New cruise destinations and itineraries are added each year to the already long and attractive list of places to go. Most of the globe is now accessible by cruise ship, taking all the hassle away from traveling as you move from one destination to the next in the comfort of your own room or suite. While the best places to go on a cruise is a highly debatable topic (though some places such as Norway, Alaska, and the Mediterranean are always on the top of the list), no one is arguing that cruises are one of the best way to kill two birds with one stone. Whether you want to plan a luxury vacation or are looking for the best cheap cruise destination for your family vacation, there is a ship and itinerary for you.
One of the most attractive features of this type of travel is seeing many cruise destinations on one trip. People who don’t travel all that often or want to see a great variety in a short amount of time should choose cruises. One of the best places to go on a cruise for variety is the Mediterranean. Itineraries often include such varied destinations as the South of France, Italy, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, and beyond. Whatever areas along the coast of the Mediterranean interest you, it will be possible to find an itinerary that will blow you away. The best part of this type of cruise is discovering what places you would like to go back to and spend more time. Think of a European cruise as introductory chapter to an entire continent.
Another area that lets you see a variety of destinations on one journey is the Caribbean. Considered one of the best places to go on a cruise, the Caribbean promises fantastic weather and an introduction to a variety of cultures, islands, shopping, and cuisine. Each traveler will have their own rating system on what makes a perfect cruise, but if you’re looking for sunny days at sea and opportunities for fun excursions when you dock, the Caribbean will be perfect for you. Many cruises leave from ports in Florida such as Miami, so you can fly domestically and board a boat easily. If your main priority is your budget, sometimes the best cheap cruise destination will be in this area of the world. Affordable boats sail to Key West, Playa del Carmen, and other popular ports in the area.
Other cruise destinations offer the trip of a lifetime, with different destinations available for summer vacations and winter holidays. Climb aboard and set sail for Alaska, where you will encounter stunning glaciers and fascinating sea creatures. If you’re looking for something even more remote, look into a cruise down to Antarctica. Seeing penguins in their natural habitat and walking along one of the most remote locations in the planet is sure to be a memorable experience. Another once in a lifetime trip is sailing through the fjords of Norway. This dramatic landscape was sculpted by glaciers, and many cruises include trips to the northern reaches of the country where if you’re lucky (depending on the weather and time of year) you might see the incredible natural phenomenon known as the Northern Lights.
Not everyone can afford such extravagant cruises however. If you’re looking for the best cheap cruise destination, there are still many to choose from. Family cruises are a popular option, including Disney cruises. Many cruises are all inclusive vacations, making them great value for families who don’t want to pay for every ice cream cone and can of soda. Cruises also provide plenty of entertainment for the kids, and by being constrained by the boat, kids can never wander too far! From Florida to Aruba and more, there are many affordable destinations that can bring your family a well-deserved break of sun and fun.
Mediterranean Cruise Vacations
Mediterranean cruise vacations are among the top itineraries for cruise travelers, and it’s no wonder with such a variety of ports and cruise lines that traverse the waters. Depending on your individual tastes, the best Mediterranean cruise may be one that focuses on the cuisine of the Greek Islands, the French Riviera, or the archaeological sites on the Italian coast. All you need to do is decide when to go and then start exploring the opportunities for traveling through this beautiful and fascinating region.
The Mediterranean Sea can be roughly divided into two sections, the eastern and western Mediterranean, and typically cruise vacations to this area will focus on one or the other. On the eastern shores, visitors may stop at ports in various parts of Turkey, Italy, Greece, and Croatia, as well as Egypt, the Middle East, and even destinations on the Black Sea in Russia and Ukraine. Western Mediterranean cruise vacations typically include ports in Spain, Portugal, France, and Monaco, as well as North African destinations including Morocco.
Vacationers have a variety of itineraries to consider when planning for a cruise in the Mediterranean. From the typical to the exclusive, there are plenty of schedules in the top 10 Mediterranean cruise deals to appeal to every taste in travel. In addition to the variety of routes through these destinations, there are also different lengths for cruises—often ranging from seven nights to twelve nights—and the specific destinations vary based on how long you have to travel. A “best of” trip might be perfect for a first-time visitor, while seasoned travelers may prefer trips that explore lesser known destinations and smaller ports. It’s also popular to take a theme cruise, such as a family cruise vacation or a honeymoon, to ensure that you get the perfect match for your travel tastes.
