The Week's Best Cruise Deals
PHOTO: Summer deals are available on numerous ships, including the Paul Gauguin in Tahiti (Courtesy of Paul Gauguin Cruises)
Summer is finally here and so are the cruise deals. A wealth of new promotions have been unleashed, and several are of the new breed that offers upgrades and extra perks — think free drinks or Wi-Fi — instead of the traditional discount.
Here are the best and brightest deals this week:
Norwegian Cruise Line’s “Freestyle Choice Spectacular” offers up to four extra amenities when three- to 16-night voyages are booked through July 31.
Depending on the stateroom category, guests can select one to four extra perks, including a free Ultimate Beverage Package, a free Ultimate Dining Package, $75 per stateroom shore excursion credit for each port, or a 250-minute Wi-Fi package. These offers are in addition to “Friends & Family Sail Free,” in which the third through eighth guest in each stateroom sails at no cost.
Here’s how it works: Customers booking an ocean-view, balcony, or mini-suite stateroom can choose one of those offers and will receive the “Friends & Family Sail Free” deal as well. Those who book a high-end suite or accommodations in the luxury Haven by Norwegian will receive all four offers and the “Friends & Family” deal.
Those who book the lowest-category accommodations are often left out of these deals, but Norwegian includes them in this promotion for the first time, although at a lesser value. Those who book an inside or Studio stateroom get the “Friends & Family Sail Free” deal and also can choose an unlimited soda package, a $50 dining credit, a $50 per port shore excursion credit up to $200 per stateroom, or a 100-minute Internet package.
The “Freestyle Choice Spectacular” offer is not good on Pride of America sailings in Hawaii. Also not included are Norwegian Sky cruises beginning Jan. 1, when the ship goes all-inclusive.
Dining and beverage packages do not include an 18 percent gratuity, although tips are included for suite and Haven guests.
Celebrity Cruises brought back the popular 1-2-3Go! promotion, which is good through July 5. Those who book ocean-view staterooms or higher on select cruises departing in August through April 2016 choose one of three benefits: onboard credit of up to $300 per stateroom, free Classic Beverage Package for two, or free gratuities for two. Those who book a Europe cruise can choose two of the extra perks. Plus, Captain’s Club members at the Classic level or higher can place 50 percent reduced deposits.
When three or more additional guests stay in the same stateroom, they get a free Classic Non-Alcoholic Beverage Package and a 40-minute Internet package.
The 1-2-3Go! offer excludes Celebrity Xpedition, trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific, Asia, and South America repositioning cruises.
Paul Gauguin Cruises launched a sale on select 2015 and 2016 voyages in Tahiti, the South Pacific, Europe, Caribbean, and Latin America, when booked by June 13.
Seven-night Paul Gauguin sailings in Tahiti and the Society Islands are priced from $4,345 per person for the Aug. 8, Aug. 15, Aug. 22, and Dec. 23 voyages, down from $5,295. The Oct. 3 departure is priced from $4,195 while the Dec. 16 cruise is $3,295. Fares start at $3,395 per person for the Jan. 16, Jan. 23, and Jan. 30 sailings.
A 10-night “Society Islands & Tuamotus” cruise departing Jan. 6 was reduced from $5,395 to $4,495 per person, while the 11-night “Cook Islands & Society Islands” departure on Dec. 5 starts at $4,595, reduced from $5,695 per person.
Sailings on the Tere Moana also have been reduced. The Nov. 22 seven-night cruise from Cádiz, Spain, to Lisbon, Portugal, is now priced from $1,695, down from $1,995 per person. The seven-night Dec. 12 voyage from St. Maarten to Colón, Panama, now starts at $2,145, while a weeklong Dec. 19 cruise from Colón to Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica, was reduced by $1,000, to $3,145 per person.
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