The beautiful Celebrity Solstice.
A view from the atrium elevators.
Last Minute Caribbean
As we pointed out in a recent editorial, right now we are seeing a short term fire sale on last minute cruises. You can book a 6-day Caribbean cruise sailing in December for as low as $349 per person. This is on the Carnival Freedom, one of the newer and cooler Carnival ships, just $499 per person for a balcony cabin. This cruise starts in Ft. Lauderdale and sails to Key West, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios with two days at sea.
This newer "Fun Ship" has a sushi bar, the Sun King Steakhouse, 24-room service and pizzeria and a "no added cost" sushi bar. For the kids it has excellent water slides, 9-holes of mini-golf and planned activities by age group all day long. Entertainment includes great stage revues, the Punchliner Comedy Club and the Player's Sports Bar.
Looking for a classier cruise style? This is an excellent time to move up to the premium lines like Celebrity and Holland America.
Here are a few fantastic seven-night Caribbean cruise bargains on Holland America.
The beautiful new Holland America Eurodam starts at just $449 per person, $699 for a balcony cabin for a December cruise. The ports of call include Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Martin, and the private island Half Moon Cay. The Westerdam also sails the same itinerary and has the same prices in December.
If you want to sail to the Eastern Caribbean the newest Holland America ship, Nieuw Amsterdam (sister ship to the Eurodam) sails from Ft. Lauderdale to Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Martin and the private island Half Moon Cay. Prices are also $499 inside and $699 balcony.
While some people think Holland America ships are too quiet, the Eurodam is chock full of things to do including the excellent Explorations Café and coffee bar, with the world's best mochaccino, sponsored by the New York Times so you can even read the daily newspapers (yes, at sea), check out DVDs to watch in your stateroom or consult guidebooks on all the fascinating ports of call you will be seeing.
Each ship has professional culinary lessons given in a real kitchen, on stage, with video cameras for close-ups of the chef's every move. There are also special classes in computer skills provided by MicroSoft employees; learn how to build a web page, enhance your photography skills or format a spreadsheet to budget your next cruise.
But when it comes to these last minute bargains you must be aware that cruise pricing fluctuates all the time - and that in the end all cruise prices are based solely on availability. While some people wrongly believe that cruise prices get lower as you get closer to the sail date, in fact the opposite is usually true. Right now a "last-minute bargain" means six to 12 weeks out - not next week. In fact, if you want to book one of the very same cruise itineraries listed above in October instead of December the balcony cabin price is $1099 per person.
Now, if you want to step up to some of the most beautiful ships on the planet, the Celebrity Solstice class is sailing in the Caribbean this autumn. These ships are incomparable in beauty; staterooms with big-screen flat panel televisions and extra large showers, and beautiful atriums with exquisite finishing details throughout the décor.
Now, Celebrity is timing their discounts a little earlier. If you book a November cruise on Celebrity Summit you can snag in inside cabin for just $499 and an oceanview for $548, but these WILL sell out quickly. A veranda cabin is still reasonable $749 to $799 on the Eclipse if you book before the holidays.
72 Hr. Carnival Sale! Cruises up to 90% off! Plus special rates, free upgrades & more!
Be aware that prices are set to go higher once "wave season" starts in January. This is the beginning of the peak cruise booking period by people making plans to escape the long, cold East Coast winters. The reason cruises are so cheap right now is because of the very recently economic news, but if the economy picks up steam in the next few months cruise prices will go higher.
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