Summertime is the peak season for travel in the Mediterranean in general, with spring and fall following close behind. In general, winter is the least traveled season here, and while it is becoming increasingly popular among vacationers, this is still the best time to snag a cheap cruise vacation if that’s what you’re looking for. The weather of the Mediterranean countries fluctuates with the seasons as well as throughout the various regions, but it is still relatively mild year round, meaning even if you book one of the top 10 Mediterranean cruise deals in the winter, you’re still sure to be comfortable during your vacation.
Ranging from all inclusive to family-friendly to luxury cruises, Mediterranean cruise vacations offer a variety of options for what you’ll experience while visiting this beautiful region. Among these, vacationers can also grab a selection of deals, including cheap travel from both advance bookings and last minute bookings. Whether you plan to travel during peak season or during the less traveled time of year, you should be able to choose the best Mediterranean cruise for you simply because there are so many choices. Interested in history? Head to Italy or Crete. Planning to spend time on the beaches? The French Riviera or the Greek Islands might be perfect. It all depends on what you’d love to do during your time away from home.
Last Minute Cruise Deals
Last minute cruise deals allow passengers to travel by ship at a tremendously affordable rate. The important factor to remember when making last minute reservations is to know when to snag the best deals, and sometimes this means being flexible on where exactly you’re going on your cruise vacation. Seasons can be everything when searching for the best last minute cruise deal as well, as with many travel options, the off-peak season typically has the best prices and most availability. From a cruise to Alaska to a trip through the Mediterranean, last minute cruises can prove to be a great value if you’re looking to save some money and still have a great vacation.
While most cruise passengers typically research cruise itineraries a few months before they’re planning to travel and book their spots several weeks in advance, that isn’t the only option (though it is the best if you have your heart set on a certain itinerary). Last minute cruise deals are perfect for impulse travelers, as they’re often most easily available closer to the date of departure, when cruise liners are attempting to fill all their staterooms and thus will dramatically slash the rates on some of their voyages rather than sale with a ship that’s only two-thirds full.
The key to seizing the best last minute cruise deal is to know where to look and when to check into the available itineraries. It used to be that travelers could just show up at a travel agency or the dock just hours before departure and bargain for a great deal, but as rules have changed and protocols have been updated, that’s no longer quite the cause. Nowadays, cruise lines are typically required to submit passenger lists at least 48 hours before departure, and most establishments have set a buffer for cancellations, generally between 60 and 90 days. This means that the best times to look for last minute cruise deals are toward the end of the cancellation period, though this does require some advance planning, and within a few days of departure, as cruise lines will be trying hard to fill their cabins before the passenger manifests are due.
Off peak travel and short cruise vacations are one way to snag a great last minute deal, and if you don’t care exactly where you go, you’ll have a lot of options for what cruises may be leaving a particular point of departure. Cruise liners leave Florida from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Port Canaveral several times a day for Caribbean cruises, with varying itineraries to the Bahamas, Jamaica, and beyond. If you’re just as happy to see the Dominican Republic as the US Virgin Islands, for instance, you may be able to book a cruise at a terrific rate just a few days or a week in advance.
Some things to be aware of, however, when making reservations for last minute cruise deals are that there is little flexibility in what you can expect for guest services. Several of the reduced-rate travel bookings will exclude certain luxuries or privileges, such as in-room passenger bonus treats or complimentary upgrades; in other words, if you want a luxury cruise, this might not be the best vacation option for you. Overall though, last minute vacations can be a huge money-saver for budget travelers, and if you don’t mind not having the best of everything on your vacation, last minute cruises are a way to have an amazing trip at an equally amazing price.
Cheap Cruise Vacations
Cheap cruise vacations can be some of the most satisfying vacation experiences, and they’re a great value as well. In addition to the thrilling experience of sailing through the world’s waters and visiting a host of fascinating destinations, passengers can save a lot of money on this type of trip, and it’s a good feeling to be able to take a great vacation even when you’re on a tight budget. Two of the most popular choices for cruise travelers, especially those in the mood for saving a bit of cash, are a cheap Caribbean cruise destination and the best cheap Alaskan cruises. Choosing the least expensive destination is one way to save money, but it’s also possible to get great deals on cheap cruises by traveling in the shoulder season or booking a last minute cruise and having some flexibility on where you go during your cruise vacation.
While many of the luxury cruise liners are known best for having the very latest in desirable features, such as spa suites and large staterooms, on-board golf courses, several swimming pools, and access to private islands, these expensive itineraries aren’t the only way to go. They suit some travelers, but they often take a back seat to the cheap cruise vacations for which many travelers search. The majority of the long-standing cruise lines, including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian, offer cheaper packages on their older ships, which still maintain a modicum of luxury and are of course in excellent condition, making these lines ideal for anyone vacationing on a budget.
