary: Seven nights to the Western Caribbean


NCL

Thanksgiving Cruises

Date: November 18, 2006

Ship: Norwegian Dream

Itinerary: Seven nights to the Western Caribbean


Date: November 19, 2006

Ship: Norwegian Dawn

Itinerary: Seven nights to the Bahamas


Hannukah Cruises

Date: December 16, 2006

Ship: Pride of America

Itinerary: Seven nights to the Hawaiian Islands


Date: December 10 & 17, 2006

Ship: Pride of Aloha

Itinerary: Seven nights to the Hawaiian Islands


Date: December 17, 2006

Ship: Norwegian Crown

Itinerary: 14 nights to South America


Christmas Cruises

Date: December 20, 2006

Ship: Norwegian Wind

Itinerary: 10 nights to the Hawaiian Islands


Date: December 23, 2006

Ship: Norwegian Majesty

Itinerary: Seven nights to the Western Caribbean


Date: December 24, 2006

Ship: Norwegian Jewel

Itinerary: Seven nights to the Eastern Caribbean


Christmas & New Year's Cruises

Date: December 21, 2006

Ship: Norwegian Spirit

Itinerary: 12 nights to Southern Caribbean


New Year's Cruises

Date: December 30, 2006

Ship: Norwegian Wind

Itinerary: 11 nights to the Hawaiian Islands


Date: December 30, 2006

Ship: Pride of America

Itinerary: Seven nights to the Hawaiian Islands


Princess

Thanksgiving Cruises

Date: November 17, 2006

Ship: Regal Princess

Itinerary: 10 nights to the Panama Canal


Date: November 19, 2007

Ship: Caribbean Princess

Itinerary: Seven nights to the Eastern Caribbean


Date: November 17, 2006

Ship: Tahitian Princess

Itinerary: 10 nights to the South Pacific


Date: November 20, 2006

Ship: Island Princess

Itinerary: 15 nights to the Hawaiian Islands


Date: November 20, 2006

Ship: Sun Princess

Itinerary: 10-night Southern Caribbean Medley


Date: November 25, 2006

Ship: Diamond Princess

Itinerary: Seven nights to the Mexican Riviera


Date: November 25, 2006

Ship: Crown Princess

Itinerary: Seven nights to the Southern Caribbean


Hannukah & Christmas Cruise

Date: December 17, 2006

Ship: Tahitian Princess

Itinerary: 10 nights to the South Pacific


Christmas Cruises

Date: December 20, 2006

Ship: Sun Princess

Itinerary: 10 nights to the Eastern Caribbean


Date: December 23, 2006

Ship: Grand Princess

Itinerary: Seven nights to the Western Caribbean


Date: December 23, 2006

Ship: Crown Princess

Itinerary: Seven nights to the Southern Caribbean


Date: December 23, 2006

Ship: Sapphire Princess

Itinerary: 19 nights to Australia and Asia


Date: December 24, 2006

Ship: Caribbean Princess

Itinerary: Seven nights to the Eastern Caribbean


Christmas & New Year's Cruises

Date: December 23, 2006

Ship: Dawn Princess

Itinerary: 11 nights to the Mexican Riviera


Date: December 23, 2006

Ship: Sea Princess

Itinerary: 14 nights -- Grand Caribbean Islander with 10 ports of call


New Year's Cruises

Date: December 23, 2006

Ship: Coral Princess

Itinerary: 11 nights to the Panama Canal


Date: December 27, 2007

Ship: Island Princess

Itinerary: 15 nights to the Hawaiian Islands


Date: December 30, 2007

Ship: Crown Princess

Itinerary: Seven nights to the Southern Caribbean


Date: December 30, 2007

Ship: Golden Princess

Itinerary: Seven nights to the Western Caribbean


Date: December 30, 2006

Ship: Sun Princess

Itinerary: 10 nights to the Southern Caribbean


Regent Seven Seas

Thanksgiving Cruise

Date: November 20, 2006

Ship: Seven Seas Navigator

Itinerary: 11 nights to the Southern Caribbean


Hannukah Cruises

Date: December 11, 2006

Ship: Seven Seas Navigator

Itinerary: Seven nights to the Eastern Caribbean


Date: December 11, 2006

Ship: Seven Seas Voyager

Itinerary: Seven nights to the Western Caribbean


Christmas Cruises

Date" December 18, 2006

Ship: Seven Seas Navigator

Itinerary: Eight nights to the Western Caribbean


Date: December 18, 2006

Ship: Seven Seas Voyager

Itinerary: 11 nights to the Southern Caribbean


Date: December 18, 2006

Ship: Seven Seas Mariner

Itinerary: Eight nights to the Mexican Riviera


Christmas & New Year's Cruise

Date: December 26, 2006

Ship: Seven Seas Mariner

Itinerary: 14 nights to the Mexican Rivieria & Panama Canal


New Year's Cruises

Date: December 28, 2006

Ship: Seven Seas Mariner

Itinerary: 11 nights to the Southern Caribbean


Date: December 29, 2006

Ship: Seven Seas Voyager

Itinerary: 11 nights to the Western Caribbean


Seabourn

Christmas Cruises

Date: December 19, 2006

Ship: Seabourn Legend

Itinerary: Seven nights to Southern Caribbean


Date: December 23, 2006

Ship: Seabourn Pride

Itinerary: Seven nights to the Southern Caribbean


New Year's Cruises

Date: December 26, 2006

Ship: Seabourn Legend

Itinerary: Seven nights to the Eastern Caribbean


Date: December 30, 2006

Ship: Seabourn Pride

Itinerary: Seven nights to the Eastern Caribbean

Looking to get away but still desire something more traditional? Go Barging is offering three holiday cruises across the pond this year -- visiting England and Scotland -- but their aim is to slow things down and create a more conventional holiday celebration for their passengers. Keep the crowds at a distance for this one -- fine wine, gourmet meals and Europe's castles recapture "Christmas Past."



If you didn't see a date, itinerary or ship listed that speaks to you, stay tuned -- we've quizzed other lines about holiday availability and will provide updates as they occur.


And don't forget -- inviting the in-laws is optional.


P.S. Want to get a jumpstart on gift buying for your favorite cruise nut? Check out our staff picks in Cruise Critic's Holiday Gift Central!


--by Erica Sapio, Assistant Editor