|By Paul Motter
Are you looking for a summer cruise bargain - how does a luxury 12-night voyage on Crystal Cruises for as little as $2995 per person sound? This price is offered under the new "standby program" whereby Crystal cruisers can save as much as 75% over brochure prices. Like all standby fares, these cruises are based upon availability, requiring a $500 deposit per guest. The reservation will be confirmed on a "first requested, first confirmed" basis no earlier than 45 days prior to departure.
Standby fares are only eligible for new bookings as of April 7. The price is for cruise fare only and does not include air transportation, port, security and handling charges. The current "All Inclusive - As You Wish" spending credits, to be suspended early next year anyway, are also not a part of this program. Final payment is due within three days of confirmation. If you are not confirmed that deposit will be refunded, or it can be applied to another standby cruise.
Just between us - Crystal is a true luxury cruise line, but the two ships each have a much higher passenger capacity than the average luxury cruise ship. The chances that you will be confirmed are pretty high. I would jump on this opportunity to experience luxury cruising at a price that can't be beat.
You get access to all of the same incredible food, service and excellent onboard activities. Don't miss Nobu, the matchless Japanese restaurant with sushi bar for "all you can eat" award winning sushi at no added cost.
NCL - Last Minute Savings
Last March NCL announced prices would be going up as of April 1st - and they did, technically speaking, but it doesn't necessarily mean you missed your opportunity to get a great deal on an NCL cruise. Why? Because despite the price hikes the line continues to offer special sales week after week. We highlight this week's special offers below.
Today Only! April 12. Any new booking for a cruise on Norwegian Epic made today will come with a $100 onboard credit. You can book online at NCL.com or through a travel agent, just make sure to mention the promo code "EASYFARE".
Talk about "last minute bookings" - if you book the April 15 voyage of Norwegian Sky, a three-day cruise to Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay, you can get the "best available inside cabin" for $229 - once again, use the promo code EASYFARE.
The May 1st cruise of Norwegian Spirit is a seven-day Western Caribbean voyage calling in Costa Maya, Mexico; Santo Tomás de Castilla, Guatemala; Belize City, Belize and Cozumel, Mexico. The cost is $549 for the best available inside - promo code EASYFARE.
Moving on to next autumn - I like the sound of these Canada/New England cruises that sail October 1 and October 8 (2011) from New York City up the coast of Canada to Sydney and Halifax, Nova Scotia; Saint John, Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick; and Portland, Maine. The cost is just $549 for the best available inside cabin. Use the promo code: PGHOT.
But here is the BEST NCL bargain of the entire group - the November 13, 2011, ten-night sailing of Norwegian Dawn. This Southern Caribbean cruise sails roundtrip from Miami, calling in Samaná, Dominican Republic; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. John's, Antigua; Bridgetown, Barbados and Basseterre, St. Kitts. The cruise starts at just $599 per person for the best available inside stateroom. Promo code: PGHOT
You can comment on Crystal Cruises nea fare policies here: Crystal Cruises - New "Standby" Fares