cruisemates newsletter

7.05.2007

Short Cruise Bargains
Many people discover the wonders of cruising with a three to five-day getaway cruise. Short cruises can be amazing bargains when you consider what you get for your money.

One common misconception is that cruising is expensive. What if I told you I am looking at a five-day cruise that includes all meals, lodging, entertainment and transportation to great ports like Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico, costing as little as $279 per person?

For under $600 total, two people get a fantastic, five-day getaway. Consider the cost of flying to a major city like San Francisco or Boston, staying in a hotel for five days and paying for meals and entertainment. The advantages are obvious. The average hotel is $250/night, and meals are $40 to $80 per couple. That adds up to triple what this cruise would cost you.

Of course, the only caveat is that you have to live somewhat close to the port or pay the airfare.

Who offers budget cruises? If you are a novice cruiser let me warn you away from any cruise line other than CLIA members like Carnival, NCL or Royal Caribbean. There are small, one-ship cruise lines offering quick and easy getaways, usually as part of a "Florida Package." Avoid them! Only the major cruise lines with the best ships and management can give you the full cruise experience on a short cruise option.

The best values, purely from a price perspective are in the five-day category, as there are cruises available as low as $279 per person, which is just a little higher than a typical three-day cruise.

Here is a rundown on short cruises and their cost (all prices listed are per person)

NCL has a few one-night cruises: Seattle to Vancouver for just $49 or the reverse for $69, roundtrip Miami for $99. A three-day cruise Los Angeles to Vancouver is $199, the reverse route (three or four-day) for $299, and four-day roundtrip from Charleston for $349.

Royal Caribbean has a number of short cruise itineraries: Miami, Los Angeles or Port Canaveral from $189, San Juan to St Kitts and St Martin from $378.

Royal Caribbean four-night cruises: Los Angeles to Mexico from $199, Port Canaveral, Ft Lauderdale or Miami to the Bahamas and Caribbean from $229, Tampa from $319, Barcelona to Ibiza and Mallorca $449, and Southampton (U.K.) to Cork, Ireland and the Channel Islands for $590.

Carnival is arguably the King of Getaway Cruises. Three-day cruise start at $189 from Miami or Port Canaveral, four-day cruises from Los Angeles from $199, New Orleans $249 and San Diego from $299, Four nights from Galveston are up to $349 and New York City is $449, five-nights from Jacksonville $279. Frankly, a search of Carnival cruises, five days or less, gave me 1500 results, so I can't list them all.

No matter what, this is about budget cruises and not every sail date is cheap. Just like longer cruises, pricing is a matter of stateroom availability. Cruise lines use yield management, so the cost of these cruises vary greatly by sail date and can change on a daily basis. These cruises tend to book at only about six weeks out, so many are currently least expensive in late August right now. They also go down when school is in session, and go up during vacation periods (spring break), so if you want those times, book early.

Your best bet, as always, is to just shop for the best deal you can find (check out our sponsors in this newsletter!) and grab it while you can.

gray hr
7 Day Carnival Cruises from $429!
Choose from a variety of sailing dates on Eastern or Western Caribbean Cruises. Good deals go quickly. Mention Cruisemates.com for discounts!
gray hr

new feature articles

Costa Magica - Updated Ship Review
A recently updated cruise ship review by CruiseMates about one of Costa's most popular ships: Magica blue arrows

Family-friendly Bermuda
This British island has plenty to interest your kids, from historic attractions to nature to beautiful beaches. blue arrows

What is going on here?
Is Justice Blind? A Cruisemates guest contributor responds to a spate of recent anti-cruise media reports. blue arrows

The "New" Windstar Cruises
Now sailing under a new cruise line, it's as good as it ever -- and getting even better. blue arrows

gray hr
Reader Contributed Cruise Reviews!
We have thousands of cruise reviews written by people like you. This week's review:
Azamara Quest by jwfhunts: Azamara Cruises, a branch of the Celebrity family goes "freestyle" cruising.
- - We also wants articles by aspiring travel writers. Get More information.
gray hr

read about cruisemate

NEW YORK TIMES:
"Many sites that offer reviews are selling cruises, which raises questions about impartiality. An exceptions is CruiseMates."

FORTUNE MAGAZINE:
"The Web's best site for articles, advice, or chatting with Cruise People. Self-financed and run independently of the industry, so their opinions are impartial"

blue arrows

Save up to 75% on Cruises!
Complete listing of discounted cruises from all major cruise lines.
Last-Minute Rates, Age 55+ Rates,
Group Rates, Military Rates, and more. Best Price and Service Guarantee.

where the bargains are

Short Cruise Specials Looking for a quick getaway? Check CruiseDeals.com's top short cruise offers!Click for Details!

    Other HOT Deals...
  • From $499 pp
    Holland America Alaska Cruise, 3rd & 4th passengers from $99 apiece.
  • From $475 pp
    7 Night W. Carib. Grand Princess: Oceanview $520, Balcony $707. $25 pp shipboard credit
  • From $599 pp
    10 Night Hawaii cruise with BONUS: Onboard Cruise Certificates

12-night Mediterranean Cruise from $899!
$899 - 12-Nt Mediterranean cruise Barcelona to Istanbul from $899 per person, less than $75 per day! Oceanview only $1,199.

Short Cruises From $249!
CruiseDeals.com offers shorter cruise itineraries for those passengers looking to "get away" from it all. Short on vacation time? This option is perfect for you!

cruise news


new cruisemate's cruises

Check Our New CruiseMates Cruises!

John Heald Blogger Cruise
Carnival Freedom, January 19, 2008.
We have the best prices available, from $532 pp plus a $100 shipboard credit and CruiseMates cocktail party. Click in for details!

A 14-night transatlantic cruise.
April 2008, from Florida to the Caribbean then to Europe including the Canary Islands, Spain, Florence Italy and ending in Rome - starting as low as $699 per person. This one is filling up fast!

7 nights in the Eastern Caribbean.
Carnival Freedom, Thanksgiving, 2007.


kiplingers

Kiplinger's Magazine named CruiseMates to its
Top 25 Best Value Travel Sites for 2006

Cruisemates is the most useful cruise-review site. We especially like its advice columns, which are written for people of different ages and interests.

http://www.cruisemates.com