9 Cruises for Under $99/Night
The end of wave season is approaching, and cruise lines are filling up their ships for 2011 sailings. While a lot of cruises are reaching capacity, there are many great ships out there that still have room for you and your family. The task of finding the right cruise can be a daunting one, though, so I took the liberty of doing the work for you.
No need to filter through the thousands (literally!) of sailings yourself. Here are nine cheap cruises for less than $99 per night. But, you’ll need to book by March 10 to get the best cruise deal possible – up to 75 percent off to be precise!
Carnival Splendor to the Mexican Riviera – From $50/Night
Take a 7-night Mexican Riviera cruise from Long Beach on the Carnival Splendor, the newest, largest and most innovative ship in the fleet. It has 22 bars and lounges, four pools, a Twister Waterslide and Royal Flush Casino. Launched in 2008, Cruise Critic gives it 4-stars.
Norwegian Epic to Europe – From $63/Night
The Epic does Europe! Take a 15-night Transatlantic cruise from Miami to Barcelona on Norwegian’s most epic ship ever. An affordable way to see several European ports in one go, the Epic offers various stateroom options and amazing amenities that ensure travelers a fantastic cruising experience.
Norwegian Jewel to the Bahamas – From $64/Night
Take a 7-night Bahamas cruise from New York City aboard the Norwegian Jewel for $64 per night for an inside room or upgrade to an oceanview for $71 per night or balcony room for $83 per night. A relatively new ship, the Norwegian Jewel launched in 2005 and has top notch amenities for cruisers including 10 restaurants, fitness activities and a kids club. Cruise Critic gives this ship 4 1/2 stars.
Carnival Magic to Western Caribbean – From $70/Night
Take a 7-night Western Caribbean cruise from Galveston aboard the Carnival Magic, which is set to debut in May. These are killer introductory rates for this brand new ship! It features a sprawling water park, an Ocean Plaza cafe/entertainment venue and a wrap-around outdoor promenade.
Princess’s Ruby Princess to Europe – From $72/Night
Take an 18-night Transatlantic cruise from Venice to Fort Lauderdale for a grand total of $1295 per person, not far off from the cost of airfare alone. Stop in Venice, Naples, Rome, Cannes and Barcelona to name a few while being entertained non-stop on board. Highlights include a four pools, a golf simulator and casino. Launched in 2008, Cruise Critic gives it 4 1/2 stars.
Celebrity Infinity to the Panama Canal – From $77/Night
Take a 14-night Panama Canal cruise on the Celebrity Infinity. Launched in 2001, it has a Cruise Critic rating of 4-stars. This cruise line is known for its high class amenities and is perfect for a couples vacation. Remember to budget for your airfare since this cruise starts in San Diego and ends in Fort Lauderdale.
Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam to Eastern Caribbean – From $78/Night
Take a 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise from Fort Lauderdale on this brand new ship from Holland America. Island hop from Turks and Caicos to Puerto Rico to St. Maarten and more while enjoying the culinary arts center, entertainment and spa aboard this signature class liner.
Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas to Western Caribbean – From $80/Night
Take a 5-night Western Caribbean cruise from Fort Lauderdale on Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas, launched in 2007. This vessel stops in Belize and Cozumel, or opt to sail to Haiti and Jamaica for the same price. Cruise Critic rates this one 4 1/2 stars.
Norwegian Star to Alaska – From $97/Night
Take a 7-night Alaska cruise from Seattle on the Norwegian Star, a 4-star ship that launched in 2001. Its indoor pool, theater, beer garden and arcade will keep you entertained while you’re not in port.
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My name: Jennifer Gaines, but my friends call me Gaines, Jenni-Dallas or just plain Jenn.
(Find me on Twitter @jenngaines)
Travel ambitions: It's my mission to visit each of the New 7 Wonders and to step foot on every continent before my next milestone birthday.
Greatest travel lesson learned: Find the local hangouts to experience the real, true culture of a place. During a trip to Europe, my friends and I spent several days with a French family in the small town of Vichy. We had a private party in their family-run creperie, feasting on cheese-stuffed crepes and sampling wine that we picked up in the Bordeaux region a few days earlier. Their English wasn’t much better than my French, which is limited to a few well-known phrases from Moulin Rouge and the question: Parlez-vous anglais? (I'm proud to say that I can spout this question off in several different languages, and luckily most Europeans do indeed speak English!) After a few bottles of wine, the language barrier was hardly noticeable (slurring actually sounds the same in French!), and we managed to swap stories about life in other places. What a slice of local flavor!
My most beloved place in the whole world is: My grandparents place in Texas. It’s a 10-acre oasis in between two sprawling cities: Dallas and Fort Worth. A creek runs through their enormous backyard, where Granddad built a deck over the water. The entire place is shrouded with all types of trees (mainly pecan), blocking the Texas sun in the summer. Dusk is the best time to sit on the deck, drink a glass of ice tea and watch baby raccoons from the spring litter surround their back porch as Gram feeds them bread (no lie!). There will be dozens of raccoons eating on any given night. In the fall, my family gathers in the courtyard in front of their house for an annual “weenie roast.” Granddad lights the bonfire, and we roast dogs and s'mores. Yes, y’all, we’re from Texas!
Favorite way to get around: Well, I’m not much of a driver. I get lost easily and my tires have never come across a curb they didn’t want to get to know a little better. But, I do enjoy cruising around and listening to music. That said, I much rather explore a place by foot (with my iPod in tow) for a more intimate encounter.
View that took my breath away: Coming from Texas (where the view is wide but there’s not much to see), scenes from my new home of San Francisco never fail to amaze me. The city is a pedestrian’s dream, but don’t forget to turn around and look behind you as you meander through its neighborhoods. You won’t realize it, but you’ll be at the tip-top of a hill and the ocean will suddenly seem to be at eye level. Take a drive through the Presidio and over the Golden Gate Bridge where even more stunning views await!