Back to school time is here, bringing great values on family cruise vacations. Cruises generally offer some of the best family vacation values, especially during the fall and between the holidays. You’ll find excellent deals on family cruises to a wide variety of travel destinations, such as the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Hawaii, Mexico and the Bahamas.
Fall cruise bargains are often snapped up by families with preschoolers, homeschooling families, and parents who are willing to take the kids out of school for a more reasonably priced family vacation. If you're considering taking a cruise over the next few months and can be flexible about your dates and itineraries, now is the time to grab a great vacation deal. Here's the scoop:
* Bahamas cruises are currently as cheap as $199 per person. Norwegian Cruise Line has discounted some of their 4-night Bahamas sailings to as low as $199 per person, a savings of as much as 78% over brochure rates. Refer to Norwegian's Promo PGHOT booking code for these fares. Airfare as well as some additional taxes and fees are extra. These rates were available for the September 7, 2009 sailing on the Norwegian Sky. Significant discounts on Bahamas cruises are available on Disney, Norwegian, Carnival and other cruise lines for September and October dates.
* Short Caribbean cruises are another good bargain. Currently, 4- to 6-day cruises to ports such as Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios can be found at deep discounts, often for well over 70% off brochure prices. In particular, the September 7 Western Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Imagination is a great deal right now at 77% off the brochure rate. The Carnival Fantasy’s September 24th 4-night Western Caribbean cruise from New Orleans is also a steal starting at $199 per person.
* Significant discounts are available on 7-day Caribbean cruises, with as much as 77% off on some sailings. For example, a 7-night Western Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Valor currently starts at $409 per person during the month of September with lower rates available for residents of certain states. This cruise visits Roatan, Belize City, Cozumel and Grand Cayman. While discounts of more than 70% can be found on 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises during September and October, prices vary significantly by sailing date and ship. Bargain hunters will need to show more flexibility in order to scoop up the lowest fares. Sailings depart from such ports as Port Canaveral, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Tampa, New Orleans, Galveston, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
* West Coast cruises to Mexico are showing some substantial discounts of up to 80%. For example, the September 27th 7-night cruise on the Carnival Splendor is 79% off and the September 7th sailing of the Carnival Elation is 80% off with prices as low as $179 per person. Discounts of 60-70% are commonly available on other cruises as well. Cruises depart from home ports in California, including Los Angeles, Long Beach and San Diego.
* Want to see spectacular fall foliage? Then head to sea on a Canada/New England fall cruise. The September 26th 7-night Carnival Triumph sailing is up to 69% off, starting as low as $549 per person. The cruise leaves from New York City and visits Boston, Portland, Saint John, New Brunswick and Halifax, Nova Scotia.
* If you’ve always wanted to visit Hawaii, the fall months have some great prices to offer on Hawaii cruises. The October 31 Norwegian Cruise Line Pride of America sailing is as much as 70% off brochure prices. This cruise leaves from Honolulu and visits ports of call on Maui, Kauai and the Big Island of Hawaii. Several additional sailings in October and November are also offering savings of 65% or more.
* September is a lovely time for a Mediterranean cruise. The summer crowds have departed and the weather is still warm. MSC Cruises has some exceptional deals on 7-night Mediterranean cruises during the month of September. For example, the September 19th sailing of the MSC Sinfonia is 80% off regular brochure prices as the September 28th sailing of the MSC Lirica is discounted by as much as 79%.
If you're seeking an inexpensive getaway, take a closer look at these cruise values. These deals are particularly attractive to those who live within driving distance of a home port or travelers who have frequent flier miles to spare. To take advantage of these great deals, contact your favorite travel agent. Other good Internet sources for cruise discounts include such sites as Vacations To Go, Cruises.com, Cruise.com, Travelocity, Expedia and Orbitz. You can also call the cruise lines directly and speak with one of their reservations agents.