Tourism & Cruises

6 money-saving cruise deals you can only buy now

Norwegian Cruise Line’s “Free At Sea” wave season offer includes various add-on amenities depending on cabin size.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s “Free At Sea” wave season offer includes various add-on amenities depending on cabin size. NCL.com

Cruise lines are in the middle of their Black Friday-esque “Wave” season, when they offer the best deals of the year in an effort to book their ships early.

This year, lines are increasingly injecting their early-year promotions with extras such as drink packages and free Internet, instead of the price discounts of years past. Here is a sampling of the deals for ocean and river cruises.

Carnival Cruise Line “Short Cruise Sale”: Discounted rates on select two- to five-day sailings through April and a free upgrade within the same cabin type to a better location on the ship. Offer valid through Feb. 21.

Celebrity Cruises “Go big, go better, go best”: Choose two of four packages — classic beverage package, $150 onboard credit, prepaid gratuities or unlimited Internet — in cruise bookings through Feb. 28.

Crystal Cruises “Book Now”: Book a cruise on the luxury line’s new river line by Feb. 29 for sailings in 2016 and 2017 and get additional savings when combined with an ocean cruise. For example, travelers who book a seven-day river cruise, leaving Oct. 3, 2017, from Bordeaux through France’s wine country on the Crystal Ravel and combine that with a back-to-back trip, leaving Oct. 10 from Lisbon on ocean cruise Crystal Symphony save 15 percent.

Emerald Waterways (river cruises): Free airfare when booking a panorama balcony, grand balcony or owner’s one-bedroom suite on an Emerald Waterway river cruise before Feb. 29. Applies to flights from 20 U.S. airports, including Miami International Airport and Tampa International Airport, to Europe. Travelers flying from other airports will instead get $1,000 per person air credit for suites and $500 air credit per person for all other cabin categories. Offer valid through Feb. 29.

Norwegian “Free At Sea”: Choose one, two or four of Norwegian’s add-on amenities — shore excursion credits, specialty dining credits, free Wi-Fi packages or ultimate beverage packages — with the cost of the cruise depending on cabin size. For studio, inside, oceanview or balcony cabins on any five day-plus cruise, passengers can choose one add-on package when they book at least 30 days before sailing. On bookings for mini-suite staterooms on any five day-plus cruise, passengers can choose two add-on packages when they book at least 30 days before sailing. On reservations for Haven or suite staterooms, get all four amenity packages. Offer valid through Feb. 29.

Royal Caribbean International: Get 30 percent off bookings for every ship in the Royal Caribbean International fleet departing on or after March 16.

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