Cruises for Just £1?

November 26, 2008
That's the fantastic-sounding deal MSC Cruises is offering next week (1 through 7 December) -- when one passenger pays the brochure price on select voyages, the second will pay only £1 for his or her cruise.

The offer is valid on over 100 itineraries from March through November on selected ships -- MSC Armonia, MSC Opera, MSC Melody, MSC Sinfonia, MSC Orchestra, MSC Lirica, MSC Poesia and even the two new vessels, MSC Fantasia and MSC Splendida. Itineraries include the Eastern and Western Mediterranean, and Northern Europe.

But wait -- is there a catch or is this a genuinely good promotion?

Well, we all know that brochure prices are often extraordinarily high compared to what the cruise ends up selling for, but if you can get one fare for £700 -- the lowest brochure price included in this sale, likely for a weeklong cruise -- and the other for £1, then it is well worth the money. With flights, available through MSC from £210 to the Mediterranean, a couple could potentially pay £1,121 -- or £560 per person -- for the cruise and air (plus applicable taxes and fees, of course).

However, on higher priced cruises, the total cost per person for a cruise holiday, even with the £1 fare, can add up pretty quickly. We phoned MSC's call centre to find out on which sail dates we could book a cruise using the "buy one, get one" promotion at the cheapest fares available, but were told to ring back on 1 December as the exact dates haven't been released yet (as it's a promotional offer).

Bottom line: We advise shopping around as many lines and agencies are slashing prices and offering great values well below brochure rates right now. However, if you are flexible on dates, this promotion could be superb.

-by Kelly Ranson, U.K. Editor

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