Cruise Week Sales on NOW

| Monday, 22 Oct. 2012

Call your Travel Agent this week

National Cruise Vacation Week, which runs from Oct. 22 through Oct. 29, is an annual cruise industry sales event organized by the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), an organization in which all of the major cruise lines are members.

Virtually every cruise line is offering various bargain this week. Let's take a look:

Azamara Club Cruises If you are not familiar with Azamara Club Cruises then you should make the effort. This small cruise line has only two ships that hold a mere 700 passengers apiece. They fill the tiny niche known as "Upscale Cruises" which generally offer all of the amenities and culinary excellence of luxury cruise lines, including outstanding cuisine and personalized service, but on very port-intensive itineraries and at lower prices.

Even better, for 2013 Azamara is expanding the items included in the cruise fare. Guests now get complimentary beer, wines and spirits during bar hours. Each cruise will have a special experience called an "AzAmazing Evening" where every guest will be treated to a special nighttime event in one of the ports of call (beginning with the 2013 European season). The line already includes wine and beer with dinner, free shuttle service in ports and staff gratuities in the cruise fare.

For Cruise Week, Azamara is adding $500 onboard credit for suites, $400 credit for veranda staterooms and $300 credit for oceanview staterooms.

If you like Azamara, be sure to also look into Oceania Cruises, which also offers similar itineraries and amenities, but also has two beautiful, brand new ships with added features and finery.

Are you aware of any great cruise bargains? Tell us here: Cruise Deals Forum

Carnival Cruise Line Carnival is the most successful cruise line, and this year it is also offering the steepest bargains for seven-day Caribbean cruises. For this special cruise week, from October 21-27, the line is offering free upgrades (up to two categories) to previous Carnival cruisers plus a 50 percent reduction is the cost of placing a deposit.

Three-day cruises are priced as low as $149 per person (inside) and $309 (balcony staterooms); Four-day sailings start at $169 to $429 for suites and five-day cruises are as low as $239 per person (inside) and $499 (balcony staterooms). Six-day sailings start as low as $319 (inside) and $529 (balcony) and seven day cruises are just $329 per person (inside) and $599 (balcony staterooms).

Unlike the other cruise lines, Carnival is pushing bargains on cruises closer in; sailing as soon as this November and December.

These are true "last-minute cruise bargains" but the cruises scheduled for January and February and not much more expensive. My top recommendation for Carnival is to see the line's newest ship, Carnival Breeze, by booking the six-day Caribbean cruise selling for as little as $369 (inside) or $579 (balcony staterooms). These prices are only good for the December 9 cruise, with other dates priced 30 to 50 percent higher.

Cunard Line Cunard Lines – operating the grandest ocean liner in the world, Queen Mary 2, has Cruise Week discounts that include a $300 credit per stateroom and upgrades to balcony staterooms on the line's signature trans-Atlantic crossings. The April 26 westbound crossing from New York to Southampton, for example, is priced at $1345 for a balcony stateroom.

Here are other Cunard itineraries on sale aboard the three Cunard ships:

  • Iberian Highlights, 19 April 2013 - 12 days aboard Queen Elizabeth; Balcony fares from $2,599
  • St. Petersburg & Baltic Explorer, 1 May 2013 - 14 days aboard Queen Elizabeth; Balcony fares from $3,599
  • Transatlantic Crossing (Westbound), 26 April 2013 - 7 days aboard Queen Mary 2; Balcony fares from $1,345
  • Fjords & Waterfalls, 19 May 2013 - 7 days aboard Queen Elizabeth; Balcony fares from $1,799
  • Mediterranean Delights, 7 July 2013 - 13 days aboard Queen Victoria; Balcony fares from $3,499

Holland America Line Holland America is offering passengers on ships this week an on-board credit of up to $200 per person if they make a new booking for select sailings in the Caribbean, Asia, South America, Europe, Alaska, Australia and New Zealand.

The Holland America promotion will be unveiled at "cruise night" events to take place this week aboard each of the line's 15 ships. Under the terms of the promotion, the line also is reducing the deposit required to book a cabin.

Princess Cruises The best discounts for 2013 from Princess Cruises are for the 14-day Panama Canal voyages. Balcony staterooms are reduced from $2996 to $1896, inside cabin prices are slashed from $2246 to $1296. Next best discounts are on the 14-day Hawaii cruises. Balcony staterooms normally priced at $2690 are now just $1694; interior cabins are reduced from $1790 to $1094.

Princess' 12-day Greek Isles cruise prices show balcony staterooms discounted from $3029 to $2479 and interiors cabins reduced from $2129 to $1779. Seven-day Caribbean cruises offer balcony cabin discounts from $1184 to $784, and inside staterooms are cut from $784 to $584. Alaska seven-day cruises for the 2013 season show balcony cabins reduced from $1544 to $1344.

Royal Caribbean Royal Caribbean will give up to $100 in on-board credits for people who book a European cruise this week. The offer is good on voyages of seven nights or longer departing in 2013 and includes trans-Atlantic sailings.

Under the terms of the Royal Caribbean promotion, customers who book a balcony cabin or suite will get $100 per cabin in on-board credits. Customers who book a windowless "inside" cabin or ocean-view cabin will get $50 in credits. The offer is available in the U.S. and Canada only.

Windstar Cruises Windstar kicked off National Cruise Vacation Week with Special Offers and a cruise giveaway on The Today Show on Monday (Oct 22). The line is offering two-for-one cruise fares on select voyages in both Europe and the Caribbean. As part of the offer, guests who want to explore Europe will also receive two free hotel nights at the beginning or the end of the cruise.

For those looking to sail in the Caribbean, Windstar will offer up to $800 of bonus savings to the reservation. In addition, all bookings made from October 21 – 27, 2012, during the World's Largest Cruise Sale, will receive $100 per stateroom of shipboard credit.

To kick off National Cruise Vacation Week, Windstar Cruises was featured on The Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda. The show's designated "Fan of the Week" will win Windstar's Glitter and Glam of the Riveras voyage. Onboard Wind Surf, the company's flagship sailing yacht, the lucky winner will enjoy a six-day cruise that starts in Barcelona and explores the Mediterranean destinations of St. Tropez, Cannes, Monte Carlo, Portovenere and Portoferraio, before ending in Rome.

To take advantage of the World's Largest Cruise Sale, contact a travel professional, or call Windstar Cruises at 800-258-7245 or visit the Windstar web site.

Are you aware of any great cruise bargains? Tell us here: Cruise Deals Forum

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