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Royal Caribbean Summer Sale Ends Friday

CruiseMates picks three "best deals" from the 62 Royal Caribbean cruises on sale through Friday.

The northern transatlantic itinerary of Brilliance

Royal Caribbean has put 62 different cruises on sale this week through Friday. They range from 4-day Bahamas cruises to 15-night transatlantic voyages, and include Alaska, Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda and Europe. You can consider these as "last minute" cruise deals since they all sail this summer before September 1st. Many of the stateroom categories are already sold out, but if you are still in the market for a Royal Caribbean cruise this summer - this is probably your last and best chance to get a great deal.

Our First Pick - Seward, Alaska, to Vancouver - Seven Days

See the cruise details here.

You can still get a seven-day Alaska cruise for just $399 on the newly remodeled Radiance of the Seas sailing from Seward, Alaska. In fact, I had a chance to see this ship during its makeover in Victoria, British Columbia, two summers ago and I would recommend it highly no matter where she is sailing. In fact, even before the makeover I considered Radiance one of the most attractive Royal Caribbean ships because of it size and modernity, a smaller ship but with all the attractions of a newer vessel. But with the makeover, Radiance is now my favorite "small ship" in the Royal Caribbean fleet. Furthermore, this may be your last chance to see her for a long time since she will soon reposition to the Australian market.

Here is our pick, the August 30, 2013, seven-night cruise from Seward Alaska to Vancouver, starting at just $399 per person! Here are the reasons we picked this cruise:

(1) The remodeling added the Samba Grill Churrascaria, Rita's Cantina, the Park Café Deli, Giovanni's Table, Izumi Sushi Bar, The Chef's table and the Quill and Compass Pub. All of these restaurants were already proven hits on much newer Royal Caribbean ships, so they were added to Radiance in 2011. Even better, many of these new eateries reside in the brand new glassed-in Solarium - a perfect spot to see the wonders of Alaska.

(2) The amazing prices; starting as low as $399 per person how can you go wrong? That is the per person price for an inside stateroom, but you will not be spending much time in your stateroom anyway. Even the "oceanview" categories are just $599 per person (non-opening window). If you want a balcony, however, the price goes up to $1399 per person.

(3) The itinerary. This ship sails from Seward south to Vancouver. One secret of Alaska cruising is that the southbound one-way cruises offer the most sightseeing and the smoothest ride, because you are traveling with the prevailing southbound current along the U.S. West Coast. Starting in Alaska you spend more time in Alaska than you would on a cruise sailing roundtrip from Vancouver and back.

The itinerary: you board in Seward, day two you visit Hubbard Glacier (the largest glacier in Alaska), day three you visit Juneau until 9:00 p.m. - catch some whale watching, perhaps a flight-seeing trip over Mendenhall Glacier and still have time for a delicious crab dinner in town. Day four you are in Skagway until 8:30 p.m., Day five you visit yet another glacier known for being very active in calving; Icy Strait. Day Five you visit Ketchikan, the perfect place to get your Alaska souvenirs or hike to the salmon hatchery. Then it's just one day cruising through the Inside Passage with beautiful scenery before your cruise ends in Vancouver.

Our Second Pick - Transatlantic, Harwich to Boston Aug 31st.

See the cruise details here.

For a truly unusual transatlantic voyage we highly recommend the Aug 31st sailing of Brilliance of the Seas (another renovated ship from the Radiance-class) from Harwich England to Boston. 15 days of pleasure cruising on a once-in-a-lifetime itinerary that includes Le Havre France (the seaport gateway to Paris!), Dorset U.K., Cork and Dublin Ireland, the remote and mysterious Faroe Islands and an overnight stay in Reykjavik, Iceland, before five days at sea to finally reach Boston.

Prices for this 15-day cruise start at just $1199 for an inside stateroom (it will be cold on this journey, so you do not need a balcony), or just $1799 for a veranda stateroom. Keep in mind that you will be in the North Atlantic Ocean for the first eight days, which can get rough any time of year, so take your sea sickness medication and try not to book a room too far forward.

However, sailing on this beautiful ship along this exotic itinerary means you will see some of the most mystical places on earth; the remains of early Druid civilizations in the Faroe Islands, and the volcanic beauty of Iceland - where you stop for two days - with its geysers and hot springs. You might even see whales on this itinerary.

Our Third Pick - Aug 11th Allure of the Seas Western Caribbean

If you still have not seen Oasis or Allure of the Seas - this is your chance to take the family during summer vacation at low-season prices usually only available in the autumn. This singular date still has veranda staterooms at $949 per person (as I write this). Interior rooms are $849 and Oceanview are $899.

See the cruise details here.

As one of the two "world's largest cruise ships" Allure of the Seas is an astounding vessel sure to keep you amazed and amused for the entire seven days. In fact, we recommend this ship over Oasis solely because it has all of the best enhancements; the Churrascaria, the DreamWorks Theater and character experiences, the hot dog palace, Rita's Cantina, the Cupcake Factory and more.

Normally these two ships get much more expensive during the summer months, and they never get any cheaper than this price. If you want to take the kids while they are out of school, this singular sail date is your only chance this summer.

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