Rare Wave Season Cruise bargains (12-29)
We just heard from Carnival that “the booking window” – meaning the amount of lead time between the date a cruise is booked and the day it sails - is returning to normal – about five months. This means the era of “last minute cruise bargains” is coming to an end, but it isn’t entirely over yet.
The first work week in January begins the strongest booking window for cruises of the year, known as “wave season.” Carnival is predicting a strong wave season this year, due to a recovering economy, a very cold winter so far and pent up demand for cruises, but here is a little secret for you - most Wave Season bookings are for the spring months, but one of the slowest couple of weeks of the year for cruises are those right after the new year starts.
I am looking at a chart of “last minute cruises” right now and here are some of the best deals I see. All of these prices are per person, double occupancy, for inside cabins and do not include gratuities or taxes. Port fees are included in the price.
January 10, 2010 – Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas is selling for $399. Liberty was previously, before Oasis, one of the line’s hottest selling ships. Any time you can get a 7-day cruise on Liberty for $399 you have a real steal. This Western Caribbean cruise goes to Costa Maya, Belize City and Cozumel.
January 16 – Celebrity Summit has a 7-day cruise selling for $399 (yes, $399 will be the magic number today). This is one of the Millennium-class ships from Celebrity, not the newest but still a beautiful ship. This cruise sails out of San Juan and has a very active itinerary; St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. Kitts, St. Johns, and St Lucia.
January 23 – a 7-day Caribbean cruise on MSC Poesia is actually selling for just $349 per person. Of course, you will be on a ship where everything is in five languages, but you won’t find a better deal on a 7-day Caribbean cruise sailing out of Ft Lauderdale. Ports include San Juan, St. Martin and Nassau.
January 23 – Norwegian Pearl sails on a 7-day cruise out of Miami for just $399 per person. This is one of my favorite NCL ships with its modern décor and stylish nightclubs. Pearl is the newest NCL ship and it currently represents “Free-style” cruising at its best. Sail out of Miami to Samana Bay, St. Thomas, Tortola and NCL’s Private Island.
January 30th – MSC Poesia sails out of Ft Lauderdale again, but the price goes up to $379 per person.
January 31 – Norwegian Spirit sails out of New Orleans on a 7-day Caribbean cruise for just $379 per person. Ports of call include Costa Maya, Santo Tomas de Castilla in Guatemala, Belize City and Cozumel.
January 31 – Norwegian Jewel sails out of Miami for $399 pp. This is a 7-day cruise to some of better Western Caribbean ports: Roatan, Belize, Costa Maya and the NCL Private Island.
In fact with the end January we see the end of the cruise deals under $400 per person with the exception of some NCL and MSC cruises.