Depending on your individual vacation time, each vacationer will choose a different itinerary, and every itinerary presents a variety of inexpensive options. Generally, shorter vacation periods equal a smaller price tag, and this is often the case with cheap cruise vacations, with weekend and three- to four-day cruises being the most inexpensive choices. These particular itineraries are advantageous to those planning to travel to the Caribbean, as it is quite near the US mainland, and many Caribbean cruises leave from major ports in Florida.
When searching for a cheap Caribbean cruise destination, visitors can look to the northwestern and eastern portions of the sea for the typical shorter cruises, which are the most popular as well as the least expensive, and it’s also possible to find trips to the Riviera Maya in Mexico. Those vacationers already in the Pacific Northwest can look forward to some of the best cheap Alaskan cruises that offer sights of glaciers, fjords, mountains, and wildlife. Additionally, one-way cruises offer an inexpensive option for passengers; these include such itineraries as from the eastern United States to Europe, from Southern California to Alaska or vice versa, and passage through the Panama Canal from Florida to California and going in the opposite direction as well.
One of the most common factors for inexpensive travel deals is the off-peak travel season. Picking up a cheap Caribbean cruise destination or sailing to the Mediterranean or Alaska is much more economical during the shoulder seasons than during the peak tourist season. For instance, some of the best cheap Alaskan cruises are available in the months of May and September at about half the price as during the popular vacation months of June, July, and August. It’s also possible to book a last minute cruise as the ships try to fill up all their available cabins, meaning if you’re not picky about where you go, you can get a great deal on a cruise. As the chillier months arrive, many lines trolling the waters of the Mediterranean Sea also offer much lower prices, encouraging visitors to enjoy the same sights at a highly reduced rate; just be sure to pack a few sweaters for the trip.
Cheap Cruise Deals
Cheap cruise deals are popular among travelers, particular as many more people are trying to vacation on a tight budget. While it can seem like an overwhelming task to find the best deals for your trip, it’s possible to do so with a little research. Start by making a list of possible destinations or shore excursions that matter to you on a cruise vacation, as well as the length of time you might be traveling. Considering each one of these factors when you’re searching for the best cruise deals, such as by comparing prices with the booking widget on this page, will help ensure an amazing trip that doesn’t leave your wallet completely empty afterward.
Choosing a good budget destination is very helpful when seeking the best cruise deals, and depending on the point of departure, this could be any number of popular locations, including the Caribbean, Alaska, Mediterranean, and Mexico. When it comes to cruise vacation deals from the US, the Caribbean Sea and Mexico are often the highest on the list of destinations, as these are cheap cruise destinations to visit, and they’re close to many major ports in the US.
Next on the list of destinations for great cheap cruise deals is Alaska, which is popular among cruise passengers departing from Seattle or Vancouver BC. It’s also one of the most stunning destinations in the world, and cruises here include trips past glaciers and beautiful towns like Sitka and Ketchikan. Many travelers also journey to Europe for vacation, which makes the continent a superb jump off point for Mediterranean cruises, and choosing a European port of departure can ensure a more affordable sea voyage than traipsing the entire Atlantic Ocean for a Mediterranean cruise.
Depending on how long you have to spend on your vacation, there are various choices for length and destination. A two- to four-day cruise can be a great way to save money and get in a relaxing vacation. These short cruises often make trips to destinations a relatively short distance from the point of departure; most commonly, ships leave from a port in Florida and travel to some of the nearer Caribbean islands, such as the Bahamas.
With a longer vacation, one-way cruise vacation deals can be a great way to see a few different areas and still get a quality cruise trip. These trips, known as repositioning cruises, are an excellent choice for an inexpensive holiday on the water. Some of the most popular itineraries for these one-way cruises are from the United States mainland to Europe, between Florida and California, through the Panama Canal, and between California and Alaska.
Often the best way to get great cruise vacation deals is by traveling during the off-peak season. The Caribbean Sea is warm and comfortable all year round, though booking during peak hurricane season, between August and October, can be a bit of a gamble. Cruise ships can typically avoid serious storms, however, so it’s well worth checking into all the same. Last minute cruises are also a great way to find terrific cruise deals, as cruise lines in the Caribbean, Alaska, the Mediterranean, and beyond are all trying to fill their boats to capacity, meaning if you’re happy to book a cruise within a few days of its departure and aren’t too picky about where you’re going to go, this could be the perfect option for making the most of your vacation budget.