The economy may be sinking, but a wave of new deals could enable you to get your feet wet with a cruise vacation. Every year, the cruise industry's wave season spurs cruise lines and travel agents to offer extra incentives for bookings. And this year, those special deals are even more plentiful than usual.
Sea life isn't just for the retired crowd anymore, either (though there are, of course, still plenty of deals for the senior set). With all the amenities on today's cruise ships—think wall climbing, bowling, and spa treatments galore—and a unique variety of ports of call—picture yourself in Monte Carlo, Grand Cayman, or Hilo, for starters—cruises are catering to travelers from across the demographic spectrum.
The cruises below include accommodations, meals, and onboard activities. Rates start at:
- $139 ($35 per night) on a four-night Mexico cruise aboard Carnival's Carnival Elation. Sail round-trip from San Diego with ports of call in Catalina Island, California; and Ensenada, Mexico. Call Expedia at 888-249-3978 by May 10 and receive $240 cash back on select category cabins, or receive a 30 percent discount on early bookings.
- $149 ($37 per night) on a four-night Bahamas cruise aboard Norwegian's Norwegian Sky. Ports of call include Freeport, Nassau, and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas.
- $299 ($60 per night) on a five-night eastern Caribbean cruise aboard Carnival's Carnival Destiny. Ports of call include Nassau and Half Moon Bay, Bahamas; and Grand Turk Island, Turks and Caicos. Receive a complimentary $150 onboard credit and coupon booklet.
- $329 ($66 per night) on a five-night western Caribbean cruise aboard Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas. Ports of call include George Town, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico. Plus, receive a complimentary $50 onboard credit.
- $449 ($32 per night) on a 14-night transatlantic cruise aboard Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas. Sail from the Dominican Republic on April 19 to England with calls in Phillipsburg, St. Maarten; Madeira and Lisbon, Portugal; and Vigo and La Coruna, Spain.
- $529 ($76 per night) on a seven-night Alaska cruise aboard Carnival's Carnival Spirit. Sail Glacier Bay and the Inside Passage with ports of call in Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan. Book at least five months in advance for this rate.
- $799 ($57 per night) on a 14-night Panama Canal cruise aboard Norwegian's Norwegian Pearl. Ports of call include Cartagena, Colombia; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; El Quetzal, Guatemala; Huatulco, Acapulco, and Los Cabos, Mexico; and transcanal passage through the Panama Canal.
- $799 ($114 per night) on a seven-night Hawaii cruise aboard Norwegian's Pride of America. Ports of call include Kahului, Maui; Hilo and Kona, Big Island; and Nawiliwili, Kauai.
- $1,999 ($167 per night) on a 12-night Venice to Rome Mediterranean cruise aboard Oceania's Insignia. Ports of call include Dubrovnik, Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; La Goulette, Tunisia; Valletta, Malta; Barcelona, Spain; Provence, France; Monte Carlo, Monaco; and Florence/Pisa, Italy. Third and fourth guests receive a 50 percent discount. Book by March 31.
- $2,999 ($115 per night) on a 26-night Amazon and Caribbean cruise aboard Holland America's ms Prinsendam. Ports of call include Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Aruba; Grenada; Devil's Island, French Guiana; Macapa, Santarem, Boca de Valeria, Manaus, Parintins, and Alter do Chao, Brazil; Barbados; Dominica; and St. Thomas.
All prices, dates, and booking details listed here were valid at the time of publication. Some information may have changed since that time.
(Editor's Note: SmarterTravel is a member of the TripAdvisor Media Network, an operating company of Expedia, Inc. Expedia, Inc. also owns Expedia.com.)